By all measures the economy is slowly coming back and many more people are settling into good paying jobs again. However, recent statistics reported by the government aren’t quite as rosy as the picture they’re trying to portray. It is true that many more people are re-entering the workforce, which is great, but many of those people are coming into jobs that are temporary, part time, or pay less than the jobs they had before the economic disaster. With so many people working fewer hours and making less money, it’s not hard to imagine that they need a little extra money to carry them through their daily lives. One small opportunity in working fewer hours for your employer is that you have more time to start a side business on your own and earn a few extra quid, or if things go well you can lay the groundwork to be a full on entrepreneur and be your own boss.
I’ve made list of a few dozen great side jobs you can start from your own home. The key here is to find something you are passionate about and zero in on those types of activities. The most successful businesses are those that are run by people who care deeply about what they’re working. If you don’t see an opportunity on my list that excites you, just take a few minutes to think about what it is that does interest you and go from there.
1. Pet Walking/Pet Sitting
If you enjoy animals this can be an easy decision and way to make some extra cash. On average you can charge between £10-£15 per hour per dog as a dog walker and you can probably walk a few dogs at once from the same neighborhood. The only downside is that you’ll need some liability insurance in case a dog is injured or runs off. As a hobby you can make a few hundred pounds a week walking dogs and if you’re willing do pet sit as well you can quickly earn more than enough to balance out your finances along with your regular job.
2. Antiques and Collectibles
You may already be a collector with a passion for antiques or your collectible of choice. If you’re knowledgeable about collecting and antiques then it doesn’t take a big jump for you to start selling these items for a tidy profit. It’s easy with sites like eBay to go out looking for collectibles to sell online.
3. Artisan Jams, Pickles, and Baked Goods
There is a huge market now for home made canned goods and baked goods. A side effect of the financial crisis was that people were spending more time at home in their spare time and looked for something fun to do that could also save them money. Many people began making their own pickles and jams and some have found success selling these goods to others in their community. If you’ve got your grandma’s recipe for an amazing jam now might be the time to break that out and perfect it and sell some for delicious extra cash.
If you’re handy in the kitchen and can make larger quantities of food you might be a good fit for doing catering on the side. While you don’t need formal training or permits to get started as a caterer you will do much better if you take a few courses on hospitality and catering.
5. Computer Repair
Nearly everybody has a computer but not everybody is great at keeping their computer running smoothly. If you’ve got a knack for working with computers you may be sitting on a skillset that can make you extra money quick. After you’ve helped a few people to fix their computers they’ll be telling their friends about how helpful you were and before you know it you’ll have a thriving side business started.
6. House Cleaning
If you’ve got spare time you can rent your time and effort out as a house cleaner. It doesn’t take any special skills and you probably already have all the things you need to get started at home too. You can either strike out on your own or can join a group like Molly Maid where you have the support of a formal business structure.
7. Laundry Services
Similar to house cleaning you don’t need any special skills to start a side business of doing laundry for others and you probably already have a machine in your home. If you’re like me, you just hate doing laundry and would be happy to pay somebody else to do it for you. You can charge by the load or by the pound and can quickly make a few extra dollars while working on something else from home.
8. Consumer Research
There are many market research companies that will pay you to participate in consumer panels or market research studies. You can make between £50-£100 for participating plus food and drink during the time you’re there. You can also participate in many studies by phone or online, but it can be somewhat difficult to find a reputable firm for online studies.
9. Translating Services
If you are lucky enough to be fluent in a second language then you have an amazing skill that you can use to make extra money starting today. As many UK companies are looking to set up overseas there is a huge demand for people who are fluent in other languages. However, big companies want to see some credentials before they’ll sign you own to freelance as a translator so be prepared to get certified by an accreditation body.
10. Personal Shopper
You may love to shop for yourself, and if you have a keen style sense then you may be able to set up as a personal shopper. Many busy women simply don’t have time to go out and shop for the latest styles. If you can anticipate their needs and make sure they look their absolute best you can quickly gain a following of clients who rely on you to buy clothes and accessories for them each month.
11. Sell Your Clutter
With craigslist and ebay you can make extra money by selling things you have and don’t need anymore. All it takes is for you to look through your belongings and decide what items you can live without and post them online. What may be junk to you could be the item somebody else in your community has been searching for. You can even expand your business to start selling new items that are difficult to come by like the new hot Christmas toy everybody is going to want.
Use your skills as a patient instructor and make cash by tutoring local children. There are plenty of parents looking to find extra help for their child to ensure they can do well in school. If you’re great at maths or sciences this can be right up your alley and you can charge £25-£100 or more per hour.
I’m awful at sewing and always send out my clothes to be mended by somebody else. I typically use a local tailor but if you have a knack for sewing you can make extra money by mending clothes and doing alterations for others. One of my mother’s good friends makes quite a bit of money doing alterations from her home while maintaining a job as a full time teacher.
14. Auto Repair
If you know your way around a car then why not put your skills to work for you repairing people’s cars? You can perform routine maintenance or even more complicated repairs from your won garage and save your friends and family members money while making a few quid for yourself.
15. Handyman Services
Just like auto repair, if you have a tool kit and have some knowledge of how to repair common household problems then you are well set to make extra money doing repairs. You can charge by the task or by the hour and the earnings can quickly add up.
16. Dinner Prepper
This is kind of unique in that you aren’t quite catering meals for anybody but you are preparing meals they can take home and finish themselves. Many working parents wish they could have more home cooked meals for their family but with the time constraints of working they just can’t do it as often as they would like. You can prepare delicious home cooked meals that are designed to be picked up and assembled and cooked at your clients’ homes.
Childcare is an excellent way to make extra money but does require that you register with Ofsted. If you enjoy children and have plenty of energy then you could be well suited to taking care of children professionally. The registration process is not particularly difficult and parents are willing to pay a premium for high quality childcare from a person they trust so you can easily make it worth your while quickly.
18. Bed & Breakfast/Short Term Rentals
The market is booming right now for short-term rentals of rooms in your home. Websites like Airbnb make it easy for you to rent out an extra bedroom for a rate you set yourself. Increasingly travelers are looking to stay in extra rooms rather than hotels because it is less expensive and more comfortable. If you’ve got a spare room and you aren’t using it then this can be a very easy option for you.
19. Car Cleaning
You can get quite a bit of extra money by cleaning and detailing other people’s cars. If you have an eye for detail and a portable vacuum you can bring your kit with you to a client’s home and wash, vacuum, and detail their car right for them at their home and charge a nice premium for your service.
I’ve got plenty of friends who love spending time in their gardens but who don’t have time to maintain them on their own. If you’ve got time available you can sell your services of maintaining gardens for your clients or even building vegetable gardens or flower patches for people. More and more people are clamoring to grow produce on their own so there is a good market for developing vegetable gardens for people in your community.