August 3, 2012

Brainstorm these ideas and see what you come up with for yourself!

  1. Buy a wood splitter, like this guy, and start a little side business
  2. Clean up foggy headlights, charge about $20 per car
  3. Do people love to touch your hair? Cash in on your lovely locks.  Many get $300 to over $1000 -
  4. These moms at CafeMom had a unique way of getting money by buying baby items cheap and returning them later
  5. Sign up to become a juror on eJury.com – review cases, answer questions, get paid about $5 – $10 per case.
  6. Hallmark Greeting Cards offers part time positions, mainly merchandisers in their retail stores and other partnered stores like Walmart.  Work can range from 3-20 hrs per week.
  7. Find a flex position, temporary, full-time, or part time position in your area or online at
  • Become a direct seller – browse company opportunities on Direct Selling Association website
  • Get paid taking surveys and completing offers on CashCrate
  • Design and sell custom bridal veils
  • Help brides save money, take part in recycling by selling second hand wedding dresses
  • Act as an investor earning an average 10-12% on small personal loans with Prosper.com.  You’d be taking part in group funding per loan – can do small partial investment or fully fund the loan yourself.
  • Become an affiliate selling 10 lb chocolate bars for gifts and parties
  • Pack parachutes at local skydiving field
  • Become an online tutor with
  • Work as an embalming assistant at a funeral home – it’s quiet, climate controlled, and possibly a night shift
  • Work parties and events as a temporary tattoo artist
  • ATV mechanic – many shops are swamped with long waits and lack in friendly customer service.  Could be a great opportunity.
  • Marine mechanic – work onsite instead of owning shop.  Saw this comment from someone who knows a marine mechanic -
    • “They make good money, and good techs are in demand. There is a local guy that advertises on Craiglist, and does all his work at the boat owners house. No overhead. Works as much as he wants. Does a ton of water pumps, and winterizing”
  • Waiter/waitress or bartender at top end restaurant – tips are much better than average places.
  • Ask farmers or ranchers if they need any help – cleaning stalls, bucking hay, etc
  • Tint car windows – average $150 – $200 per job
  • Saw this idea in an online forum (unedited) -
    • “i make and sell personalised kids placemats and door signs i sell them on ebay and carboot sales and make quite alot of money, i sell them for £2.50 each or 3 for £6, I make them with all kids favourite charactors from pepper pig to harry potter, I take orders and can make them with any picture they like. they usually just tell me what there kids are into and then ill email them some examples and they decide which 1 they like best.
      I personalise them with any text they like, the most popular are the placemats as ive found alot of mums have found that they can get there kids to sit at the dinner table alot easier with them. they usually have somethin along the lines of EMMAS DINNER or JACK’S DINNER DO NOT TOUCH/ SOPHIE SITS HERE.
      I find this a great little money maker as people always love to be able to help design there own stuff for there kids.”
  • Go to library sales and resell books on Ebay or Amazon
  • Get paid being part of a focus group
  • Use your calligraphy talents for custom invitations and other stationary
  • Take in a kid or two to watch.  Market to teachers at your local schools to watch their kids. Or sign up with these services which do background checks -
    • Care.com (use top search box – Find a ____ in ZIP ____)
  • Sign up for elderly or senior sitting.  Background checks required -
    • Care.com (use top search box – Find a ____ in ZIP ____)
  • Collect old tires and make tire sandals or more durable soles for shoes.  Long distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail would go for these.  Here’s some being sold as Cambodian Tire Sandals
  • Heard about a woman who was very good at wrapping presents.  November/December she was able to secure a small space on the mall floor and became a hit with the shoppers
  • Work the evening shift at your church (3-4 nights/week), which could be mostly janitorial duties.  Could be another $10-12k per year
  • Home laundry service – wash other people’s clothes at your house.  Can offer ironing at extra charge
  • Affiliate marketing website – setting up website and selling other people’s products.  Could be quicker and cheaper than starting and promoting your own business.
  • Be a transcriber contractor
  • Provide suburban backyard campouts - themed camping for kids, adults, girls night outs.  Can do in backyards, parks, or events.
  • Collect cardboard from businesses, shred, and resell as animal bedding.  Can sell to pet stores, animal shelters, and farms.
  • Restore vintage bicycles
  • Are you a gun enthusiast?  Teach people how to shoot and clean their firearms properly (you might need an FFL license unless they stay on the property with you or you do house calls for cleaning)
  • Blade sharpening service
  • Develop a mobile bicycle repair business
  • Sell homemade jellies, jams, bread, muffins, rolls on the side of the road.  Or go to craft fairs and farmers markets.  People will pay $4-5 per loaf of bread and up to $5 per jar of homemade jam.
  • Start your own adventure trip company that does adventure scavenger hunts (aka Amazing Race style)
  • Give friends and co-workers haircuts
  • Make lunches for your co-workers – like a sandwich, chips, and a dessert.  Soups and salads.  Charge $5 per bag, profit about $2.  Could add up to about $500 a month for 4-6 co-workers.
  • Pose nude for an art class (if you dare) – usually pays about $12-15/hr
  • Design and build custom aquariums – can also provide maintenance, emergency fixes, and can also design the decor at extra cost.
  • Cook and sell dinners from your front porch
  • Buy a photobooth and rent for parties and events
  • Give old or new RV’s a more interesting and livable look doing RV interior remodeling.
  • Design and build tiny houses for those who want to live more simply.  Can also give classes to those who want to build their own tiny house.
  • Provide night vision tours – using night vision goggles, people can spot animals in a forest or walking thru a zoo.  Haunted tours? How about a late night, creepy historic cemetery tour or an old historic hotel. What other places would be fun and interesting at night?  Plus, wearing night vision goggles is just cool.
  • Niche field: Goth – specialize in providing to Goth people – Goth clothes, Goth jewelry, Goth hair & makeup, start a Goth facebook (GothBook or GothCave) or other social networking website.
  • How about starting a women’s only taxi service?  Offer some small amenities like beauty kits while they enjoy their safe ride, no stops for men!  Slowly build up a small fleet of pink cars.
  • Or a taxi service for kids – help busy parents get their little ones home or to after-school activities.
  • Interested in house sitting for someone’s property all over the world?  Read the Caretaker’s Gazette.
  • Are you a certified mechanic?  Offer to inspect used cars for people looking at buying one to make sure they’re getting a good car and a good deal.
  • Small engine, lawn mower engine repair/tune-ups/blade sharpening
  • Partner up with some businesses that don’t offer delivery, such as furniture.  They can refer their customers to you if they request delivery.  What other businesses could you set this type of service with?
  • Provide furniture delivery or moving service…by bike!
  • Find a unique niche for bakery items – such as this Meatloaf Bakery
  • Organize a different kind of community triathlon or sporting event – like a triathlon involving rollerblading, kayaking, and cycling or whatever else you can dream up.  Or organize a 5k run for moms running with their toddlers in strollers!
  • Make your own brand and flavors of beef jerky to sell
  • Custom T-shirt designs
  • Custom logo designs
  • Between the ages of 19-40 years old?  Earn on average $75-$100 donating sperm, once per week.  Look up your local sperm bank and see what they offer and qualifications.
  • Women can sell their eggs for a few thousand dollars.
  • Donate plasma and earn up to $50 per week by donating twice per week.
  • Live in an area that has lots of local produce?  Dehydrate local fruit and sell roadside.
  • Open a beer tasting room – if you live in an area with many micro brews, wouldn’t there be as many or more beer aficionados as wine snobs?
  • Deliver pizzas – work part time and earn up to $1000 per month in extra income or one guy commented he added $3500 a year by working Saturday evenings only.  Popular among Dave Ramsey fans who take on extra jobs to get rid of debt.  Good at telling stories?  Write a blog about your pizza delivery adventures telling stories of the people you meet.  One guy did this on a Dave Ramsey forum and was a huge hit.  If you get enough people visiting your blog, could earn a little extra on advertising and affiliate links.  Plus you can get some free food!
  • Auto/RV Driveaway job for dealerships
  • Become a voiceover artist – even people who don’t hit it big can make $40k-$80k.  Like music bands, the key is to create your own style, not imitate other styles.
  • Build pet enclosures - or any type of custom animal closures.  Here’s an article of a young couple building custom coops to make some extra money on the side, and another page with some helpful links.
  • Become a celebrant
  • Garden starter service – put your tiller to work and sow what customers want for a fee, give them care instructions, all they do is water and pick in season.  Could be vegetables or flowers.
  • Build a business hiring freelancers on Elance or oDesk.  Outsource skills you don’t care to deal with and not have to hire employees.
  • Learn how to build apps to sell.  Hottest thing on the market these days!
  • Fiverr.com – advertise things you’ll do for $5
  • Prepare business plans
  • Work night shift and/or weekends manning the hotel front desk
  • Web design and graphic design
  • Computer security consulting
  • Grant writing for non-profits
  • College scholarship search service
  • Beekeeper – sell honey and possibly rent your bees to farmers for pollination services.  See this a lot in the Northwest farms and orchards.  Use the wax to make candles or sell to candle makers.
  • Invent play packets for kids to keep busy in the car or on planes.  Design something that will attach to the back of seats or tray tables.  No doubt parents would LOVE you for this!!
  • Modeling – hand modeling, foot modeling, model your awesome smile
  • Home/office organizing service
  • Write a blog or be a guest blogger on a subject you’re very knowledgeable about
  • Write articles for different websites and get paid – Associated Content does this.
  • Editing service
  • Recycle wooden pallets for cash
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Critter removal service – just please don’t be like that reality show guy and wear shoulder spikes over your t-shirt!!
  • Work for an investigative agency serving notices (I know of one place that does this in Portland, earning $15 per notice served)
  • Computer maintenance
  • Home inventory service – documenting all household belongings for insurance purposes
  • Parking lot striping service
  • Paint red fire zones on curbs for businesses and have yearly maintenance visits
  • Paint home address numbers on curbs or driveway – niche: instead of plain, black numbers – add their favorite college or sports team logo in color. Or family crest?  Think of other logos homeowners might enjoy displaying.
  • Driving school instructor
  • Massage therapist (set up at airports, fairs, malls, weekend sporting events like 5k’s and mini triathlons, etc) offering not only full body, but 10 min neck, shoulder rubs. Foot rubs too? If you like adventure or bike touring, work with an adventure/bike touring company as their staff massotherapist.  Can work for a fee paid by the company, receive group tips, plus free trips.
  • Tax preparation
  • Mountaineer guide
  • Fishing guide
  • Mobile boat cleaning/maintenance service
  • Personal training/aerobic classes in the home
  • Make up some other form of weight loss or fitness training – like backpacking fitness (one guy is doing it – fatpacking.com)
  • Yoga instructor
  • Teach newly certified personal trainers how to market themselves and be successful.  Lots of programs on becoming certified, not enough on how to be successful and therefore a high attrition rate.  Can do for other fields like real estate, life insurance agents, massage therapists, cosmetologists, and others.  They’ve spent hundreds of dollars to become certified, why not invest another $200-300 to learn how to attract business specifically for their field?
  • Create your own rain barrels or buy plain stock rain barrels and add your creative design to them
  • Rent boats or jet skis on a monthly subscription basis
  • Many consumers would like to buy branded items or services, but can’t afford them.  Why not repackage and sell a top branded item in smaller packages or doses.
  • Lots of women would like to have a well known, branded purse, but can’t afford it.  How about a service that rents these expensive purses or handbags for a night or few days?  Allow someone to look real stylish for a special night.
  • Small business consulting
  • Offer small business owners to call their overdue receivables.  Get % of total dollars brought in from these accounts they were about to send to collections.
  • Part time chimney sweep
  • Offer to host travelers – whether by car, cyclists, or hikers.  Rent out a room, couch, or your backyard to pitch a tent.  Add a meal or two for extra. Be selective, of course, but a great way to meet interesting adventurers and will be cheaper for them.  This is popular among the long-distance hiking and biking communities.
  • Catering
  • Wedding photography
  • Resume writing/career coaching
  • Lawn/Landscaping service
  • Take in a roommate or rent out your basement
  • Moving service – have your own truck and workers or offer your muscles for hire while customers rent their own truck for cost savings
  • Clean houses, apartments, business offices, or bars & restaurants – niche idea: use all green cleaning products for environmentally aware customers
    • Care.com – can search for local house cleaning job requests (use top search box – Find a ____ in ZIP ____)
  • Blog setup/design
  • Social media consulting for small businesses
  • Work at a temp agency
  • Nightclub musician or stand on a busy sidewalk and collect tips for your music
  • Bartender – offer services to private parties.  Work with caterers and event planners
  • Shot Girl – huge in Texas country dance clubs.  Can make $300+ per night.  Wear bandolier with shot glasses and two gun holsters to hold the tequila bottles.  Pour tequila shots down guys throats while wearing your cowgirl hat and boots.  They love it!!
  • Dog training/boarding/walking/grooming
  • Be a personal trainer for pets
  • Poop scooping service
  • Pet sitting – can find your own clients including signing up with a service like Care.com (use top search box – Find a ____ in ZIP ____) & Sittercity.com
  • Pet taxi
  • Make your own brand of fresh, healthy pet food
  • Sell your own pet treats or buy some wholesale, sell it roadside or a la ice cream truck style
  • Do tarot card or palm readings.  Wear a big, goofy hat while doing it.
  • Use your heavy duty pickup and 5th wheel towing ability to haul cattle/horses for regional ranchers
  • Urban farmer – growing/selling produce thru hydroponics/aeroponics or raised garden plots in your backyard.
  • Rental property/landlord
  • Tutoring, teaching courses online.  Tutors can make about $25-35 per hour depending on grade level.  Lots of parents will pay for this type of service!
  • Grade tests online
  • Sell stuff on eBay
  • Consult with small businesses on parts of their business depending on your expertise – cutting costs, improving efficiency, sales/marketing, social media marketing, management, accounting, tax prep, bookkeeping
  • Songwriting
  • Ghostwriting
  • Copywriting
  • Paint houses
  • Pressure washing business
  • Mobile car washing
  • Mobile mechanic/tune ups/oil change service
  • Handyman service
  • Window washing
  • Seal driveways
  • Dress up like a homeless person and stand on a street corner (KIDDING!! Well…maybe, those guys do make more than minimum wage)
  • If you do stand on a corner, at least entertain the drivers at stop lights.  You can juggle pins in the day, and juggle lighted torches at night.
  • Sell crafts/jewelry online (Etsy.com is huge), craft fairs, flea markets
  • I’m not in airports often, so don’t know if this has been taken advantage of – provide a mailing service office near security checkpoints so anything that can’t be taken on the flight, fliers can zip by the store real quick to ship it home or their destination.
  • Woodworking – make small crafts or go bigger building your own furniture, fireplace mantels, decorative trim, cabinet doors
  • Build a website to sell work of local artists
  • Build a website to sell products of local small businesses w/o websites
  • Build a website for your town/local businesses (ad revenue)
  • Party planning/designing
  • Entertainment inspirations
  • Freelance sales training/professional development
  • Image consultant
  • Mobile hair styling
  • Mobile nail care
  • Mobile skin care
  • Photographer of little league games, selling pictures of kids to parents online after the games.  Advertise website they can visit to buy pictures.
  • Take photos and sell them on sites like istockphoto and Shutterstock
  • Move to LA or NY and become a paparazzi
  • Photography niche: become someone’s paparazzi for a day. They’ll send you a personal photo of them along with a description of their normal daily activities and any moment of mood or emotion they’d like to capture.  You show up undisclosed and provide professional quality photos of how they appear to others and live out their lives.  One place is doing this all over the world – www.methodizaz.com
  • Sell Avon or Mary Kay online/home parties
  • Sell wine and wine gift baskets, such as from sites like Wine.com
  • Make up your own gift basket theme to sell
  • Sell medical scrubs online
  • Find something on Alibaba.com and resell online/flea markets/Craigslist/Ebay (more than likely need to be registered as a business to buy wholesale)
  • Sell used books/textbooks on Amazon
  • Rent textbooks online
  • Weddings are huge – photography, write invitations, help with invitation wording, invitation mailing service, wedding planning, catering, DJ service, just something to make things easier and enjoyable for the bride!! One person in Portland, OR will mail your wedding invitations from a nearby town so it will have the postal stamp of Bridal Veil, OR.  Do you have a similar town name nearby?  Or maybe a town named North Pole for kids to receive letters from Santa?
  • Mobile DJ
  • Sell cupcakes, cookies, snack foods if near college campus
    • When asked how she makes extra money, one lady replied “I bake cakes, pies, banana pudding, peach cobbler, banana bread, brownies and I sell them”
  • Midnight coffee/snack run service near college campuses
  • Or a late night delivery service for other items – condoms, beverages, cigarettes, diapers, the list could be big.
  • You know what would be really cool? If you could invent ice cream that’s low sugar, high protein, and spiked with caffeine – I’d be your #1 customer!!
  • Fence building
  • Deck building
  • Home staging
  • Photograph houses and their interiors for RE Agents
  • Appraiser – work with RE Agents, banks, divorce lawyers, or when people put homes in a trust
  • Kitchen/Bathroom designing consultant
  • Consulting with homeowners to upgrade/increase home values
  • Financial counseling – getting out of debt, teach smarter personal financing
  • Sell/build cat runways/corner beds that sit up high in the rooms
  • Sell pet supplies online
  • Design/make pet clothes
  • Indoor/outdoor plant care service
  • Use cooking skills to be a personal chef for special occasions, offer to cook a weeks worth of meals and stick them in their freezer to microwave later, offer personal cooking courses at their home. This could be big with the senior market who aren’t able to cook for themselves any longer.
  • Give party/dinner/lunch ideas
  • Clothes designing – sell patterns online
  • Makeover specialist
  • Professional waitstaff/bartending service for parties, events – work with caterers and party planners. Pay waiters on 1099, no employees! Very minimum inventory to keep (some uniform items like ties, vests, white shirts)
  • Work with RE brokers to find houses and earn finder’s fees
  • Holiday house decorating service
  • Paint lawns green – for RE Agents, people w/dead yards ( I swear people do this!)
  • Landscaping design/consulting
  • Sell your plasma
  • Take part in medical studies – this is huge with students in and around Austin, Knoxville, New Orleans.  Could make few hundred bucks in just one weekend sometimes!
  • Shopping/errand service for seniors/disabled/busy moms or executives
  • Sell name brand bags and bedsheets on Amazon
  • Sell baby bedding – huge keyword search stats for this!
  • While you’re at it – sell cribs and other nursery items
  • Find something for rural people they can’t access easily, no Wal-mart nearby
  • If you live in a town that’s too far from an IKEA store – take orders online or Craigslist and provide a service to pick up, deliver, and even assemble their furniture purchases.  Can also do with Pottery Barn and Ethan Allen.
  • If you live in a town that has a popular manufacturer of outdoor products, knives, clothing, etc., buy in bulk at their yearly thrift store sales and resell on Ebay or Craigslist
  • Ipod music loading service
  • Become an affiliate marketer for alternate power manufacturers/distributors (dropshipping) – solar panels, wind generators, etc.
  • Develop an online platform that connects people/groups
  • Think of something that could use a more refreshing design, then design and build them (like storage sheds, play houses, tree houses)
  • Find something that you can provide a better level of service
  • Find antique deals and resell
  • Upscale gift bags – use high quality shoulder style bags and put nice fragrances, bath/body items, etc
  • Hauling service with your truck and/or trailer
  • Sell coffee/espresso at events
  • Buy cases of bottled water (around $3-$4 for 24), sell cold bottled water for $1 to hot and sweaty participants
  • Collect or buy used coffee grounds from individuals/businesses to make garden compost for sale.  Coffee grounds are considered very good compost material.
  • Garage/attic cleaning/organizing service
  • Design/build home shelving
  • Publish an ebook
  • Cake artist for weddings/baby showers
  • Have an inventory of bikes and shuttle people to a destination and they can coast down to a pickup point
  • Become a rafting guide
  • Segway tours company
  • Become a kayak guide
  • Cycling tours/backpacking tours/adventure tours
  • Make soap or candles to sell
  • Create press kits for bands and businesses
  • Design/make handmade invitations/greeting cards/stationary
  • Clock building
  • Travel planner
  • Event sound/lighting service
  • Sell lingerie online and home parties
  • Running moonshine (joking – still there??)
  • Lunch truck driving around to different job sites – let people know where you are on Twitter.  Or make it a cupcake truck!  Dream up your own item to sell from a truck.
  • Homemade jerky
  • Homemade jam
  • I heard of someone selling dinner in a jar at a festival – take a mason jar and layer it with BBQ meat, beans, cole slaw all the way to the top.  Apparently it was pretty popular!
  • Sell other mason jar food
  • Mobile car detailing
  • Pinstriping service for autos/motorcycles/boats
  • Design/sell a squirrel proof bird feeder that actually works.
  • Build/sell bird houses
  • Concrete staining service
  • Design/build french doors
  • Make unusual picture frames
  • Refurbish wood floors
  • Kayaking/canoe tours
  • Bouncing castle service for kids parties, local events
  • Harley Davidson taxi service (with side car, of course)
  • There’s some Harley Davidson hearse services out there too
  • Plan/host kids theme parties
  • Start a school drop off/pickup service for working parents.
  • Design/build book ends
  • Manners coach
  • Ethics coach
  • Make and bag your own compost to sell (could combine this with a pooper scooper service)
  • Alpaca rancher
  • Goat rancher – milk, cashmere, meat (plus Ag tax exemption!)
  • Watchband/watch designer
  • Referee your favorite sport
  • Start a garden store and/or nursery
  • Refurbish laptops – resell locally or overseas to less developed countries
  • Wood chopping service – another possible service for seniors in cold climates.  Chop manually for the exercise or use a mechanical splitter.
  • Concierge service
  • Become a doula
  • Buy a vending machine and sell items of your choice or creativity (besides candy). Like blue jeans, t-shirts, seed bombs, whatever you can dream up.
  • Design/build/install above ground home irrigation systems