5 Small Businesses You Can Start From Home in Your Off-hours

A woman typing on a laptop and smiling

If the income from your day job just isn’t enough to make ends meet, you need a way to generate extra cash. Instead of quitting your job or switching industries, consider starting a small business instead where you are the CEO and everything else.

The following small business ideas are easy to start from home in your off-hours. They require little to no cost to get started other than your time.

House Cleaning

A cleaning business has the potential to be very lucrative, especially if you live or can commute to areas with wealthy homeowners and eager potential clientele. Lay the groundwork for your house cleaning business with the following steps:

  • Take it slow to focus on quality and reputation
  • Do the cleaning yourself until you have generated enough clients to hire help
  • Use low-cost marketing like Facebook, vehicle decals, and flyers
  • Offer discounts or free cleanings in return for positive reviews online
  • Identify your specific services and stay consistent with brand identity

House cleaning can generate anywhere from $30 to $150 per hour, depending on your services and clients. If you do all of the cleaning yourself to begin, you have the potential to earn thousands of extra income a week! By investing wisely and keeping your customers happy, the sky’s the limit.

Pet Sitting

More than 85 million American families own pets, and most of those families treat their pets like their own children. This means they’ll avoid kennels in favor of finding someone reliable and compassionate to watch their animals during vacations and work trips.

Use the following tips to launch your pet sitting business off the ground:

  • Establish your hours and rules. Will pets stay at your home, or will you stay at the homes of your clients? How many overnights will you permit?
  • Check licensing requirements and get permits as needed
  • Stock up on items you may need, like extra leashes, toys, food, and treats
  • Create an online presence to advertise your services
  • Network with local vets, pet groomers, and pet stores to get recommendations

You can choose how far and fast to grow your business, whether that means watching a few dogs a month or dozens a week.

Selling on Ebay or Amazon

Ebay and Amazon are both global online marketplaces that you can leverage as platforms to build a business from your living room sofa. With more than 400 million active buyers between the two platforms, there’s no shortage of potential customers eager to purchase the items you list. In fact, $22.6 billion worth of merchandise was sold on eBay in the first quarter of 2019 alone!

Simply set up your account, identify the items you want to sell, and create your listings. Keep these factors in mind as you begin offering merch:

  • Use professional pictures and clear, concise descriptions
  • Order shipping supplies and a scale to ensure timely delivery to your customers
  • Research market prices before listing
  • Concentrate on building positive reviews to boost your credibility as a seller

Whether you’re selling spare car parts, pieces from your various collections, or customized t-shirts, find the niche that you love and source inventory at yard sales, thrift stores, and wholesalers. If you run your Ebay or Amazon account with the mentality of a business owner, you’ll start seeing the revenue to match.

Freelance on Fiverr

Don’t let your random voiceover skills or creative writing talent go to waste. Fiverr is an online marketplace where freelancers like yourself can advertise services to businesses and individuals. You can create an account and profile in less than one hour to begin cashing in on your natural talents for graphic design, video creation, blog writing, or anything else.

The more clients you attract, the more momentum you’ll build. Update your profile regularly to reflect your growth. Some experienced Fiverr freelancers charge up to $100/hour for their services. Not too shabby for a home business, right?

Drive for Uber or Lyft

It’s hard to remember a time before Uber and Lyft transformed the way we travel. As of 2019, Uber boasts 110 million users and Lyft has achieved a 92% increase in its number of passengers compared to 2016. Now is definitely the right time to begin driving for one of these ride share companies.

You’ll find benefits and drawbacks with each company, but the bottom line is that both offer a steady stream of extra income. Even driving just two or three hours a day after work can pad your pockets and give you the buffer you need to pay bills without stress.

Read about micro-investing and how to get started with our complete guide: Micro-Investing: What It Is, Why It’s for You and How to Start.