The leap into entrepreneurship is a big one, and doesn't come without risks, research, and financial investment. However, there are ways to explore your entrepreneurial interests without investing all of your time and money. Start small, and explore a side business that you enjoy. By exploring a side business, and researching how to run it according to regulations, you are doing something you enjoy, learning about the real-life skills associated with entrepreneurship, and possibly setting up a long-term revenue stream.
Turn your hobbies into revenue!
Real life skills are difficult to learn while in school or college. By starting your own business from home, based on something you love to do, you will learn about the issues that small businesses must consider. You will expose yourself to some of the obstacles. And you will possibly learn about real-life failing - which can actually turn out to be beneficial (read more about this at the end).
If you have a hobby that you love, can you turn your passion into profit? Here are some ideas to get you started. (P.s. don't dive into one of these ideas without first doing your research, and make sure that you comply with the rules!):
- Antique refurbishing - Take time to transform and restore worn-out antiques, and sell them at a profit.
- Auto detailing - If you have an eye for detail, this may be a great side business for you.
- Babysitting - Good with kids? Reach out to people you know with children, and give them your contact information. Let them know to contact you if they ever need a sitter!
- Bed and Breakfast - If you have a spare room that is collecting dust, open up your home as a Bed and Breakfast. Rent out the space, and help pay your monthly rent.
- Blogging - Love writing? Start a blog on a particular topic, and start writing consistently. Eventually, turn your blogging into a business.
- Cake decorating - Bake and decorate cakes and cupcakes for special events!
- Candle making - If you are skilled in making creative candles, try selling them at a profit at local stores, or online at Etsy.com or Ebay.com
- Candy making - There is no limit to how creative you can get with making candy. With nice packaging, you can sell them for a profit at local gift shops.
- Card making - Make custom birthday, anniversary, or wedding cards from scratch using photographs, nifty craft paper, and other decorations. Sell at your local gift shop or online.
- Catering - If you have a knack for cooking, start a home catering service.
- Childcare service - Many states allow people to start in-home daycares with minimal licensing. Make sure to check standards and regulations, first.
- Cleaning service for businesses - Businesses often seek someone to come in after hours to clean. Offer your services to local businesses if you are willing to put in after hours or late night work.
- Collectible trading - If you are knowledgeable in one specific collectible, see if you can profit by selling or trading online.
- Computer troubleshooting - Offer to solve computer problems for people!
- Cookie making - Make creative batches of cookies and package them nicely to sell at events, at local shops, or at special occasions.
- Dinner preparer - People often struggle to find time to cook meals every night. If you enjoy cooking, offer part-time chef services.
- Event coordinating - People are busy! Planning special get togethers can be time-consuming. Step in and take charge of planning and coordinating.
- Event DJ-ing - If you love music, and are skilled at playing what people want to hear, offer to DJ at events.
- Exercise teacher - Many times, people dislike the gym atmosphere. If you are in shape, and have some experience and knowledge in the field of exercise, offer an exercise group or one-on-one personal training.
- Furniture making - If you're skilled at woodworking, and have some basic equipment, making furniture can be a very profitable side business.
- Gardening services - Many people will pay you to do the legwork of setting up a garden. It is a big job that requires a lot of attention. If you love gardening, take care of other peoples' gardens.
- Handy man services - If you are skilled at fixing everyday household problems, reach out to people. Offer a hand around the house, or repair some basic problems.
- Housecleaning - A lot of people will pay to have their home professionally cleaned. If you have an eye for detail, and can get a home looking spotless, this may be a good side job.
- Interior decorating - If you are especially creative, and good with colors, decor, textures, and placement, offer to help people beautifully decorate homes.
- Jewelry making - Can you make exquisite jewelry? Sell online or at local markets or shops.
- Knitting/crocheting/quilting - There is a high demand for high-quality handmade blankets, scarves, headbands, etc. If you are skilled, try selling online at Etsy.com or Ebay.com
- Landscaping services - Mow the lawn, trim bushes, or take care of unwanted shrubs.
- Online media consultant - If you're proficient with online media, help small businesses promote things, or boost their exposure online.
- Pet grooming/sitting/walking - People will pay you to help take care of their pets.
- Produce selling - If you enjoy growing your own vegetables, sell them at markets or at local grocery stores.
- Proofreading - Offer to proofread papers, content, etc.
- Public speaking - If you're skilled at getting people to listen to you, and are a persuasive speaker, go to public speaking events, and opportunities will present themselves to you.
- Scrapbook making - Help people fulfill their desire to have a beautiful, hand-crafted scrapbook.
- Senior citizen assistance - Offer to help with daily chores for senior citizens.
- Sewing and alterations - If you have the equipment and are a skilled seamstress, offer to make alterations or even make hand-crafted clothing or accessories. You can even sell online.
- Social media - Help small businesses with their social media management.
- Soap making and spa products - Create soap or spa products, and sell them at local markets or shops.
- Teaching music - If you can play an instrument well, offer to teach others.
- Tutoring - Help students achieve their academic goals.
- Video preparation services - Cover special events or special occasions, then sell the product to guests who want to remember and cherish the event.
- Virtual assistant - Help people manage email, task lists, and planning all from home.
- Website design - Many small businesses can benefit from a more effective website. If you are skilled with the web and with designing, market your services.
- Wedding planner - Help people plan their special day by working out the details, making preparations, and making sure everything falls into place!
- Writing/editing - If you love writing and editing, check out websites like Freelancer.com or RealWritingJobs.com
Failing in real-life can be an eye-opener for many people. Luckily, it's not hard to pick yourself back up and go back at it. The worst thing that can happen from failing is that you have to pick up the pieces. The best thing that can happen is that you learn a valuable lesson. By testing the waters with a small side business, you can learn some very valuable lessons that you may not have the opportunity to learn otherwise.