In this last part of our 4-part series, we're presenting 11 final ideas for small businesses and side jobs. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you don't lose focus on what is most important in life. It is easy to get caught up in work and the quest for success, so make sure to routinely sit down and evaluate whether you are maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
31. Event Planner ($200-1500 per event)
Are you an organized efficient individual? Have you successfully set up events for family members, friends or organizations you volunteer for and enjoyed the experience? You may be the kind of person who can plan events for other people or organizations and can be paid for doing so.
There are many people out there who either are lacking in planning and organizational skills or do not have the time or the inclination to take on the task of planning their own events. There are also many businesses and organizations that do not have anyone on staff who can take on the task. In both cases, an outside event planner is usually hired. Birthday parties, weddings, meetings and conferences, anniversary parties, and memorials are just some of the types of events that event planners work on. Choosing themes, finding and booking locations, sending out invitations, ordering food and entertainment and coordinating and supervising personnel are among the numerous specific job responsibilities. You can keep yourself on track with various project management templates and worksheets so you don't lose track of any of the details.
While certification is available it is not necessary, particularly for those who are looking to do event planning on less than a full time basis. This website article gives an excellent overview of the entire process of event planning, from the nature of the job to marketing suggestions to expected earnings.
32. Freelance Job Recruiter (variable)
If you have been in the labor force for at least a few years and have any kind of a background in human resources, you could have the experience and skill set to become a freelance job recruiter. Job recruiters match potential hires with specific positions in both large and small businesses. Payment comes from the company when a hire is made and is usually either a percentage of the candidate's first year salary (typically 20-33%) or, in the case of a particularly difficult job to fill, a flat rate for a mutually agreed upon length of time (for instance, six months or one year).
The most successful recruiters specialize in a specific industry, such as accounting or pharmaceuticals, so if you have an extensive background working in a specific corporate field, you may have an advantage. Obviously experience is helpful, but there are no specific educational or certification requirements and the job can be performed from home.
33. Personal Chef ($300-1000 per week)
People need to eat every day and we live in a time when nutrition and weight gain are hot button items. If you are a person who loves to cook, enjoys experimenting with different recipes and is comfortable working around other people in their homes, you may have what it takes to make money as a personal chef. Many parents, busy single adults and senior citizens who either don't have time or hate to cook are looking for ways to receive fresh, nutritious meals. That is where the personal chef comes in.
Personal chefs prepare meals at the homes of their clients, using the client's cooking utensils and appliances. Food is paid for by the client; sometimes personal chefs will do the actual food shopping for the meals they prepare. Using a printable grocery list or shopping list can help you with this task.
Little in the way of startup costs or credentials is necessary to become a personal chef and it is possible to make a fair amount of money with only a few clients. The personal chef works independently and can limit the number of jobs taken to preserve some degree of flexibility in terms of the number of hours and amount of effort spent on the task. The job can also be a steppingstone to other, more involved food related ways to make money such as catering. This article provides a thorough explanation of what is involved with being a personal chef.
34. Google Adsense and Other Pay-per-Clicks Programs (highly variable)
If you have a Website or blog, you can make money with relatively little effort by hosting the Google Adsense service on your site. Google Adsense is a pay-per-click ad service; the more traffic you have, the more likely you are to make money. Amazon, Yahoo and MSN have comparable offerings and they all work in more or less the same way. The system works by producing advertisements on your site that are related to the content that you post. So, if you have a blog about photography, the ads that appear will have something to do with photography. The more closely your posted content meets search engine optimization guidelines, and the better you tailor your site layout to be compatible with the style of the ads, the more likely people are to click on the ads and produce money for you.
The beauty of the system is that assuming you were already preparing fresh content for your Website or blog, after you have optimized your site to be compatible with the ads, there isn't very much that you have to do to produce a revenue stream. There is no simple way to determine how much you can make by implementing Google Adsense or one of the other similar services. The method for calculating compensation is extremely complicated and depends heavily on traffic to your site or blog, how fresh and well prepared your content is and specifically which ads appear on your site each day. But since relatively little work is involved, it certainly makes sense for Website owners and bloggers to look into it. This article provides a good overview of what Google Adsense is and how to maximize earnings through the service.
35. Hosting a Sports Fantasy League Online ($80-200 per league hosted)
Are you an avid sports fan? Are you one of those people who knows the stats for every National Football League or Major League Baseball player? If so, you can use your love of sports to pick up some extra cash by hosting a sports fantasy league online. There are many websites that provide the tools necessary to host fantasy leagues for baseball, football, basketball and hockey, including ESPN.com, Yahoo and CBS Sportsline. You establish the league, create the rules, set the entry fee, and invite friends, family members and others to join, either directly or by advertising. Part of the pooled entry fee is used to establish end-of-season prizes to the operators of the best teams. You would keep the difference as the league host for performing the administrative work which includes making any rule adjustments that become necessary, approving player trades between members and keeping participants informed of the league's status.
The amount of money you can make will depend on the number of league members and the size of the entry fee, but it's not unreasonable to earn up to a couple of hundred dollars for your time. The amount of work necessary is relatively light, the hours are extremely flexible and it is certainly possible to host multiple leagues—within a single sport or across several—allowing you to earn more money.
36. Cleaning Houses ($15-25 per hour)
House cleaning is a reliable way to make extra money because there is such a large market for the service and, if you do a good job, you may be able to build a regular customer base. What's more, word of mouth referrals are frequent, making it fairly easy to build as large a base of clients as you care to handle. There are millions of houses out there and the owners of a large number of them would be happy to have someone else clean them every week or two for a reasonable price. A house cleaning checklist will ensure you don't forget any of the necessary tasks for each of your customers.
There are almost no requirements or special skills necessary, other than neatness on your part, a willingness to do what you already do in your own home and a small number of easily obtained cleaning supplies and tools. You have full control over the amount of work you have to do by picking and choosing the clients to take on. In addition to word of mouth, customers can be obtained by printing up flyers and posting classified ads in local publications and on websites like Craigslist.
37. Substitute Teaching ($40-200 per day depending on location)
It is estimated that approximately 10% of full time public and private school teachers at the elementary and secondary levels are absent on any given school day. There is a tremendous demand for substitute teachers. More than half of U.S. states do not require a substitute teacher to have a college degree (the requirements in these states are that the applicant be 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or GED) and virtually none require any formal teaching certification. There is flexibility built in to the program since you have no obligation to take any particular opening and you have the satisfaction of being involved in educating children. This can also be a good way to experience the realities of being in the classroom if you are considering becoming a full time permanent teacher.
38. Selling Homegrown Produce (highly variable)
If you enjoy growing your own vegetables and fruits, you may have the ability to earn extra money by selling what you grow. Farmers markets, specialty food stores and co-ops and restaurants all may be outlets for your sales. You can also create your own market through what is known as Community Supported Agriculture (where buyers purchase a share of the full market at the beginning of the growing season and receive a pre-determined share of the harvest). Potential earnings are all over the board, depending on geography, what you grow and the market price for various types of produce in a given season or year. The beauty of this option is that you are already doing the growing, so the only new work is discovering and servicing a market for your goods. (see this article)
39. Tax Preparation ($15-21 per hour)
If you like working with numbers and have at least a high school diploma or GED, becoming a seasonal tax preparer is a great way to earn some extra money in the first 3 ½ or 4 months of each calendar year. The federal tax code is extremely complex and seemingly becomes more so with each passing year. Millions of people turn the responsibilities of figuring out their taxes to a professional tax preparer each tax season. You do need to be certified to be a tax preparer, and you can do this by taking a course at a local school or through an online program. This article takes an extensive look at the various tax education programs that are available and provides tips on what you should look for. Some large tax preparation services, like H&R Block, offer training programs that can lead to a seasonal job as a tax preparer (and possibly full time employment, if that is something you are interested in doing).
40. Golf Caddy ($100-130 per round, $25-33 per hour)
Are you in very good physical shape? Do you enjoy spending time out of doors? If you answered yes to both of these questions you may be in a position to earn extra money as a golf caddy. Caddies at high end private clubs can expect to receive a minimum of $100 for each round they work. You must be extremely fit to caddy. Each round requires approximately five miles of intermittent walking, carrying a bag (sometimes two) that weighs approximately fifty pounds slung over your shoulder. Other responsibilities—including divot replacement, bunker raking and ball spotting—are considerably less difficult to perform, physically. Caddy work is as an independent contractor, so you basically only work when you want to and there are no formal requirements you must fulfill. (see this article)
41. Umpire or Referee in Sports Leagues ($20-70 per game)
If you love sports and being outside, you might be able to bring in some extra cash by becoming an umpire or referee for youth or adult sports, either at the organized community level or at the high school level. Most organized leagues for youths—whether they are sanctioned scholastic leagues or organized youth leagues—and adults have some kind of a sanctioning body for officials that provide training and certification that is typically required to work games. There may be a requirement to pay dues to belong to a sanctioned organization and you may also be asked to carry personal liability insurance and be responsible for purchasing and maintaining your own equipment. Games are typically played during evenings and on weekends, making it possible to work as an official while maintaining a regular job.
We've really only scratched the surface when it comes to ideas for small business or side jobs. Hopefully these ideas will at least get the brain cells churning. We mentioned it last time, but Entrepreneur.com is another great place to get more small business ideas.