The Best Side Business Ideas for Busy People

Ideas for making money
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This article is excerpted from U.S. News money senior editor Kimberly Palmer shows some great side business ideas for busy people and how you can easily generate additional income when you find the time or make the time to do so.

Squeezing in a side business

Launching a side business when you already have a full-time job isn’t easy, but the payoff – increased financial security and a deep sense of satisfaction – makes the effort worthwhile. These 10 side business ideas for busy people can be squeezed into weekends, evenings and even lunch breaks, which means they can easily coexist alongside day jobs. (Just make sure you’re not violating any company policies.)

  1. Website designer
    If you already have expertise in the technical and artistic sides of web development from your day job, then picking up extra clients on the side is a relatively easy way to start earning extra cash. Since everyone from large corporations to small-time freelancers need websites these days, web designer services are in hot demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28,500 web developer positions will need to be filled by 2022.

  2. Social media consultant 
    People comfortable with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social networking sites can leverage their expertise to help others get up to speed. There’s a big need, with noting that Twitter and Facebook-related job postings were among the most popular and fastest growing on its site last year.

  3. App developer 
    This job might not have existed a decade ago, but it’s a rapidly growing field today. The iPhone app market alone created 4,318 job postings on the site in the first quarter of last year. According to, part-time, self-employed software developers earn a median hourly pay of $40 an hour. App developers can create their own apps or work for clients.

  4. Illustrator 
    Illustrators are artists who create everything from blog logos to e-book covers to website banners, either by hand or with the assistance of a computer program. Clients range from large companies to freelancers who want to make their blog or website look professional. Online websites such as (note the 3 b’s) can help you get started.

  5. Life coach 
    Life coaching is a rapidly-growing, and largely unregulated, field. While several life coaching organizations exist and offer various certification programs, anyone can call themselves a life coach. Life coaches usually work one on one with their clients in a mentoring role, encouraging them to define and pursue their goals. According to, part-time, freelance life coaches bring in a median hourly rate of $70 per hour.

  6. Pet sitter 
    Taking care of other people’s pets involves everything from walking dogs to spending the night with cats to feeding fish. While it’s not very highly paid – puts the going rate for part-time dog walkers at just over $10 an hour – it’s a relatively easy gig, particularly for people looking for flexibility. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 15 percent employment growth for animal care workers between 2012 and 2022.

  7. Yoga teacher 
    Given their sporadic hours, yoga teachers often hold down other jobs, which are frequently unrelated to what they do on the mat. Yoga teacher training can be intensive, requiring around 200 hours (or more) of practice and study. Popular classes often take place in the evenings and weekends, which makes teaching easier to blend with a full-time job.

  8. Florist 
    While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field of floral arranging as a whole is contracting due to declining interest from consumers, certain sectors, including wedding floral arrangements, continue to grow. The key to finding success is defining your niche and customer base, building a strong online presence and growing through word of mouth.

  9. Blogger 
    With the exception of a notable few, bloggers do not generally make much money off blogs themselves. But they do make money through related activities, including blogging for others (such as companies) or providing content to clients who find them through their blog. Bloggers also earn money by coaching others, selling products such as digital guides or webinars, and teaching workshops. Blogging is easy to do on the side, since writing can be done at any time.

  10. Tutor 
    Tutors help students on subjects ranging from SAT vocabulary to learning new languages; specialized tutors work with students who have learning disabilities or health issues. They generally work for themselves, out of their homes, or they may travel to students’ homes or schools if employed by an educational company. Self-employed, part-time tutors generally earn about $20 an hour, according to



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