37 of the best side business ideas

21 min read
Will Stevens

A side business, sometimes known as a side hustle, is a business that is run in addition to your normal full-time job. It’s like taking a second job, but you’re working for yourself.

A side business can be an excellent way of earning some extra income

It could even replace your main job in the future.

One of the hardest parts about starting a sidehustle is deciding what to do. In this guide, we’ll look at some potential ideas for a side business and offer some tips on how to work out which option you should choose.

Editor's note: Planning to launch an online business? Show off your new venture with GoDaddy Website Builder. Get started for free.

Which is the best side business to start?

The best side business to start is one that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about. The chances are something you already know about can be turned into a side business.

That means you won’t have to spend much time and effort learning about a new subject, so you could get your new business up and running sooner.

Of course, it’s perfectly possible to start a side business in an area about which you know nothing, but bear in mind that there will likely be unexpected pitfalls along the way.

Let’s look at some side business ideas to get you inspired.

Related: Young Britons turn to side hustles amid economic headwinds 

1. Go freelance in your current role

Man looking at investing graph on a laptop

If you’re working in a creative role, the chances are you can start a side business just by taking on extra freelance work outside your full-time gig.

It’s not the most exciting side business idea, but if you like what you do it’s a great way to start earning extra cash.

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2. Create and sell online courses

Are you an expert in something? Then you can create and sell an online course about it. Whether you’re a digital marketing expert or a master baker, there may be a market for your knowledge.

It will take some time and effort to put your course together and you may need to update it from time to time, so you won’t start earning straight away. You'll also need to learn about marketing online courses.

However, you can combine selling online courses with another side hustle idea (such as going freelance) to boost your income.

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3. Make and sell products online

If you’ve got the skills to make something, then you can earn extra money by selling the things you create online.

It could be clothes, candles, decorative art, or anything else you can think of! You could start selling on a specialist craft marketplace like Etsy, or you could create your own online store and sell direct. (Pro tip: Do both and maximize your reach!)

This side business idea isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve got an existing craft hobby it could start making you extra money.

Related: How to set up an online shop — the complete guide 

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4. Sell someone else’s products online

You don’t have to make your own products to sell something online. It’s perfectly possible to buy items wholesale and then sell them from your own online store for a profit.

You don't have to sell a wide range of products, but you will have to understand what you're selling and who you're selling it to.

The drawback with this side business idea is that it can be quite complicated. You’ll have to think about overheads like how much the products you’re selling cost you, shipping charges, advertising costs and more. You’ll also have to make sure your pricing is competitive, yet high enough to ensure you make a decent profit.

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5. Start a baking business

If you’re a talented baker, then turn that skill into a business. There’s a big demand for bespoke cakes and luxury teas, so if you’ve got the ability this side business idea could be for you.

Of course, you’ll have to make sure you brush up on hygiene rules for starting a food business from home. 

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6. Start a food truck

Food trucks are everywhere now, so you could use your cooking skills to launch your own. The downside of this side business idea is that you’ll need to put in a chunk of investment up front to buy the truck, so it may not be suitable for everyone.

Once your food truck is up and running, you could even look at starting home deliveries, like GoDaddy customer Magpye did.

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7. Offer classes in something you’re good at

Again, it could be yoga, dance, cookery. Almost anything you’re good at can be taught in a class. If you’re planning to teach people in person, you’ll need a suitable space to host your classes in.

But don’t forget, you could always run your classes online. This will remove the need for you to hire a venue and will give you access to a bigger customer base.

Again, you can combine this side business idea with other relevant ideas.

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8. Become a tutor

Woman talking with teammates online

If you’ve got a qualification in an academic subject, then you could become a tutor. You could take on just one or two pupils and spend a couple of evenings a week tutoring, or you could go as far as setting up your own independent tutoring agency.

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9. Affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, you make money every time someone buys a product or service having found that product/service via you.

The most common way of earning money through affiliate marketing is creating a website that includes relevant affiliate links. Plenty of tech giants offer an affiliate scheme, so there's loads to choose from.

The biggest downside of this side business idea is that it can take a long time before you start earning money from affiliate marketing.

You can learn more about how affiliate marketing works in this guide.

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10. Make money through online advertising

If you’ve got a blog, or you’re willing to start one, you can monetize it through online advertising.

As with affiliate marketing, the downside of this idea is that it can take a long time before you start making money. Plus, the amount advertisers pay per click is very low, so you’ll need a lot of traffic in order to make a decent income.

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11. Wedding planning

If you love a good wedding and have the organisational skills to plan one, then there’s plenty of money to be made through this side business idea.

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12. Professional dog walker

If you’re good with dogs, you could become a professional dog walker. There are plenty of people who have a pet dog but due to work commitments aren’t able to walk them during the day. That’s where you come in.

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13. Clothing repairs/alterations

If you’ve got the skills to mend or alter clothes, you’re bound to find people who are interested in this side business idea.

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14. Handyperson services

Can you put up a set of shelves in record time? Then someone who can’t will pay you to do it for them.

You could combine this side business idea with others such as a moving service.

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15. Small scale moving service

It’s not really practical to do whole house moves as a side business, but if you have access to a van you could move individual items for people.

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16. Gardening services

People with gardens don’t always love gardening. If you do, then there’s money to be made.

As side hustle ideas go, this one is more time consuming. You’ll probably have to dedicate at least one full day a week to it.

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17. IT support/repairs

Good with computers and gadgets? Most people aren’t, so you could start a side business helping out those who struggle with tech.

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18. Write and sell ebooks

As with an online course, if you’ve got knowledge then you can turn that knowledge into a side business.

You could sell educational ebooks, like an online course in digital print. But you could also sell fiction ebooks, if you have the imagination.

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19. Vlog

People make huge amounts of money from YouTube and although you shouldn’t expect to hit those heights overnight, there’s no reason you can’t start a profitable YouTube side business.

You’ll probably want to focus on educational content, but if you’re passionate about something else you could always give it a try to see if you find an audience.

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20. Sell photos

Two women looking at photos on a camera

If you’re a talented photographer, you could sell your photos. You could sell prints as wall art, or you could sell stock shots or news photographs.

Related: How to sell products online without a website 

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21. Write online content

Got a talent for words? Then turn it into cash. There’s always people and businesses willing to pay for written content.

You could start your copywriting agency and attract potential clients to your website, or you could sign up for a service like Upwork and grab jobs there.

One of the best things about part-time content writing is that it's one of the most flexible side hustles around.

Related: How to get started with travel blogging 

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22. Personal trainer

Fitness is big business these days, so if you love being in the gym you could become a personal trainer.

You’ll need to find at least a few clients before you launch your side business. Check out this guide to get started in personal training.

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23. Driving instructor

You’ll need to qualify to become a driving instructor, but once you’ve done that you’ll be able to start teaching.

This is the kind of side business you’ll need to be able to dedicate at least a couple of days a week to, so it’s a great option if you have a part-time job and you’re looking for an extra source of income.

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24. Microinfluencer

Do people listen to what you have to say on social media? Then you might be able to earn money as a micro influencer.

Microinfluencers tend to have a few thousand social media fans and don’t earn as much as big-league influencers.

But if you’re looking to earn some extra cash from your social profiles, this could be an option. You can start by signing up at a micro influencer agency which will pair you up with brands looking to pay to work with people like you.

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25. Consultant

Financial Advisor Jobs Overhead View of Desk

Know your current job like the back of your hand? Businesses might be willing to pay you for your expertise.

Running a consultancy can be a profitable way to make use of an existing skill. It does tend to be more suitable for people not currently in a full-time job, because of the risk of a conflict of interest.

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26. Social media manager

Have you built up a significant number of social media followers across a number of profiles? If so, you could get paid to do it for businesses across the web.

As a social media manager you’ll be responsible for creating content, growing follower numbers and perhaps even controlling ad spend.

It’s a great side business idea for people who love interacting with people on social media.

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27. Professional photographer

It could be weddings, birthdays, christenings or any other number of events. If something’s happening, the chances are people will want a professional photographer there to record their special day.

If you’ve got the kit and the skills (or are willing to acquire them) then this is a great side business idea.

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28. Web designer

Building business websites remains a very profitable business niche, so if you have web design skills it’s the perfect area for a side business.

Check out our guide on how to start a web design business.

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29. Graphic designer

There’s also a strong demand for graphic design skills. Whether it’s something simple like a logo or a complex series of 3D-videos businesses are always willing to pay to get their message across in the right way.

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30. App developer

Got programming skills? Use them to create apps. You could hire yourself out to existing businesses as a freelance app developer, or you could create and launch your own apps.

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31. Translator

Language skills are hard to come by, so if you’re multilingual you may find there’s a high demand for translation services.

Whether it’s helping local businesses communicate with clients around the world or translating website content for an overseas business launching in the UK, you’ll find there’s plenty of demand for services like this.

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32. Local guide

Tourism is a big money industry and if you have knowledge about your local area, you could start a side business as a local guide.

Small Business Australia Tour Company Vehicle

It might be taking people on car trips to interesting sights, or it could be a walking tour of historic landmarks, but showing tourists the places you love can be a profitable business.

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33. Event DJ

Gone are the days when a DJ needed a huge stack of records. You’ll still need suitable sound equipment, of course. And something to transport it in.

But if you love parties and you love music, an event DJ could be the right side hustle for you.

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34. Cleaning

Lots of people hate cleaning, so if you love it (or even tolerate it) you could start a side business as a cleaner.

What will you be cleaning? Well, it could be houses, cars, windows or anything else where there’s a demand.

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35. Purchase an existing business

If you’ve got money to invest in a business, you may be able to buy an existing business and have it as your side hustle.

If you go down this route, make sure you do due diligence so you know what you’re paying for.

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36. House clearer

Lots of people have lots of stuff they want to get rid of. If you’ve got a van and a willingness to get stuck in, you could start a house clearance side business.

You’ll need to make sure that you dispose of rubbish in the proper manner (which likely means being licensed and paying to use a commercial tip) and you’ll also need to make sure you are able to identify which used items you can sell on for profit.

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37. Event planner

There’s more to life than just weddings, so if you’ve got a flair for planning events you could start a side business as an event planner.

It can be pretty full on, so it may not mesh well with a full-time job, but it could help you earn extra money if you’re working part-time.

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What you need to know before you start a side business

Trial Balance Shop Owner at Computer

Starting a side business can be easy, but there are some things you need to do to prepare before you launch.

Check your employment situation

If you’re planning on setting up a side business to bring in extra money, you don’t want to get fired from your full-time job because of it.

It may be a condition of your contract that you have to inform your employer if you start your own business.

You almost certainly won’t be allowed to create a business that competes with your employer.

And even if your side business doesn’t directly impact on your current job, if it negatively affects your ability to carry out your normal duties (eg because you’ve been out all night DJing) then you could be in trouble as well.

Check your tax situation

It should go without saying that if you start earning extra money from a side business then you’ll need to report that income and pay tax on it. Check in with the HMRC to find out what’s what.

Check your mortgage/rent situation

If you’ve got a mortgage or you rent the place where you live then you may have signed an agreement which says you can’t run a business from your home.

Check with your mortgage lender or landlord to find out if there are any restrictions in place. If there are, you may be able to come to an agreement

Check your insurance situation

Your home insurance may not be valid if you start your own business, so check with your provider before you begin. You may also need additional cover if you plan to have clients visit your home.

If in doubt, ask your insurance provider for information.

We’ve covered the areas most likely to cause an issue when launching your side business, but depending on where you live and what you plan to do, there may be other things you need to consider.

For example, you may need permission from your local council. You might even have to pay business rates. This guide provides more details on the legal and tax issues you might face.

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Getting your new side business online

A website is a must for any side business, so make sure you buy a domain name and launch a website as early as possible.

By building a website, you’ll have a hub which you can use as the focal point for your digital marketing and brand building efforts.

The kind of website you need will depend on the kind of side business you’re launching. If you’re planning on selling products, you’ll need a site with ecommerce functionality.

If you’re planning on launching an appointment-based service, your website will need to handle bookings. Don’t forget about a proper business email, to show trust and legitimacy to your audience.

GoDaddy’s Website Builder has a range of features, including ecommerce and appointment booking.

This guide goes into more details about what you can do with our Website Builder.

Need more help getting your new business online? Check out these guides:

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Summing up

There are plenty of side business ideas in this guide — the key is finding something you’re passionate about. Remember, great business ideas aren't usually new business ideas.

You need to find the right side business idea for you.

Once you’ve done that, you can find a way to turn it into a side hustle. Remember, you don’t have to have everything worked out perfectly before you launch your new side business, sometimes it really helps to just take the plunge and get started.

If you need any help getting your venture online, be sure to contact the GoDaddy Guides on 020 7084 1810.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? The answers may be here.

What business is best for extra income? 

If you want to make some extra pocket money fast, you’re best starting a business that has low set-up costs. These tend to be businesses that offer services, like cleaning or dog walking, as opposed to those that sell goods. Selling goods requires stock acquisition and sometimes lengthy creative/make processes.  

If you haven’t got a lot of spare time, you should look at side hustles that generate passive income — such as renting out a parking space or house sitting.  

How to make £1,000 a month side hustle? 

As mentioned above, unless you’ve set up a business that’s designed to earn you passive income, you’ll generally need a skill/talent and a decent amount of free time in the evenings or the weekends to earn £1,000 a month.  

Let’s take an example of a freelance writer, who charges £50 an hour. The writer would have to work two evenings a week (7 to 10) to earn an extra £1,200 a month. 

How can I make a second income? 

According to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics, more than 1.2 million people in the UK have a second job or side hustle.  

Your options for making a second income are varied. You can look to be hired for a second job; most of the top job sites — Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn Jobs — now allow you to search for ‘part time second job’ opportunities.  

Alternatively, you can start a side hustle, taking inspiration from the ideas mentioned earlier in this blog.  

What business can I start with 5k? 

The good news is that there are businesses out there that you can start for less than £500, let alone £5,000.  

You can advertise services like pet sitting or cake making on a website that can be set up for an initial outlay of less than £120.  

Of course, some businesses require you to buy products or tools etc, but most side hustles can easily be lifted off the ground for less than £5,000.  

What is a good business to start on the side? 

The best business for you to start on the side will very much depend on your interests and skill set.  

If you are running your side hustle purely to top up your earnings from a full-time job, then the best side hustle for you will be one that takes up as little space and time as possible.  

What are some side jobs to make money? 

We’ve offered a long list of ideas for side hustles in the blog above. The key to making a success out of your side job will be to pursue something you’re skilled at and have a passion for.   

It should be something you’ll be willing to do in the evenings and on weekends. 

What business should I start to make money? 

Recent GoDaddy research found that UK side hustlers earn an average of £18, 200 a year from their businesses. Survey participants reported that their top choices are selling:

  1. Self-made goods like arts, crafts, clothes, beverages, foods and beauty products 
  2. Goods made by others  
  3. Professional services such as branding, marketing, legal and accounting services and virtual assistance

Personal care services like health beauty and fitness also featured on the list of common side hustles in the UK.   

What is the best way to start a side business? 

There are several steps to launching a side business. Once you’ve firmed up your idea for a business, you’ll need to make sure that all your accounting, tax and legal affairs are in order. Visit the government’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website for more information.  

Next, you’ll need to spread the word about your business to attract customers. The best way to do this is to set up a website and social media sites.  

Check out this helpful article for start-to-finish guidance on how to start your own business in the UK. 

What are good side business ideas? 

GoDaddy’s research has found that the most common side hustles in the UK are as follows: 

    1. The sale of self-made goods, from artworks to beauty products 
    2. The sale of professional services, from copywriting to accounting 
    3. The sale of personal care services, from personal training to hairdressing 
    4. Construction and trade services 
    5. Transport and storage services – think taxi driving and self-storage units 
    6. Travel and tourism services, from holiday accommodation to guided tours 
    7. Pet care services 

How can I make money in my spare time? 

In order to make money in your spare time, you’ll need to be: 

Organised: Fitting side hustle tasks around your 9 to 5 and family/personal life requires excellent time management skills.  

Passionate: It’s easier to commit to a side hustle when you view it as something you love to do rather than a chore. 

Committed: Running a side hustle alongside everything else you do can be tiring. If you commit to your side hustle for the long-term, you’ll have more chance of turning it into a success.   

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