56 Side Hustle Ideas for Struggling Startup Founders

It can be really hard to go out there everyday pounding the pavement when your bank account is screaming nah son! Your working like crazy, meetings, meetups, pitching for new customers, pitching to investors and shit is just slow. How long can you live on ramen noodles? When you jump all in with both feet, you quickly realize it’s hard in these streets. The gig economy provides flexibility for entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of revenue and to make sure basic maslows needs are met so they have the luxury to innovate. I get it, not everyone wants to be an uber driver, but as a startup founder, there’s a good chance you’re going to face some financial challenges as you work to transform your dream into reality, I know this first hand because I’ve been there plenty of times.

Just follow your dreams and the money will follow, “they” say but what they don’t say is how long it takes.

The cost of pursuing your dream isn’t cheap but it can be a worthwhile price to pay for later success if you can hold out long enough! So how do you find the perfect side gig? There are plenty of side hustles outside of Uber and Instacart deliveries, to help you pay the bills, you’ll want to be sure you consider your skills, your education, your strengths, and your personal preferences. You’ll notice that lots of these side hustle ideas are born from a hobby or interest. Ideally, you should pick a gig that you’ll enjoy; this will help you to avoid burnout since it won’t feel like you’re working 24/7. You can even pick a couple of these side gig ideas if that feels more appealing, works with your lifestyle, and most importantly gives you the flexibility to spend time on the business you are actually building.

The possibilities are endless, from consulting and marketing, to writing, engineering, app and software development, website design and beyond. Often times finding clients is as simple as posting on a micro-jobs site such as Fiverr, Upwork, or even listing your offerings on Craigslist others will require a little more elbow grease. The beauty of side hustling is that you can accept as many projects as your time allows, which is perfect for a busy entrepreneur with a hectic schedule.

So checkout this awesome list I put together…

Audio/Video Transcriber

Audio transcription can be a very popular service that’s very in-demand amongst writers, attorneys and many others. So if you’re a good typist, then you’ll be in a great position to offer transcription services. You can advertise on sites such as Rev Recorder, Fiverr, Guru or Craigslist to pull in clients from across the globe. In a similar vein, bilingual individuals with strong typing skills may consider offering translation services for content or even in person.

Car Detailing

With on demand services like Washe, Car detailing is the perfect project for individuals who enjoy cleaning and have an eye for details and want to maintain a flexible schedule. Detailing is a very sought-after service as many drivers just don’t have the time or inclination to clean their vehicle. Supplies and equipment costs are fairly minimal, which means that you’ll enjoy a significant profit margin. Finding new clients is as simple as putting up a few signs or posting online via sites like Craigslist, or reaching out to your friends and family via social media.

Instacart/Uber Eats/Postmates/Grub Hub Delivery

Uber has expanded its offerings to include food delivery, so drivers who prefer to ride alone can earn some extra cash delivering food from local restaurants. Insacart, Grub Hub and Postmates offer similar service offerings, so you’ll have a few different options to choose from when it comes to offering your services.

Event DJ

Gone are the days of requiring a huge CD collection; virtually anyone can be an event DJ today thanks to MP3s! You will need to invest in a basic sound system, but once you’ve made the investment, it’s relatively easy to recoup those funds. Weddings, parties, and even restaurants or clubs employ DJs, so you’ll have lots of potential clients. You can advertise online and every gig serves as an opportunity to get new clients! This is a great gig if you have a big personality and love music.

Stand in Line…Person

I don’t know the official title but if you are willing to stand in line for someone for an hourly rate or flat fee? Grab your tent, folding chair and some snacks and stand in line for the new iphone or hard to get tickets.

Task Rabbit

This is an obvious and easy one, but the platform makes it easy to work random gigs, from putting furniture together to performing currier services for businesses and everything in between.

Clothing Designer

Are you constantly coming up with incredible ideas for fashion designs? Perhaps it’s time to bring those designs to life as a fashion designer! You’ll need some strong sewing skills or you’ll need a partner who can do the sewing for you. Then, once the garments are completed, you can photograph them and sell them online. This venture can be quite profitable, particularly if you establish a regular clientele. Performers tend to be more likely to spend big bucks on a custom garment or gown.

Flower Arranger

Arranging flowers is truly an art form, but it’s one that very few people pursue. If you’re adept at flower arrangement, you may consider opening your own online floral shop to sell arrangements locally. You can also partner with local florists to provide arranging services on an as-needed basis or on a consignment basis.

Farmers Markets

Got something that you can make and sell? Consider setting up shop at a farmers market on the weekends and selling your wares.

Freelance Writer

Freelance writers are very sought-after, particularly those who specialize in a particular niche, such as translation, blogging or technical writing. So if you’re a good writer, hone your skills in one or more area and then offer your services to clients who are in need of a talented writer. Portals such as Upwork and Fiverr can be great for finding new clients.

 

Substitute Teacher

I worked as one while in college to make some extra money, the students drove me nuts in my attempt to be the cool substitute but you cant beat the flexible work schedule. Do you have a degree in teaching or a related field? Do you have experience teaching and instructing others? If so, you could be a good fit for a position as a substitute teacher. You might also consider a gig as a tutor or as an adjunct professor if you prefer working with older students. In many school districts if you have at least 30 credits you can be a substitute teacher.

Surrogacy

Yeah I’m being serious, were talking about all kind of options here right? Did you absolutely love your pregnancy? Would you like to give the gift of parenthood to another couple? Surrogacy can enable you to do just that! If you’re healthy and of child-bearing age, then you could be a good candidate to be a surrogate. Same-sex couples and heterosexual couples alike turn to surrogates for help carrying a child. It’s typical for the couple to pay for medical expenses, in addition to paying a surrogacy fee.

Printing

Companies and organizations are constantly in need of tees and other printed materials I know we do all the time. So you might consider forging a relationship with a local printer who can perform the actual printing. Additionally, if you have graphic design experience, you can earn a bit extra designing the actual tees!

Medical Transcription

Medical transcription can be a very time-consuming task. That’s why medical transcriptionists are very sought-after, even on a freelance basis. So if you have transcription experience or experience in the medical field (or both,) then you could be well-suited to this type of money-making side venture.

Furniture Maker

Furniture making combines crafts such as woodworking with a unique artistry that many find appealing. Take the time to create your own style and sell your creations online or by consignment in local shops. Remember, the more unique and distinctive your work, the more successful you’ll become in most cases. So let your imagination take flight as you create innovative and unique furnishings. Many also enjoy breathing new life into older furniture items, which can be refinished or completely repurposed into a decorative item.

MLM Companies

I know what your saying, I don’t want to be sliding in people’s DM’s and asking them to go to vague agenda meetings to sell them shit they don’t need to all their friends and familes, that will lead them to their road to millions. But seriously MLM companies such as Rodan + Fields, Avon and Amway are always seeking individuals who are ready to make a bit of extra money selling their products. In fact, some find that they’re so adept at this type of venture that they make it a full-time career! This sort of gig can be especially profitable for those with a large social media following.

Express Laundry Service

Doing the laundry is amongst the most dreaded chores in existence. It’s tedious and time-consuming, particularly for individuals who have to haul their clothing and linens to a laundromat. This is where you come in, offering a mobile laundry service! It’s a great way to earn some extra cash on a schedule that works for you. And there’s a good chance that you have everything you need — a washer, dryer, detergent, bleach, dryer sheets and an iron!

 

Moving Service

Moving is a time-consuming task that many just plain dread. So you should have no problem finding work helping folks move. This can take many forms, from helping with the packing process, to hauling boxes, to working with others to move large/heavy items. This is especially profitable if you have a few friends who can join you so you can offer your services as a team.

 

Gardening

If you’ve got a green thumb, then gardening may be a good fit for you. Simple tasks such as weeding, trimming and planting are very in-demand on a seasonal basis. Lots of busy homeowners and business owners love the look of a beautiful landscape, but lack the time to tend to it themselves. So offer your services to local businesses and homeowners and watch as your new venture takes root!

Mystery Shopping

I tried this in college, Mystery shoppers can earn a tidy sum and they’re typically allowed to keep the items they’re instructed to purchase! Mystery shoppers are used as a quality control measure and as an evaluation tool for a particular shop or franchise. But beware that you will typically need to front the money for the purchase, so a bit of startup capital will be required.

Notary Public

If you happen to be a notary, then you can offer your services on a mobile basis or at your primary place of business. Notaries are constantly in-need, particularly in fields such as banking, real estate and law. You can charge by the visit or by the document, which provides you with lots of flexibility.

Online English Teacher

A friend of mine recently moved to Colombia and started teaching English for side money. English-speaking skills are very sought-after worldwide, as they provide individuals with lots of new career opportunities. Skype serves as a reliable, easy-to-use platform for offering English tutoring skills to students located anywhere on the planet. You’ll just need to feel comfortable with teaching, which is not something that everyone enjoys. But if you’re a natural at teaching, then this can be a very profitable venture that you can pursue from any location.

Virtual Assistants

 I use multiple VA’s for different projects throughout the year. Virtual assistants are very sought-after in today’s digital workplace. VAs may do everything from managing your calendar,posting products on an eCommerce site, plan your kids birthday party, sending emails, typing, or performing a range of other miscellaneous tech tasks. All you need is a device and some availability!

Online Surveys

Online survey takers can earn a fair amount of money by simply completing surveys. The pay per survey does vary depending upon the length of the survey and the degree of specialty required to take the survey (i.e. if only female rocket scientists between the ages of 25 and 30 can take the survey, then you’ll earn a bit more if you happen to fit this description.) Plus, you won’t need any special equipment — just a laptop or tablet and an internet connection.

Logo Designer

Startups and existing companies alike are perpetually in need of logo design services. Online logo designers can work with clients anywhere on the planet via freelancing sites like Fiverr. So if you’re artistically inclined and good with Photoshop and Illustrator, then you may do well with this money-making project.

Personal Chef

If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, then you could be well-suited as a personal chef. Busy millennials are constantly seeking fresh, healthy meals and that’s where you can assist! You can even specialize in a particular culinary niche if you’re so inclined. You may offer in-home cooking or you may opt to prepare in your own kitchen and deliver (or both).

Movie/TV Extra

If you live in a city that sees lots of film and television production projects, then you could find lots of work as an extra. Extras are typically paid by the day or by the gig and most of the time, it’s simply a matter of standing or sitting around. You may be part of a crowd, a shopper in a store, or a random person walking down the sidewalk. And who knows — you could end up on the silver screen!

Personal Training

Is the gym your personal mecca? If you’re knowledgeable about fitness and health, then personal training may be a good choice for you. You can find lots of success if you have coaching and/or teaching experience too, as the best personal trainers tend to possess these skills. Finding clients can be as simple as handing out your card at the gym and posting online.

Professional Organizer

Organization is in! If you’ve devised a winning organization system, you might as well profit from it! Consider offering your service as a professional organizer. And remember to photograph each job as this portfolio can be wonderful for helping you land new clients!

Vending Machines

Vending machines can be very profitable. You typically need to purchase the equipment, but once you have the machines, it’s simply a matter of finding a good placement and then, maintaining it. It’s possible to earn a very tidy sum from this type of operation, which is now made even easier thanks to WiFi-equipped vending machines that will tell you when they need to be re-stocked or repaired.

Proofreader

If you have a solid grasp of grammar, writing mechanics and the English language (or any other language for that matter), then you may be a great proofreader. Micro-job sites like Fiverr can be a great source for proofreading work. If you have strong writing skills, you can also offer to rewrite and correct flawed writing, earning a bit of extra money in the process. (If you find an errors in this article hollar at me)

Modeling

Photographers, artists and art studios routinely seek models for drawing, painting, sculpting and photography projects. So check with local art studios and keep an eye out for advertisements seeking a model. You could earn some extra cash for literally just sitting (or standing) there.

Property Management

Property management services can range from overseeing the buildings and grounds at a condominium or apartment complex, to overseeing a multi-unit residence, managing rental properties, or tending to vacation homes or properties with seasonal owners. Property managers may simply check in on the property periodically, oversee maintenance and repairs, find (and manage) tenants, or market the property to prospective guests. This means there’s a property management role to fit nearly any skillset.

Motivational Speaker/Workshop Facilatator

Do you have lots of great knowledge, experience and insight to share? If so, you could be a great public speaker, particularly if you have a big and dynamic personality. Public speakers are constantly sought-after for conferences, conventions, events and training sessions. Focus on what you know and you may be surprised by how far you go! Remember to film your talks as this footage can prove to be a valuable marketing tool. This is also a great way to promote your growing startup. This was a side business for me for a while, and now a full blown business. Want tips on how to get paid to speak? Check out this link.

Rain Gutter Cleaning

If you’re handy around the house, then gutter cleaning could prove to be a good money-making gig. Gutter cleaning is one of those tasks that many people dread and avoid, yet serious roofing problems can arise if gutters are clogged with debris. Consider partnering with a roofer or window cleaning/installation company to pull in new clients.

Companion

A “rent a friend” or companion can play an important role in another person’s life. Elderly people, in particular, suffer from loneliness so profound it can lead to depression. This is where a companion can help. You can play board games, garden together, go for a stroll, go out for lunch or simply hang out and talk. This is a great choice for social folks who may not have the skills required to be a caretaker.

 Rent your Crap

Do you have lots of pricey fishing, surfing or camping equipment that sits in your shed most of the year? Do you have an incredible RV that you’ve used just twice in the past five years? Or maybe you’ve got a pair of snowmobiles or four-wheelers that you rarely use. Rent your camping and recreational equipment to locals or vacationers! Just be sure to charge a deposit and to take down their information to ensure the items are returned!

Linkedin Profile/Resume Writing

 If you’re adept at writing and know what it takes to write a killer resume, then you might consider offering your services as a resume writer! There’s also a demand for resume critiques, drafting linkedin profiles and enhancements. The best part? You can do it all remotely and on a schedule that works for you.

Get Crafty

Crafty folks who are handy with a sewing machine can do well offering tailoring, mending, alteration and seamstress services. You can even create custom garments or other sewn items if you’re so inclined. If you’re especially good with off-pattern creations, consider connecting with local rehab clinics and occupational therapists, as these professionals routinely encounter individuals who need custom-made garments due to a special need.

Social Media Manager

Social media is a powerful tool for growing your business, but lots of individuals and companies alike just don’t have the time or knowledge required to leverage social media to its full potential. If you know what it takes to go viral, then managing social media campaigns could be the perfect job for you. Plus, scheduling interfaces such as Hootsuite allow you to post and schedule social media postings at a time that’s convenient for you.

Holiday Cards/Thank-you Note Writing Service

Holiday cards and thank you notes can be the perfect personal touch in some scenarios, while in other settings, they’re really expected. One thing is clear: thank you notes can be very time-consuming to write, but that’s where you come to the rescue! If you have lovely penmanship and simply enjoy writing, then this could be a great fit. This is something else I’ve hired someone to do in the past.

AirBnB Tour Guide

Do you have lots of local knowledge? Do you have a great personality and enjoy meeting new people? If so, you could be well-suited to a job as a tour guide. You can offer services as a freelance tour guide by simply advertising online or by making up pamphlets that can be placed in local hotels and restaurants. AirBnB now makes it easier to offer your unique tours and cultural expereiences on their site and reach customers that are traveling to your city.

Travel Agent

Planning a trip can be time-consuming and tedious. But if you’re a detail-oriented person who is familiar with making travel arrangements, then you could be well-suited for a gig as a freelance travel agent. And you can find clients from across the globe if you opt to build a website for your services.

Mobile Car Ad’s

Companies will pay big bucks to drivers who spend a lot of time on the road in key locations. All you have to do is transform your car into a moving billboard! The company will typically pay for all expenses associated with wrapping your car, truck or SUV. You just drive! And with modern GPS tracking devices included in every smartphone, you’ll earn according to where you drive and how long you’re out and about. This is great if you’re already spending lots of time on the road as you hustle to make your startup a success. Also looking in to driving mobile billboards

Voice-Over Acting

If you have a great speaking voice with beautiful annunciation, then you could make a fair amount of money as a voiceover artist. You will need to invest in some audio editing software and a good microphone. But once you have a few good samples of your work, you’ll be in a good position to earn money recording voiceovers for videos, commercials and other projects. Consider partnering with a couple video production companies if you’re looking for regular work.

Waitress

The long time go to side hustle for struggling actors making the treck Waitressing can actually be quite profitable, especially for individuals who are sociable and enjoy interacting with people. This type of gig does require some time on your feet, but many enjoy this type of work so much that they don’t even notice the time. What’s more, waitressing schedules tend to be quite flexible so you can work around your startup. And who knows — you may meet some great business connections in the process!

Recreational Sports Referee

Can’t play your favorite sport anymore? Consider being a referee or umpire instead! This is a great way to earn some extra cash, while also participating in an activity you enjoy. It’s a wonderful option for sports enthusiasts who have suffered a game-ending injury or illness. Check out my friend James Taylor’s Company Taylored Athletes and others for similar opportunities.

Website designer

Do you have coding and online development experience? If you’re a whiz with WordPress or Drupal, then you may be well-suited to offering web development services on the side. In addition to creating new websites, you can also find work maintaining or updating existing sites. All you need is a computer, knowledge and an internet connection, so your earnings will be virtually all profit.

Blogging

Blogging can be quite profitable, although it can take some time for a new blog to gain traction and generate revenue. But consistent blogging on a popular topic will, ultimately, gain a strong readership, particularly if you promote your content on social media. Additionally, lots of popular blogs seek out writers who can generate content, so you may be able to find an opportunity writing for another person’s blog.

Bookkeeping/Accounting

Bookkeeping is a task that virtually every business requires, yet not every entrepreneur is adept at crunching numbers. This means that bookkeepers are very sought-after. What’s more, accounting can be performed remotely at any time of day, so it’s a task you can complete at a time that works with your schedule.

Brand Ambassador

Brand ambassadors are constantly being sought-after for help promoting a particular product or a brand as a whole. Liquor companies are amongst the most common businesses seeking ambassadors to increase brand awareness in nightclub venues, but they are by no means the only folks seeking help in this area. So keep your eye out for brand ambassadors whom you encounter in your everyday life and investigate whether there are any opportunities are available with that company.

Wedding Planner

If you don’t mind dealing with the possible bridezilla. Did you love planning your wedding? Do you insist on helping with wedding planning for your friends and family? Or maybe you have experience in the wedding industry. If one of these descriptions sounds familiar, then you may be well-suited as a wedding planner! This can be a fun, detail-oriented project that is both fun and profitable.

Car Flipping

Car flipping can be very rewarding and profitable, especially if you have experience with auto repair. While the most profitable car flipping ventures involve “fixer uppers,” there are some vehicles that simply require a thorough cleaning and detailing, along with a bit of patience to find the right buyer. So even those without mechanic-related experience can do well with this type of flipping.

Mobile Mechanic

Many drivers postpone a trip to the auto shop due to obligations at home or at work. But this can result in a breakdown at the most inopportune moment. You can help by offering mobile mechanic’s services. You’ll need a fairly sizable and complete tool set, along with a generator and compressor that will allow you to work in the field. But if you already have all of these items on-hand, all you need to do is start advertising your services at local auto parts shops, car clubs and online.

Window Cleaning Service If you enjoy cleaning, then window cleaning can be a very fulfilling activity as you wipe away months’ or even years’ worth of dirt and grime. You can offer your services to residential clients, commercial clients or both. Plus, you won’t need to spend a fortune on supplies and equipment, which is a major plus.

Tutoring

Sure this one is pretty obvious, but if you are super “book smart” and good at teaching others? Consider working as a tutor. You can tutor in any subject that appeals to you and at any level. Plus, you can tutor in person or remotely via Skype, so there’s an option to suit nearly any skillset and schedule.

Music Tutor

Musically-inclined individuals can earn some extra cash by teaching others how to play an instrument. This can be a fun, profitable activity whereby you can offer private lessons or even group lessons, depending upon what’s most comfortable for you. Plus, there’s little or no overhead and you can schedule lessons around your entrepreneurial activities!