Astute readers of this blog will know that I advocate increasing your income more often than reducing your spending. It’s time to put my money where my mouth is with ten real business ideas (not cheesy work-at-home ideas) that require little or no money to start up.

I’m not saying these ideas will make you rich, but with a little hard work you might end up with a nice second income.

Concierge Service – If you live in an affluent area, you would be amazed at what some people are will to pay to not have to do themselves.

From grocery shopping to dry cleaning runs to booking travel and doctor’s appointments, you can become a personal assistant to the super-busy, and superrich.

Mobile (Interior) Auto Detailing – How many people do you know who have decent cars but drive around with buckets of junk in the backseat and French fries stuck to the floor mats? Gross. With a vacuum cleaner you may already own and a few cheap bottles of automotive cleaning products, you can offer to come to anyone’s home or work and make their car’s interior like new. Professional shops can charge up to $100 or more for this service.

Dog Walker or Petsitting Service – If you love animals, there are plenty of people who will pay you to watch after their critters for a few hours. Depending on your schedule, this could be a part-time gig or very full time, and you could probably start working without spending a dime.

Fact-Checking and Research Service – Did you know that nearly every major magazine and many websites obsessively check and re-check every fact and source in their story? Best of all, very few employ in-house researchers to do this critical task. Yes, it’s tedious, but it only requires a laptop and a telephone!

Bookkeeping – Bookkeeping and accounting is perhaps one of the most in-demand services that small businesses will farm out to part-time freelancers. And you don’t need to be a CPA to keep a company’s books – most of this work is routine data entry and paying bills. No experience? You can find evening or online training pretty easily.

Association Manager – Everyday people form new professional networks, community associations, or even groups of hobbyists with similar interests. The only problem is groups take a lot of administrative work to maintain. There are websites to be built and updated, newsletters to be written, dues to be collected, meetings and events to be scheduled, and mailing lists to maintain. Think you’re up to the task? By creating templates and protocols you could easily begin managing several groups and raking in

Property Management – The “grown up” version of shoveling snow and mowing lawns, small to medium sized landlords everywhere need trustworthy people to watch after their real estate. The responsibilities can vary, from simply taking calls from tenants and arranging for maintenance to be done to actually fixing things and landscaping yourself. If you want to go full-service, you can even offer to show apartments, screen tenants, and collect the rent.

Sports or Activity Clinics – Were you a slugger on your college baseball team? Are you a great golfer? An artist or a musician? Start evening, Saturday, or summer clinics for local youth to learn your skill. Parents are always looking for enrichment activities for their children and are more than happy to pay you for a day – or several – without their kids.

Clutter Consultant – Have a knack for organization? Another great business opportunity in more affluent areas, you can work as a clutter consultant to help people rid themselves of crap and regain living space. FYI, this would pair nicely with a junk removal service!

Start a Blog – Okay, you knew I’d have to include this one! If you’ve got something you love to write about, you can probably make money blogging about it! Just beware, blogging is by no means an easy business. It may take months – or years – before you make your first dollar, but it also has great rewards.

With any business, you’ll need to get the word out and get some customers! Next week I will look at ways to market your new business for little or no money.

What about you? Have you started a part-time business you think others could also do? Do you have a business idea that you don’t have time for?



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