From: Project Chesapeake (a really good site)
Many people have lost their job and now require government assistance or have a lower paying job they are trying to survive on. Things will probably get worse before they get better. You need to assess your situation and the resources available to you and determine how best to use what you have. Most people have resources, equipment and knowledge they don’t immediately realize that can be used to produce extra income. If you need some extra income and an extra few hundred a month would make a lot of difference, take some time to sit down and list the things you might be able to do to generate income.
Raise baby chicks for sale – With an incubator and egg turner costing about $100, and a breeder flock of 5 to 10 chickens, you can hatch out up to 40 chicks every 21 days. This can generate $75 to $100 every 21 days depending on the price you sell them for. People only buying 2 or 3 chicks will be willing to pay a premium because the price will still be relatively small. With the cost of food rising, many people are now raising a few backyard chickens to produce some of their own food.
Sell eggs – If you have the room to raise a few dozen chickens you may be able to sell the extra eggs to earn extra money. The average pullet can lay about 20 dozen eggs the first year and some breeds can lay up to 25 dozen. If your birds can free range at least part of the day it will greatly reduce the amount of feed you will need to buy, increasing your profits.
Sell produce – Even with the smallest yard, it is possible to grow many types of vegetables in sufficient quantities to allow extra for sale to health conscious neighbors.
Rent out storage space – If you have an unused shed or a garage, you can partition it off into smaller units and rent out the space as storage units.
Rent out living space – If you have an unused bedroom or a garage or shed you can convert into an apartment, you can rent it out to generate extra income.
Rent out a truck or utility trailer – If you have a pickup truck or a utility trailer that you don’t use every day, you may be able to rent it out to individuals that need those services on a temporary basis. You may even be able to rent out your services to load/unload and drive the load to its destination.
Rent out a camper trailer – If you have a camper trailer that you don’t use very often, you may be able to rent it out by the day or week to someone taking a vacation. Used pop-up campers can be found for less than $1,000 and may offer a good return on the money invested. It also provides you with an emergency shelter in the event of a disaster.
Open a barber shop/beauty salon – If you have an empty room or garage you can use, you can start your own barber shop/beauty salon with a minimal of equipment.
Lawn maintenance – With nothing more than a push mower, gas can and a weed trimmer, you can start your own yard maintenance service in your spare time. Just cutting a few small yards on the weekend can generate an extra few hundred dollars a month.
House keeping for the elderly – Many elderly people can no longer do physical housework due to age or injuries. These people are growing in numbers and offer a good market for weekly business. This may include housekeeping, cooking or laundry services.
Sell/deliver meals for the elderly – Some elderly find it difficult to cook for themselves every day. A service to cook and deliver meals to them may be a needed service in your area.
Taxi service for the elderly – Many elderly cannot drive anymore or find it difficult to take public transportation. These individuals may require transportation to buy groceries or to get medical treatments.
Sell honey – If you have bees or would like to get some, this might offer you the ability to sell some of the honey you produce for extra income. This can be expensive to set up but most of the equipment will last for many years.
Sewing services – If you have sewing ability and some equipment, you may be able to offer this service to those who lack the time or experience.
Provide car pool service – If you have a vehicle that can carry 3 or 4 extra people, and you have the time, you may be able to offer car pool services for a small fee to offset your daily fuel expenses or generate extra income. If the price of gas continues to rise, this may become a sought after service for those that still have a job.
Mobile auto service – If you have some mechanic experience and a few tools, you may be able to offer mobile auto service to people. This does not have to be full repair services but can be specialized such as brake replacement or oil changes done in the clients driveway.
Monument service – This is something that many people would not think about but it is a lucrative business. When people die they not only require burial services but following that they almost always need a monument placed on their grave. Many times the funeral home sells this service but there are many businesses that offer only the sale and placement of monuments. It requires very little equipment and the profit potential is very high and this is something that can be done in your spare time.
Pet sitting service – Many people have pets that need caring for when the owner is out of town for a few days. If you have a garage that can hold several cages of various sizes, you may be able to build up a reputable service that can generate good income for very little work.
Bed and breakfast – If you have a large home with extra rooms, you might want to start a bed and breakfast inn to put those extra rooms to work.
Plant nursery – If you love growing things you may want to grow extra things in your spare time to sell. Things such as fruit trees and fruit vines are becoming more in demand with the rising price of food.
Sell baked goods from home – This can be a good fit for those that like to bake. If you buy many of the main ingredients directly from the farmer such as corn and wheat to grind yourself, you will have a good profit margin and will be very competitive with stores if prices rise significantly.
These are just a few of the ideas you can use to start a part time business using the resources you already have. Before starting any business venture you need to think it through and list all of the resources you would need to operate it. You need to look at the startup cost and operating expenses in a realistic way to determine if it is viable and worthy of your time. With a lot of these ideas, you are providing a service or value added product that requires mainly your time and knowledge. Your time and knowledge should be used to maximize your earnings with the least amount of equipment and resources. Hopefully this list will provide you with ideas to expand on to help generate extra income.