30 Great Part-Time Businesses
by Scholastica Lau
What is your talent?
“A career is born in public, and talent is born in privacy.” -Marilyn Monroe
You can even turn your hobbies into full-time businesses.
Here you can find some useful hints:
01. AFRICAN VIOLETS: Specialize in the propagation and care of this popular indoor plant. Nurture, hybridize and sell when in full bloom. Carry accessories, such as pots, shelves and lighting. Keep a small but permanent ad in your local newspaper.
02. ALTERATIONS: Replace buttons, let out cuffs, shorten sleeves, turn collars, repair tears for clothing stores, laundries and cleaner who don’t already offer this service. You can work for them or leave a price poster in their store.
03. ARROWHEADS: Collect, buy, sell and MAKE (with deer horn and clove) Indian arrowheads for hobbyists, displays and demonstrations. Sell instruction and/or information booklets and do-it-yourself kits. Offer various types of flint.
04. AUTO PARTS REBUILDING: Work with garages and mechanics. Specialize in rebuilding one part (carburetors, master cylinders, electronic ignitions) for one or several makes. Install kits, ream and/or re-fit and guarantee all of your work.
05. AUTO TOUCH-UP: Repair minor dents, cover rock chips, remove rust, polish, clean tires. Renew rubber and plastic, deodorize to help bring the best price or trade-in. Advertise under Auto/Trucks For Sale, with a price.
06. AUTO PAWN SHOP: Hold cars as collateral for short-term loans. Hold the title (if clear) or, “buy” the car with a 30 days or so buy-back price agreement or limited power of attorney. Check laws and obtain legal advice before proceeding!
07. AWNINGS, WINDOW: Design and install permanent and fold-up fabric and or metal awnings for storefronts, patios, house windows, trailers and mobile homes. Offer a selection of aterials, colors and prices. Advertise prices and benefits.
08. BABY DOLLS: Create dolls with fine wigs from client baby’s own baby hair as keepsake dolls. Try to get cloth from baby’s actual clothes to make similar looking outfits for the doll (work from a picture if possible). Put in glass case.
09. BARBEQUE: Use a portable (such as trailer) meat smoker to take to fairs, parades and festivals. Have a supply of prepared sandwiches ready, but always have a fire AND AROMA (throw in a little suet or sauce) going to attract more business.
10. BELT BUCKLES: Stock a selection of belt buckles for truckers, workers, etc. Have special designs and insignias made for local groups. Arrange to offer good prices on leather belts as well (import some to sell at attractive prices).
11. BENCH RENTALS: Build bus-stop style benches and with city permission, place them free of cost to the city at various bus-stops. Pay a sign painter to apply advertisements for clients who pay you by the month for the ads and space.
12. BIRD TRAINING TAPES: Make endless or auto-reverse tapes to teach bird to talk, whistle or sing. Sell or rent the necessary equipment to mount in or near cages. Charge extra to record the bird owner’s own voice giving the instructions on tape.
13. BIRDHOUSE BUILDING: Build and decorate fine, scientifically designed birdhouses and feeders for birds native to your area as well as those that migrate to or through your area. Make up little info folders for each model.
14. BIRTHDAY LISTS: Compile birthday (anniversary, etc.) of people in your area to rent as mailing lists to local merchants. Or, contract to mail out cards each year on behalf of the merchants. Have a set minimum, as $25 for 50 mailings.
15. BREAD SPECIALTIES: Bake unusual or otherwise unavailable varieties of home made breads: oat bran, low calorie, ethnic, salt free. Keep a small ad in paper, take orders for loaves fresh from your kitchen and/or deliver fresh to stores.
16. BRONZING: Bronze (or pearlize) baby shoes etc. Make mementos, awards and trophies. Design plaques and unique bases with emphasis on local needs such as Chamber of Commerce of company awards. Arrange for engraved plates on plaques.
17. BRUSH CLEARING: With you truck, tractor and shredder,contract to clear brush and small trees from lots and acreage. Haul off excess debris or use a composter to recycle and sell organic refuse. Offer to drag or level the cleared area.
18. BUSINESS EQUIPMENT: Buy surplus equipment from bankruptcy sales and auctions. Store and clean-up, but do not repair (let buyer do that). Advertise bargain prices for qualified buyers and sell at double or triple your investment.
19. CEMENT BLOCKS: Mold small orders of standard or custom blocks (building, stepping stones, curbs) in all shapes and colors. Make molds when necessary of plywood and tin. Take orders, sell form your “yard” and through nurseries.
20. TRUCK LETTERING: Use pre-cut, self-stick vinyl letters to produce long lasting, professional truck signs (no art talent required). Use chalk snap lines to mark lines and center, peel and press in place. Stock and offer a variety of letters.
21. CEMENT MARKERS: Make “engraved” cement or liquid marble markers and signs. Mold “backwards” letters into various colors and textures of plastic-like cement for carved in effect. Polish molded marker into a professional looking stone.
22. CHAIR CANING: Use cane, plastic or other interesting materials to weave seats and backs onto casual and picturesque chairs for clients. Buy old chairs with promise at bargain prices to re-glue, refinish, re-cane and sell at a profit.
23. CHINA AND GLASS DEALER: Collect and deal in antique and interesting china and glass items. Buy at auctions, antique stores, private and public sales and through your advertisements. Deduct travel expenses for buying trips and visits.
24. CITY LOT CLEAN-UP: Work with the city to learn about lots that must be cleaned up. Contract to do the required work on lots they designate (city adds bill to owner’s taxes). Contact absentee (or local) owners to avoid future city actions.
25. CLIENT LISTINGS: On your computer, input and maintain customer (or business) information: customer info, purchases, credit records, employee information, etc. Provide periodic and custom sorts (including mailing lists) to clients.
26. COLLECTION AGENT: Represent one or more commercial agencies (don’t tell one about another, though). Solicit delinquent accounts for collection from local businesses for a percentage of monies the agencies collect.
27. COIN SEARCHING: Buy rolls of coins from banks (whatever denomination you can afford). Search through them for coins worth over face value. Keep all of these and replace with “regular’ coins and trade back in. Best in small towns!
28. COLLECTIONS: Accumulate collectibles (glass, matchbook, baseball cards, comic books). Make up (from common specimens) starter collections to sell to beginners. Sell valuable pieces individually to collectors (some you got started).
29. CONCESSION BOOTH: Operate a booth or stand at a recreation area, flea market, shopping mall or parking lot. Sell your own products and/or consignment items. Carry some attractively priced items just to attract more customers.
30. CURB PAINTING: With a stencil and fast-dry black spray paint house numbers on all curbs in a city block then go back and request a $2-$5 “donation” from occupants. Pass out circulars the day before announcing your service.
The most important hint is ‘take action’. Go, promote and publish your businesses worldwide, wherever possible.
Join large online seller sites such as Etsy to sell your hobbies and goods. Create your own shop and get 40 free listings at Etsy. Click my invitation link below. Good Luck!