October 13, 2020 12 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Even if you have a full-time job, there’s nothing wrong with putting a little extra cash in your pocket. It’s not about greed: Having an additional income stream means that you get out of debt or fatten your savings.
But, there’s another possible outcome. You may be able to make this into a bonafide full-time job. That means you can be your own boss or generate a passive income.
If you never thought about this before, 2020 should have opened your eyes — especially if you’re struggling as a business owner or have unfortunately lost your main source of income. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that life can drastically change in the blink of an eye. As such, it makes sense that you have a financial safety-blanket so that you can weather whatever life throws your way.
While the world has definitely changed, there are still ways that you can make extra money. You may even discover the next great business idea during this difficult time. If you need some ideas, then here are 20 suggestions for your side-hustle consideration.
1. Deliver food
Even prior to Covid-19, delivering food was one of the most popular side hustles. The reason? Third-parties like UberEats and DoorDash have allowed more restaurants to offer takeout. Another perk? The schedules are flexible with peak times being during lunch, dinner rushes and Sundays. And some people have claimed that they’ve made on average $18 an hour.
Besides third-party apps, you could contact local eateries, like pizzerias, to see if they’re in need of part-time drivers.
2. Shop for others
Similarly, you may also consider shopping for others. Instacart is one of the most popular examples of this. Just sign up and work whenever you have the availability. Best of all? You have the option to be only a shopper or to shop and deliver groceries.
Instacart not available in your area? Then check out alternative services like Shipt.
3. Flex your Amazon muscles
According to Statista, Amazon captured 45 percent of all U.S. ecommerce spending in 2019. That figure was expected to rise to 47 percent in 2020, but I suspect that will higher for obvious reasons. As such, Jeff Bezos and Co. need people to deliver these products. And that’s exactly what Amazon Flex is for. Just like with ride sharing or delivering food, you use your own vehicle. You can also set your own schedule, and Amazon claims that drivers make between $18 to $25 per hour.
4. Hop like a (Task)rabbit
Are you handy around the house? Can you assemble that tricky IKEA furniture, set up smart devices, mount TVs or fix simple plumbing or electrical issues? If so, you can sell these skills on TaskRabbit or similar sites like Handy.
Other services you can offer would be delivering groceries, helping people move, painting or yard work. Depending on where you reside, the task you’re performing, and flexibility, it’s possible to earn more than $2,000 per week.
5. Uber or Lyft driver
If your vehicle meets the requirements and you don’t mind taxiing people around, this is one of the most common side gigs. Mainly because you can do this whenever and wherever you want. Plus, it’s feasible to rake in over a grand each month in supplemental income.
At the same time, Covid may have impacted this side business depending on where you live. You might even have health concerns. If that’s the case, then you can still make money off your vehicle by renting it to others through Turo or Getaround. Some have reported that they’ve been able to make between $500 to $1000 renting out their vehicles.
6. Become a freelancer
How do I love freelancing? Let me count the ways.
First, there are hundreds of marketplaces to land a freelancing gig. Second, it’s incredibly flexible. Third, there is no shortage of ways to make money from this. At the minimum, this includes writing, proofreading, editing videos, graphic design, bookkeeping, virtual assistant and transcription work.
The sky is the limit when it comes to freelance work. If you have a unique skill to offer, or are willing to learn a new one, there’s a way to capitalize on it.
Are you well versed in a specific subject matter? If so, then why not help others who are struggling with it? You actually might be able to earn $45 to $100 an hour, either in-person or virtually, through platforms like Wyzant.
8. Teach English online
Although you do not have to be a certified teacher, it would be beneficial if you have experience working with children — even if you’re a parent. From there, you can apply to teach English to students on platforms like VIPKid.
If accepted, this is one of the best side hustles you can ask for. It’s flexible, not extremely challenging, and it’s 100 percent virtual. Best of all? You can earn up to $22 per hour.
9. Teach a skill
How you decide to cash in on the skills you possess is totally up to you. For example, you could host music lessons from your home. Are you a talented chef, baker or stylist? Then you could launch your own YouTube channel.
You could even add on to your existing business. For instance, if you owned a gym or yoga studio, then you might want to offer online classes. Or, you could launch a membership site where customers can access exclusive content.
I would be remiss if I didn’t add that unless you already have an audience, these suggestions won’t being-in money overnight. In fact, it might take months or years. So, if you need to make money sooner than later, you might want to look elsewhere.
You will need to manage your time carefully so that you don’t overextend yourself — especially if you have another full time job. Brush up on time-management skills.
10. Child or companion care
Perhaps one of the oldest side hustles is childcare. Examples would be babysitting for your neighbors when they want to go out or watching your niece or nephew after school. And, because you aren’t actually running a daycare facility, you don’t have to be concerned with any red tape — you’ll probably get paid in cash, too.
What’s more, with parents currently working from home, they may call on you to lend a hand. For instance, if they have a virtual meeting, they may pay you to get the kids out of the house or at least not let them come in during the meetings duration so they won’t get interrupted.
A slight variation of this would be eldercare. Several years ago, I would spend my Friday mornings running errands for my grandparents and making sure they were set up for the weekend. And because my schedule was flexible, I could also take them to their doctor’s appointments.
Many parents are so busy with their own children that they will pay for a couple of hours a day for you to sit with their own parent. Sometimes a quick visit in the evening with an aging individual can be done after work and adds to your cash reserves.
Considering that the U.S. population is aging, there should be plenty of companion care opportunities available.
11. Walk dogs or petsit
As a dog owner, I can’t stand leaving my baby alone all day. Thankfully, when I’m not working from home, she usually comes with me. However, not everyone is as fortunate. As such, they won’t mind shelling out the money for someone to walk and check-in on their four-legged friend through platforms like Rover.
However, take a look around your neighborhood: there are likely neighbors looking for a familiar face for their furry friends. Check out your local dog park, and you’ll likely find some dog to babysit there, running around, and you could check out the personality before committing to the job.
If you’re looking to make more and love having dogs around, you can also petsit when their owners go out of town. In some cases, you might be able to fetch at least $70 for an overnight stay.
12. Clean houses or small businesses
There’s nothing like a pandemic to highlight the importance of cleanliness. But, to be honest, this is also a profitable side gig. I know plenty of people who keep up with the day-to-day cleaning. But, they’ll hire someone either once a week or a couple of times a month take care of heavier cleaning — such as windows and dusting.
If you have the cleaning supplies and don’t mind getting a little dirty, there’s definitely potential here. And who knows? Maybe your little business on the side takes off. Maybe eventualy you can hire other people making this a passive-income-stream business idea.
Flipping is basically taking an item and selling it for a profit. The idea is that you already own said items or purchased it cheaply. For instance, you could sell your old electronics on Declutter. Or, you could hit up a yard sale or visit Craigslist free section. From there, you clean up or refurbish the item and try to make a profit off of it.
Years ago, I met a woman who went to the local second-hand clothing stores and purchased items and then spent the day selling them on eBay for a little more, after postage. I couldn’t image that she was making much after the work of it, but she claimed it paid her car payment and side needs.
14. Create stuff to sell
Thanks to platforms like Etsy you can easily sell your creations online. It could anything from candles, jewelry, custom face masks, furniture or green cleaning supplies. You could also sell electronic files, such as teaching plans or blueprints for a treehouse, as well.
15. Referee or ump
If you don’t mind getting some lip, this could be an interesting side gig. According to the Bureau of Labor, “Employment of umpires, referees, and other sports officials is projected to grow eight percent from 2019 to 2029.” That’s much faster than the average payment for all occupations.
Moreover, the median annual wage is $28,550. Not shabby for something that you’ll do either after work or on the weekend. By the way, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to be calling professional sports games — even though that would be awesome. Instead, this would be for more local sporting events, like referring a high school football game or girls volleyball.
16. Lawn care and snow removal
There’s an increasing demand for grounds maintenance for both homeowners and businesses. The earning potential can be from $5,000 to $50,000 in their first year. Besides, spending time outside is great for your health and well-being.
During the colder months, you could provide other services. Examples could be raking leaves or removing snow.
17. Go mobile
Obviously, businesses like landscaping and delivering food are mobile. But, what I’m talking about here is taking businesses that typically had a physical location and converting them. For instance, you could go to someone’s home and cut their hair, groom their dog, or detail their automobile.
Sure. The convenience factor is a huge plus. But, you’re offering a service to those who might still be hesitant about going out and doing these simple chores in a post-Covid world.
18. Work the polls
Unless you’ve been completely off the grid, you already know it’s an election year. Hopefully, you’re going to do your civic duty and vote. But, since you’re already registered, you might be able to make some extra cash on election day as well.
Between Covid-19 concerns and the fact that 58 percent of poll workers were 61 or older, there’s certainly a need for poll workers. “In normal circumstances, election officials find it very difficult to have enough poll workers to run elections,” Sylvia Albert, Director of Voting and Elections at the watchdog group Common Cause, told NPR. In 2020, she says, “the problem is exponentially larger.”
If you’re able to work all day on election day, which could roughly be from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m, you might be able to make anywhere from $200 to $500. Of course, this varies by jurisdiction. But, once you’re trained, this could be a recurring side gig whenever there are elections taking place.
If interested, sign up through the Fair Elections Center.
If you are thinking in the direction of picking up a side gig to make ends meet or get some extra cash, you likely already have the soft skills to pull off getting the work. Hopefully, these ideas can be a jumping off point for you and your next side hustle.