5 Side Hustle Business Ideas

Starting your own business can be rewarding and provide the freedom necessary to live the life you want. However, 90% of businesses fail, so starting with the right plan in place with the right product is imperative to your success.

The three main steps to a successful business are: coming up with the right idea for your product, finding out how much customers will pay for said product and getting distribution channels in place. In some cases you may even need all these things figured out before "opening your doors" for business.

These days, the internet is where it's at when people are thinking of starting a side hustle. It's so easy and inexpensive to launch a business capable of making passive income, but where do you start? Here are some ideas you can steal to create your own business online.


Everybody wears t-shirts. They are a basic item of clothing that can also be a company's logo, funny saying or anything else you can imagine. A person's clothing is connected to their identity, so people want to wear things that show off who they are. Finding a niche that is passionate about a topic, you may find great customers for a t-shirt business.

Some niches that might do well:

  • Cat lovers
  • High School band moms
  • Female programmers
  • Aspiring athletes

Whatever you choose, make sure there is a large enough audience to sell to and that they are truly passionate about the topic, then either design the shirts yourself or hire a freelancer to make some great designs and sell them using a print-on-demand service like Printful.


If you can code or have some extra cash to hire a developer, you can create your own software to sell. Selling software can be great if you have the right idea behind the product. Software is intangible, so you can create an infinite amount of copies for free and sell them for 100% margin!

You can also sell software as a service (SaaS) where you host the software online and charge customers on a monthly or annual basis for access. This can be a great source of recurring revenue that builds on itself year over year!

Educational Courses and eBooks

If you have been writing your whole life, then the best way to make money could be by offering ebooks or courses on a topic that interests you. The internet is filled with opportunities for people looking for content creation jobs, so there are more than enough potential customers who would love access to your product!

No matter what you know, the things you think are obvious other people are willing to pay money for. Look at everything you know how to do - from your career to cooking to life hacks around the house - whatever it is that you can teach other about. Then digitize it into a format that you can send people online - a pdf, video series, word doc, etc. That gives you a product you can exchange for money without having to devote time after the initial creation of it.


If you want to get into the retail space, sell a subscription for consumable products. Consumable products are products that people use on a regular basis and frequently need to buy more of. Consumers are turning to subscriptions to help them keep these necessities in stock automatically.

Some ideas for consumables on a monthly subscription:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Spices
  • Shaving accessories

Consumable businesses can be great because, due to the nature of subscriptions, you have built-in customers who buy from you every month. They adapt your brand into their lifestyle and become customers for the long haul.

Become a Reseller

What if you don't want to create a new product or deal with shipping boxes of consumables out of your garage? Become a reseller! Everything listed above has been done by other people and most businesses will offer a commission to resellers who bring them business.

So instead of making your own course, become a reseller for someone else and get paid when you send people to their course. Similarly, you could do the same for consumable businesses, software or even t-shirt companies!

When you think about it, the internet is full of opportunity for anyone who wants to put in the time and effort to make an online business work for them.


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