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Profitable part-time business ideas you can start today

3-minute read

Mark James

19 April 2016

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Looking to start a part-time business but lack ideas and cash? We take a look at some cost-effective suggestions...

With life growing increasingly expensive, most people could do with some extra cash. Everything from property to the price of a pint feels more painful on the pocket, money not stretching quite so far as it used to.

It’s against this backdrop that moonlighting has become noticeably more popular, a growing tide of ‘five-to-niners’ supplementing their earnings in the evenings. Elsewhere, faced by mounting fees there’s evidence that Britain’s students are getting more entrepreneurial - stats suggest that around 80% now work part-time.

As their enterprising spirit shows, there’s plenty you can do to boost your income. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at some low cost part-time business ideas...

Part time business ideas without investment

First off, let’s start with some of the most cost-effective ideas.

Recently, we looked at research that revealed the best industries for startups, and within that top ten there’s a number of businesses that require little to no investment. Amongst them…

  • Consultancy businesses (PR and marketing agencies, recruitment agencies, financial management)
  • Office support businesses (telephone support, document preparation, specialised office support)
  • Computer programming and consultancy (business and domestic software development, IT consultancy)

All you really need for any of these businesses is a laptop and a telephone, so if you’ve got the right skills and experience it’s worth exploring where the opportunities lie. Explore free jobs boards like peopleperhour, as well as more industry-specific sites, and consider some free networking events to get your name out there. You might be surprised at how many people are looking for part-time support.

Part-time business ideas with low investment

A few months back we looked at how to start an online shop, stats suggesting that the UK sees £100bn spent online every year. A growing market with relatively few barriers to entry, online retail offers excellent opportunities - so what are some lucrative part-time business ideas?

Get crafty

If you’ve got some creative flair, Etsy could be an excellent platform to sell your wares. Everyone from part-time painters to part-time potters sell their goods on the site, which apparently sees around 2 billion visits every month. Listing fees are reasonable too, at around 14p per item.

Become an eBay entrepreneur

Remarkably, some Brits are making millions selling through eBay, their part-time pursuits becoming so successful they’ve taken to trading full-time. One man - Chinedu 'Ken' Emechebe, a successful electronics trader - now posts sales of £1.5 million per month, and tops the UK’s “eBay Power 30”. Check out the list in full here, and perhaps spark some ideas.

Set up your own site

Although slightly costlier and a little tougher than trading off an established online platform, setting up your own ecommerce site is still pretty cheap and may make you more profit in the long run. You’ll avoid the fees that eBay and Etsy bring but you may need to spend more on SEO, as well as pay fees for your domain name and hosting service.

Possible to balance with full-time work and potentially profitable, online retail can be an attractive part-time prospect. Do bear in the mind the logistics, however, and factor them into any costs. You’ll need to pay for posting and packaging for one, whilst online retail insurance is also important.

The most profitable part-time business ideas

So, what are the most profitable part-time business ideas?

Well, unfortunately there’s no definitive answer but there are some questions you can ask yourself, such as…

  • Can I run my part-time business from home and keep my overheads low?
  • Is my product/service designed for a healthy and growing industry?
  • Can I offer a better product/service than my current competitors?

If the answer to all of these is yes then you stand a good chance of being profitable. Consider your skills and tailor them to the opportunities out there, and you ought to be on your way to creating some lucrative part-time business ideas.

Do you run a successful part-time business? How did you come up with your idea? Tell us your story in the comments section.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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