27 Part-Time Businesses You Can Start For Peanuts

by Smarta · 58 comments

Business Start Up for Peanuts
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Every entrepreneur has dreams beating in their passionate little hearts of creating their first portrait of freedom by working for themselves.

Shedding the shackles of their J.O.B. if you will.

Maybe that’s you. 

Often times however, those same entrepreneurs get stalled out, because they aren’t sure WHAT they want to do for a business that won’t bury them under a mountain of debt or cost them a surplus of time.

Special thanks to Smarta for this great list post that gives you a whopping 27 ideas for start ups you can run on a shoestring budget, and start for peanuts. 



‘Cuz that’s how we roll.

Starting your own business can be quite challenging and exciting at the same time.

With the shaky economy and uncertainties in the market, can you actually do business without taking so much risk?  The answer is a big YES and you can do this by going into businesses that actually cost less than most start ups.

Whether you just need to earn extra money or you just want to try it out, here are 27 part-time businesses you can start doing right away.

Tutoring Services

If you love teaching and you like working with kids, you can start this business by going to different schools to advertise your business.  Make sure that you check out current rates so that you can make the price of your services very competitive.

Alteration Services

There are many busy people who need this particular service.  Ready to wear garments have standardized sizes and usually do not fit all body types and for this, someone is bound to have his or her clothes fitted.

Baby Sitting Business

If you have a knack for working and taking care of kids, you can definitely do this business.  Post your advertisement on community boards and make sure that you leave a good impression once you get your first client.  Excellent baby sitters get referred by parents so if you do a good job, there will be an endless need for your services.

Personal Trainer

If working out or exercising is your passion opt to go into this business and meet new people.  Many individuals get personal trainers to help them reach their weight goal and keep them motivated to lose the pounds.

Catering Services

If you love cooking and are passionate about food, you can set up a small catering service.  Households that are too busy to prepare good food turn to caterers for their food and party needs.  Keep your customers happy and they will always come back for more.

App Development

If you are tech savvy, creative and passionate about mobile technology, you can earn a decent paycheck by becoming an app developer.  You never know when your app will be a hit amongst users but it can never hurt to try.

Computer Repair Services

If fixing computers is your thing, there are many people out there who might need your services.  As individuals become glued to the Internet, problems with their pc or connection will have them running to you for a quick repair.

Cleaning Services

Cleaning services will always be in demand as many people become busier than ever and too tired to do the dirty work.  Set up your cleaning service right by getting the proper tools and equipment.

Dog Walker

If you like dogs and you don’t mind walking, doing this on the side can give you a decent sum of extra money.


Fixing things can bring in some serious money as many homeowners will turn to you to fix their house.  Look for real estate brokers and offices to drop off some flyers at with your contact info.

Medical Transcription

Work from the convenience of your home as a medical transcriptionist.  There are many schools that offer online courses for medical transcription as there’s a big demand for this type of service. However research them well and make sure they are accredited.

Web Researcher

This is another home based business that you can do straight from your kitchen table.  Use the Internet to look for data and records that other business owners or professionals don’t have time to do.  You really only need a reliable computer, Internet connection and research skills to start this business.

Sell Accessories and Jewelry

Put your creative skills to use by making customized jewelry and accessories.  You can sell your goods to small fairs or consign these items to boutiques in your area.

Selling Bread and Cupcakes

If you have a knack for baking, you can sell some homemade bread and cupcakes to the neighborhood.  Bread is a staple in every household so if you get a lot of orders, expect to put in a lot of hours doing this business.


If you have a flair for words, then you can start doing some copywriting or article writing.  There are so many companies that are in need of writers on a part time basis.  Polish your writing skills by attending a workshop or reviewing your writing skills.

Be a Floral Designer

Earn a decent profit by doing flower arrangements for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and just about any occasion.  There are many schools that offer courses in flower design so just choose one that’s near your area.

Professional Make-up Artist

If you’re someone who is passionate about make-up and looking good, becoming a make-up artist can be something that you can get into.  There are many events like weddings and parties that call for make-up artists.  Turn your hobby into a real profession by attending short courses at nearby vocational schools or colleges.

Landscaping Business

If your passion lies in spending time tending and caring for plants and gardens, doing landscaping on weekends can turn in some serious extra cash.  You can start going around your neighborhood or nearby towns to market your services.

Restaurant Delivery

There are numerous restaurants who do not offer deliveries particularly the more upscale ones.  That means that with many consumers that are too busy to go out to their favorite restaurants, your services will be a sure hit.

Business Consultancy

If you are business savvy and have an excellent track record in business development, you can help budding entrepreneurs by acting as a coach or business consultant.  Owners pay a premium to consultants so doing this can earn you a tidy lump of cash.

Affiliate Marketing

There are many successful individuals who have achieved financial success by doing Internet marketing.  Aside from Internet connection fees and a reliable computer, there’s virtually no start up cost when starting an Internet marketing business.  All youneed is to study the niche market you want to specialize in and differentiate yourself from the rest.

Wedding Photographer

Do you have a knack for photography? Becoming a wedding photographer can bring in that extra cash you need.  Start up cost are really low if you already have existing equipment.  Wedding photographers are among the highest paid type of photographers and since most weddings are held on weekends, you can still devote your time to doing something else during the week.

Party and Events Planner

If it takes you just a few hours to plan and organize theme based parties, then you can do this business even on a part time basis.  There are many companies and individuals that are in need of an events planner.  It can be anywhere from a company yearend party to a product launch or a simple birthday bash or bachelor’s party.  The possibilities are endless.

Graphic and Web Designer

If you have the skills and creativity, you can really make a good chunk of money designing websites.  There are numerous business owners who need your services since many are turning to the web to promote their products and services.

Elder Care

With so many seniors who do not want to move out of their own homes but cannot be left alone, this is a very viable business with low start up cost.  Managing a team of non medical caregivers to assist seniors with their everyday needs can be quite lucrative.  You can market your services in community boards or grocery stores where families frequent.

Virtual Assistant Business

With the boom of outsourcing, VA work is another niche in online services.  Virtual assistants do a variety of work for their clients.  From admin work to email and telephone support to managing schedules and bookings, expect a wide range of tasks your client might expect of you. The key is in finding competent individuals who are reliable and trustworthy.

Personal Assistant Business

Many people have less time to do their errands  and need some assistance with a variety of mundane chores.  The personal concierge business is on the rise with so many clients whose work just piles up and that are in need of someone to assist them.  Working in this type of business is very exciting since you will get to handle a variety of requests from clients.  Just make sure you have the right staff and sourcing skills to help you out.

There are so many things you can do to start your own business even when you have low capital to invest. The key is in finding out what you are passionate about and working out how many hours you will be able to devote to running the business successfully.

As a new business owner, you will encounter many challenges but with the right tools, a lot of determination and hard work, success is just around the corner.

Now. This list is meant to be more like an “idea generator” than a comprehensive look at each of these business opportunities. So read them through and see if any of them sound like something you could get started on this week.

Oh and if you  liked this post or gleaned some new insight; please share it with others and offer them some new knowledge too. BGB thanks you and will be back to regularly scheduled programming VERY soon.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Raj September 27, 2011 at 1:04 AM

That’s a long list there – The restaurant delivery service really surprised me ( I guess its delivering service for a group of restaurants ). As a writer and copy writer, I find myself working part time, writing articles and website content for my clients. Pay is nothing to write home about, but the opportunity to learn more and work for ourselves is unmatched.
Raj recently posted..How To Build A Better Blog So You Can Make Your Presence Felt On The InternetMy Profile


admin September 27, 2011 at 7:36 AM

I’m a writer too, and have found that if you’re not diligent in regularly and actively putting yourself out there to find quality work, and slowly weeding out your worst paying clients, you can get stuck in a loop of “not so hot” projects and pay level. :-/ and definitely the ability to work for yourself is priceless! :)


Raj September 28, 2011 at 9:15 AM

I am new to working as a freelancer, and I guess I will slowly adopt the suggestion given by you. Thanks for the same :)
Raj recently posted..How To Write A Good Blog Post: Tips To Help You Overcome Writing A Potentially Bad PostMy Profile


admin October 2, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Glad to help Raj!


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Thomas Gillis September 27, 2011 at 7:12 AM

great article, great ideas, found it from RT tweet, nicely written and organized.


admin September 27, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Thanks Thomas, glad you found it useful! :)


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Theresa Torres September 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Hi Smarta,
These are great ideas! We all need the extra income and both professionals and students can benefit from these.
I’m interested in copywriting. I’d like to be a better writer and that’s what I’ll be working on in the following months.
With hard work and determination, these businesses can be our way to financial freedom.
Thanks for sharing the list. Have a nice day!


admin October 2, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Hey Theresa, glad you enjoyed the post! :) Keep us updated on how your copy writing gig works out for ya.


Genie September 30, 2011 at 9:25 PM

In every entrepreneur there comes the challenge. Upon succeeding the needed accomplishment goals, there then can they say “Peanuts”.
Only applicable to established entrepreneurs who made it big time.
For those still struggling, good luck guys.


admin October 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

LOL.. well I guess peanuts is pretty subjective. :)


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JohnC October 6, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I’m trying to be the writer and I love photography as well. So I’ve turned them to a small personal business. Quite not good in the beginning but in business you just have to invest to get the fruit of your labor.


admin October 13, 2011 at 2:42 PM

That you do John! :)


k October 17, 2011 at 2:41 AM

Very interesting ideas here! Thanks for the tips.
k recently posted..5 Keys To Help You Get Traffic from TwitterMy Profile


karla November 2, 2011 at 5:16 AM

wow! This blog has a lot of very helpful tips and methods about business. Yes, Starting your own business can be quite challenging and exciting at the same time. That’s true. That’s why I always keep on asking myself if I am ready to enter the world of business. Thanks for this concept.


admin November 11, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Hey Karla… it’s probably best not to ask yourself if you’re ready and just dive in, if it’s something you really want. Otherwise you’re just giving yourself room to never move forward and make the leap.


Jenny Barron November 3, 2011 at 1:20 AM

Wow that’s quite a list! Some of those I’m engaged in now.. some I did very successfully for quite a bit of profit as a teenager. Some I’ve done in the in between. It’s amazing the ways I’ve made money outside of the actual jobs I’ve held.. and I never looked at my own list until today.

Very cool, Thanks a bunch! I’m passing this list along to a friend of mine who swears she can’t make a dime without a job. It’s hard but where there is a will, there is a way!



admin November 11, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Ha.. you know I have friends like that as well. Some people just aren’t built mentally to work for themselves and need the structure and illusion of stability a job provides. :) But if you’re motivated, there is no stopping you and I’ve found necessity breeds a ton of motivation, at least in my world! lol Glad you enjoyed the read and thanks for sharing the post.


Dennis November 3, 2011 at 3:55 AM

I think I can be a good Handyman and computer repair services. LOL. I enjoyed reading your post. Those are things I haven’t thought about that I can put into good use and earn money as well. Thanks!


admin November 11, 2011 at 2:00 PM

You’re welcome Dennis, glad you found the read useful!


Jeff November 4, 2011 at 12:41 AM

Hi Smarta,

We’ve been doing well in the festival food vending business for the last 2 years. Start up costs are low and you can add to it as you get more sales. Plus it’s all cash.



admin November 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

You know my fiance has talked about doing something like that in the past! He loves to cook, but he’s not sure he’d want to do it for a living. lol Takes the fun out of it. Festivals could be fun though, it wouldn’t feel quite so much like “work”.


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Nicole March 22, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Thanks for the part time business suggestions…and if it is really your passion, you can turn it into a fulltime business. Like the tutorial business…eventually you’ll have more students that you can handle and would soon be hiring other tutors to help you.


freelancer May 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Wow.. Great list! I am a freelancer and i started working as an affiliate marketer. I think it’s a great opportunity for a second job.I recently started reading your blog and i love it.. Keep up the good work! ;)
freelancer recently posted..SEO RequiredMy Profile


admin May 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Thanks, glad you’re enjoying BGB. :)


Nathan July 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I think the best option on this list is to be an app developer. You can do this from the comfort of your own home and if you know how to do promotion and SEO then your already ahead of the game.


Ed March 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM

Some of these are great ideas eg Dog Walker, etc… but some require years of training and professional equipment. A wedding photographer needs a top of the range camera, not a point and shoot. The need experience too. Likewise I wouldn’t hire a party planner who hadn’t been to hundred if not thousands of parties. If you want to do those things you need to work for someone else and learn from them before starting up on your own. The problem that I see these days is that everyone thinks they can do everyone else’s job which isn’t the case, and for special events such as weddings and parties, I think it’s best to spend a little more and hire a professional.


Cori March 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Hey Ed.. great points! I’d definitely not recommend starting up a business venture you have absolutely no experience in. :) TThe suggestions are based on the premise you already have some passion and skill in these areas. That said, the motivated individual I believe is more than capable of teaching themselves skills required to make any of these ideas a success. But it really takes true motivation and determination and even talent, if you are starting cold with no prior experience and want to build a name for yourself. Thanks for the great comment!


It Bari May 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I have started my career as a freelancer and I think writing is the best platform for part time job position. Happy to see your post. Thanks. :)


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