That daytime job of yours may be terrific. But there’s one thing that is far more rewarding and meaningful than good pay and benefits: being your own boss.
Still, think carefully before choosing to go down the entrepreneurial path; it carries a lot more risk than punching in for your daily 9-to-5, and it requires a lot more sacrifice and hard work. However, once you’re finally reaping the benefits of owning your own business and hustling your way to more money, the sweat and tears you invested will have all been worth it.
Nor do you have to quit your day job in order to get started: five o’clock may mean happy hour or video games for some, but for a growing number of professionals, it means shutting down the computer at the office and firing up that business at home.
So, if you’re game, you next have to select what kind of business you want to start. Which type is right for you? Here are 10 great ideas you can build from:
1. Think ‘food first.’
A great way to succeed with a business or product is to fill a need, and everyone needs (and likes) to eat. If you love to cook and have access to a kitchen, you’re halfway there. Shelf-stable products, candy, jerky, baked goods: You’re only limited by what you choose. Find a food you’re passionate about, or a recipe that brings you raves, and run with it.
If food is your passion, there’s a way to make it a business.
2. Sell what you know.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into an ebook for people seeking to learn a skill or build their career can be highly profitable if you have a strong value proposition and know your target audience.
If you’re an expert on any topic, there’s likely an audience of people willing to pay to learn what you know. If your expertise does not lend itself to ebook form, you might also create and share online courses. Either way, once you create the digital content, you can continue to sell it over and over again. There’s no inventory threshold or manufacturing cost.
No worries if you’re not tech savvy, either; that’s what services like Udemy.com are for. You can set up online courses quickly and start turning over a regular side income while adding new materials in the evenings when you’re free. It’s a smart start to a consultancy business further down the road.
3. Entertain and educate.
Podcasting is another terrific way to use an hour or three in the evening to build a regular audience around a specific topic of industry. Build your audience enough and you can start to pick up show sponsors that will pay for product discussions or short advertising spots.
If you want to hear examples of great podcasts to get a little inspiration, check out my list of must-listen podcast episodes for entrepreneurs.
There’s a small investment in equipment, but hosting a podcast online is free. Once you have it set up, you can start sharing it and pushing the RSS out to Google Play and iTunes, to build traction.