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5 businesses you can start and run part-time

October 3, 2011

Running a part-time business alongside your regular job doesn’t have to be a load of hassle or massively time consuming.

Earning a second income can be achieved with just a few hours work every week – and it’s a great way to supplement your current living

There are many reasons why you might want to run your own part-time business whilst you still work full-time elsewhere.

It may be purely to increase your income. But for many people it is more than just financial reasons. Perhaps to be free from the restrictions imposed by their other job; get their creative juices flowing; or discover a new challenge. Starting a business part-time can also reduce the risk of establishing your own business as you still have your main income should it fail.

So if you’re interested in setting up a part-time business on the side, start now. Look out for business trends and opportunities that you can make you own, business ideas that you can downsize or localise, or simply take someone else’s business model and copy it.

Here are Bytestart’s 5 suggestions of businesses you can start and run part-time.

Personal services

Do you have a skill or a qualification that can help someone else? A passion that you can pass on to others? Whether it’s something simple such as dog walking or running errands, or applying your professional expertise to helping people with their tax returns, your skills could be in demand.

You may even be able to apply your expertise as a private tutor, helping people of all ages with education, music or languages. All these fantastic jobs can be easily established as a part-time business outside of normal working hours. You should aim to take on a number of clients so your business is not over reliant on one or two people.

Business writing and services

If your skill lies in putting words on paper, then there are a number of opportunities open to you. You may wonder why something so trivial would be in demand, but professional writing is an easy skill to learn and a hard one to master.

Some people have great business minds and ideas, but find it difficult to professionally articulate themselves in writing. Too many businesses lose out on contracts and clients because they don’t know how to communicate their message in the written form.

Businesses need good writers within their organisations – whether they are internal, contracted, or like you could be, freelance. Work can include marketing material, web content, business documentation, company brochures, proposals and grant applications – almost anything that requires a writer. And the earnings can also be very rewarding for just a few hours’ work a week.

Outdoor recreation work

If you have a passion for backpacking, rock climbing or water sports, then why not pass it on to others?

Due to the potential risks often associated with outdoor recreation, and the perceived costs and nature of the equipment, people are often happy to pay a reasonable fee for expert assistance.

Furthermore, people like to pay for someone else’s expertise and knowledge. So if you’re a rambler with superb and unique local knowledge, become a tour guide. Or if you have an interest in photographing the wild, why not teach other people how to get equally great photos? If the costs are low for you, then you don’t have to charge much, allowing for the potential to generate an extra income from helping a number of clients at the same time.

Culinary services

If you have ever watched Come Dine With Me on Channel 4, you will understand the appeal of hosting your own dinner party. The only trouble is that some people just aren’t very good at it! Whether it is creating a masterpiece three-course dinner, or perfecting the ambiance with a relaxed mood, followed by engaging post-meal entertainment, not everyone can get it right.

With staying in being the new going out, dinner parties are making a huge comeback. If you have the culinary skills and the ideas to produce great dinner parties, then you’re in demand. If doing all this seems a little daunting, hiring yourself out to assist people with creating their dinner parties rather than doing it all for them is a further option, as is hiring yourself out as a personal chef or nutritionist.

Alternative health care services

How often have you thought about having a massage to sort out all those niggling back and neck pains? Or heard from friends who visit massage and reflexology therapists to cope with stress?

You can learn these alternative health care services and gain relevant qualifications at evening classes, so this will not affect your full-time occupation. There are numerous therapists whose full-time careers lie elsewhere, but work from home in the evenings to earn extra cash.

If massage and reflexology don’t appeal to you, other alternative health care services such as acupuncture and yoga, or going down the organic food route to attend to the health conscious are popular business models.