9 Affordable Part-Time Home Business Ideas You Can Start Now

Grow Your Dream Business While You Keep Your Day Job

Whether your goal is to make extra income on the side or to retain job security by moonlighting before working at home full-time, a part-time business can allow you to achieve both. However, not all home businesses are flexible enough to be done around a job and other obligations. Below, you'll find nine ideas that can be started fairly quickly and affordably, and built around a job. Further, they can grow into full-time career  or be maintained at a part-time level depending on your goals.

Updated November 2017 by Leslie Truex


Woman teaching mature and senior women at desk with computers, smiling
Ableimages/Photodisc/Getty Images

There was a time when tutoring required in-person visits either at the student or tutor's home. While that can still be done, technology now allows tutoring to be done online via video conferencing. Tutoring over the Internet offers more flexibility than traditional methods because there's no commuting to clients' homes which can save time and  ​travel expenses. Further, you can work with people across time zones which allows to reach more people.

There are many types of tutoring, such as computer tutoring, academic tutoring for all ages from elementary to college students, SAT tutoring, and even language tutoring whereby you help foreign business people learn English. 

You can grow the business by recruiting and managing other tutors, plus you can add additional income streams to a tutoring business by creating online courses or writing books


Photography is one of the Top Hobbies that can be a Home Business - Photo by Stockbyte
Photography is one of the Top Hobbies that can be a Home Business. Stockbyte

Getting paid to take pictures is a great way to turn a photography hobby into a home business. If allowed by the zoning laws in your area, you can run a portrait studio from your home, taking pictures of families, grads, and even pets

Or consider photographing events, such as weddings. A wedding photographer can make approximately $2,600 for a $20,000 wedding. And, because weddings are almost exclusively held on the weekends, this is a home business you can start part-time while you build your portfolio.

Finally, you can sell your photographs online through sites like Shutterstock and iStockphoto More


Start Your Own Profitable eBay Store. Allison Michael Orenstein | Getty Images

eBay is one of the few businesses that you can start with no financial investment and get paid within a week. You can get started by selling the unused and unwanted items around your house, and use those profits to invest in inventory based on what you learn sells well. 

Or, if you're already successful as an eBay seller, you can help others sell their items for a profit as an eBay Trading Assistant. As an eBay Trading Assistant, you'll usually have to go to client's homes or businesses to photograph and pick up items, and then list and sell them for a percentage of the sale. 

Don't feel you're limited to eBay. There are many other places you can sell used items online such as books, clothes, electronics, jewelry, and more.  More

Information Products

Teach Others through Information Products
Teach and share your knowledge through information products. Credit: akinbostanci | Getty Images

Everyone has knowledge about something others would pay to know. If you can compile that information into a product, you can sell it. Information products come in many forms such as books and courses and can be delivered in either tangible (i.e. print book) or digital formats (i.e. ebook).

Information products offers several great advantages, including it's extremely flexible, it's affordable and easy to start, and it generates passive income. Further, information products are easy to do alongside a job or to add as an additional income stream to an existing business. More

Affiliate Marketing

online shopping, affiliate marketing
Get paid to sell other business products and services. Credit: Mbortolino | Getty Images

If the idea of creating a product or service is daunting, affiliate marketing could be the solution for you. In affiliate marketing you make money online by selling other businesses' products and services. Affiliate marketing combines word-of-mouth marketing with commission sales. 

Affiliate marketing isn't only flexible enough to do part-time around a job, but also, it's flexible on how you can promote your products. Most successful affiliate marketers use a blog, but some entrepreneurs have a single squeeze page website where they build an email list and market to subscribers.

Affiliate marketing is an income stream that can be added to other home businesses as well. For example, as a tutor, you might recommend your clients get a specific book or educational materials using an affiliate link to direct them to buy it. If you make YouTube videos or information products, you can include affiliate links in them.  More


Writing Home Busines
Turn your creative ideas into sellable books. Credit: Yulkapopkova | Getty Images

One of the great advantages of writing, aside from its complete flexibility, is that there are so many types of writing you can do. You can become a:

You can focus on one type of writing, or you can do several. For example, you can have your own blog plus offer freelance writing services.  More


Craft Business Idea
Sell your home made crafts. Credit: Masko | Getty Images

Are you creative? Why not turn your artistic talent into part-time income? If you make crafty items, you can sell them on Etsy or through craft fairs and bazaars on the weekends.

Other creative and artistic endeavors you can consider include jewelry, faux painting, interior design, and home staging. More

Social Media Manager

social media
Help others manage social media.

Do you enjoy tweeting, sharing, and posting on Instagram? Can you reach and engage people on a range of social networks? If so, you might be a good candidate for social media manager. Social media managers develop social media plans, and then they create and schedule social media campaigns for businesses and entrepreneurs. 

Along with creating social media posts, a social media manager might also be in charge of moderating social media profiles to provide customer service, encourage interaction with the company's market, and screen out trolls, as well as working to build followers.

To be successful, you need to know how to use social media for marketing without annoying or offending the businesses' markets. It can also help to know how to create shareable graphics as they attract more response than plain text posts.  More

Direct Sales

Direct Sales Defined and Explained.
Direct Sales is a viable home business option for those who do their research and the work. Credit: Steve Debenport | Getty Images

There's a lot of misinformation about direct sales, but if you do your research and pick a company with a product/service and marketing plan you can get behind, direct sales is a fast, affordable, and flexible way to start a home business.The advantages of direct sales over starting a business from scratch include:

  • Ready-made product or service
  • Existing marketing plan
  • Mentorship and training through a sponsor
  • Affordable to start (many can be started for under $100 or less)

It is important to do your research when choosing a direct sales compnay to avoid scams and duds. But if you find a product and company you like, and treat direct sales as the business it is, you can have success. More

Building Part-Time Income

You're not limited to these nine home business ideas. The truth is, many home businesses offer flexibility to be built part-time. One of the great advantages of home business is that you're the boss, so you work how much or how little you want. With that said, building a livable income on a part-time business can be a challenge without planning and prioritizing.