18 Best Part-Time Business Ideas in 2021


Not everyone who wants to start a business is looking for a full-time commitment. Whether you’re looking to supplement your income, pursue a passion, or start a side hustle to grow in the future, there are lots of part-time business ideas to get you started.

We’ll explore some of the best part-time business ideas out there, including both year-round and seasonal options. Keep reading to find the best part-time small business for you.

18 Easy and Lucrative Part-Time Business Ideas

As you consider these part-time business ideas, keep in mind how much time you have to devote to a new part-time venture as well as your skills and interests.

1. Landscaping and Yard Maintenance

Many people want to keep their landscaping looking beautiful, but don’t have the time or know-how to do it. A landscaping and yard maintenance business could be a good fit if you know a thing or two about gardening, or even are just very good at pushing a lawnmower.

This might especially be a consideration for business owners who operate seasonal companies during cold-weather months since having an additional source of income during the off-peak season can help your cash flow remain positive.

Learn more in our guide to starting a landscaping business.

2. Car Washing

Car washing is an easy business to get up and running. Although there are plenty of fancy car washes with complicated machinery, you can get the same job done the old-fashioned way with very little equipment.

An advantage of starting a car-washing business as a part-time hustle is that you can travel to your customers. Consider adding detailing services, such as interior cleaning or waxing, to offer more value.

Read more about how to start a car washing business here.

3. Outdoor Furniture Cleaning

Another great job for those looking for part-time employment during warm-weather months is cleaning outdoor furniture. While everyone enjoys outdoor dining and entertaining, few people consider the upkeep involved with outdoor furniture. 

You should be prepared to put in some elbow grease, but specializing in this niche could really pay off.

4. Tutoring

If you’re strong in a certain subject area, consider setting up a part-time business of tutoring. You can help children learn and grow while also stretching your intellectual muscles at the same time.

Consider marketing your business during important times, such as when students are preparing for major state or national exams such as the SAT or ACT.

Read our complete guide on how to start a tutoring business.

5. Cleaning and Organizing

You might not be Marie Kondo, but if you have a knack for organizing and cleaning, this could be the perfect part-time business idea for you. Don’t forget the before and after pictures to help showcase your skills to prospective clients.

Learn more about how to start a cleaning business.

6. Personal Shopping

Nowadays, you can outsource just about any task and that includes all of your shopping needs. From clothing to groceries, if you have a method of transportation, an eye for detail, and great customer service, you can make personal shopping into a successful part-time business.

7. Crafting

If crafting is a hobby for you, consider turning it into a part-time business. You can sell your goods and wares on platforms such as Etsy or ecommerce sites such as Shopify. For in-person options, check out your local farmers market or partner with a local business to display your goods in their store.

Check our list of craft business ideas and learn more about how to start a crafting business.

8. Dog Walking and Pet Services

A part-time business dog walking can be a good source of income—and if you do a great job, you might find yourself with lots of referrals, too. Consider adding extra services such as pet socializing, cleaning, or boarding. 

Read more in our guides on starting a dog walking business and a pet sitting business.

9. Handyperson or Repair Services

Have a knack for repairing things? You could become a part-time handyperson to help people with the work they need done around their homes. Additionally, if you have a specific skill for repairing specialized equipment or goods—say, watches or jewelry—this could be a unique and valuable service for many.

Learn about how to start a handyman business.

10. Virtual Assistant Services 

Becoming a part-time virtual assistant can be a strong consideration if you’re looking for a part-time business you can do from home. Virtual assistants help people accomplish tasks, manage their schedules, get organized, and more. 

Read about how to start a virtual assistant business.

11. Hauling Service

If you have a truck, you might want to consider advertising yourself as a hauling business. Not everyone has the resources to move larger items—a part-time hauling service can help you earn money for simply lifting and driving.

12. Food Sales

Many of the best consumer food brands started out as someone cooking in their kitchen. Even if going national isn’t on your mind, you may be able to create a profitable part-time business with food. Think baked goods, sauces, and more.

13. Personal Chef Services

Are you a great cook—or even a chef on the verge? Becoming a personal chef could be a fun and profitable part-time business. To create a point of difference, you might want to specialize in a type of food, such as vegetarian, vegan, or nutritious children’s food.

14. Logo and Website Design

If you have a graphic design background or simply know your way around design software, designing logos and websites for others can be a great part-time business idea. Build a portfolio of your work to help market your services.

15. Exercise Instruction

You may need to obtain certifications for this one, but becoming an exercise instructor is a great way to make money on the side. From yoga and Pilates to boxing or other group classes, there are plenty of options for this part-time business. You may also choose to become a personal trainer and work one-on-one with clients. 

16. Social Media Management

If you’re savvy with social media, you might want to start a part-time business helping small business owners and other interested parties manage their social media accounts. With so many platforms out there, you have plenty of opportunities to provide a much-needed service.

17. Property Rental

Whether you have an extra room in your home or a vacation property you don’t often use, consider renting out your extra space to eager travelers. Consider adding some extras, such as hosting local tours or scheduling activities unique to your area.

18. Notary Services

Becoming a notary isn’t difficult—there’s a small investment, and you’ll have to pass a certification test—but once you have the license, you can provide a service that many are looking for. This simple part-time business idea requires little effort but can create a decent side income. 

What to Know About Starting a Part-Time Business

There are a few important things to consider when you’re starting a part-time business. As you consider the above list of part-time business ideas, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a special skill that you can market?
  • Are you looking for work during a certain season or year-round?
  • Do you need special equipment, and are you willing to invest in it?
  • Do you like interacting with people, or do you prefer to be independent?
  • Are you hoping to be wholly independent, or would you like to work within the infrastructure of another company or use an existing platform?

Of course, these aren’t all of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself, but they can provide a great jumping-off point to help you choose the right part-time business idea for you.

Additionally, one other consideration is your business name. Some part-time businesses will benefit from having a great name—it can signal what products or services you provide, and give your business an identity.

Considering Your Business Entity

There’s one slightly more technical piece to consider as you’re starting your part-time business—your business entity.

You may not think that a part-time business needs to be legally registered; however, it’s worth at least checking out your options. You may decide a sole proprietorship is best, in which case, you won’t need to register with your state.

However, if your part-time business opens you up to the possibility of being sued or you’re making significant money that you need to separate for tax purposes, you may want to consider an LLC.

If you want to open a business bank account or credit card to help separate your personal and business finances, you should also consider obtaining an EIN for your business. This can be done for free through the IRS website

The Bottom Line

Even if your perfect part-time business idea isn’t on this list, hopefully you’ll be inspired to create something that’s just right for you. Don’t forget to keep your business model and services flexible so you can optimize your services and make the most money. No matter how much extra money you generate, remember that in an uncertain economy, it’s great to have a side hustle that can help generate income for you.

Christine Aebischer

Christine Aebischer is an editor at JustBusiness and Fundera.

Previously, Christine was an editor at the financial planning startup LearnVest and its parent company, Northwestern Mutual. There she wrote and edited on topics such as debt, budgeting, insurance, taxes, investing, and retirement. She has written for print and online on topics ranging from personal finance to luxury real estate.

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