15 Easy-to-Start Small Businesses That Could Elevate Your Income

Starting a small business can be life-changing, and these ventures typically require less effort to begin.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Small businesses and side hustles have become a lifeline for millions of workers in an uncertain economy. With layoffs increasing and a recession possibly on the way, many people are looking to make extra cash by creating their own ventures.

Starting a small business can be challenging, but some typically don’t take as much effort to start. If you want to start a business quickly, consider the following avenues.

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Freelance writing

Sergey Nivens/Adobe creative inspiration

If you already have a strong background in content and marketing, use your writing skills to create content for clients. This might include blogs, articles, and product descriptions.

Companies are always looking for freelance writers to fill in content gaps. It’s a cost-saver for companies to hire you rather than bringing on a full-time employee, and it’s more money in your bank account.

Personal training

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe personal trainer with clipboard doing thumb up gesture

Are you passionate about fitness? If so, help clients reach fitness goals by providing workout plans and one-on-one training sessions.

Typically, you will need a certification to work as a personal trainer. Once you get it, tell friends and family about your new gig and post about it on social media accounts. Word of mouth can be a big help in getting you started.

Cleaning services

Friends Stock/Adobe cleaning lady wearing protective gloves

Cleaning can be a nuisance for some, while others find it satisfying. If the latter describes you, make cash by cleaning homes and offices.

Offer services such as dusting, vacuuming, and sanitizing. Post about your availability on platforms like Craigslist so people in your area can reach out to you.

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Lawn care services

Dmytro/Adobe Green grass treeming with lawn mower

Lawn care services are a necessity, either year-round in warmer regions or seasonally in other places. If you’re already in charge of lawn care for your property, why not also maintain the lawns and gardens of your neighbors?

This can include mowing, trimming, and fertilizing. Place a sign on your front lawn after it’s freshly cut, letting your neighbors know that you’re available to do the same for them.


Lumos sp/Adobe mother teaching son high five

If you have a knack for teaching, explaining, and mentoring, consider tutoring students in a variety of subjects, either in person or online.

You might get a boost by specializing in particular subject areas. Post your services in colleges and parent Facebook groups in your area.

Personal chef

Syda Productions/Adobe happy friends and male chef cooking in kitchen

Those who have fun in the kitchen and enjoy whipping up a new meal might want to consider cooking and preparing meals for clients in their homes.

Simply post about your passion for cooking on social media accounts and let those around you know that you’re available to cook.

Event planning

Ochoarti/Adobe male event organizer

If friends and loved ones constantly look to you to be “the planner,” consider using that talent to make money as an event planner.

Plan and execute events, such as weddings, corporate gatherings, and parties. To get started, you might want to offer to plan an event for someone you know at no cost. Then ask them to spread the word to others about the job you did.


deagreez/Adobe photographer cheking photos on a digital camera

Are you a photography savant? Take that skill and turn it into some extra cash by taking and editing photos for clients. Try family portraits, wedding photos, and product images.

It helps to create a website to display your best photography. From there, people can find you on the web.

Social media management

kues1/Adobe young bearded man holding a social media like banner

Social media gurus can consider helping local businesses and individuals manage their social media accounts by creating content and engaging with followers.

Check out the websites of local businesses and individuals near you. If you think their social media presence needs attention, give them a call to pitch your services.

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Graphic design

NicoElNino/Adobe designer team sketching a logo in digital design studio

Graphic and visual design have become increasingly important in an age of visual media. If you’re crafty with photo editing, logo creation, website design, and the like, consider taking these skills and making money for yourself.

Create visual designs of all kinds for businesses and individuals. Similar to photography, it’s best to build a website showcasing some of your own graphic design work to drum up interest with potential clients.


Nomad_Soul/Adobe young female bookkeeper considers on calculator

Provide accounting and financial services, such as tax preparation and payroll management, for small businesses and individuals.

This is a service that is usually in demand, even during a slowing economy.

Handyman services

Friends Stock/Adobe handyman setting new sockets

If you are handy, consider offering general repair and maintenance services, such as fixing leaky faucets, installing appliances, and painting walls.

This is a service where the word gets around, leading to many referrals if you do a good job.


deniskomarov/Adobe woman grows potted plants at home

House sitters live in or check in on someone's property while the owner is away from home. Tasks might include collecting mail, watering plants, and ensuring home security.

Not only will you get to change up your everyday environment for a time, but you’ll also earn money in the process.

Personal shopping

Prostock-studio/Adobe african american stylist choosing clothing for client in showroom

Personal shoppers help clients select and purchase clothing, gifts, and other items.

Many people will gladly pay for this service because they’re looking for a sounding board or a second opinion while making purchases for themselves or others.

Pet care services

adogslifephoto/Adobe adult female watching tv with dogs on sofa

Are you a pet lover? Providing services such as pet-sitting, dog-walking, and grooming for other pet owners can help you boost your bank account.

It might be best to start with word of mouth — people who know and trust you are more likely to hire you for pet care. Then, those same individuals can be your references for future clients.

Bottom line

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe girl with blonde hair using dj mixer in nightclub

There are so many ways you can take a skill you already have and translate it into a small business. Creating a small business of your own can give you the freedom and flexibility to work when and where you want.

While the state of the economy remains murky, your entrepreneurial and small business efforts don’t have to be. You might even make enough money to retire early down the line.

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Author Details

Adam Palasciano

Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.