4 business ideas for newbies

A head start on your hustle.

If it seems like everyone you know has some sort of side hustle going on, you wouldn’t be wrong. In 2021, Etsy reported hosting 5.3 million sellers on its massive marketplace—almost a million more than it counted in 2020. And freelancing site Fiverr has seen registrations double over the last two years. A spokesperson from the online marketplace Sidekick that services rather than goods have become popular on its site, especially in the data, digital marketing, graphic design, and programming and tech areas.

When diving into the world of side hustles, the most difficult part of the process can be deciding where to start. Sidekick has put together four suggestions to inspire you to take the next step:

  • Craft-making: One of the most common types of businesses you’ll find on marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify. Selling crafts is a great option if you have an original product idea and you’re proficient at using social media to market your products. Pros: A great option for artists and artisans with standout products. Cons: Can require a sizable financial investment upfront. Sellers may end up stuck with supplies and materials as they wait to sell, and standing out on seller platforms can be difficult. Where to start: The Small Business Administration’s six-lesson online course, which shares tips on planning, marketing, and growing your business.
  • Creating and selling digital products: Covering everything from resume and cover letter templates to e-books, the digital product market is a great place to start if you’re well-versed in creative platforms such as Photoshop. Pros: Can become a great source of passive income after your original time investment. Cons: Requires subscriptions to programs such as Canva and Photoshop; may take a great deal of time and effort to develop a sellable product. Where to start: Shopify’s guide to the best-selling digital products includes tips on marketing, and if you’re searching for more product ideas, this article offers 17.
  • Writing: Many companies are on the lookout for skilled writers to help market their brands, especially on social media platforms. If you have a pinchant for writing, you may want to consider picking up some freelance work. Pros: Open market for different kinds of writing, and low to no financial investment. Cons: can be time-consuming; Some may find it difficult to find consistent work, and it may take longer to receive payment. Where to start: The Writers’ Co-op, which is run by two successful freelance writers, hosts workshops, coaching sessions, and even a podcast filled with gems on how to build a successful freelance writing business. Sonia Weiser’s Opportunities of the Week newsletter offers a great place to find clients and gigs.
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  • Teaching online courses: If you’re struggling to come up with your next big product idea, you may want to consider starting with your existing skill set. Everyone has at least one or two areas of expertise; teaching languages ​​(especially English) can become a lucrative side hustle. Pros: Low initial investment; doesn’t necessarily require special skills or knowledge. Cons: Will be subject to fees and rules on the course platforms. Where to start: Language teaching platform Italki allows instructors to set their own rates and availability—start here if you’re interested. And for more teaching platforms, read this Zapier article.—MW

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