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40 Part Time Business Ideas – There’s No Excuse For Not Starting Today!


Thinking of making the leap to working for yourself? Listed below, you’ll find 40 ideas that are very workable part-time. These are just to get you thinking about the range of possibilities. What’s yours going to be?

There’s never been a better time to get going. You just have to start. Starting on a part-time basis has many pluses and there is a huge variety of low cost options.

What we are trying to say is don’t wait around forever hoping some unmissable so-called opportunity comes along. You know what they say. Fortune favours the brave. All you have to do is plan what you’re going to do. Then find your first paying customer. That’s the scary part.

Of course if it’s a part-time opportunity you’re after it has to have certain characteristics. If you’re already cramming a job or family into your schedule, perhaps this is all you can manage. Or maybe it’s a question of courage? Or money? Opting to start part-time can be the pragmatic option if you already have a job. Whatever your reasoning, here are some options to get you started. Most require little by way of upfront investment. Some do. You may have to buy tools, a laptop or a subscription. No big deal. Perhaps you can be creative enough to find a workaround.

There’s lots more to come. But here’s a few options to fire you up!

1. Bookkeeper

A great part-time idea if you enjoy working with figures. Note that from 2008 you need a practice certificate with a recognised body such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales or you need to register with HMRC for money laundering purposes. Get friendly advice at Accounting Web.

2. Home Catering

Before you cook or bake anything, if you’re basing yourself at home you need to find out about which regulations apply to your business. You don’t need to cater for large events. If cakes are your thing, contact local tea rooms and cafe’s or even delis. Good resource to get you started is here.

3. Personal Chef

If you’re not based in London you may find it hard to find your footing. It’s worth getting a qualification which will give you instant credibility. Cordon Bleu has been the standard setter for years. Find out more here.

4. Resume Writer

Many of the most successful CV writing firms specialise in a sector or function. So if your own background is in marketing you may want to stick with that and advertise in the marketing magazines and forums. Get an overview here.

5. Candle Making

This is a popular option. Don’t feel you have to sell direct to the public. Quality candles can be sold to retail outlets. As its a popular part time business your costs are critical. Get an overview here.

6. Semi-Professional Blogger

You don’t have to build blogs and wait for the traffic to come. Get paid to write other people’s blogs if you don’t want to write your own. Find out more about becoming a ghost blogwriter. Blogging is very flexible time wise so its easy to work on part-time.

7. Travel Writer

You must treat this like a proper business. Don’t just think about getting published in travel magazines. Your best bet is to focus on magazines / newspapers that have a travel section. There’s much more of them. Find out how a pro did it.

8. Functional Business Consultant

Had a career in marketing or another business function? If you’ve worked for large businesses or an agency why not pass your expertise on? If you control the number of clients you take on their is no reason why you can’t do this part time. Find out more about starting a consultancy business. Can be done part time, but don’t under estimate how difficult it can be to manage demanding clients who may not take ‘part-time’ seriously.

9. Carpet Cleaner

It’s not cutting edge but it can give you a dependable income. Put your business card through letter boxes and contact estate and letting agents. Whether people are trying to sell their house or attract tenants, people realise cleaning the carpets makes a property more attractive.
Find out more.

10. Trade Collectables

Are you a collector? Or do you have a good eye for what people would like to see in their home? Think about trading collectables. The choice is vast. Choose something you have a personal interest in. Collectables still do well on ebay or rent space in an existing shop selling complementary goods. Find out more.

11.Typing and Transcription Service

Everyone has a computer these days so why offer a typing service? Whether its a university project or a tenancy agreement you’d be surprised how many people need something professional typed. A small website should do the trick. Find out more.

12. Cat or Dog Sitter

Are you a pet owner? Why not look after other peoples? Not to be confused with house sitting. Pet sitters need a plausible CV and should be CRB checked. Get business cards printed up and leave them in local vets’ surgeries. Useful resource – National Association of Registered Petsitters.

13. Window Cleaner

This business is also about hard graft..in all weathers. But if you want to be your own boss and like the outdoors it could be for you. It can take a long time to build up a client base that will support you but perseverance pays off. Great resource.

14. Sewing Business

For many people there is trend to “make do” whether it’s curtains or frocks . Capitalise on this by offering a service adjusting ebay purchases, ball gowns, curtains, you name it. Fewer people have decent sewing skills these days. Useful sewing business resource.

15. Consignment Clothing

Take other people’s clothes and sell them for a percentage. Many companies now use ebay. You’ll need to be up to speed on how to write up items on ebay to achieve the best possible price. Useful article here.

16. Clothes Designer/Recycler

Have you been styling your own clothes for years? If you have talent and confidence create your own designs selling on etsy and eBay. Design with a particular market in mind i.e. over 40s and decide what your niche will be i.e. recycled fabric, silks etc Read this.

17. Ironing

Ironing businesses have stood the test of time. Promote your business by dropping leaflets or cards through letter boxes but pick your target area carefully. Streets of student flats are unlikely t yield results. Get information here.

18. Home Cleaner

Many cleaners get hacked off working for agencies. Get more control running your own part time business. Add specialist services as your confidence grows. Get cards printed and put them through letter boxes or contact related business. Useful overview.

19. Personal Shopper

There’s more to personal shopping than you may think. It helps if you can leverage your social connections. Not sure where to start? Use a personal shopping service to get some insights. Traditionally a city based business your customers can be based anywhere. Useful US overview.

20. Property Sourcing

Interested in property? Why not act as a property finder or agent for other people? There are many websites who claim to do this, but fewer people work with estate agents. Example business here. It’s a business that may only take an hour a day. That’s very part-time!

21. Painter Decorator

Many painter decorators get their business word of mouth. You just need a couple of jobs to get started. Be prepared to offer advice on paints, colours and finishes or thinking about some type of specialisation. Read this.

22. Joiner

More people are deciding to stay put rather than sell. A joiner has the ability to transform a room adding storage or features. Get a card printed up and contact local decorators to get started. Interesting information here.

23. Handyman Service

If your good at DIY then this might be an opportunity for you. You will need a reasonable selection of tools and think about how you will get work. Gumtree may not be the answer because the quality of clients can be poor. Overview here.

24. Oven Cleaning

You know the old saying where there is muck there is brass. This task is so hated that a number of specialists have sprung up. Could you be one? Useful information here.

25. Gardening / Garden clearance

Some gardening companies specialise in garden design. But you don’t have to. There regular work in harden tidy ups and clearances. Put cards through doors offering your services and speak to letting agents. Great resource here.

26. Proof Reader/Copy Editor

Whether your skills are in proof reading or copy editing or both, not everyone who writes has these skills. Advertise your services on freelancing websites and create your own website! Useful information here.

27. Virtual Assistant

Start your own Virtual Assistant business or join an agency. Choose from office and administration work or other project work. Contact UK Association of Virtual Assistants

28. Tour Guide

Live in a beautiful place you know well? Be a tour guide. No bus required. Travel is now skewed towards offering an individual travel experience. Think of a niche or angle and advertise your services on independent travel forums. Get a leaflet printed up and get it into tourist offices. Useful toolkit here.

29. Vintage Clothes Trader

Buy clothes in bulk at vintage fairs to start with. Create a business with personality and set up a Facebook page. Build up a local community of vintage lovers and offer your finds to them. Useful discussion on starting up.

30. Jewellery Maker

There are many niche jewellery businesses. Whether you like to work with beads, silver , or recycled materials! You can sell on etsy and eBay but develop a brand to keep your prices above a level where you can make money. Think of holding a jewellery part to get your friends marketing for you. Great resource here although US based.

31. Dog Walker

The demands placed on dog walkers have changed in recent years and as a result it’s a well paid business opportunity even if you decide to do it part time. A dog friendly CV is a must. Find dog walker resources here.Put a business card in vets surgeries.

32. Cat or Dog Groomer

Some cat and dog groomers operate out of their home – it’s the perfect way to start part time. The alternative is to rent a chair in an existing salon. Find out more here.

33. eBay Business

eBay is still a viable business opportunity if you can find the right products and present them well – which is at least half the battle. Many eBay operators drop ship so are not holding stock. Read up the steps involved in starting.

34. Event Organiser/Planner

These days events are more about the experience than the venue. This one’s not for wallflowers. A passion for detail and an outgoing personality go along way as will a hands on outlook. Find out more about organising events.

35. Rental Agent

The key to making this a part time business is to getting your systems set up. This means outsourcing everything including answering out of hours calls. You don’t need qualifications but councils and landlord associations run short, useful courses. A useful resource for starting a lettings business.

36. Owner-Driver Courier

As long as you’re not working for one of the large delivery companies you can work your own ours as a courier so it makes a workable business to fit around your schedule. Find courier work here.

37. Photography

These days your not stuck with family portraits. The internet has given photographers a new lease of life. Build up a portfolio of stock photography. You’ll need to think in terms of hundreds of photos (maybe more!) to build up a chunky income stream. Don’t forget that the stock photo websites take a commission. Here’s the biggest stock photo site.

38. Private Tutor

Your choice of subject however will usually be your own degree topic but surprisingly you don’t need to be teacher. You’re more likely to be tutoring children in their own home. Be CRB checked and learn your chosen curriculum. Useful links for would-be tutors here.

39. Home Office Support

Comfortable with setting up PCs and home networks? Set up a home business support business. Market yourself online and through other businesses geared to servicing home businesses. See how someone else does it here.

40. Interior Designer

Using an interior designer is no longer just the remit of the wealthy. The downturn in the housing market means everyone wants their house to look as good as possible. Often this means updating but interior designers have learned to go with the flow. Find out more about careers in interior design.

There’s bound to be something out there that’s right for you. Looking to reduce the risk? Consider a franchise. We are here to help.

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