Successful Side Business Ideas to Get Started With in 2016

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As entrepreneurs, we are frightened at the possibility of ever having to work for someone else again. Money is always a thought – how to make money, how to keep from running out of money, how to invest our money. A side business can ease some of your worst fears and be the gateway to fulfill some of your grandest goals. 


Starting a side business can be vital for you to keep pursuing your passions without having to take up a part-time job.

Why a side business?

Side businesses typically:

  • take less money to start (sometimes no money at all)
  • allow for more flexibility of your time
  • relatively low risk
  • can transition into passive income

If the business gets too big to manage, you can always sell it or hire someone else to handle it.

After ten weeks of diligent research, I’ve compiled the top five successful small businesses to start in 2016 that don’t require too much of your time.


Idea #1 Selling Teespring designs

I’m sure you’ve seen Teespring t-shirt ads on your facebook feed before.

When it comes to selling Teespring shirts as a side business, don’t think too hard about your design. Focus on a specific niche of people who are willing to spend money on something they’re passionate about. Create a simple, easy to wear design that can be paired with a pair of jeans and sell to that target of people.

Teespring works best when paired with Facebook Ads, but the most you’ll waste on an ad that doesn’t work is $10-$20. If people aren’t buying your shirt after $10 spent, it’s okay to scrap the idea.

Profit: A Simple Guide To Making Money With Teespring 

Finding one campaign that works can bring in thousands of dollars a month which pales in comparison to the $20 you had to spend on advertising.

Lewis at Cloud Income made over $400 in one week after creating an ad campaign and letting it do its thing. He spent absolutely no time revamping his ad.

Note: The Penny Hoarder has some great suggestions about how to make money with Teespring.

Idea #2 Create a children’s app

App creation is a great idea for someone who wants to start a side business that can transform into a nice cushion of passive income. People typically don’t like paying for generic apps unless it’s a brand they trust, has a ton of reviews or it has some incredibly unique features. Children, however, can care less.

I’m a mother and the availability of children’s apps that have all the desired features are scarce. Features such as child’s lock (preventing kids from pushing buttons and leaving the game/app) are entirely too rare.

Not to mention, it’s easier for a child to convince their parent to buy something on their phone than it is to convince them to buy something online.

It’s more convenient purchasing from the app store because their credit card information is already stored.

Build A Mobile App Business With No Technical Background

Parents tend to give kids their phones when they need to keep busy. Turns out, it’s easier to just pay the small fee to stop them from whining than to go through the process of telling them no. Even Kanye ranted about his 2-year-old daughter, North, racking up charges from children’s apps.

Something else you may want to consider -creating  a picture editing app that has pre-made templates (similar to canva) for adding text and filters.

Now more than ever, entrepreneurs are moving their small businesses online and branding on social media sites like Instagram.

These entrepreneurs (raises hand) would be willing to pay for an app where they can brand pictures with their business logo and upload it straight to social media.

If you decide to make an app for side business profits, make sure it’s something there is already a demand for. Don’t try to make something super unique, just recycle an idea and add a feature to it that you feel is missing. To get an idea of what customers would want, read the reviews. Most people say “If you add ______, I’ll give it 5 stars.”

Stay away from games. The competition is far too great and the marketing alone would take up too much of your time.

Idea #3 Do easy and fun tasks on fiverr

Fiverr is a great place to start your journey as an entrepreneur and many people are using it as a platform for their side businesses. Don’t be so quick to think you don’t have the right skills to succeed on Fiverr.

Carrie is a top seller who’s made at least $10,000 on Fiverr and one of her services is writing a handwritten letter and sending it by snail mail.

You’d be surprised at what people are willing to pay for. I’d say Fiverr is less about what kind of skills you have, and more about what kind of time do you have available to do the gigs. There are a ton of guides offering some pretty solid advice on how to make money from Fiverr:

Fiverr Autopilot: How to Make Money on Fiverr the Smart Way (Fiverr Marketing Success Secrets)

Idea #4 Help people manifest their dreams as a life coach

You found your way here, so you’re already taking the right steps towards entrepreneurial success.

Most people can’t even find the motivation to start planning their dream.  They don’t have the inspiration, they don’t trust themselves to make good decisions and they desperately want to make some changes in their life. This is where you come in.

With the increase of technology, people are overwhelmed by too much noise. A life coach helps them filter out that noise. They want happiness and fulfillment, or maybe they want to get serious and take action to achieve their goals.

As a life coach, your job is to motivate, inspire, and demand results. You have to be passionate about helping people and … well, you have to be good with handling people.

Find a special and unique way to motivate people and start that as one of your side businesses. People are willing to pay top dollar for a little hope.

As a life coach, you can make money showing people their strengths and helping them to build on their weaknesses.

I help people all day long and, although I’m not a life coach, I can vouch that it’s one of the most rewarding feelings you’ll ever experience. I especially love checking back in with the budding entrepreneurs I’ve guided in the past to make sure they stay the course and to congratulate them on their successes.

Life coaches start at a base pricing of $160 per hour 

Idea #5 Teach other people how to rock like you do

Profitable side businesses don’t have to be a physical or digital product. You don’t even have to know how to use the computer! You can start making money today, right in your local community.

This business idea is less like teaching and more like a mini seminar. You can offer classes at your local library or community center on something you’re skilled at. If you want to keep it simple (and more profitable), teach something you know and use every day such as Microsoft Office, a craft you’re good at, maybe even something that has to do with your business.

For example, if you sell cameras, you can teach a class on how to best utilize the settings on a DSLR to take the pictures you want. You wouldn’t believe how many people just set their cameras to auto then complain about the crappy pictures they get (and write bad reviews on the camera tsk tsk).

You can host your class for an hour a week and make on average of $400 per class (15 students/$25 per class). This is an additional income of $1600 a month. The great thing about teaching a local class is that you get to establish your brand locally which is great for booking speaking engagements.

Psst.. here’s a tip: You can setup a members-only page on your site where you keep a set of downloads your students can access for a low price (I suggest $5). This is another great way to get them to your site without sounding salesy.

Continuing with the example above, you’d set up a page on your site where you sell step by step tutorials to achieve different types of images by learning how to use the settings on your camera. That way, your customers can pay specifically for what they need.

Psst.. another tip: Record a few of your classes. This footage can be used for a speaking engagement reel and pictures can be used for your website.

It’s attractive for visitors to see that not only are you an expert at what you do online, but there are people who know you in real life as well. This is crucial to building trust with prospective customers.

These are all ideas that are easy to start with little investment. You can literally get started with any of these ideas…today!

What’s been your favorite side hustle? Tell me what it is in the comment section below!

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About the author


NiaSweetz is the founder of SipBlack- the new digital destination for innovative souls to monetize their vision. She's a diversified entrepreneur with a soft spot for ambitious individuals who desire to create a lane of their own. With extensive experience in several industries, she's committed to creating a sustainable reality out of your passion.

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