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1. Top 13 profitable part-time business ideas in 2024

13 part-time business ideas for extra income in 2024

In today's gig economy, you can find innovative ways to boost your income through a successful business idea. For those balancing a full-time day job or other responsibilities, part-time businesses offer a flexible solution. 

If you're a creator or artist, 2024 presents numerous low-investment opportunities to diversify your income streams. Let's explore 13 lucrative part-time business ideas that you can start right away to be your own boss and build profits.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Discover opportunities to generate extra income through a scalable and flexible profitable business idea in today's economy. 

  • Choose from 13 diverse part-time business ideas that are lucrative and adaptable for local businesses for both big and small business owners.

  • Each business idea has relevant statistics for its growth and practical tips on how you can implement them.

  • Choose the right business idea based on your interests, skills, and market demand.

  • Gelato empowers you to establish and manage your print on demand part-time business efficiently and independently.

Top 13 profitable part-time business ideas in 2024

Let’s jump right into exploring part-time profitable small business ideas in 2024. These top 13 ideas promise profitability with minimal startup costs.

1. Print on demand

a variety of custom print on demand products for Ramadan

Print on demand (POD) is a dynamic business model where items are printed as soon as an order is made, mostly eliminating the need for inventory. This model is not only cost-effective but also highly flexible, allowing you to create a wide range of products from apparel to home goods. 

Ideas to pursue
  • Launch a themed merchandise line: Capitalize on trends or niches like eco-friendly products, seasonal events, or popular culture by creating themed merchandise. 

  • Offer limited edition runs: Generate buzz and exclusivity by offering limited-time designs. 

  • Collaborate with local artists and influencers: Partner with local artists or influencers to create unique designs.

Successful business examples
  • The Art of Photographs: Founder Maikel, digital artist and photographer was searching for a way to sell and scale his business. He used Gelato and now his business has expanded to creating art from award-winning photographs on museum-quality papers. 

  • Just Lyne: An ecommerce store for just-one-line art. Founders Vicente Mourão and Mariana Madaleno got to know that all their favorite brands were using Gelato and gave it a try; they haven't looked back since.

  • Born Beau: Tomas Jancarek, founder and artist, started a side business with original and distinctive artworks. He faced issues with long shipping times. With Gelato, his shipments from Spain to the UK took only 2–3 days to arrive and were shipped locally.

Did you know? The global print on demand market is expected to reach $39.40 billion by 2030, according to Grand View Research, it's a lucrative opportunity for budding entrepreneurs.

Now is the best time for you to dip into this lucrative market and use Gelato's print on demand solutions just like our other happy customers!

2. Dropshipping 

Dropshipping is a streamlined business model where you sell products directly to customers without stocking inventory. This method is highly popular due to its low overhead and easy entry; the dropshipping market size is expected to grow to $476.1 billion by 2026, according to MarketsandMarkets, reflecting its lucrative potential.

Ideas to pursue
  • Focus on eco-friendly products: Eco-friendly and sustainable products like reusable bags, bamboo kitchenware, or biodegradable phone cases can attract a conscientious customer base.

  • Target the home fitness market: Capitalize on the growing trend of home workouts by offering fitness equipment, apparel, and accessories. 

  • Explore niche hobby items: Cater to specific hobbies that have passionate followers, such as model building, knitting, or board gaming. 

Successful business examples
  • Wayfair: Specializing in home goods, Wayfair has mastered the dropshipping model to become one of the largest online furniture and decor retailers.

  • Oberlo: Integrated with Shopify, Oberlo is a platform that allows users to easily import dropshipped products into their own Shopify store and ship them directly to their customers. 

  • Zappos: Originally started as a shoe store, Zappos expanded to become one of the biggest online shoe and clothing shops by utilizing dropshipping among its strategies. 

3. Handmade crafts seller 

Selling handmade crafts offers a personal touch in an increasingly digital marketplace, appealing to consumers looking for unique products. Platforms like Etsy report that over 60 million buyers purchased goods in the past year. 

Research by MarketsandMarkets projects that the global arts and crafts market is expected to grow from $50.9 billion in 2020 to $63.4 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5%.

 Ideas to pursue
  • Create custom jewelry lines: Design and sell bespoke jewelry pieces, such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. 

  • Develop a line of handmade home décor: Tap into the home improvement market by crafting items like pottery, woven baskets, or decorative candles. 

  • Launch a DIY craft kit business: Assemble and sell kits for activities like knitting, scrapbooking, or painting. 

Successful business examples
  • Etsy Seller - CaitlynMinimalist: This Etsy shop has become widely recognized for its personalized jewelry. Specializing in custom-made pieces, such as engraved necklaces and handcrafted rings.

  • Uncommon Goods Handmade Section: Uncommon Goods provides a platform for artists and crafters to sell their handmade products to a broader audience. 

  • Ruggable Designer Collaboration Series: Known for its machine-washable rugs, Ruggable has partnered with independent artists and designers to create limited-edition collections.

4. Freelancing

freelancing at home

Freelancing has become a dominant force in the global labor market, offering individuals the flexibility to work on projects that match their skills and interests from anywhere in the world. According to a report by Upwork, freelancers contributed approximately $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2021, highlighting the significant impact and profitability of freelance work. 

Ideas to pursue
  • Graphic design services: Offer design services for businesses needing logos, marketing materials, and digital content. 

  • Digital marketing consulting: Specialize in SEO, social media, or pay-per-click advertising to help businesses increase their online visibility and engagement. 

  • Technical writing and documentation: Provide writing services for technical industries such as software, engineering, or biotechnology. 

Successful business examples
  • Neil Patel: He is a prominent copywriter, digital marketer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of companies like Crazy Egg. 

  • Jessica Walsh: She is an influential graphic designer and art director. Walsh is also the co-founder of the creative agency &Walsh. 

  • Linus Torvalds: He is a software developer and creator of the Linux kernel and Git, a pivotal figure in the open-source software movement.

5. Fitness coaching and personal training

The fitness coaching and personal training business has witnessed substantial growth, driven by increasing health awareness and the popularity of personalized fitness regimes. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow by 19% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Ideas to pursue
  • Online fitness classes: Launch virtual training sessions that clients can join from the comfort of their homes. 

  • Specialized training programs: Focus on niche areas like yoga for athletes, prenatal workouts, or senior fitness. 

  • Corporate wellness programs: Develop tailored fitness and wellness programs for businesses looking to improve employee health and reduce healthcare costs. 

Successful business examples
  • Peloton: Known for its interactive bikes and treadmills, Peloton combines hardware with live streaming and on-demand fitness classes, making it a leader in the home fitness market. 

  • Fitness Blender: A website offering a wide range of workout videos that users can access for free or a small fee for more structured plans. 

  • CorePower Yoga: CorePower Yoga has successfully blended the in-person studio experience with the flexibility of online participation.

6. Tutoring 

Tutoring has become a pivotal part of educational services, catering to students who seek personalized assistance outside the classroom. The global private tutoring market is expected to reach $201.8 billion by 2026, according to a report by Market Research Future. This growth is driven by the increasing competition in education systems and the personalized attention that tutoring offers. 

Ideas to pursue
  • Subject-specific tutoring: Specialize in subjects where there is a high demand, such as mathematics, science, or languages. 

  • Skill-based tutoring: Offer sessions focused on particular skills, such as coding, creative writing, or public speaking. 

  • Homework help and study sessions: Provide support by helping students manage their homework assignments or prepare for upcoming exams. 

Successful business examples
  • Khan Academy: It offers practice exercises and instructional videos across a wide range of subjects, making learning accessible to anyone, anywhere.

  • Chegg Tutors: Chegg offers a comprehensive platform for both in-person and online tutoring, making it easy for students to find help with just about any subject.

  • VIPKid: Specializing in teaching English to children in China through one-on-one online sessions, VIPKid connects educators from North America with learners around the globe. 

7. Subscription box service

subscription box service

Subscription box services have transformed the way consumers shop and enjoy products, offering curated experiences delivered to their doorstep. This market is booming, with a projected growth of $65 billion by 2027, according to a report by Grand View Research.

Ideas to pursue
  • Gourmet and artisan foods: Create a subscription service that delivers gourmet or locally sourced foods. 

  • Eco-friendly and sustainable goods: Develop a box that focuses on sustainability, offering products like biodegradable goods, zero-waste essentials, or eco-friendly beauty products. 

  • Books and literary items: Cater to book lovers by curating boxes that include a mix of novels, magazines, or literary-themed accessories. 

Successful business examples
  • Birchbox: They offer a personalized mix of makeup, skincare, and haircare samples, helping customers discover new products in a convenient and exciting way.

  • Blue Apron: Blue Apron delivers meal kits directly to customers, providing all the ingredients needed to cook gourmet meals at home. 

  • Loot Crate: Targeting fans of video games, movies, and pop culture, Loot Crate delivers monthly boxes of themed merchandise. 

8. Pet walking, sitting, and grooming 

The pet services industry, including walking, sitting, and grooming, has seen significant growth. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans spent over $103 billion on their pets in 2020, with a considerable portion allocated to services that ensure their pets are well cared for.

Pet service ideas to pursue
  • Mobile pet grooming: Operate a mobile grooming service that travels to clients' homes, offering convenience for pet owners and a comfortable setting for pets. 

  • Specialized dog walking Groups: Offer a themed or specialized dog walking service, such as group walks for specific breeds, puppy socialization walks, or fitness-focused sessions for more active dogs. 

  • Luxury pet daycare: Create a high-end daycare experience for pets, with services such as live webcam feeds for owners, personalized care plans, and enrichment activities like agility training or swim sessions.

Successful business examples
  • Rover: Rover connects pet owners with service providers for pet sitting, walking, and boarding. 

  • Wag!: Wag! provides on-demand walking, sitting, and boarding services via an app that facilitates easy scheduling and GPS tracking of dog walks. 

  • Aussie Pet Mobile: This franchise operates a fleet of mobile pet grooming services across the U.S., offering a full range of grooming amenities. 

9. Event planning 

Event planning is a dynamic and lucrative industry, crucial for orchestrating everything from corporate gatherings to private celebrations. According to a report by IBISWorld, the event planning industry in the US alone has an estimated market size of over $3 billion as of 2021. This reflects the growing demand for professional event planners who can manage logistics, creativity, and client expectations to create memorable events.

Ideas to pursue
  • Wedding planning services: Specialize in planning and coordinating weddings, focusing on everything from venue selection to vendor management and day-of execution. 

  • Corporate event planning: Cater to businesses by organizing corporate retreats, team-building events, and industry conferences. 

  • Themed party planning: Develop expertise in creating unique, themed events such as milestone birthday parties, retirement celebrations, or costume parties. 

Successful business examples
  • Colin Cowie Lifestyle: Colin Cowie Lifestyle has built a reputation for creating luxurious and innovative events worldwide, catering to celebrities and corporate giants.

  • David Tutera: David Tutera is celebrated for his extravagant and detailed approach to wedding planning, often featured on television and in major publications.

  • Mindful Meeting Pros: Focusing on corporate events, this company specializes in creating sustainable and eco-friendly corporate meetings and conferences. 

10. Virtual assistant

virtual assistant working

The virtual assistant (VA) industry has seen significant growth, driven by businesses' increasing reliance on remote work and the need for cost-effective administrative support. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global virtual assistant market is projected to reach $25.6 billion by 2027, demonstrating its expanding role in modern business practices. 

Ideas to pursue
  • Administrative support services: Offer services such as email management, scheduling, and data entry. 

  • Social media management: Specialize in handling social media accounts for businesses. 

  • Customer support: Provide remote customer service by managing inquiries, complaints, and orders. 

Successful business examples
  • Belay: Belay provides a wide range of virtual services, including virtual assistants, bookkeeping, and web support. 

  • Time Etc: Founded by the former assistant to Sir Richard Branson, Time Etc offers experienced virtual assistants to entrepreneurs and professionals. 

  • MyOutDesk: MyOutDesk supports agents and brokers by managing administrative duties, marketing efforts, and customer service tasks.

11. Affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person's or company's products. The industry has seen significant growth with the expansion of online shopping. According to Statista, affiliate marketing spending in the U.S. alone is expected to exceed $8 billion by 2022, a clear indicator of its profitability and widespread adoption. 

Ideas to pursue
  • Niche blogging: Create a blog focused on a specific niche, such as tech gadgets, beauty products, or home fitness equipment. 

  • Social media influencing: Leverage platforms like Instagram or YouTube to build a following around your lifestyle or interests. 

  • Email marketing campaigns: Build an email list and send out newsletters featuring product reviews or round-ups that include affiliate links. 

Successful business examples
  • Wirecutter: Wirecutter is famous for its thorough product reviews and recommendations, earning affiliate revenue from product links provided within its content.

  • Smart Passive Income: Founded by Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income is a platform that educates its audience on creating a profitable and successful online business.

  • Coupon sites: Websites like RetailMeNot or Honey offer coupon codes and discounts, earning a commission each time a user utilizes a code from their site to make a purchase. 

12. Content creation 

Content creation is a rapidly growing industry encompassing a wide range of creative activities, from writing and blogging to video production and social media content. According to a report by Statista, the global content creation market size was valued at over $400 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 16% from 2021 to 2028.

Ideas to pursue
  • Niche blogging: Explore specialized topics such as sustainable living, personal finance tips, or health and wellness. 

  • Video tutorials and courses: Create instructional videos on platforms like YouTube or develop online courses on platforms like Udemy or Teachable. 

  • Podcasting: Start a podcast covering topics like technology trends, entrepreneurship stories, or lifestyle discussions. 

Successful business examples
  • The Points Guy: Brian Kelly founded The Points Guy, his own website and blog dedicated to travel and credit card rewards. 

  • Tasty (BuzzFeed): Tasty is a well-known example of successful video content creation focused on easy-to-follow cooking recipes. 

  • Huda Beauty: Huda Kattan started as a beauty blogger and transitioned into a global cosmetics brand. 

13. Social media management and consulting

social media management

Social media management and consulting have become essential services for businesses aiming to establish and maintain a strong online presence. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global social media management market size was valued at over $14 billion in 2020 and is projected to expand significantly over the coming years. 

Ideas to pursue
  • Content calendar creation: Help businesses plan and schedule engaging content across social media platforms. 

  • Analytics and performance reporting: Provide insights into social media performance metrics like reach, engagement, and conversion rates. 

  • Influencer marketing campaigns: Develop and execute influencer marketing strategies for brands to leverage the reach and credibility of social media influencers. 

Successful business examples:
  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social is a leading social media management platform offering tools for scheduling posts, monitoring engagement, and analyzing performance metrics. 

  • Gary Vaynerchuk (VaynerMedia): The agency specializes in digital marketing, social media strategy, and influencer partnerships, serving major brands worldwide.

  • Buffer: Buffer is a popular social media management tool that helps individuals and businesses schedule posts, track performance, and manage multiple social media accounts.

How to choose a business idea

When choosing a business idea, it's essential to consider several factors to increase the likelihood of success and personal fulfillment. 

Here are a few tips to help you choose:

  • Identify your passions and skills: Begin by reflecting on your passions, interests, and areas of expertise.

  • Assess financial feasibility: Evaluate startup costs, potential revenue streams, and ongoing expenses.

  • Evaluate scalability and growth potential: Assess the scalability and growth potential of your business idea. 

  • Test your idea: Before fully committing, test your business idea on a smaller scale -- launch a pilot or conduct a market test.

Establish your own business on your own time with Gelato

Gelato offers an excellent opportunity to start your own business at your own pace. With Gelato's extensive range of products, including t-shirts, mugs, wall art, phone cases, tote bags, and photo books, you can easily create and sell custom merchandise without the hassle of inventory management

Gelato's print on demand solutions ensure high-quality production and global delivery, enabling entrepreneurs to focus on creativity and customer engagement. 

Sign up for Gelato today, select a subscription plan, and start your entrepreneurial journey now!


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