Home Editors' Pick 7 Best Business Ideas to Make Money
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7 Best Business Ideas to Make Money

by Matthew Cain

The year 2020 put everyone through the ringer. It has had one unintended consequence, though. 

For many people, it’s instilled a renewed focus on personal finance and budgeting, which had been lost in the aggressive growth period leading up to it. 

This year may be the perfect time to start looking at some of the best business ideas to make more money and not depend on others for your financial wellbeing.

7 Best Business Ideas to Make Money

If you’re at a loss on where to start, here are 7 easy to start business ideas that you can launch right now. Some are so simple you can start with just a stable internet connection. Others require a bit more work. Either way, you can start any of them with little upfront expense, and start earning more money as soon as possible.

1. Vending Machines

vending machines

This list starts off with one of the more challenging ideas, but for good reason. Vending machines are a big business, even if they don’t seem like it. 

On average, a new machine costs a couple thousand dollars, but you can find some used ones for a few hundred if you look hard enough. With the right planning, you can set up a business that gets you $250 profit every month with little effort. That’s a potential return on your investment in just a few months. 

There are a lot of things to consider when starting a vending machine business:

  • Whether to buy or lease vending machines
  • Whether to buy into a franchise, buy an existing business, or start your own
  • Deciding what to sell and how to source the inventory
  • Determine your preferred locations and sign contracts with business owners (this will likely include some compensation for them)

2. Blogging

woman blogging

This next idea is less intrepid, but still lucrative. We’d be remiss not to mention blogging, because it’s a fantastic source of income. 

With only your computer and your personal writing skills, you can begin crafting articles based on whatever interests you. If you can consistently get readers (with catchy writing, interesting subjects, and a knack for design), you can start making quick and enjoyable money. 

By posting ads on a blog, acting as an affiliate and selling products through your site, or finding a sponsor, you can start making a significant amount of money. It takes a while, and you’ll start by making just a few dollars a month, but consistent effort can turn that into a couple thousand dollars a month within your first year or two.

Another option, if you don’t want to start your own site, is to write for other blog or website owners. In many cases you can earn anywhere from $25 up to $200 per article depending on the topic and your expertise.

3. Transcribing

earphones on a keyboard

If writing appeals to you, but you’re not interested in lengthy articles or finding a niche to craft a following, you may be interested in transcribing. 

Instead of coming up with the words yourself, you can simply listen to videos and recordings and transcribe the words you hear. Sites like Rev.com allow you to set up an account and begin transcribing videos immediately. 

While it’s not as lucrative or as passive as businesses like blogging or vending machines, it’s consistent work and controllable, easy income. If you’re good at it, you can make a decent salary off of consistently transcribing videos.

4. Affiliate Marketing

A lot of people wonder how they can come up with a product idea to sell, and that’s a fair question. 

Instead of crafting or inventing something yourself to sell, why not sell on behalf of someone else? 

Companies like Amazon will offer opportunities to become an affiliate marketer so that you can earn a commission if someone purchases a product through your referral link. 

Some of the best affiliate programs like this include:

This is a great business to couple with a blog or Twitter account.

5. Product Flipping

people shopping at a yard sale

If you’re more of the hit the ground type of person, you can find a lot of success just going out and finding products that are underpriced and reselling them. 

This is one of the more intensive business ideas, but determination can be lucrative. 

Depending on your market, you can make potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars off a single sale. To do this well, you’ll need to put in the research and understand the pricing and market of your products.

Some examples include going to local estate sales to find antiques, and selling them on eBay. Or buying designer clothes at closeout sales or yard sales, and selling them on Poshmark.

If you do it right, it can net you quite a bit of money.

6. Fulfillment by Amazon

Did you know that over half of all products sold on Amazon are sold by independent sellers? What’s more, did you know that 81% of Amazon sellers turn a profit their first year? 

Many of these sellers turn their products into 6 and 7 figure empires, so it’s definitely possible for you to chart a path toward financial independence. For instance, a duo of stay-at-home moms transformed their swaddle business, Copper Pearl, into a multi-million dollar enterprise that has been picked up by major retailers worldwide.

Lucrative, straightforward, and with a proven marketplace, this is a must try business opportunity.

7. Your Favorite Hobby

Sometimes, it’s hard to generate excitement for all these standardized business ideas. Researching products to source and flip can get boring. Blogging may not interest you very much. 

What if you already have something that you’re willing to invest time and money into researching and perfecting? You can transform your hobby into a business with ease these days. 

a man doing woodworking

Perhaps you’re a woodworker; you can build furniture or make artwork for your neighbors. Maybe your hobby is a bit harder to monetize, like fishing or playing the flute – you can teach lessons for a profit. 

Whatever your hobby, you can cash it in for extra income and earn from what you love.

BONUS: Investing

Investing isn’t quite the same as starting one of these other businesses, but it is certainly lucrative. 

You can earn money by purchasing dividend paying stocks, or by speculating on stock price increases and “buying low, selling high”. Whatever your methodology, you can earn money in the stock market just as easily as with these business ideas.

Just make sure to do your homework and read advice from the best investors in the market before forging your own path in the stock market.

Launch Your Own Business

Many people experience downturns in their career when their  finances are ruined. But just as many use it as a launching point to get ahead. 

If you take charge of your own finances, you can start a business and springboard your way to financial success. Take advantage of these best business ideas and start earning extra income today.

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