Use eBay pulse to see what's
hot in the marketplace.Then invest
in setting up a professional-looking
eBay shop, from £14.99 a month.
Read our guide on setting up an
eBay shop here.
Sell good quality digital photos
to sites like istock.com,
fotolia.com. But be warned: this
is quite the slow-burner.There's
lots of advice here and don't
miss our guide on starting a
Invest in a good cookery
course (like the ones listed
here), then start offering
your services to friends of
friends in need of dinner
party assistance. If you want
to make it big in chocolate,
check out these great tips.
As above - then publish your
own cookery book through
blurb.com. Sales will come
in from the site, and you can
sell yourself to new
prospective clients by saying
you're also a cookery author.
Do some serious homework
on cheaper pieces - invest in
an encyclopaedia and read
mags like this one. Buy a
few items to hedge your
bets, then sell to antiques
dealers and shops.
Sign up to a site like virtualassistants.co.uk (£2.95
to post a listing for 12 months). Invest in a secretarial or
touch typing course to give you an edge over other
candidates. More advice here.
Proper training courses are
several hundred pounds at
least (recommended ones
here), but if you're a
marathon old-hand or a gym-
bod you could entice some
clients without. Pick up part-
time work in a gym to ﬁnd
You can buy a stall for
around £100 - £150 (from
somewhere like this). Make
sure you comply with all
health and safety
regulations and get a
license from your local
council if you're selling
alcohol, hot food between
11pm and 5am or food from
a stall or van on the street.
Supply the midnight
masses and charge a
premium on booze and
snacks delivered after pub
closing time.You'll need a
personal license to sell
alcohol, which costs £37 -
get it online from your
Start this business with no overheads by using clients'
cleaning products. Pay for criminal record checks
(CRB checks, £26 each) for yourself and any other
members of staff to reassure new customers once you
get some money coming in.
*Resources from our partners*
• Start-Ups package: Two years' free Business
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Target small businesses at networking
events and with ﬂyers to user-test
their new products or websites.Then
place free ads on Gumtree to ﬁnd
participants and skim a fee off their
hourly pay. More info here on
conducting focus groups.
Call around all local business and clubs
and say you'll ﬁnd them someone to
hand out ﬂyers for a £3 charge (on top
of their hourly rate).Then ﬁnd
students in need of work on Gumtree.
Decorate your living room, stick some
posters in your front window and start a
restaurant in your house.Technically you're
meant to get a load of health and safety
checks done for this, but there's a whole
crop of people doing it on the sly. Check
out our guest blog from Horton
Jupiter to ﬁnd out how it's done.
You can start this business for next to
nothing. Do some research on your
local area and plant clues for family fun
days and cheap ofﬁce outings.Take a
look at how Hunt Fun and
Treasure Days are doing it.
The whole of the middle class is into
organic and home-grown veg these days,
and with packets of hundreds of seeds
coming in at around 60p, you can sell your
own produce for a whopping proﬁt. Or
just take clippings of plants and herbs you
already have, grow out into separate pots
and sell to neighbours and friends.
Got green ﬁngers? Put them to use by
offering your services to people in your
area. Show them sketches of how you
think the garden could be improved and
you become a landscape gardener to
boot (though you'll need to do careful
research on what grows well in which
places and at what times of year).
Capitalise on people too busy or too
lazy to cook by offering to deliver
delicious dishes of their liking, home-
cooked by you. Check out our
interview with the founder of
The Pure Package for inspiration.
Armed with nothing more than a map
and a book on local history, you can
guide tours around your local
commons, hills or towns and share
insight into the history of your area
for a small charge.
Basic needlework is astonishingly
straightforward. Offer to darn
friends of friends' clothes for a
nominal fee and take in too-big
shirts and skirts.
Knocking up ribbon-adorned
wicker baskets brimming with Bon
Maman jams, freshly-baked mufﬁns
and fruit is relatively cheap, but
you can charge a premium.
Easy if you know how. Getting a
formal qualiﬁcation will improve your
chances of doing business with
people you don't know. Check out
the Association of Pet Dog
Trainers for more info.
Most pet owners prefer one-on-one
TLC for their animals than putting
them into kennels. Keep your rates
competitive and incentivise clients
to refer a friend.
Perfect if you've got a natural knack
for organisation. Establishing cut-
price deals with catering
companies, ﬂorists, wine suppliers
and the like will ensure you offer a
Have a proper clear-out of your junk
to get started, then reinvest proﬁts
into buying stuff from any charity
shop you have time to scour. Offer to
take friends' junk off their hands to
More and more small businesses are
latching onto the fact social media can help
them, so offer to maintain accounts for
them for a small fee - you can keep
business ticking over while still doing your
day job.Tools like Tweetdeck will help
hugely. More advice here.
There are gutters to clean, tiles to
be scrubbed, lawns to be raked and
paths to be laid all around the
country. Post friendly notes through
letterboxes advertising a cheap
If you've got a degree, or good A-
level results, you can offer to help
out schoolkids with their homework
and exams. Get a certiﬁcation to
make it more ofﬁcial if you struggle
to ﬁnd work.The BBC has some
good info on that.
There are still millions of people out
there who feel utterly confounded by
computers and the internet. If you're a
spreadsheet whiz or an Outlook old-
hand, you can charge them for lessons.
If you've made it through the rat race
and come out the other side older
and wiser, you can help newbies tidy
up their CV's.Advertise on Gumtree
and ask friends, and keep fees low.
Get yourself down to a retro clothes
market in a university town, armed
with piles of 70s, 80s and 90s clothes
from charity shops, and you'll ﬁnd you
can charge anything from £5 to £50 an
item.Ask the local council about
renting a stall.
Special thanks to flikr and google images for the pictures
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