When an unexpected expense pops up, many people find themselves in a bind. The fix is to build an emergency fund. Even $500 in the bank can get you out of a pinch, and having three to six months of expenses is even better.

That amount could let you get by without pawning off valuables, selling your blood or leaning on the generosity of a friend or relative.

One of the best ways to increase your income and give yourself a solid foundation by which to grow into self-employment in the future is to start a side business of your own.

If you choose the right business opportunity, there’s room for you to keep growing your customer base on the side, while keeping your day job. From there, if you take the right steps, you will be able to build your side income beyond that of your day job and launch into the world of self-employment.However, before you get started, you will need first to understand the different ways you will be going about discovering and validating your ideal side business idea.

Conversations with aspiring entrepreneurs have revealed that one of the most common mistakes being made over and over again when people are looking for the right side business opportunity is that they overlook their single best resource entirely: their existing skill sets.

For example, a writer and marketer by trade should know that they will need to engage their core strengths of crafting compelling content, and getting it in front of a large online audience if they want to have a chance of being successful and competing with others in their space.

If you want to become a successful entrepreneur within your field, you will need to engage your strengths. Are you still unsure about which skills you will be able to monetize with a side business? Take an Entrepreneur’s Skill Assessment.

Once you have determined which strengths you will plan on leveraging, here are five ways to turn those skills into a side business.

It takes time, discipline and extra money to build that cushion. In the meantime, here are strategies to earn fast cash, increase your income on an ongoing basis and cut your monthly spending at home;


If you have built up a set of marketable skills throughout your career and at your day job, you should consider the idea of starting a freelance business on the side. There’s a rapidly expanding demand for talented freelance help.

If your skills include writing, designing, developing, marketing, social media management, or another high-demand digital skill, then you are in a great position to start bringing in freelance clients.

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One good side business, and a very long-term investment in the future is starting a blog and building up a loyal audience of regular readers. If you are comfortable with the potential that it may  take you years to start earning a decent income from monetizing a blog, and you have a knack for building connections with people through your writing, then this may be for you.

Be sure to start with a niche topic that will give you the opportunity to become well-respected within a close-knit community before you set your sights on expanding into a vast market.

Your credibility platform will be of great importance moving forward.

Online Coaching

If you have a marketable skill that others want to possess or get better at, then there’s a market for being paid to coach people, one-on-one, into an accelerated learning experience.

The emergence of easy-to-use online coaching websites already provide you with a built-in community of people looking to work on various types of skills.

The most exciting thing about starting an online coaching business on the side is that once you have perfected your teaching experience, you will be able to easily pack it into a more scalable version like an online course.

Read Also: “How to Get Paid $500 to $1,000 Per Month to Build Simple Set & Forget Facebook Campaigns, Without Any Ongoing Fulfillment”

Online Courses

As with online coaching, when there’s a growing demand for a skill that you possess, one of the best ways to monetize that ability of yours, is by creating a genuinely helpful online course for others to go through at their leisure. While the setup time and upfront investments are enormous (concerning your time) with this business model, it’s one of the most profitable online businesses out there today.

Teachable has become one of the best resources on learning how to launch an online course business, as well as being the premier online course platform to power your course content once you have it built.

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Graphic Design

Graphic design is one of the most in-demand skills in today’s visual-based culture. If you have graphic design skills, why not make some extra money on the side? There are many uses for graphic design, including:

  • Newsletters
  • Logos
  • Flyers
  • Advertisements
  • Social Media Posts

You can work with a range of groups from nonprofits to small business owners, bloggers to entrepreneurs. All of this can be done at home, in your own time if you have the right tools.

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Physical Products

Whether you have an idea for a new-to-the-world invention, a new spin on an existing product, or nothing more than selling a product in a new way or to a new market, there are countless ways to make money selling physical products on the side.

Social Media Marketer

Let’s be honest: You are probably spending a good chunk of your day on social media already. Why not get paid to post on social media? In today’s digital world, having social media accounts is a must.

Unfortunately, social media marketing can be a huge time-suck for business owners and distract them from the core of their business. You can take that burden off some busy entrepreneur’s shoulders and help ensure they’re always marketing, promoting and engaging.

If you are savvy with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, then working as a social media marketer could be a good side hustle for you.

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Having your website can add legitimacy and professionalism to your side business, but you don’t have to have one to get started. And don’t think that you need to be an “expert” or have everything figured out to get started—while gigs like graphic design require some real experience and skill, others requires less in the way of work background.

If you are willing to get creative, there are a nearly unlimited number of ways to use your skills and start a side business that will have the potential to launch you into a career of self-employment.