Best Bootstrap Businesses for Part-Time Income

One of the best things about a volatile economy is new opportunity. As more people work from home, attend college via online courses, and seek out effective ways to earn money from investing, dozens of new careers are popping up. Plus, some that have been around for a while are enjoying a new surge of interest. If you’re looking for a way to augment a current income or take on a full-time gig that pays the bills, consider one of the following four options. No specialized degrees or training are required. For most, you will simply need to learn how to work with apps and cloud-based software programs.

Tax Preparation

Setting up a tax prep business is easier than you think. The main challenge is finding customers, but diligent marketing and self-promotion can overcome that obstacle. The other essential point is getting a dependable product based on the type of tax returns you intend to prepare. Most people new to the field do personal returns but others focus on business filings. Eventually, you’ll want to work your way up to doing primarily quarterly filing for small companies because that’s where the real money is. Keep in mind that as you advance in your skills and get used to all the terminology, it’s possible to get certified by the IRS as a preparer of record, which is a nice bit of wording to put on business cards for attracting new clients.


Getting started as an investor means not having to worry about finding customers because you’ll be buying and selling securities for your own account. The aim is to earn a profit over the long-term, so don’t be discouraged if you have at least several months of negative income. The upside is you learn as you go and the initial costs are minimal. Aim to begin with at least $2,000 in your account and remember to use the online simulators brokers have available on their platforms. This kind of practice, called paper trading, is an excellent way to get used to the overall process, reading the ticker, and generally learning the ropes.

Writing Business Plans

If you possess decent writing skills, it takes a month or two to learn the rudiments of writing a business plan. The core skill you need is attention to detail. It’s relatively easy to find customers if you know where to look. Visit online startup forums, network with chambers of commerce, and get your name out in the community. New owners despise the chore of composing a detailed plan and will welcome the chance to hire you to take on that burden. This is an overlooked niche for people who want to earn money from home, so take advantage of the fact that the market is not crowded.

Scholarship and Grant Help for Students

If you’re willing to do the legwork of hunting down scholarships and grants for college-bound students, you can work full-time, on commission, and earn a decent income. After you become familiar with all the solid sources of financing for prospective college students, you’ll be able to zero in on helping them locate real sources of funds for their educational goals.

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