12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle [EP 11]

Introduction

Welcome to Episode 11: 12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle

When we think of side hustles, we often think about creating products, both physical and digital.

If you’re subsidizing a pension or other income, you may want to have daily interaction with others. If that’s the case, providing a service may be more suitable for you.

Not all services require you to be out and about, however. Some allow for face-to-face interaction with others, while some can be done remotely. You choose whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Now, before I get into the main part of this episode, I do want to let you, my listeners, know I will be scaling my podcast back to one episode per month until November. My blog posts will still be weekly, and will contain more side hustle information. It is a little change as I am working on creating a course, which I’ll get into more in an upcoming blog post. Plus, I’m taking a week’s vacation next month which I’m looking forward to. It’ll be nice to have some reprieve from the cold and snow.

Services

As mentioned, not all services have to be done in person. The following list contains some that involve little interaction with clients, while others are more face-to-face.

  1. We’ll start with bookkeeping, which I have done in the past. One of my clients dropped off an envelope full of receipts and papers each month, and I entered everything into an accounting program. She was then able to hand the USB in to her accountant at year-end. One of my other clients preferred me to work in his office, which I did a couple days a week. In his case it made more sense as he had a lot more paperwork for me to go through.
  1. Another service you can provide, and make a decent amount of money at, is cleaning people’s houses. Now this only works if you like to clean. An aunt of mine used to clean for others on a weekly basis. She would clean their houses during the day while they were at work, which made it easier for both parties. When I worked for Family and Community Support Services, my clients were at home when I cleaned. There are pros and cons to the latter, however. One pro is the client is happy to have the company. A con is it took more time because they wanted to visit. Keep in mind the latter was also cleaning for senior citizens, so my being there made it possible for them to stay in their own homes for longer.
  1. Lawn and Garden Maintenance is another service you can provide if you enjoy working outside. Some people either don’t have the time or their own equipment to do their own. And let’s face it, some people would just rather pay someone else to cut their grass, trim the hedges, and even pull the weeds. I don’t mind mowing and trimming, but pulling weeds is not my favourite. My experience in yard care has been mostly my own, plus for elderly family members from about the time I was around 14.
  1. Snow removal can be done during the winter for the same clients, so you have the opportunity to earn income year-round. Businesses also need snow removal done, so that could be another option if you prefer.
  1. If you love animals, pet-sitting and dog-walking are two services you can provide. When people go away they aren’t always able to take their pets, and many would prefer to leave them in a familiar environment. By providing a pet-sitting service your clients will be more relaxed while they’re away.  Plus, you can enjoy the experience of taking care of turtles, snakes, birds, and other not-so-common pets as well as cats and dogs. Dog-walking is nice because it gives the dog exercise and breaks up their day, which results in less destructive behaviour than one left to their own devices day after day. A bored dog is often a destructive dog. Not only will you be providing the dog exercise, you’ll be saving your clients’ furniture.
  1. A grocery delivery service is another option, especially in a small community. Smaller grocery stores may not have the extra staff to deliver groceries during business hours, and are generally more than happy to pay someone per delivery. It’s an added-value service they can provide to their customers, which in turn encourages local shopping.
  1. Providing healthy home-cooked meals for seniors in your area is an option if you love to cook. Just think of the meals-on-wheels larger communities provide. In my experience it’s a service that used to be provided by the local hospital, but with cutbacks in services, it may not be available in a small community. My great-uncle used to deliver meals to the seniors in his community a number of years ago, which gave him some extra income plus provided healthy meals for them. 
  1. You could play an integral part in someone else landing their dream job by providing a resume writing service. Presentation and simplicity are key components of a resume. Prospective employers will often not look at a resume that isn’t broken up by white space. As with most things today you want to make it skimmable, yet highlight your client’s attributes so they have an increased chance at being hired.
  1. Copywriting is another service you can provide to businesses near and far. Once you know how to convey a sales message, the rest is easy. There are courses available to teach you how, and I have taken a couple; but the best book I have come across is called The Copywriter’s Handbook – 4th Edition by Robert W. Bly. And copywriting isn’t necessarily about being salesy. All you essentially need to do is address a pain point and how your client’s product or service will fix it. The bonus is you can work for more than one client at a time, and you don’t have to be tied to your home office to do it. Have laptop…will travel.
  1. If you love a variety of music, then offering a DJ Service could be right up your alley. With the world opening up again to gatherings, people are anxious to be able to celebrate life events together. You can decide if you want to book one event a weekend, or one event a month. And if you don’t mind travelling, you could book events further away. The nice thing about the digital age is there’s no longer a need to pack hundreds of CDs, but you can if you like.
  1. Party Planning is another option if you have a flair for themed events. Whether it be weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor parties, birthday parties, or whatever else people celebrate; it’s sometimes nice to have the stress of the planning taken care of. If you’ve enjoyed planning your own parties over the years, perhaps it’s time to do it for others for a little extra income. And just like a DJ Service, you decide how many events you want to plan in a month. Keep in mind not all events are limited to weekends, so you could easily do a retirement party during the week and perhaps a birthday or engagement party on the weekend.
  1. Clutter control is something we all struggle with at some point or another, and the older we get the more of it we seem to have. Home organization is so popular nowadays there are entire TV Shows about it. If you have found a way to combat the clutter and let go of material things, there is someone out there who could benefit from your expertise. It’s not so much that you’ll be physically helping them throw things out (although you can if you wish), but rather help them differentiate between keeping things for emotional reasons or practical reasons.

Conclusion

As I went through my list, I thought of at least another dozen services any side hustler can provide, from small engine repair to handyman services. It really doesn’t matter what service you can provide, because chances are there’s a need for it in your community. And because it’s your side hustle, you determine to what extent you do it. As with anything else be sure it’s something you enjoy doing, otherwise it just becomes another job.

Now, as mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I’ll be scaling my podcasts back to once per month until November. I’m excited to be working on something that will help fellow side-hustlers, so please stay tuned. And as I said, the blog posts will still be weekly so don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed.


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5 Pet Products You Can Make & Sell

The pet industry is growing by leaps and bounds!

More and more money is being spent on toys, treats, beds, and even Halloween costumes…for pets.

If you have a pet of your own I’m sure you can relate. And what better person to make pet products than a pet owner.

I currently have two dogs in my home, plus two cats. They are great company, entertainment, and companions. And when I’m having an off day, they pick up on it and come for extra cuddles.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

They can also turn my house upside down when they decide it’s play time. Anyone who knows me personally has seen or heard of the destruction the cats (aka hellions) can cause. They melted my heart when I saw the picture of them, and I can’t imagine life without them now. I am, however, a little afraid of what’s going to happen to my Christmas tree when I put it up.

This post is going to give you 5 products you can make and sell either online, offline, or both. And they are just the beginning of what can become a mile-long list if you were to do some brainstorming.

1. Dog Treats

As pet owners we want what’s best for our canine companions. By making treats with basic ingredients, we know exactly what goes into them. I have recently made some with pumpkin puree, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and whole wheat flour. My dogs loved them!

I am going to try another recipe this week which uses milk, peanut butter, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. I think adding some cheese, bacon bits (not the simulated ones), and even just a tablespoon of bacon grease will give both recipes doggy-appeal.

These are the 3 bigger sizes.
This is the smallest size, perfect for training.

My daughter scored the cookies before baking so they were easy to break.

Funny story: I went out for the evening the day after we baked these, and while I was gone my hellions knocked the container of treats on the floor. Cats and dogs ate almost all of the treats in that container. Luckily I had put the mini ones in separate containers so they didn’t get them.

2. Pet Toys

All pets need to be entertained to some degree, and toys are just one way of doing it. I find the easiest toys to make are cat toys because all one needs is some yarn, stuffing, fabric, and a dowel.

Dog toys can also be made with yarn or fabric, such as a water bottle inside a denim cover. If you’re into macrame, a rope toy can be made using thick cotton cord and tight knots.

Even the birds of the household need toys to keep them busy. These can be made with untreated wood, which can be easily obtained from your backyard. The key is to make sure you are using wood from a tree that is safe for birds.

Macrame can come in handy for bird toys too. Medium weight cord, a bell, and a small mirror purchased at your local Dollar Store will keep birds entertained for hours.

3. Dog Sweaters & Booties

If you live in a cold climate like I do, your puppy of any age probably wears a sweater at some point. I find the smaller the dog, the greater the need for a sweater.

I have crocheted sweaters for my dog from acrylic yarn, but I do have to say using a natural fibre is better when it comes to both heat retention and breathability.

When I had alpacas I made coats for the babies using fleece, quilt batting, and cotton fabric. They worked well to help the littles retain some body heat when it was cold out. We had a couple born during the winter so keeping them warm was essential.

Booties can be made from yarn, fabric, or even a light leather. The trick is getting the dogs used to wearing them while they’re inside so they’re not so inclined to take them off outside.

4. Blankets & Beds

Crocheters, knitters, and sewers have a lot of options when it comes to making beds and blankets for dogs, cats, rabbits, and whatever other type of pet you have.

I have made cat caves and sold a few at a local Christmas Market a few years ago. I crocheted mine from wool roving I found at a local Thrift Shop, and used a large hook. The only thing I didn’t do was add a cardboard or plastic insert to keep it open. If you’re interested in making cat caves I do suggest cutting a 4 litre ice cream bucket to make the interior support. This way the cat will be able to crawl inside easily. Otherwise it just becomes something they lay on top of.

Blankets and beds can be made from recycled denim, cotton, and even worn bed sheets/quilts. Just cut to size, add some quilt batting or stuffing, and voila!

5. Cat Trees

If you have access to used carpet (or scraps of new), scrap pieces of untreated wood, and a heavy duty staple gun you have a good portion of what is needed for cat trees.

I bought one from Amazon earlier this year for my two hellions and it is covered with something similar to minky fabric. I do have to say, carpet is definitely the better way to go. The one my ex-husband made for my cat 3 decades ago was by far sturdier than the one I have now; and it was 7′ tall. And not once did she tip it over. (The one I bought has been tipped over twice, and is now being held down by an antique sewing machine.)

A cat tree is a wonderful playground and place to relax for your kitties, depending on how they feel. Mine will play on it, then go to their favourite spots on it and nap: Mickey either in or on the cave part, and Merlot on the very top. They both no longer fit in the same spot at the same time.

Conclusion

I haven’t gone into great detail about how to make any of the above products, simply because this post would have been eBook size. There are resources available online (just don’t get sucked into the Pinterest Rabbit Hole) on how to make treats, sweaters, cat caves and more.

All of the above can be sold either online or offline. I would suggest local markets and/or pet stores first, especially when it comes to the cat trees. The shipping alone will be expensive, even if you can package it in pieces with assembly instructions.

Have you considered pet products as a side hustle? If so, which will you start with?

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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Update on Yesterday’s Post

Today has turned out to be a great day!

I got a phone call just before noon from a lady over 10 miles away saying my dog was in her yard. I asked for a picture of him, and sure enough it was him! There were tears of joy, and I couldn’t get to her house fast enough.

He is doing fine, considering he has been gone for days. He seems to have lost a little weight, but that’s minor compared to what could have been. He has had a bit of food and is now napping on the living room floor.

I will resume his regular feeding schedule in a couple days. Right now I am going to give him smaller portions, but not exceed his total allotted amount in a day. I’m sure he hasn’t eaten much of anything since his breakfast Monday morning.

When a pet goes missing, don’t be quick to give up the search. And by letting local vets and shelters know one is missing right away, there’s a good chance that’s where the person who finds your pet will call. That was the case with Buddy. The local vet was called, and my number was given out. I was just getting ready to drive into town to hang up posters when I got the call.

Such a happy day!

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