1. Coaching: Are friends and family members constantly asking for your advice about a topic you know a lot about, such as how to fix customer-service problems or negotiate work conflicts? If so, perhaps you can turn it into a side business to get paid for your knowledge. Set up a website or blog to help find clients, and you're in business.
2. Teaching: If standing in front of larger groups and following lesson plans is more your style, opportunities at local schools can let you tap into your inner professor. Community colleges and professional schools are often looking for outside experts and part-time teachers.
3. Writing: Almost everyone relies on the written word in some capacity, so those with editing and writing skills can often pick up contract work from companies and individuals who need help with their websites, marketing material, or product descriptions. Some writers also find success selling e-books or other digital products online.
4. Speaking: Not everyone likes the idea of speaking in front of a large group, but those who do (and are good at it) can often build a side career as a professional speaker. Industry groups, conference organizers, and companies frequently hire inspiring speakers for their events. Professional organizations, such as the National Speakers Association, can help you get started
5. Sell your Stuff: Cleaning out your bookshelves and closets can yield a nice pile of cash if you spend some time taking appealing photos and marketing the listings. Sites such as eBay and Craigslist make it easy to set up shop.
6. Cooking: As evidenced by the booming take-out market, busy professionals are willing to pay big bucks for someone to help them manage their meals. That's why people with kitchen skills can often make decent money cooking up batches of food and delivering them to paying customers.
7. Rent out your space: If your home has an extra bedroom behind a door that locks, or even better, in its own suite, you could become a landlord. Students and recent graduates are often especially eager for affordable and small spaces.
8. Organize: If getting a closet or drawer in order is your idea of a good time, you can turn that passion into a part-time business. An easy way to start is to offer your services to friends and family. Collect endorsements and then find your first real client.
9. Web Design: Web designers count everyone from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits to individuals among their clients. Since almost all businesses need websites these days, anyone who can design appealing ones is in high demand.