In many ways, Florida has one of the most favorable environments for independent entrepreneurs running side businesses. With no personal income tax and real estate prices more reasonable than they have been in awhile, there is a major boon to any side business hustler. If you’re a Floridian interested in supplementing your 9-to-5 income, any of the following ideas can be a bonanza when executed intelligently.
Weatherproofing & Storm Repair
Florida’s rainy season can do a number on any home in the wrong place at the wrong time. You could make a mint installing impact doors and windows on vulnerable structures if you’re moderately handy. Alternatively, you could do just as well cleaning up the mess after hurricanes by fixing fences and repairing roofing.
Teach Lessons in Water Sports
Helping tourists and locals to develop a love for surfing and kayaking can be fairly lucrative. A modest investment of as little as a few hundred dollars in equipment is the only real requirement. If you don’t have the necessary skills, hire a knowledgeable partner to do the grunt work and handle the promotional aspects by yourself.
Sell Summer Gear on the Beach
Nothing ruins a well-deserved trip to the beach like realizing that you forgot a necessity such as sunscreen or sandals. One can make out quite well by trolling the vacationer-heavy areas of the coast plying inexpensive wares. All you need is a local business license and a reliable supplier of bulk goods.
Operate a Fishing Tour Company
Tracking down a reliable bass boat at a great price in Florida isn’t that difficult. If you need financing, a small business loan should be fairly easy to lock down. Come up with a few inland fishing packages featuring a variety of rivers and lakes and market your unique tours to visiting anglers.
Offer Nature-Watching Tours
Alligators aren’t the only form of local wildlife that visitors like to observe. Many swamps and bayous are chock-full of exotic birds and plants that even lifelong residents have never seen. Get a cheap swamp buggy, lock down the appropriate licenses, set up a website for promotion and watch the phone ring off the hook.
Run a Beer and Wine Tour
As we all know, Florida’s agriculture scene isn’t just about citrus groves and sugarcane fields. There are also plenty of vineyards and breweries that appeal to a passionate, well-heeled clientele with money to burn. Get a trustworthy bus or van, organize a tour and show off the state’s rich homegrown tipple producers.
Ship Local Goods Across the Country
One business idea that never fails is price arbitrage. As a local, you can scoop up Florida specialties at a bargain and sell them at a hefty markup to consumers in states or countries far away. For instance, you could purchase conch shells from beachcombers and ship them to willing buyers in Iowa.
Send Pristine Automobiles Up North
If you’ve never been to New England or the Great Lakes region, you’d be surprised at the cachet that “Florida cars” have with consumers. You can actually get a price substantially higher than the Kelley Blue Book value for a rust-free Florida car or truck by driving it to Maine or Michigan.
Provide Assistance to Seniors
Helping disabled or less mobile elderly citizens enjoy their golden years is both noble and quite profitable. A great service to offer is personalized grocery shopping and drop-off. As long as your background is squeaky clean and your work ethic is impeccable, a thriving elder care service can be started for practically no money.
An Equestrian Grooming Company
As long as you’re comfortable around animals, a horse-grooming business doesn’t require a lot of start-up capital or know-how. Advertise your services by “auditioning” at nearby stables and giving a free sample demonstration of your handiwork. A few brushes and Murphy’s Oil from a tack shop is all you need to start cleaning horses and saddles.
Short-Term Cruise Line Positions
If you’re not ready to launch a full-fledged side business with you as boss, applying for a position with Carnival Cruises is a great option. Anyone with experience waiting tables or bar-tending is practically a shoo-in. Cruise ships always need part-time workers with flexible schedules and a positive attitude to staff their excursions.
Create a Pedicab Service
Pedicabs are an increasingly popular mode of transportation in areas where getting to the destination promptly is less of a concern. While Miami in particular is a prime location for pedicabs, any built-up urban area where either tourists or bar crawlers abound will work. Getting a license to operate a pedicab is often quite simple.
Cash In on Real Estate
As one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, Florida can be a goldmine for savvy go-getters. To become a real estate agent, you will need 63 hours of a FREC approved pre-licensing course. Then, you will submit a completed application, electronic fingerprints and a fee. You must pass the Real Estate Sales Associate Exam. Once you’ve passed the state exam, a license costs less than $100. The next step is to activate the license.
Another idea is to invest in single-family homes or mutifamily properties. Find great deals and rent out properties for profit- or buy and flip.
Launch Your Own Cult Food Cart
Florida’s many hot spots are especially well-suited to food cart success. Offering a food product that’s light, convenient to carry and easy to prepare is clutch. While Cuban sandwiches and taquitos are always popular, try to think outside the box and find something that nobody else is doing in your area.
Become a Property Manager
Flipping houses and cashing commission checks aren’t the only ways to profit from Florida real estate. Thanks to the state’s high population of part-time residents, there are millions of properties that must be maintained during both summer and winter off seasons. Start by mowing lawns and clearing gutters yourself and expand the operation gradually.
Just the Tip of the Iceberg
You now have fifteen solid ideas that can make decent extra cash on the side when implemented wisely. One of these ideas may even become your life’s work depending on how successful any given sideline may be. Rest assured that those are just a small sampling of the opportunities available to Florida entrepreneurs.