15 business ideas to help you earn an extra buck

So. I want you to earn more money. There’s no reason why you can’t.

In the beautiful world of supply and demand where you are the master of your own destiny, you’ll soon find there’s a lot of money to be made if you follow these simple steps:

• Identify an area where there is a lot of demand

• Make sure there are no/very few competitors

• Sell the product/service in demand

• Rake in your profits

Example of a business based on supply and demand

Many people who wish to earn a side income will first decide on a product or service to offer, then find themselves joining an over-saturated, competitive marketplace.

However, there is no way you can attach a premium price on a product or service in this sort of environment.

What you need is to consider business ideas that not many others have ventured into. If you have the skillsets for any of the following, you should jump right in and make a booming business of it.

• AirBnB property managers: A lot of Malaysians rent out their properties on AirBnB. Why not start a business targeted to them? You can offer an all-in-one package for a fee – manage bookings, welcome guests, attend to guests’ needs, provide housekeeping services in preparation for the next batch of guests, and so forth.

Internet tutor for adults: Help technologically-challenged adults set up email accounts, create social media accounts, open blogs/Tumblr/websites, suggest the best websites to visit, etc. Many elderly people would enjoy learning from patient youngsters.

• Copywriting for Instagram shops: There are many Instagram shops (just check the #sayajual hashtag) and try offering them your copywriting services so they can improve their business.

• Be an agent/reseller for cost-saving products and services: A lot of people are buying smarter today, so the demand for products and services that save them money should be greater. One great example – we need more (good quality) menstrual cup sellers in Malaysia.

• Malay translators/writers/proofreaders: Considering the dreadfully low standard of Malay subtitles for English language movies, anyone with the right language skills could make a tidy bundle doing the job. There are many companies too looking for those who can write copy for their products and services.

• Spas/massages for Grab drivers. Many people drive Grab for the extra income. Give ’em some love – design spa/massage packages to soothe tired shoulders and over-strained eyes.

Earn commission from helping people sell their junk. Help people sell their stuff on Mudah, Lelong, Carousell and other selling platforms. Offer pickups, photography, copywriting, make listings, answer inquiries, make arrangements with buyers, and deliver the products.

• Be a mover: First of all, contact individual furniture sellers on Mudah, Lelong, Carousell and other selling platforms. Many, especially those selling bulky furniture insist on “self-collect only” – this usually limits their pool of potential buyers and makes them hold stocks for longer. If they advertise that “delivery can be arranged for a fee” or “inclusive of delivery”, these furniture sellers can place a higher price tag on their items and/or sell them faster. That’s where you come in.

• Tailoring website: Let customers send you their measurements so you can sew a garment for them and deliver it to their doorstep. They can either send you the fabric of their choice, or you can have pre-selected fabric options on your site.

Or how about offering on-demand alteration services at your home or office. Or a service where you offer to recreate the exact same pattern of a well-loved but old piece of clothing.

• Offer halal Chinese food: Do you have any idea how big the demand for halal Chinese food is in Malaysia?

• Offer to cook or bake recipes found in Pinterest/Buzzfeed/YouTube: Charge customers for the service of cooking or baking recipes they have found online but are unwilling or do not have the interest in making themselves. Or sell frozen cookie dough so people can make freshly baked cookies at homes.

• [Your kampung/suburb].com: Publish articles like “best places to eat in SS18”, “Plumbers in Sentul”, etc. Sell advertisement space on the website to these business establishments, offer coupons, upload local activities.

• Offer tours in your neighbourhood: Food tours. Graffiti tours. Temple tours. Local tourism is booming and it’s fun to explore Malaysian neighbourhoods.

• Offer KonMari services: Help people declutter their homes. This service is great for those who are natural organisers. It would be even better if you could offer to take their personal items off their hands, and later sell it for a tidy profit.


Remember, self-employment is no picnic. However, if you aren’t afraid to get out there and try your hand at something, you’ll find there are loads of business opportunities just waiting to be snapped up.

Don’t take too long to decide though because inaction won’t earn you money.

This article first appeared in ringgitohringgit.com

Suraya is a corporate writer-for-hire and the blogger behind personal finance website Ringgit Oh Ringgit. She is more of a minimalist, less of a consumerist, a konon DIY enthusiast, a let’s-support-small-businesses-over-big-corporations kinda girl. Prior to her current role, she worked in various capacities within the non-profit industry.