If you need a way to make some extra money, or if you are looking to start a new business, maybe one of the ideas below is something you can start today. These are affordable business ideas that do not cost a lot to start, and that is a big advantage if you do not have a lot of money to invest upfront.

1. Homemade foods

Do you make the best cupcakes, cakes, burgers or bread in your area? Are people always asking to you cook or bake something for them? If so, you may be able to start a part-time homemade gourmet food business from home.

You will need to make sure that your business follows all the local and state regulations regarding the sale of food. You may not be able to cook certain foods in your home kitchen, and it is likely no pets will be allowed in an area where food is prepared for sale.

2. Cooking classes

Do you have a love of cooking and you want to teach others how to cook as well? There are people of all ages and backgrounds who would appreciate someone teaching them how to cook for themselves and others.

You can create a website or Facebook page that will explain the services you offer, the types of classes you teach, how much the classes cost and payment information.

You can also contact a video production company that will create a marketing video for your website. This video could simply be where you tell viewers a little about yourself and the classes you offer, or the video could show a sample cooking class so your clients will know what to expect.

3. Freelancing

Do you have a skill that you are good at, and there is a need for? Why not freelance the service out to those who need it? If you are a good writer, photographer, or graphic designer, you could build a small service company to assist companies for a fee.

If you have worked with other companies or individuals in the past, ask them if they could provide testimonials or reviews. Create an online portfolio of your past work that can be used as a reference.

4. Landscaping/lawn care

This is generally a seasonal business. However, it can become very lucrative if you either:

  • Market your services to busy homeowners who do not have the time to care for their lawn properly.
  • Offer year round services like snow removal in the winter and raking leaves in the autumn.

A lawn care business is an excellent option for those who enjoy being outside. The business has low to no start up costs. Your biggest expense will be the equipment (lawn mower, weed trimmer, leaf blower).

Other items that will help you get started are business cards and fliers. You may also want to consider creating a one page website or Facebook page that will introduce your business to more people in your local area.

5. Janitorial/cleaning

Wherever people gather, there will be an opportunity to clean. You can focus on residential cleaning or commercial cleaning. The start-up cost for this business is also very affordable, and all you will need initially are cleaning supplies, business cards and fliers.

You will also want to make sure your business is operating legally. Some jurisdictions require licensing, insurance and bonding for janitorial and house cleaning companies. This helps to protect the business in case of a reported theft or damage of property.

6. Errand service

This is another affordable start up business, and you only need a vehicle in good running condition and a smartphone. If you enjoy helping other people, this can become a lucrative part time business.

Some business owners target a certain demographic. For example, you may decide to run an errand/concierge service for busy executives, new mothers or the elderly. Besides running errands, you may assist with meal prep, bill paying, house sitting or pet sitting.

7. Emergency day care

If a child is sick and must miss school, or school is dismissed early, a parent may not have anyone who can look after their child if they have to work. An emergency day care service will offer parents a safe place where their child can stay.

With this type of business, you will need to undergo a background check, and the state will need to approve your home for this service. You can select the age range you will look after, the time limit, and the pay (which is usually hourly).

You can set up cameras in the areas of your home where the children will be and provide parents with Skype access so they can check in on their children until they can pick them up.

These are just a few start up business ideas that you can consider to bring in some more cash. Choose a business that you are truly interested in and not just interested in the money. You want to spend your spare time doing something you love while also getting paid for it.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups, Contributor @Entrepreneur, Columnist @Inc. Magazine and Curator at Postanly (his free weekly digest of the best life and career improvement posts on the web. Subscribe for free.