Here are a dozen ideas for businesses you can operate after work and/or on weekends. Bonus: All have the potential to turn into full-time businesses if desired.
Virtual Assistant: Do you have secretarial, project management or organizational skills? Then start a virtual assistant business, and work remotely to help businesspeople with administrative tasks. Promote your services on freelance job websites. Depending on your clients' needs, this business may require working daytime hours, but you can easily limit those to part time.
Writing/Editing: All you need to provide writing and/or editing services for businesses are writing skills, a computer and an Internet connection. Stand out by specializing in a particular niche, whether that's copywriting for websites, developing corporate publications or editing blog content.
Crafts Business: If you love crafting clothing, jewelry or home decor, turn your passion into a part-time business, and sell your products on Etsy, Shopify or on your own website. Growing interest in locally made products means there is also a big market for crafts at crafts fairs and local boutiques.
Photography/Videography: Thanks to smartphones, everyone's a photographer these days. However, people are still willing to pay for professional photography and videography for special events, such as weddings, anniversary parties, Sweet 16 parties or corporate galas.
Selling on eBay or Amazon: Launching an ecommerce shop on eBay or Amazon gives you a built-in audience for your products which is easier than developing and marketing a stand-alone website. You can post, package and ship your products after work and on weekends; just make sure you have time during the day to respond to customer queries if needed.
Tutoring: Highly competitive college admissions have parents worrying about their children's grades as early as kindergarten. Ease their worries, and help children by offering after-school tutoring at clients' homes or at local schools.
Music Instructor: Are you musically talented? Start a part-time business teaching music. You can have students come to you, or visit their home to give lessons. Music appeals to all ages, so market your services to adults eager to learn new skills, as well as to children and teens.
Interior Decorating: if you have an eye for home decor, beautify clients' surroundings as a part-time interior decorator. You can do most of your scouting and even shopping online, share ideas with clients on Pinterest and meet with them in their homes in the evening and on weekends to do the actual decorating.
Catering Business: Put your chef skills to work by launching a catering business. Partner up with friends who can help you plate and serve the food; meet with clients in the evenings to plan their events; then cater to their needs on the weekends.
Personal Trainer: If you have early mornings, afternoons and/or weekends free, you can start a personal training business visiting clients in their homes or meeting in local parks. Sign up to teach classes for a local parks and recreation department to get your first clients, and start building your brand.
Janitorial Services: Office complexes need to get cleaned after working hours, making this a good opportunity if you're willing to work at night. Startup costs are minimal, and this business can be launched with just you and a partner.
Handyman Service: People who can fix things around the house are always in demand. Market your service on online ratings and search sites such as Yelp, Local.com and Angie's List. However, the real key to success is good word-of-mouth. Do a great job, and your customers will refer you to their friends.