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Secure your side hustle

From online fashion retailers, tech start-ups, media companies to repair and restoration services, the humble home garage has been a launch pad for some of the most successful side-hustles in the world. The garage is a versatile, creative space where big ideas can become a reality.

Looking for inspiration? Here are five examples of small business ideas that can be easily run from a garage:

Backyard brewery

What you’ll need to succeed:

  •   A well-insulated garage with appropriate temperature control
  •   Accessible supply of clean water
  •   Certificate/permit to sell alcohol
  •   A basic homebrewing kit

DIY breweries have become an increasingly popular venture in the last decade. Instead of utilising the kitchen space for this side-hustle, transforming the garage into the brewery will keep every wife in the country happy.

Hunter and the Harp is a micro-meadery operating out of the founder’s home garage, where the mead is prepared, produced and distributed. An online store allows Hunter and the Harp to send stock nationwide.

For those wondering what mead is, you’re not alone! Mead is a drink that’s produced by fermenting honey with water and other ingredients like spices or grains and tends to be about 9 per cent alcohol. Check out Merlin’s full interview with Hunter and the Harp where entrepreneur and founder, Joel Robinson discusses his inspiration for his home garage brewery business.

To sell your product, you’ll require a Producers/Wholesalers Licence which will enable you to sell your product to other licensees at any time. Check in with your state government’s laws and regulations before putting your product on the market.

Let loose the inner artist

What you’ll need to succeed:

  •   A clean garage space with plenty of ventilation and warm light
  •   An artfully transformed garage studio with a clear bench space and/or easel
  •   Fully stocked art supply station
  •   Accessible water supply

If you’re an inspired and passionate artist, the garage is the ideal space to convert to an art studio and stockroom. By storing art supplies in one place, it’s easier to ensure that all materials stay safe and organised. Similarly, you won’t need to worry about artworks being damaged in the same way that you might need to be if they were in the home.

Judie Butler and her band of mosaic artists, the Arty Fartys, are an art group that meet once a week in Judie’s garage to design and create mosaics. Having a dedicated space allows creativity to flourish without feelings of concern or dread when it comes to cleaning up after each session. Take a look at Merlin’s interview with founder of the Arty Fartys here.

Try tutoring

What you’ll need to succeed:

  •   Working with children certificate
  •   Teaching qualifications and experience
  •   Certifications of specialised knowledge
  •   A comfortably converted garage office space with Wi-Fi access and plenty of desk space

Tutoring is a great idea for teachers and for those who have exceptional knowledge and expertise in one area. With tutoring, you’ll be able to put your skills to good use and make a different to a student’s life and their education. What better way to earn some extra money?

The garage is a great space for tutoring as there’s enough room for a large desk while also providing a sense of privacy from the home. Similarly, the garage typically has Wi-Fi reach from the home’s connection and power point access making it the ideal space for students studying with laptops. Tutor Finder is the largest tutor site in Australia, allowing you to register as a tutor and connect with students.

Offer a repair service

What you’ll need to succeed:

  •   A demonstrated skill for fixing or repairing specific items
  •   A garage converted into a repair workshop space
  •   The materials and technologies required for specialised repair work
  •   An organised system to identify and store repair jobs

If you’ve got a knack for fixing broken things, there are a lot of broken things needing to be fixed. Whether you’re good at fixing tech, bikes, mowers and machines, or even furniture, broken or damaged jewellery or mending worn clothing and garments, there’s always going to be something out there that needs a little TLC to get it back in working order.

The garage is the perfect space to set up a repair workshop! To get this business up and running, you’ll need to create a space in the garage suitable for your repair service and spread the word locally about your service. Creating a business page on social media is a smart idea to encourage people to leave positive reviews – otherwise, word of mouth marketing can work just as well.

Listing your services online through platforms like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace will connect you with prospective clients. Similarly, dropping flyers into letterboxes around the neighbourhood is a trusty old – and free – way of advertising your services locally.

Start a rental business

What you’ll need to succeed:

  •   Tools, appliances or even designer clothing that are in excellent condition
  •   Plenty of garage storage space to act as the stock-room for rentals
  •   Access to the internet to advertise rental items
  •   A willingness to invest in the ongoing maintenance of rental items

If your home or garage is packed with infrequently used tools, appliances or even designer-clothing, creating a rental business for others to borrow your belongings may be a clever strategic side-hustle.

This is perfect for the types of possessions that are only seldom used and that people are hesitant to purchase, such as sewing machines, lawn mowers and whipper snippers, power tools and even mix masters.

Listing your available tools, appliances and clothing online through various platforms including ToolMATES and Rent My Wardrobe will allow others to see what equipment or clothes you’ve got on offer and easily rent and return them.

In addition to these five small business ideas, there are plenty of other businesses you could launch from your garage as well. It just takes a little creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit to kickstart your side-hustle, as well as some up-to-date garage security to keep your business secure and prevent against any break-ins or theft.

For more information about Merlin’s range of garage door openers and accessories, visit our website or call 1800 638 234.