Turning your idea into a business is not something that can take place overnight. From the time you come up with the brilliant plan, from the time you turn it into an actual business plan, until the time you make your first sale or serve your first client – well, there’s a lot of time in between those occasions.
Even after you make your first sale in your business, there’s an even longer stretch of time until the business becomes a profitable entity that can support you full-time, never mind your family or dependents. Unless you have a giant nest egg to live off of, you are going to need to side hustle a bit in order to make up the financial slack. It wouldn’t do to go bankrupt while getting your business off the ground. You need a safety net to subsidize your bills while you focus on growing your business, so you need ways to make additional income.
Where is Your Time Spent?
Now, let’s be real. Growing a business takes time, something you might not have a lot of. You probably feel like every waking hour is spent working on your business, thinking about your business or thinking about when you can work on your business. Being a sole proprietor is no walk in the park in the early stages, but you know it will all pay off someday.
With this fact established – that it takes a considerable amount of your time to work on growing your business – you don’t have much left over for a side gig. You know you have to make additional income this way, but it is not a task that particularly excites you. You would rather be putting your efforts into your business, not spending your days trying to rustle up more money for your boring old bills.
The Benefits of Passive Income
It is possible to make additional income without it taking up too much of your business-growing time, especially if the income you are producing is passive in nature, meaning you don’t have to be present 100% of the time while it is being produced. Of course, there are also other, less conventional ways to make your income seem passive, so here are the eight specific ideas that will give you options in every category:
- Renting Out Your Assets
Do you own a home? You can make additional income by renting out a room in your house that is going unused. Advertise at a local college – responsible graduate students are always looking for housing. If you own a car but mostly use public transportation to get to work, you can also rent out your ride. Many people leave their vehicle at airport parking lots and rent it out using online services such as relayrides.com and more. These are two examples of how assets you already own can work towards making you money that you can then use to pay your bills while growing your business. Of course, don’t forget you’ll have to pay taxes and perhaps purchase additional insurance, but you could collect anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand extra dollars per month. You may even decide passive income is just the thing for you, and invest in real estate even more extensively, having your tenants pay the mortgage and providing you with steady cash flow throughout the year.
- Hiring Out Your Skills
Are you really good at doing one particular thing? It doesn’t have to be a mainstream skill. Maybe you’re good at making up songs on the spot. Maybe you’re good at designing greeting cards. Maybe you’re an excellent study-guide-creator. You can sell your services online at places like fiverr.com. If you provide top-level service and receive rave reviews, the orders will begin piling up faster than you can keep up, providing tons of extra money to help you meet your monthly goals.
You can also become a more professional freelancer and establish a client base with consistent pay. Maybe you have writing or designing experience – make it official and get paid to provide high-quality work to paying customers. While this isn’t passive income, if you choose a skill to sell where you excel, you will accomplish a lot in a little amount of time, maximizing your hourly earning rate.
- Making Use of All Your Spare Time
Maybe you don’t want to sell your personal skills, but you are willing to work part-time at a second job or side gig. In that case, consider talking to a temp agency. You could try to work for one company, but if you have odd off hours where you’d like to take on more work, they might not be able to satisfy your needs. Talk to a temp agency and clue them into your schedule. They will be able to give you the best local options for temp work based on your availability and your location.
You could also try using the Wonolo.com app – it connects you to local businesses looking for people to hire for one-time or small-scale jobs in your area. This approach takes the frustration out of a part-time job search and lets you just show up where you are needed and collect your pay at the conclusion of the position.
- Sell What You Have
Do you have valuables in your home that you are willing to part with? Or maybe, do you have a collection of items that may not have value to everyone, but may have value to some? With modern advances achieving full-blown popularity, such as eBay and Amazon, you can sell anything to anyone on the internet. It’s a great way to clear out the clutter in your basement or attic while turning items that would otherwise collect dust into cash which can work for you instead.
If you’re really interested in making a few bucks by selling things online, visit a few flea markets and yard sales and see if you can pick up items that would attain a high value if you flipped them on the internet markets. It’s best to stick to categories that you know will bring in at least a little bit of profit after shipping and packaging costs. Use your expertise on collectibles and antiques to make additional income this way. You could also make crafts and handmade gifts to sell on Etsy or other similar platforms.
- Get Paid to Share Knowledge
Think about your original pursuit: your business. Is the business you are in something you could educate others on? If you are very knowledgeable about a certain subject, you could put together online resources on a site like udemy.com and get paid when people decide to take your class.
You could also write down your strategies and plans in an ebook and sell it online. Ebook sales have skyrocketed in recent years due to the popularity of Kindle and many other e-readers. This is another form of passive income, because once you construct the project, it sells without any further work needed from you, besides possible marketing promotions.
- Work From Home
There are so many businesses you can start right at home. For instance, if you are working from home already towards growing your business, it makes sense to keep doing what you’re doing while adding responsibilities like opening an in-home daycare. You could also watch other people’s pets in your home while they are away on vacation. You could become an online transcriptionist and work on your projects at home, at a local coffee shop or wherever you find the most peace and quiet. Bake and decorate cakes, become an event planner or offer virtual consulting services – all of these are jobs you can complete from a home office, saving you on commuting costs and adding additional time otherwise spent in the car or on the bus or train.
- Cut All Unnecessary Costs
Sometimes the best way to make additional income is to keep more of your money in the first place rather than spending it on unnecessary luxuries. Try to analyze your current budget. Are there areas where you could cut back? Maybe you could try going longer in between haircuts, or find a skilled relative or friend who will provide the service for cheaper. Maybe you could cancel your gym membership and work out at home using free online resources. Maybe you could cut back on your cable subscription and stream your favorite movies and TV shows online instead of live.
Cutting out costs can immediately add hundreds to your budget, so you’ll feel like you make additional income every time you pay your bills and still have cash left over.
- Talk to Other Entrepreneurs
You’re not the only one working on growing a business that needs to make extra cash on the side. It’s time to network. Talk to other business owners and ask them how they got their start. They may be able to point you in a direction you never thought of before. Even better, maybe they have a side gig that they would be willing to collaborate with you on. You could work together on a side hustle and who knows? It could turn into another business altogether. You may find you like it more than the business you’re currently in.
Characteristics of a Profitable, Peaceful Side Job
Whatever you do for a side job, remember that it’s just that – a side job. These are four characteristics that should always be present in a side job so that you don’t burn out and fail to grow your business the way you planned due to sheer exhaustion.
- Don’t Work When You’re Tired
If an opportunity for a side job comes up but the hours are all wrong and you feel tired and sluggish, don’t push yourself too hard. It’s best to do extra work during the hours of the day when you feel the most productive. For some people, that may turn out to be late at night. For others, early in the morning is when they are the most refreshed. You will get more done if you’re energetic and awake.
- Prioritize Down Time
Making sure you rest enough goes hand in hand with the first suggestion. Just like you need to schedule in extra work for your side gig, you have to also write in relaxation time to your daily schedule. If you can, you should have at least one day a week where you do no work whatsoever and completely relax. So feel free to stack up those extra work hours as long as you are conscious of your body and mind’s need for rest as well.
- Don’t Spend Too Much Energy for Not Enough Profit
As a beginner business owner, you know that time and energy are sometimes worth more than money. If you find yourself having to devote a considerable amount of time and energy to your side gig, it might be time to find a new side gig. It is, after all, a side job and not your main pursuit, which is growing your business. If you feel like your hourly rate is much lower than you expected due to the frustration or off-work hours needed to make the job a success, it’s time to call it quits.
- Choose a Job that Doesn’t Feel Like Work
The absolute best way to find a good side job that works within your schedule is to choose a job where you do not feel like you’re “on the clock” while you carry out your duties. Maybe this involves teaching a yoga class at your local community center. Maybe it involves walking dogs during your lunch hour. Find a side gig that aligns with one of your passions so you can be happy while you work and avoid dreading showing up to your part-time job.
This guide will help you get a jump start on learning how to make additional income while also working on your business. Whatever time of day it is, you can start now and begin making a list of ideas that fit your personality and your interests. Soon enough, your bank account will be growing and you’ll feel satisfied that you’re doing all you can to reach your goals and make additional income to satisfy your financial needs.