In today’s down economy, many people have suffered job losses, cutbacks in work hours, and underemployment, resulting in significant income cuts. But with a little creativity, you can create income streams to supplement or replace that lost income. Take Inventory of your skills and strengths, and pick an activity that suits you. Here are five things you can do to make some extra money.
Use Your Writing Talent for SEO
If you have a way with words, there are opportunities galore out there. The Internet is a vast information source, and writers are needed to contribute content to a myriad of websites. Get started by contributing content to sites that utilize freelance writers. Some will take unsolicited articles, many will give assignments to freelancers. Here’s a tip: learn about search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and use of keywords.
Sell, Sell, Sell with an E-commerce web site that has Credit Card Processing capabilities
Go through your garage, attic, storage shed, or closet to find items you don’t use that could bring in some extra cash. Cruise yard sales and pick up items that you can resell online for a quick profit. If you have specialized knowledge in areas such as antiques or rare books, so much the better. You may be able to pick up really valuable items for a fraction of their value and resell them with an E-commerce Web site. If you are good at person-to-person sales, look into a direct sales business such as Avon or Mary Kay. You can sell easily by set ting up a merchant account to accept credit card transactions online.
Use Your Time Wisely
Time is the one thing people never have enough of. If you can give people time by offering personal services to take care of time-consuming tasks and chores, they may pay you handsomely. If you are good with growing things, start a plant maintenance service to water and care for indoor plants in homes and offices. Do you like pets? Offer pet-sitting services. Good with kids? Babysitting or daycare might be your ticket. Start a concierge service running errands for busy people: dry cleaning, grocery shopping, gift buying, etc. Set up a mobile carpet cleaning or car detailing business, and use a business networking tool to network or join your local business community to spread the word about your services. The list of personal services you can provide is limited only by your imagination.
Online Solutions: Web Services are in Demand
If you have a technical background, the world is your oyster. Everybody uses a computer, but few know much about it. Offer your services for website design, IT Consulting, or Internet Marketing. Market your service to small businesses, and people with home offices. Tap into social media marketing or business networks to attract customers to your Web site.
Those Who Do Can Also Teach
If you have a specialized knowledge or skill, share it with others for money. Conduct classes in cake decorating, flower arranging, jewelry-making, gardening, automobile maintenance, carpentry, photography, or whatever your expertise happens to be. Teach a class at a local community college, or hook up with a business that can use your classes to increase sales. If you are an expert in math, history, English, or other subjects, contact local schools and offer your services as a tutor to students who need some extra help.
Whatever You Do, Make Sure You Are Legal
Here are a few things to remember, no matter what extra money-making venture you choose:
- Always follow local, state and federal laws. Get any licenses required, pay sales taxes where appropriate
- Get everything in writing. A written contract is invaluable in case you find yourself in front of Judge Judy
- Get payment up front, if possible
- Consult a tax professional. Make sure you are taking all the deductions you are entitled to
- Get referrals. The quickest way to build your business is referrals from satisfied clients
- Connect and network with business professionals online via tools such as tradeseam to expand your business