Providing Resources For The Busy Entrepreneur

Author: Sharon Remeikis Online Marketing Solutions Page 1 of 53

Sharon is a true entrepreneur with a decade of expertise in internet marketing. Her passion consist of affiliate, network, social media marketing and coaching.

49 Ways to Make More Money Online (or Offline) This Year

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneur, software engineer, author, blogger and founder of WanderlustWorker.com

Okay. You’re looking to make more money this year. Great. You’ve set some goals and now you need to take action. Where do you turn? What do you do first? Do you tackle passive income, money-getting activites, or do you go after something that could put cash in your pocket right now. In a few hours, even? 

Well, that depends on your current situation. But whatever the case might be, there are plenty of ways you can make more money this year. You can make that money online by building sales funnels or hosting webinars or running Facebook ads for that matter. You could also enthrall yourself in the gig economy, manage properties and so on. 

While there are literally thousands of ways you can make more money this year, I’m going to break down 49 of the most popular methods. You could implement one or many. It depends on how devoted you are to bringing in some extra cash. If you’re serious, you could quite literally exponentiate your income. But it all depends on how hard you work. 

This isn’t about having special knowledge or incredible skills. There’s a difference between having a proper education and a money-producing education. If you live with a scarcity mentality, you’ll have trouble implementing some of these strategies because you’ll be limited by your own beliefs. 

This is about having an abundant mindset. Remember, if you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. Those were the famous words of Henry Ford. He should know. His first two businesses went bankrupt before he struck proverbial gold. And that’s the truth, isn’t it? Don’t let anyone or any other thing hold you back. If you want something, go out there and get it. 

1. Publish an ebook or audiobook.

Ever dreamed of being an author? Now’s your chance. Just about anyone can self-publish an ebook these days. How? Simply use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and you can become a self-published author. Want to sell a print version? Use Amazon’s Createspace platform. Your book will print, on-demand, as soon as an order comes in. Want an audiobook version? Head over to ACX. This is a great source for passive income. 

2. Create a Shopify ecommerce store.

Ecommerce is hot right now. In fact, it’s allure is only increase. And, no, Amazon isn’t the only company benefiting from the rise in consumer spending online. Want to take advantage of that? You can easily build an ecommerce store using Shopify. Loads of features and integrations make it simple and easy to quickly launch an ecommerce store in just about any niche you can dream of. 

3. Offer gigs on Fivver.

You can sell virtually any type of service on Fiverr. No matter what you do, you can likely sell it there. While prices do start at $5, you can offer up-sells. Plus, once you become top-rated, you have the chance of joining Fiverr Pro. Fiverr Pros are hand-picked from the best talent on Fiverr. And they reap benefits. Fiverr Pros are assigned higher-priced projects and can make much more income than talent in the general pool.

4. Launch an online course.

Courses are another great source for generating passive income. You can design and develop an online course for just about anything. You can sell those courses on Udemy, Kajabi or Teachable. You can even design and develop your own member-based website or funnel for selling your courses. 

5. Babysit or house sit.

You can babysit or house sit to make some money. You can use online resources such as Care.com to help source work. You can also source babysitting or house-sitting gigs offline as well. Scour your neighborhood or ask family and friends to see if anyone would be willing to give you some work. 

6. Walk dogs with Rover.

Use Rover.com to source jobs for walking dogs in your local area. They offer one of the largest nationwide networks for dog walkers and pet sitters. The company manually reviews every single profile before allowing anyone to offer their services on its platform. They vet and verify you. But, once you’re approved, you can quickly start making money.

7. Create logos on 99Designs

99Designs is a great resource for designers. If you’re good at designing, try your hand at 99Designs. Designers compete with each other to win business. You’ll have to refine your designs and be chosen to be paid. Like Fiverr, there is a high-end pro solution with 99Designs, but you’ll need to be carefully vetted to gain access to this.

8. Rent out your home as a vacation rental.

Whether you AirBnB your home yourself or you use companies like InvitedHome, LuxuryRetreats or Vacasa, you can easily make money if you’re in a vacation location. Even if you’re not in one of the most sought-after parts of the world, you could still make money renting out your home or even a room.  

9. Create an Amazon FBA store

You can launch an Amazon FBA store. Amazon will handle all the shipping, customer service, refunds and payments directly for you. All you need to do is provide your products to Amazon. They even have a nifty FBA calculator that you can use to calculate your costs of fulfilment and potential for profit.

10. Answer questions professionally on JustAnswer

If you hold a graduate degree in law or medicine, or if you’re well-versed in computer science or taxes and other areas, consider answering questions professionally on JustAnswer. You’ll get paid for every successful question you answer. It’s a great resource if you’re just looking to make some money without having to do a slew of online marketing.

11. Do virtual assistant work.

Consider becoming a virtual assistant. If you’re highly organized and you’re meticulous about scheduling and understand all the current office related software platforms, you can make money by helping other people achieve their business goals. Use LinkedIn and other professional and personal networks to source work. 

12. Offer professional services on Upwork.

Upwork allows you to offer a variety of professional services. It’s the current iteration of Elance, which used to be a powerhouse in online services. Today, you can offer just about any professional service on Upwork. From legal to accounting to website, email marketing to software development, if you have a skill, you can get paid for it on Upwork. 

13. Guest blog articles or do ghost writing.

Contact popular blogs and offer your services as a guest blogger. Often, some of the most popular blogs outsource much of their content to guest bloggers. Consider doing that, ghost writing, or even copywriting if you’re a great word smith. As a copywriter, you could make tens of thousands of dollars for a single sales letter. But you need to be great at it.

14. Do social media management.

All businesses today know they need social media management. But most have no clue on where to start. By doing social media management, you could easily make a full-time income by helping others to spread the word on platforms like Instagram or SnapChat and Facebook. 

15. Build an SEO agency.

Search engine optimization is a complex and highly volatile field. I should know. I’ve been teaching it for years. But, once you master this craft, not only can you dominate search results and easily get your offers in front of the masses, but you could build an SEO agency doing this as well. 

16. Auction items on eBay.

If you have plenty of used goods lying around your house, consider auctioning them off on eBay. While you won’t get rich doing this, you could make a pretty penny and put those items to use by selling them. If you don’t feel confident running your own auction, you could always turn to outside agencies to help manage the listing for you. 

17. Drive for Uber, Lyft or Taxify.

Consider driving for Uber, Lyft or Taxify. If you travel to European countries, especially to those that Uber has been banned in, you’ll know about Taxify. Either way, select any one of a number of ride-sharing companies around the world. You can easily earn a full-time income or some side-hustle income by doing this. 

18. Sell handmade items on Etsy or Zazzle.

Etsy and Zazzle are great resources for selling handmade items. If you’re skilled at knitting or woodworking and any other trade that involves crafting things with your hands, consider selling those items online through Etsy or Zazzle.

19. Sell used textbooks on Amazon.

Have some used textbooks lying around? Consider selling them on Amazon. It’s a great way to earn some income from something you might not be using altogether now. 

20. Do PostMates deliveries.

PostMates, and several of its competitors, allow you to do local deliveries. The best part? Even if don’t have a car but you live in a bustling metropolis like NYC or San Francisco, you can make deliveries with a bike. It’s a quick way to earn some side cash. 

21. Do local tasks using TaskRabbit.

TaskRabbit is great for doing local tasks for people in your area. You can get paid for each task that you complete. These can be from incredibly simple things like furniture assembly to more complex tasks like minor home repairs. 

22. Sell photos on Shutterstock or iStockPhoto.

Have a keen eye for photography? Consider selling your photos on Shutterstock or iStockPhoto. This is another great avenue for passive income. 

23. Become a personal trainer.

Consider becoming a personal trainer if you’re in-the-know about fitness and nutrition. However, understand that you might need some certification before beginning. But you could easily make some great money with just a few loyal personal training clients. 

24. Tutor students

Well-versed in an area like science or mathematics? Have a knack for tutoring children? You can easily earn some side hustle income doing this. Or, you could do it virtually as well, if you don’t have any prospects nearby. You can search for virtual tutoring jobs on Indeed.com, amongst many other websites.

25. Clean or organize houses.

If you’re great at cleaning or organizing, you could help local home owners. Either clean houses or help them organize their spaces. Join Maids.com or another service to clean homes in your local neighborhood. 

26. Use Mechanical Turk for micro-gigs.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk won’t make you rich, but it will enable you to earn a very small amount of side income. It doesn’t take much to complete one of these Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) and each one pays a very small amount of money. But, string them together, and you’ll have a bit of extra cash if you’re hard-pressed for it. 

27. Do local tours using Viator.

If you live in a tourist destination, you could do local tours and promote it on Viator. Viator is one of the largest and most trusted online tour companies. You could earn a full-time living doing this depending upon where you live and just how much value you end up providing to tourists. 

28. Build a sales funnel and sell info products.

Sales funnels are great tools for selling information products. If you have great information to share, consider building a sales funnel to help you increase the average cart value of whatever it is that you’re selling. Understand that most people have to ascend a value ladder and start small before they give you more and more money. As long as you deliver huge value, you can crush it with the proper sales funnel. 

29. Create webinars.

Webinars are a great way to sell high-ticket products or services. Once you understand how to craft the perfect webinar, you can quite literally skyrocket your income. Use GoToWebinar or Andy Jenkins’ WebinarJam to host your webinar, two of the best in the industry. 

30. Start a blog in a profitable niche.

Starting a blog is a great way to make some income. It won’t happen right away. But if you follow through and put in the work, you could build multiple revenue streams from this single activity. 

31. Purchase dividend-bearing stocks.

There are loads of stocks that bear dividends. It’s a great way to earn some passive income while also building up an investment portfolio. Sure, you can make money. But this is also a long-term investment that will bear fruit for years, possibly decades to come. You can compound the returns by reinvesting the dividends back into the stocks themselves. 

32. Sell digital designs on CafePress.

You can sell digital designs for t-shirts, mugs, keychains and other gear directly on CafePress. You’ll get paid a small commission every single time one of your items sells. The best part? You never need to warehouse, print, ship or deal with any type of customer service ever. It’s all done for you. 

33. Do affiliate marketing.

If you don’t want the hassle of building out your own products or services, you could always opt to doing affiliate marketing. Use websites like Rakuten Marketing, CJ.com, ClickBank and JVZoo to source opportunities for affiliate marketing. If you’re good, you could earn a significant income doing just this. 

34. Do email marketing.

Email marketing is massive. The money truly is in the list. But building that list is hard. However, if you’re going to learn anything about online marketing, you should definitely learn how to market via email. It’s estimated that for ever person on your list, you can expect to generate a dollar per month income. So, if you have 3,000 people on your list, you can earn roughly $3,000 per month. 

35. Become a business coach or a consultant.

If you have experience in business or another field, you can always get paid to be a consultant. Business coaches and consultants earn a considerable amount of income. No matter what field you have expertise in, you can likely sell your services to others. Check out Expert Secrets to help monetize you understand how to monetize your knowledge.

36. Get paid to search the internet.

Many websites will pay you simply to search the internet and provide thorough, well-researched answers to burning questions. Sites like AskWonder and others will help you make a bit of income. You’ll need to apply to become a researcher, but once approved, you can search and answer away. 

37. Trade cryptocurrencies.

Risky? Sure. But you could make a good sum of money trading cryptocurrencies. Sure, today it’s BitCoin and LiteCoin and Etherum. Tomorrow? Who knows. The point? Learn the ins-and-outs before diving in headfirst. But there is some serious money to be made in this niche. 

38. Recycle your mobile phone.

You can use Gazelle and other websites to recycle your mobile phone. If you have a fairly recent mobile phone that you’re no longer using, consider selling it to earn a bit of extra cash. You won’t get retail prices for it, but it’s better than leaving it lying around your house tucked into some random drawer. 

39. Sell used items on Craigslist or Facebook’s Marketplace.

You can always resort to selling used items on Craigslist. It’s still a great resource for used goods. But you could also turn to Facebook’s new marketplace. It’s the middle icon at the bottom of your Facebook app that looks like a storefront. You may or may not have better luck on Facebook’s Marketplace but the point is that the resource is there for you to use and it’s free. 

40. Flip domains or websites.

You can flip domains or websites if you’re in need of some cash. You can use Flippa, Deal Flow Brokerage or even GoDaddy Domains. Buying and selling domains and websites can be extremely lucrative if you understand and know what you’re doing. 

41. Become a mystery shopper.

Many companies are hiring mystery shoppers. Both online and offline. They want to know the user experience. How do people feel shopping on their sites or in their stores? This can be lucrative if you’re thorough and really report on all the details. You can search for mystery shopper jobs on Market Force, Best Mark and on other sites. 

42. Create YouTube videos.

You can create YouTube videos to earn an income online. Stevin John, the name behind Blippi, has created a children’s educational series on YouTube has nearly 2 billion views and over 1 million subscribers, grossing millions of dollars in passive income per year just by creating educational videos on YouTube.

43. Trade forex

Forex stands for foreign exchange market. You’re playing the pricing difference between currency trades. Sometimes, the difference can be in the thousandths of decimals. However, when amplified by large trades, it could gross you significant returns on capital invested if you play the markets right. Companies like ETrade, Simpler Trading and Ameritrade provide platforms for trading currencies.

44. Flip houses

You can certainly flip houses to make money. If you have the capital, you can buy, upgrade and re-sell a home. Today, there’s a house-flipping craze with new shows popping up virtually every week on networks like HGTV and DIY. It takes some knowledge and know-how to do this. But, when executed properly, you could earn a significant income.

45. Open a checking account.

Most banks will pay you to open a checking account. Either they’ll give you a cash incentive or they’ll give you a free gift in the form of vouchers or gift certificates.

46. Test websites.

You can test websites to earn a part-time income. Websites like User Testing, What Users Do and many others will pay you to test out websites and report the user experience back. You won’t make a fortune doing this, but you can make a bit of money when things are tight.

47. Become an extra in a movie.

Have desires of fame and stardom? Well, before you get there, you could opt to be an extra in a movie. Extras get paid a healthy sum for hanging around and doing very little work. You can use websites like BackStage and others to source extra work in movies and tv shows.

48. Do data entry work.

Do work as a data entry specialist. You could transcribe insurance claims, or simply do basic data entry work that’s needed by just about every small business around the world. Source jobs through your personal or professional network or even on LinkedIn. 

49. Participate in online focus groups.

You can participate in online focus groups in your spare time. You can use InboxDollars, SurveyJunkie or any other number of websites to get paid for your opinion. 

Happy Thanksgiving Wish

May your Thanksgiving be surrounded with family and friends filled with laughter and good hearty food.

The true meaning of Thanksgiving, which occurs on the fourth Thursday in November, is based on the colonial Pilgrims’ 1621 harvest meal. The holiday continues to be a day for Americans to gather for a day of feasting, family, friends and even football. Most of us have family or friends to share this day which we are so be grateful for.

Many other have lost their families or good friends and those times are hard to handle with only the fond memories that they once shared. Memories are good, but it’s nothing like those times we shared in person.

Today, I am grateful for my family, friends and I am grateful for each of you.

May your Thanksgiving be a wonderful day to enjoy and treasure those memories for years to come.

Starting a Business: 10 Steps to Success

If you’re thinking of starting a business, you’re in good company. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that 99.7 percent of U.S. companies are categorized as small businesses — those with fewer than 500 employees. If you’ve always dreamed of quitting your day job and gaining independence by becoming your own boss, here’s a step-by-step guide with everything you need to know to make your daydream a reality.

Research Your Idea

If you already have an idea for a small business, you’re ahead of the game. An idea is just the seed, however; the first step in starting your business is determining whether there’s a market for your idea. The SBA emphasizes the importance of understanding the market for your product or service before starting a business. Some questions you must answer during the market research phase of business development include:

Who is the intended audience for your product or service?

About how large is this intended audience? What percentage of the audience is already served by another business?

What are the demographics of your intended audience, including income level and employment rate? Where do your customers live?

Does your product or service provide customer benefit or solve a problem?

Do other companies already offer similar products or services? How much do they charge?

What competitive advantage can your business provide over similar companies?

Maybe you already know the answers to some of these questions, but you’ll likely need to do some fact-finding using market research methods such as surveys, focus groups and interviews. You’ll also need to conduct a thorough competitive analysis of similar businesses in the market. Create a simple chart with the name of each competitor and the following characteristics:

The share of the market they currently command

Their strengths and weaknesses

Their location in proximity to yours

Where and how they currently market their services

Their reputation in the market

This will give you a clear picture of opportunities for you to enter the market and challenges you might face as you attempt to do so. The SBA has a free online tool called SizeUp that can assist with the competitive analysis process.

Write a Business Plan

The research phase is where you flesh out your idea — now it’s time to get it down on paper. If you’re not currently planning to apply for financing with a traditional bank, your initial business plan can be relatively simple. According to templates provided by The Balance, a basic business plan should include the following sections:

Vision: In this section, describe your business concept and plans for the future. Detail the type of business you’re building, how you want it to grow over the next year and where you plan to be in five years.

Mission: Here, detail the products and services you plan to provide, identify your target market and describe your unique selling proposition — what you will offer that your competitors don’t. Note whether you’ll be a home-based business that sells primarily online and/or if you plan to have a brick and mortar location.

Pricing Strategy: How much will you charge for your products or services? You’ll need to set a competitive rate that will attract customers while allowing you to earn a profit. This section should also project your business’s earnings and expenses.

Marketing and Advertising: Describe the channels you plan to use to let people know about your new business. Consider both digital and traditional marketing strategies, as well as client referrals.

Objectives: How will you measure success? This section should list several measurable, time-specific goals, such as a revenue target for the first year or a benchmark for the number of customers you want to reach in the first six months. Include potential challenges you’ll face in reaching these goals and strategies to overcome these obstacles.

Action Plans: Detail the steps you’ll take to achieve your objectives.

Create a Budget

Whether you plan to minimize expenses with a lean startup approach or you’ve already saved the capital to launch your business, estimate the costs associated with starting and running it. While the actual costs vary dramatically by industry, you should account for the following possible categories:

Startup costs:

  • State and local business licenses and permits
  • Equipment
  • Legal fees, especially if you plan to incorporate
  • Business insurance
  • Brand and website development
  • Market research
  • Inventory
  • Trademarking
  • Rental lease

Ongoing costs:

  • Rent and utilities
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Production and supplies
  • Travel expenses
  • Living expenses
  • Employee salaries, if you plan to create jobs

Use these numbers to extrapolate your estimated expenses for the first six months. Entrepreneur recommends keeping costs as low as possible with the goal of turning a profit within the first 60 to 90 days in business. However, the magazine also notes that you should add a 20 percent “burn rate” to your budget. This will be spent on unexpected incidentals and will help you plan your realistic cash flow.

Set up a system to manage your finances that keeps business income and expenses completely separate from personal income and expenses. This will make your life much easier come tax time.

Decide on a Business Structure

Incorporating your small business protects your personal assets from business liability. This means the business is legally considered a separate entity, so your house, car and other property cannot be seized to pay business debts or legal judgments. Incorporating your business also has tax advantages. Whether it’s best for you to establish a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation depends on the type of business, the number of employees and other factors.

A business attorney can advise you on the best strategy for your specific venture. For most sole proprietors, keeping the business structure as simple as possible will keep costs low as you’re starting out and give you a chance to determine the ideal setup as you grow. Entrepreneur recommends new businesses wait three to six months before forming a legal entity. Keep in mind that even when you choose a business structure, however, you can always reorganize to become a different entity down the road.

The IRS requires some small businesses to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is used for payroll and certain types of taxation.

Name Your Business

Naming your new business can be one of the most fun parts of becoming an entrepreneur and also one of the most challenging. Think about what your business stands for and what you hope to accomplish. Think about your mission statement and the message you want to portray. Consider whether you want to choose something that is easy to pronounce and remember or a unique name that sets your business apart from the crowd. Have a brainstorming session where you write down every name that comes to mind, then test your favorites with trusted mentors, friends and colleagues to gauge their reactions and get feedback about the main contenders. When you have a finalist, take a few days to let it settle before making your ultimate choice.

Once you’ve brainstormed the best possible name for your new business, use your state’s business name search function to make sure it isn’t already in use. Even if the name you have in mind is available, make sure you can also reserve the domain name. When you settle on a name, register it through the Secretary of State and any relevant local entities.

According to Inc. magazine, many new entrepreneurs get stuck in the naming and branding stage and don’t move forward because they are waiting to think of the perfect name. Avoid this pitfall by choosing a memorable, evocative name, even if you don’t necessarily fall in love with it right away. Doing so will allow you to get the ball rolling on your dream.

Find a Location

Unless you’re starting an online or home-based business, you’ll need to find the ideal physical location for your enterprise. This is where you’ll register your business, obtain the required permits and licenses and pay local and state taxes. These items can be much more costly in some municipalities than in others, so do your research to make sure you choose a city that’s on the more affordable side. On the flip side, some state and local governments offer tax incentives and credits for new businesses, and federal incentives are available for new ventures in certain zones that are historically underutilized.

Create an Online Presence

After registering your domain name, set up a website for your business. If you’ve never built a site before, try using one of the many free tools to create a business website that are as intuitive as creating a Word document, with simple drag and drop functionality. If you plan to sell products online, sites like Shopify charge a reasonable monthly fee for a virtual storefront with online shopping cart functionality. This is also the time to set up social media accounts and promote them on your new site. Don’t forget to create an official email address for business use.

Start Promoting Your New Business

If you want to have a successful small business, get used to telling everyone you encounter about your new venture. Join your local chamber of commerce, and explore the resources they offer to fledgling small businesses in your community. They might have a platform where you can present information about your business or meetings where you can network with other small business owners. If you’re selling a product, set up a booth at a local farmers market and provide free samples. Use this as an opportunity to gather market research and test the public response to your offerings. Although business cards might seem outdated, they are actually a useful networking tool that provides something tangible to give potential customers, increasing the chance they’ll remember you when they need your product or service.

Announce your new business on social media, and ask friends, acquaintances and potential customers to follow your business pages. Drive traffic to your website by promoting sales or sharing content related to your industry. Facebook and Google both offer low-cost ad programs that can get your content in front of more viewers.

Purchase Business Insurance

This is a critical step that will help protect your financial and intellectual investment from unforeseen circumstances such as theft, customer lawsuit or property damage. While a general liability policy is sufficient for most small businesses, those who hire employees will also need to purchase unemployment compensation and worker’s compensation insurance. Professional liability insurance protects you if something goes wrong when you’re providing professional services.

Explore Helpful Resources

In addition to your local chamber of commerce, your community and state likely offer a wealth of information and resources for new business owners. Online government agencies and nonprofit organizations also provide assistance. Some possibilities to explore include:

SCORE, a network of more than 10,000 volunteer business owners in 300 chapters across the nation who provide mentoring support to new entrepreneurs. The organization was founded in 1964 and is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. On the SCORE website, you can enter your zip code to get paired with a mentor in your area or find your local chapter. The organization also offers live webinars, online courses and local lectures and seminars along with a library of resources.

A list maintained by the IRS of recommended reading for small businesses that provides valuable information about taxation and other regulations.

A comprehensive business guide designed by the SBA to help you plan, launch, manage and grow your business, including a 10-step guide to getting off the ground.

Funding is one of the biggest challenges people starting a business face. If you’re seeking capital for your venture, consider applying for a flexible line of credit from an online small business lender.

I hope this will help any entrepreneurs who want to seriously set up a business with the right resources following this above 10 steps to success.

Wishing you much success in all that you set out to do in the near future.

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