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Will Making Extra Money Help You In Your Situation ?

How Important Is It to Have Multiple Streams of Income?

Last week, I posted an article about how busy people can build new income streams, and a reader sent in a great follow-up message that I wanted to address in detail. Here’s (most of) that message:

“I’ve been thinking about this more and more and my current hypothesis is that whether you should commit to multiple income streams or not depends on probability and your personal circumstances.

“After thinking about this some more, people who meet the following characteristics probably don’t need multiple income streams.
– already financially independent (3% SWR) and working full-time
– lives in a place where unemployment rate is 6% (which means 94% people have job and it would be easy to find something else if you lose your job)
– spouse works full-time
– job requires security clearance; which means high barrier to entry and high demand for people who have the clearance

“Please let me know your thoughts.”

In a nutshell, I think that the only situation where a new income stream might not be a great idea is if you’re already strongly financially independent and want to use your time in ways that don’t generate revenue, like volunteering or working on personal growth projects. That’s not to say that people who are not financially independent should avoid such things, but that there is an underlying financial pressure for them to look at income-producing side projects.

Here’s my reasoning behind that.

First of all, the end goal for most people in terms of their lifelong financial journey is some level of financial independence. That’s effectively what retirement is, after all; it’s a stage in your life where your previous activities have earned you enough money (and/or enough Social Security credits) so that you can live out your life without the need to continue to work for more money. My parents have reached this state, for example. My view is that if you’re short of that goal of financial independence, there is at least some financial pressure to do things that will earn you more money.

The thing to keep in mind is that there are essentially three ways that people use additional income.

A person might use additional income to directly or indirectly save for retirement. This ensures that either you’ll be able to retire earlier or be able to retire with a larger annual living stipend. (Note, of course, that when I say “retire,” I simply mean that you no longer have income as a primary motivation for working; I don’t mean a life of idleness, though that is one option.) A person might not directly save for retirement and yet still achieve this by doing things like buying a needed replacement car without a loan while bumping up one’s 401(k) withdrawals at work, or by investing in themselves to increase their earning potential; I’d argue that this is indirectly a form of retirement savings because if their income increases, they can use that money to directly save for retirement. Things like an emergency fund, insurance, and other financial protection tools also fall under this umbrella, as they protect your life’s savings from life’s unknowns.

On the other hand, a person might use additional income to inflate their current lifestyle. That means a higher standard of living, but that also means that sustaining that new standard of living will require a larger annual living stipend in retirement. This effectively delays retirement or else means that retirement requires a bigger drop-off in terms of standard of living.

A person might also use additional money for helping others through charitable giving, political donations, or other means. There are many, many ways in which this can happen, including making choices such as switching to part-time work so you can devote personal time to charity. Some people launch side gigs that are wholly devoted to generating revenue for a particular charity.

No matter what the realities of your life might be, additional income contributes to one of those three paths. However, once your savings grows beyond what is needed for financial independence, that path becomes less and less incentivized (unless you have hoarding tendencies, I suppose), which is why many wealthy people tend to eventually give away their money (Warren Buffett) or significantly inflate their lifestyle (Donald Trump).

Given all of that, I would argue that creating additional streams of income is useful for anyone who hasn’t yet achieved financial independence. However, simply saving for financial independence isn’t the only reason why developing additional streams of income is worthwhile.

It enables other life goals. Life isn’t all about the money. A person might decide that their current lucrative career isn’t something they want to continue devoting their life to, so they may want to change careers. Having an additional income stream or two already in place makes that transition much easier because it likely involves sacrificing a much lower percentage of one’s annual income. A person might even transition to working on one of those side income streams on a full time basis.

It offers creative outlets and other life outlets. For many people, a side gig is a way to express their creative side in a way that isn’t available in the workplace. For others, it might encourage them to do things that they want as part of their life, such as a person who works in an office who has a lawn care business on the side because they want more time outdoors moving around.

It offers the chance to make new connections with people. Operating a side gig is almost always going to put you in new communities and help you build new connections with people. Some of those connections may end up changing your life in ways that you never expect – new friends, new business partners, and so on.

In the end, I don’t feel that the relative security of one’s life is a reason to say no to a side gig. A side gig serves as insurance against things that might create challenges outside of your career path. It offers the potential for creative and other outlets you might not have in life. It offers new connections to people. It does all of that while potentially building your income and bringing you closer to early retirement.

I’m a huge proponent of side gigs, in other words, because I feel that the benefits of side gigs go far beyond the income you might earn. Side gigs offer life benefits that might simply not exist in your life without them.

Most of the things that the reader mentions above are very effective career safeguards. Low unemployment, a spouse that works full time, and a career that has a bunch of specialized requirements that you already meet – all of those things provide very nice career security. However, career security alone doesn’t address many of the key benefits of having a side gig. Career security is useful, don’t get me wrong, but side gigs offer a ton of benefits that aren’t conveyed by career security alone.

So, here’s the take home message: don’t let career security convince you that there’s no benefit to you having a side gig. A side gig can provide a creative outlet for you that might not exist at work. It can help you build new relationships and connections. It can make other life goals possible and help you deal with unexpected events from outside of your career. It can also help accelerate you toward an early retirement, too. I consider all of those things to be incredible benefits from having a side gig that remain true no matter how much career security you happen to have.

Good luck!

Inspiration From 7 Legendary Business Titans

The Great legends and What They Taught Us

http://Steve%20Jobs%20--%20co-founder%20of%20Apple%20Computers.

Steve Jobs -- co-founder of Apple Computers.

“When you grow up, you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discove...

Starting and running your own business can be a risky venture, to say the least. Not only will you be devoting a lot of time and energy to it, but you may also be sinking every cent you have into it with the hopes that everything will turn out right. If you’ve never run a business before, you will probably feel completely out of your element, at least at the start.

Once you do get your business underway, and often even before you start, you will most likely get a ton of advice (often unsolicited) from your friends, your family, your associates and just about everybody you come across. Sometimes their advice is helpful but, more often than not, it’s just some rhetoric that you’ve probably heard a hundred times already.

While I could offer some advice of my own, I believe it would be much more beneficial for you to hear from those who have already proven themselves in the business world. Those who have discovered what truly works, and put those principles into action time and again.

I have taken the liberty to research the best advice from some of the best minds in the business world, and I’m going to share them with you. So without further ado, here are eight lessons you can learn from some of the top leaders in their industries.

The Great legends and What They Taught Us

http://Steve%20Jobs%20--%20co-founder%20of%20Apple%20Computers.

Steve Jobs -- co-founder of Apple Computers.

“When you grow up, you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discove...

Much too often we get into the mindset that we can’t really be better. We are often taught that this is all there is to life, to raise a family and maybe save a little money — while having as much fun as we can. When you try to do things differently, there will be naysayers who will insist you can’t change things, you have no influence, you aren’t smart enough or talented enough — but you have to remember that you are just as capable of making big changes as you are with small ones. All you really need is the desire and the drive and the belief that you can do anything you put your mind to.

101 Businesses You Can Start With Less Than $100

There are many obstacles to starting your own business, but money isn’t always one of them.

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? If so, what’s holding you back? If not having enough money to get started, then I’ve got some excellent news for you. You can start countless businesses for under a $100.

Over they years I’ve done many odd jobs to pay bills. While it’s not always easy, there are ways that you can put your skills (whatever they are) to work. It doesn’t matter if you’re a handyman or an online marketing expert, you can make extra money on the side.

You may think that’s crazy, but you’ll be convinced after reviewing these 101 business ideas that can actually be launched with less that $100.

1. Direct sales representative

Being a local sales representative for companies like Avon, Mary Kay, and Pampered Chef requires you to spread the word about their products by hosting a party or selling them online. Most starter kits cost around $100 and provide you with everything you need to become a sales rep.

2. Consulting

If you already have the knowledge or experience in a specific area, such as providing legal advice or showing business how to become more eco-friendly, then you can easily start your own consulting agency. The main costs involved are marketing your business and networking. So invest in a website and business cards. Here is a consulting guide I put together to help.

3. Senior home companion

There are currently more than 46 million people in the U.S. alone who are 65 years of age or older. That figure is expected to grow to around 98 million in 2060. That means that there are lot of seniors who looking for someone to keep them company or families looking for advice on how to care for their loved ones.

4. Tutor

There are a lot of students who need assistance in every subject – whether if it’s in elementary school or college. If you have this knowledge, then starting your own tutoring business can become an appealing business idea that requires almost no capital. After all, the students already have the learning materials with them.

5. Freelancing

Whether if you’re a writer or web developer freelancing is a lucrative business idea that pretty much requires nothing more than your talent, laptop, and internet connection. Thanks to the numerous websites that post freelance gigs, you should have no problem starting out. Here is a freelancer guide that will help you every step of the way.

Related: The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs

6. Vlog with YouTube

Since every laptop, tablet, and smartphone comes equipped with a built-in camera, anyone can start creating videos and posting them to YouTube. If you have knowledge you want to share, or are just incredibly charismatic, then you can start profiting from your vlog through ads.

7. Auto repair/detailing

If you have a garage, tools, and knowledge, then why not start your own auto repair shop? Even if you don’t have a garage, you could start a mobile auto repair business where you go to the broken-down vehicle.

If like the idea of working with vehicles, but aren’t a mechanic, then start washing and detailing cars. I had a former colleague who did this on the side. Eventually, he was able to make this into a full-time through word-of-mouth recommendations at work.

8. Sharing economy rentals

Thanks to the “sharing economy” more and more people are opting to rent items instead of purchasing them. You can rent everything from your car, parking space, and household items like furniture. I wouldn’t get too carried away. I would start with a niche and slowly work your way up. For example, you could start renting out yard equipment like rakes, shovels, or leaf blowers. If you don’t already own them, you can purchase for under $100.

Related: Airbnb and Uber Are Just the Beginning. What’s Next for the Sharing Economy.

9. Managing web design

There are also countless sites out there that teach you basic web design. Learn a new trait today. Even if you aren’t a web designer, you could find a designer affordably and still charge less that professional web design firms. They key here is managing the process, most businesses don’t want to do this and are willing to pay.

10. Handyman

If you’re able to make minor household repairs, like switching out a broken electrical outlet or sealing a pipe under the kitchen sink, then this is another business that doesn’t cost much to start, but is also in-demand.

11. Menu planning

I know plenty of people who are indecisive when it comes to their meals. That’s why they’re willing to hire someone to help them plan out their meals. This is a low-cost idea for anyone who enjoys working with food, but doesn’t have the resources to prepare and serve it.

12. House sitter/pet sitter

This essentially requires no initial investment. You can start asking your family, friends, and neighbors if they need someone to watch their home or pet when they go-out-of-town.

Related: An Animal Lover Finds the Perfect Franchise — and Financial Security

13. Lawn care

If you have a green thumb, enjoy being outside, and have the tools to get started, like a lawnmower, weed wacker, chainsaw, then this is a no-brainer of a business idea. The only main cost is advertising and marketing your business.

14. Homemade gourmet foods

Whether if it’s soup mixes, jellies, or chocolates, people love gourmet food products. And, since you already have a kitchen, you just need cooking supplies, packaging, and basic marketing materials to get started.

15. Professional organizer

We live in a materialistic world. And, it’s easy to start getting overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s consuming our homes. Professional organizers can help people get their homes back-in-order for no more than $20 or so on classified ads.

16. Green cleaning service

Cleaning services are a dime a dozen. You can stand out from the competition by offering a green cleaning service that uses eco-friendly and natural products. Some of these you may be able to make yourself and even start selling.

17. Grocery delivery

Some major grocery store offer delivery services, but not all of them. And, there’s a chance that your local mom-and-pop grocery store doesn’t. That’s when you can charge customers to go to the store for them and deliver their groceries to their home.

18. Personal concierge

A personal concierge takes care of everything from taking clients to the airport, the dog to the vet, or managing their schedules. It’s basically being someone’s personal assistant.

19. Creating information products

If you have experience with a specific niche, then you can start selling your knowledge by creating products like eBooks or instructional videos. The cost is usually no more than your time, domain name, and web hosting.

20. Blogging

As with creating information products, if you’re familiar with a specific topic, then you can launch a blog where you share this knowledge. You can earn money by selling ad space, becoming an affiliate, or starting a subscription service. Here is my top resource to getting started blogging. I followed it’s tips and was able to personally create a solid four-figure income within around 12 months.

Related:10 Keys to Make Millions Blogging

21. Window cleaning

I’ll be honest. Window cleaning is my least favorite chore around the house. And, I’m certainly not the only person who feels that way. A window cleaning service doesn’t require much capital and can become profitable.

22. Interior designer

Both homeowners and business owners are looking for people to design these spaces to make it more comfortable, organized, and productive.

23. Flyer distribution

Local businesses still people companies to hand out flyers or place them under windshield wipers. You pretty much just need to make a lot of copies. And that’s not a major investment.

24. Programming

Learning how to program or code, like object-oriented dynamic programming language known as Ruby, is one of the most lucrative business out there. Here is a guide to starting a developer business to help get you started.

25. Virtual assistant

Similar to personal assistant in which you answer phone calls, respond to emails, and keep a schedule for you client. The difference? You do this remotely.

26. Social-media consultant

Businesses and individuals are always on the lookout for people to manage and maintain their social channels for them. I find that there are a lot of businesses that will pay $500/month+ for these services.

27. Project management

Believe it or not, not all businesses have project managers in-house. That means that projects can quickly get off-track. That’s why they’re willing to hire outside project managers to keep their teams focused.

28. Secretarial services

There are a lot of small businesses and individuals who need services like typing, transcribing, and proofreading. As long as you’ve got a computer, printer, and the necessary skills, your business is good to go.

29. Catering

If you’re an outstanding cook, but don’t want to invest in a restaurant, then you can start your own catering business directly from your own kitchen.

30. Mobile repair

Want to put your own spin on a repair service? Start a mobile repair service you go to the client. Whether if it’s fixing a computer or piece of furniture, this doesn’t require more than a vehicle, marketing, and expertise.

31. Resume writing service

A lot of people have difficulty writing amazing resumes. And, that could even cause them to lose out on a job they’ve been eyeing up. If you have knack for composing resumes, it become a profitable business. I personally have paid $100 several times for people to shape-up my resume.

32. Holiday decorator

Everyone wants their home or office to look festive for an upcoming holiday. But, not all of us can make that happen. If you can pull-off that holiday cheer, then it’s another business that doesn’t much capital.

Related: Spreading Holiday Cheer as a Christmas Decor Franchisee

33. Domain name buying

You can buy a domain cheap, like under a buck cheap. If a business comes along and needs that domain they’ll be willing to pay top-dollar for it.

34. Flipping websites

Using a site like Flippa you can purchase a website, build-it-up, and sell it. It’s actually a lucrative business. I personally have been able to make around $25-$30k flipping websites each year.

35. Cleaning dryer ducts

Dryers get jammed with stuff like lint. If too much builds-up, you could have a house fire on your hands. Since this is an area that’s overlooking you can start a dry duct cleaning business with just a vacuum and some basic marketing.

36. Tour guide

If you know your area like the back-of-your hand then start charging tourists for a personalized tour of your hometown.

37. Affiliate marketing

If you have a blog with a fair amount of followers, then you can become an affiliate. Basically, this just means that you plug other people’s products or services. As an affiliate, you get a special link. Whenever a visitor clicks on that link and makes a purchase you’ll get a commission.

38. Dropshipping

Drop shipping is where you sell products for companies on sites like eBay. Whenever the product the company handles everything else, like shipping.

39. Snow removal

If you have snow shovels, and even a plow, then this can make you serious dough. However, it’s completely dependent on the weather. When I lived in Utah, I paid a neighbor $25 every time it snowed to shovel my driveway and walkway. Took him 30 minutes but I didn’t have to do it.

40. Pet grooming

If you enjoy being around pets, and have the skills to bath them, cut their nails, and give them a little haircut, then this can be a serious money-maker without much of an investment.

41. Pooper scooper

Definitely not the most glamorous job, but you’re doing something that most people dread so much that they’d pay someone else to do it for them.

42. Event or party planner

If you’re organized and are a planner, then taking care of the arrangements for birthdays, retirements, or weddings can be a profitable business.

43. Computer repair and maintenance provider

Think of all the computers out there that crash or need updates. Do you think that each owner has the technical knowledge to handle any troubleshooting problems?

44. Life coach or mentor

It may sound new agey, but a lot of people hire coaches or mentors to help them with things like losing weight or finding happiness. I’ve found that most life coaches charge $50 – $250/hr.

Related: The 10 Best Cities For Starting a Life-Coaching Practice

45. Bookkeeper

It’s important for both businesses and individuals to keep their files neat and tidy. Not all of them have the time to do so. That’s when they hire someone to keep their books in order for them. I pay our bookkeeper $30/hr, I found her on a local news site with a classified listing she paid $50/month for.

46. Tax preparation

Preparing taxes is another necessity. But, most of us don’t have the time or knowledge to take care of this task. If you’re up-to-date on the latest tax regulations and enjoy crunching numbers, it can be a nice business during tax season.

47. Write books

Did you know that both Amazon and Apple have a book publishing field? Whether if it’s writing an instructional book, cookbook or Sci-fi adventure, you can now publish your books for almost nothing.

48. Flooring business

Installing your own flooring may sound easy. But, it can get tricky. That’s when you can save the day by installing floors for others. Best of all? You don’t need to worry about inventory. You’re just focused on installation.

49. Painting addresses on curbs

Office and residential customers would gladly pay you to spray paint their address on the curb. You just need some spray paint and address kit to get started.

50. Parking lot striping

There are plenty of parking lots that need new stripes. You can start off with a straight edge tool and spray paint. As you earn more money you can purchase professional equipment.

51. Business planning

If you’ve already created a successful business then you can actually make that knowledge and experience into a new business. New business owners will pay for someone to help guide them in developing their own successful business plan.

52. Homemade natural soaps and beauty products

In case you didn’t notice, selling natural products is a thriving business. Even if you don’t feel comfortable making your own natural soaps and beauty products then you can drop ship for companies that do.

53. Logo design

If you’re a creative individual, then designing logos is a relatively easy business to start. You can do anything from designing unique logo or customizing ideas from templates. Here is a guide to starting a design business that should help you every step of the way.

54. Translator

The world is becoming smaller and smaller. Business are desperately in need of individuals who can speak the language in the market that they’re entering.

55. Restore/Upcycle Furniture

If you’re handy and spotted a used piece of furniture that needs some TLC, you could make the repairs and resell. That’s pretty much all profit.

56. eBay seller

People have been making a living for years off of eBay by selling their old junk, reselling items, and drop-shopping.

Related: Why It’s Nearly Impossible To Stop This Amazon and eBay Scheme

57. App seveloper

With the mobile revolution in full-swing, the demand for apps has never been higher. Even if you don’t have the programming skills, you can still hire someone to make your app a reality.

58. Personal chef

Unlike catering, which may only keep you busy a couple of days per week, personal chefs are responsible for cooking breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner for a client. However, you can spend most of your preparing meals that just need to be reheated. That allows you to take-on more clients.

59. Personal trainer

Even though healthy is a priority for most of, it can be challenge to not only stay-on-track, but also make sure that exercising is done correctly so that you don’t injure yourself. You can become a personal trainer and motivate and monitor people when they exercise.

60. Beautify products

If you don’t have the tools or skills to build something from scratch you can always modify or beautify an existing product. Take for example mosquito nets. They’re bland. But, you could decorate them with ribbon or beads and make a unique product.

61. Photographer

Yes. We still have a demand for photographers for special events like weddings. Here is a guide to starting a photography business to get you started!

62. Picture framing

If this was already a hobby, then you have tools like a sander, matte cutter, glass cutter, tape, clamps, saws, miter boxes, picture hangers, a stapler and glue in your work area. Now you just need to market your picture framing business.

63. Flea market vending

Flea markets are still thriving. And usually for just $20 you can rent out a spot for the day. You can sell anything from the junk laying around your house to the produce you’re grew in your backyard to handmade crafts. There are usually multiple flea markets in your area that take place throughout the week, so this can easily become almost a full-time gig.

64. Online content producer

Businesses need lots of content today. What if they don’t have an in-house team to create and produce content? They hire talented individuals like you to do that for them. There are businesses such as mine that pay $50 per blog post. Here is a content marketing guide to help you in your journey!

Related: 4 Things Editors Are Looking When They Read Your Pitch

65. WordPress developer

Everyone should have a website these days. For the people who don’t have the time or knowledge, you can be there to build their WordPress site for them.

66. Sell plants online

If you have a green thumb, and the space, then you sell plants online. It’s actually a growing niche since people are becoming more concerned about where their plants originated from. And, you can probably charge less the big box stores.

67. Calligrapher

If your penmanship is out-of-this-world then you can charge people for handwritten invitations.

68. Crafts seller

If you can make handmade crafts, like jewelry and furniture, then you can sell those products on sites like Etsy.

69. Home daycare

You’ll definitely need to get the proper licenses and permits, but this is a business that you can start at home. I know day care in my area is around $15/hr. This can be a very lucrative business.

70. Cleaning out foreclosed homes

Whenever a bank forecloses on a home they have to hire someone to clean the place out. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, both physically and emotionally, there really isn’t much needed to start this business.

71. Scrap metal recycling

I’ve known several people who drive around and take junk, like broken dryers, off of people’s hands full-time. Why? Because they can scrap that metal. Just keep in mind that the more valuable metals are aluminum and copper.

72. Internet security consultant

Security is a major concern for businesses and individuals. Besides your expertise and some marketing, it doesn’t cost much to protect the hardware and software of others.

Related: 4 Foolish Cybersecurity Mistakes Robert Herjavec Is Shocked People Still Make

73. Freelance bartender

If you can make a mean Manhattan then start marketing yourself as a freelance bartender for private parties and events.

74. Dog training

If you consider yourself the next Cesar Millan, then this is another low-cost, high-profit business idea.

75. Referral service

Whether if it’s a new business or family that just moved into town, you can can refer them to the right vendors, babysitters, or restaurants. You’re only cost is networking and marketing yourself to the community.

76. Packing service

No one likes the hassle of packing-up for a move. That’s why they’ll hire other people to pack and load their belongings up. You really don’t need to purchase anything since boxes and tape will be included in your final price. But, you still should be a cheaper option than professional moves.

77. Write and/or record a song

If you have the musical chops then you can make a career out of writing your own music. And, it doesn’t have to the latest Taylor Swift single. You could write for a Podcast or jingle for local business.

78. Concert and show promotion

If you have some experience in marketing, and are passionate about spreading the word about upcoming events, then you can start working with artists, venues, and labels to generate buzz for basically nothing.

79. Tester or reviewer

Companies are looking for individuals to test and review their products. You may start out small, even just getting for products. But, you can also start your own blog where you review products in a certain niche.

80. Fashion design

Sites like Etsy now make it accessible for you to sell your unique fashion designs. Even if you’re not into high fashion, you can start creating your own t-shirts and produce through sites like CafePress.

81. Import products

You can purchase products from overseas in bulk and start selling them at a markup. That’s how Pura Vida started.

82. Makeup artist

Whether if it’s from a special occasion like a wedding or for Halloween, people pay great money for someone to do their makeup.

83. Hairstylist

If you’re up on the current styles and can actually cut hair, then you can start your own salon from your home.

84. Sell snacks and drinks

Have you ever left a sporting event or concert thirsty and starving? We’ve all been there. That’s why you see people selling bottles of water and hot dogs after an event. Unlike investing in a food truck or cart, you can start off with just a cooler.

85. Voice-over artist

Now that businesses are creating their own content, such as videos, they’re looking for golden voices. If that’s something that you possess, then you can have yourself a lucrative self-employed career.

86. Brewer

You can buy a beer kit for under a $100 and start tinkering around with brewing your own beer. I have a family friend who did this with his buddies and now has his own microbrewery.

87. Winemaking

You don’t need a vineyard to start making wine. You can start by growing some of your own grapes or purchasing juice. If you’re small batch of wine turns out good, and you start making some cash, you may eventually start you own vineyard or winery.

Related: How Craft Brewing Inspired This Denver Winemaker

88. Sell eggs

Farm fresh eggs are a big business right now. You can get in on the action by purchasing a couple of hens and building your own chicken coop.

89. Bake bread

You would be surprised how many people want home baked bread. I know woman who makes her own bread and has lines of people to purchase it. And, she can make a living by just working a couple of days a week.

90. Create customized care packages

People enjoy customized care packages that they can give out as gifts. To begin, you need to find a niche, like holiday packages, and start filling baskets with goodies.

91. Instructor

You can instruct anyone to play an instrument, cook a meal, or workout. You pretty much just need your knowledge to get started.

92. Airbnb host

If you have an extra room or home, then rent it out on Airbnb instead of just sitting there vacant. I personally was able to make around $3k a month last year renting out my downstairs.

Related: Learn From These 3 Ways Airbnb Won the Trust It Needed to Succeed

93. Property management

Landlords can’t always check in on their properties or maintain their property, like mowing and cleaning. A property management company takes care of these tasks for busy landlords.

94. Laundry/ironing service

We all have clothes that need to be cleaned or iron. Either we don’t have the time or patience to handle these chores on our own. And, that’s why we’re willing to pay someone else to do this for us.

95. Clothing alteration service

If you know how to sew or replace buttons or zippers, then you’ve got a new business idea for people who can’t part with their favorite pieces of clothing that is also cheap to start

96. Item cleaning

Everything needs to be cleaned. Whether if it’s a computer or piece of antique furniture, this just requires the right cleaning materials and little elbow grease.

97. Online dating consultant

More and more people are using online dating. But it can be overwhelming when just starting out. If you have experience in this world, then people would definitely be willing to pay for your advice.

98. Sourcing service

You can find products or services for local businesses and resell it to them at a markup.

99. Travel agency

Even though there are hundreds of travel websites out there, most people don’t have the time or patience to compare the prices on flights and hotel rates. That’s why there’s still need for people to do the legwork for them.

100. Toy making

Whether if it’s a simple wood carving or using a 3D printer, making toys has been a popular business idea for parents and their kids.

101. Food delivery service

There are customers who either can’t leave the office to pick up food, or are too lazy to leave the house. That’s when they contact you to pickup and deliver food for them.

 

7 people to listen to for small business advice

Who do you listen to for small business advice?

When you own a small business, everyone wants to give you advice.

“You know what you should do,” your annoying brother-in-law Sheldon tells you at the family barbecue, “you should sell everything below your cost; customers will flock to you.”

Right, and pretty soon, you’ll be out of business.

Unsolicited advice comes from all kinds of sources: friends, family members, neighbors, social media connections, people you meet walking your dog. Most of it is worth the price you pay for it: nothing.

But many entrepreneurs have a bad habit of failing to listen to any advice, stubbornly sure of their own ideas and stuck in their ways of doing things. That’s not a recipe for long-term survival or success. There are many people who have worthwhile insights and experience that can help you grow your business.

How do you know who to listen to? Here’s a handy guide:

1.  Experienced industry hands. Novice entrepreneurs often believe they know better than those old fogies who’ve been in the business a long time. It’s time for disruption, right?  Well, yes and no. The realities of an industry don’t go away overnight. You can learn a lot from those who’ve been in an industry, even if you don’t follow their advice exactly.

2. Customers. You had better listen to your customers because they’re the ones who will determine whether you stay in business. It’s tempting to dismiss the advice of customers because it often comes in the form of complaints. Instead, look for ways to gather as much insight and suggestions from customers in positive situations. Ask for feedback.

3.  Employees. Your employees can be a rich vein of insight and advice for your company. Seek it out, listen to it carefully, and use it when you can. Obviously, not every suggestion can be implemented and some suggestions are self serving rather than aimed at helping you grow your company. But employees often know the ins and outs of some aspects of a business better than the owner.

4.  Investors.  Your investors are, in essence, your partners, so you’ll need to heed their advice. They might not always understand the ins and outs of your small business, and they might worry more about their investment than they do about you achieving your goals. So, it’s your job to help investors know enough about your business that when they offer suggestions, they can be informed and well-reasoned.

5. Professional advisers. Lawyers, accountants, human resource personnel, marketing consultants, other consultants. You’re paying them because you need their help, but you also need their good counsel, even (or especially) when they disagree with you. A smart lawyer and a competent CPA are two of the most important advisers any small business can have.

6.  Board and advisory committee members. Most small businesses don’t have an advisory committee, but if you’re smart enough to form one, use it. You asked for help, so respect it. Of course, board members (of corporations) have legal authority, so board members must be listened to.

7. Spouse. Your spouse’s support is often essential for major business decisions, especially financial ones. If you’re taking out a home equity loan to help fund your business, for instance, you must have your spouse’s approval. In which case, they have a right to have their suggestions listened to with respect. Do remember, though, that people close to you have their own motivations coloring their advice. When your spouse suggests you’d be a lot more productive if you didn’t work in the living room, he or she may just want your stuff out of the way.

Those are people to listen to, so whose advice can you ignore?

Social media trolls. Television business gurus. Brand-new MBAs who’ve never worked in a real business. Your brother-in-law Sheldon.

You can reduce unsolicited advice by not talking about your business in social settings. When you complain about problems with a distributor or your employees, you invite Sheldon to give his unwanted advice. When he does, just change the conversation — go on to sports or the weather.

Among Rhonda Abrams‘ recent books is the 6th edition of Successful Business Plan: Secrets & StrategiesRegister for her free newsletter at PlanningShop.com. Twitter: @RhondaAbrams.