17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.
Create a stylish and functional website. Elegant or funky, classical or hipster, your online store should reflect what you’re selling. No matter what your style is, it's important to give off a professional air. Since you won't be able to earn people's trust in person, your website will have to do the selling for you. Your site should be engaging, and most importantly, easy for customers to use when they're ready to make a purchase.
When I started my first online business back in 2008 (GreenExamAcademy.com, formerly IntheLEED.com), the idea was to help aspiring architects pass the LEED certification exam. I hardly spent any money at all. All I did was start a blog, which at the time cost $6.95 per month for webhosting, and I used Bluehost. (As most of you know, I’m a big fan of Bluehost. And, because I have an affiliate relationship with them, you can get your business website going for much less than where I began, starting at only $2.75 per month!) [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
Companies like Uber and Lyft offer a great opportunity to make some quick cash. You'll need a clean driving record, a fairly new car and the authorization to work wherever it is that you live. If you have all of those things, you can work when it's feasible for you, whether that's in the middle of the day during rush hour, or in the wee hours of the night on a weekend. The choice is yours.
As for other tips, all I can say is “a penny saved is a penny earned”. If you are running out of ideas to make money, start saving. Some quick “low hanging fruit” tips to save some quick cash include – switch to MetroPCS or Boost for cellphone (I only pay $20/month), switch auto insurance to Insurance Panda ($25/month), and start using GasBuddy (saves me like $100/month at least. I drive a lot).
The basic idea behind an online drop shipping business is that, as a small business owner, you don’t have to maintain a large inventory of products or handle any delivery to your customers. That eliminates the financial cost and risk of having a warehouse full of stuff you might not sell, and the hassle of arranging to send orders all over the country or the world. In fact, you don't have to manufacture or store any products at all.
They are generally solopreneurs who offer their services to small businesses who need help with a given range of tasks. Some people might argue that being a virtual assistant isn't really running a business. But somebody like Gina Horkey can prove that's simply not true, and she has a booming business to back her claims up. She's also seen as the “go to” person for a step-by-step guide to running your own VA business.
At work, you had to keep your desk neat so that you looked organized—and sure, it’s always helpful to see the top of your desk. But at home, who cares if clutter collects around you? Well, don’t fall into that trap (especially video conference calls are part of your routine). While you might miss the building services team, who used to wipe down your crusty keyboard and empty your waste paper baskets every night, it’s ultimately up to you to keep your space spic and span so you can do your best work.
Earnest (refinance your student loans): Same idea as above but on your student loans. There is $1.4 trillion in student loan debt outstanding. When you have student loan debt, it can make it hard to get ahead, invest, or to buy a home. If this sounds familiar, refinancing the debt can not only help you pay it off more quickly, but it can save you money on interest too.
It’s important to consider all of this before starting. In a way, you’d be working backwards from your end goal (to create a successful business) to before you even start. By doing so, you’re making sure all your bases are covered so you don’t have a surprise like I did with my WordPress plugins. And, perhaps most importantly, by doing this, you’ll soon realize if your business idea is something that truly aligns with what you’re actually trying to do in your life. If it’s not, you at least have the knowledge to make adjustments or try something else.
In fact, I wrote a book, Will It Fly?, that is uniquely designed to help people figure out if a business idea is worth pursuing. I’d recommend you read that as a guide during the discovery phase. Thousands of folks have already used Will It Fly? as a tool to help them validate and test their own business ideas before spending money they don’t need to spend. You can pick up a copy at SmartPassiveIncome.com/will-it-fly.
As an affiliate marketer, you are earning commission from selling someone else’s products. You might need to make an initial investment and buy a basic portfolio and marketing materials that you then resell. However, that does not always have to be the case as there are companies which will provide you with products free of charge, and only take a part of the profit. One of the most popular sites for affiliate marketers nowadays is Clickbank. Other well-known sites include Amway and Amazon Associates.
In today's hotly-competitive marketplace, if you don't understand how to drive paid traffic and optimize your conversions, you need to turn to a company that does. The truth is that paid ads can get incredibly complex. Things like re-targeting and custom audience definitions, along with understanding the ebb and flow of everything with a sales funnel, is complex and confusing to most.
Something else I recommend is taking the free 7-lesson mini-course on general transcription offered by Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere. This will help you to understand if you're a good fit for a transcription career, what you can potentially earn, and also where to get started. Janet also has free legal transcription mini-course if you're more interested in going that route.