Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
What are some ideas for making money on the side (that have worked for you) as you ramp up your startup?
1. Tap into the Gig Economy
With the gig economy on the rise there are multiple avenues on how to make some side cash. Working for companies like Uber or GrubHub, for instance, will bring in extra cash along with the flexibility of working when you want. I’ve picked up some cool gigs like bartending weddings, being an event captain at the BCS College Football Semi-final, and proofreading a start-up business plan.
2. Look into Online Freelancing
This works best if you already have technical skills. But there is still lots of freelancing work available, from web design and WordPress work, to social media and writing jobs.
3. Teach an Online Course
Teach others some of your unique skill sets or insights. Identify what you’re really good at and put together a course to help others get good at it too. It could be a skill to perform certain tasks better — such as Facebook ads, sewing, etc. — or it could be based on an insight that you’ve gained from your experience that most people are unlikely to know, such as how to get upgraded in first class.
4. Do Consulting Work
Typically most entrepreneurs have at least one primary area of expertise, among other skills. Use this area of expertise to get small consulting contracts on Upwork, Craigslist, Freelancer.com, and through your own personal and professional networks. A few small consulting contracts can keep the money coming in without distracting you while you focus primarily on your new startup.
5. Coordinate Valuable Events for People to Connect
When I was growing my first business in the credit card processing space, I started throwing monthly events to help people make friends and business contacts. I did it because I love to connect people and I know relationships are so important. I charged a nominal fee of -20 and then, by accident, started attracting sponsors and hundreds of people to each event. Six figures resulted on the side.
6. Use Google Ads
Google Ads don’t generate a ton of money, but it can be a consistent revenue resource. It can also be partnered with your small business website, so you can track and monitor it as you grow your business, making it easier to achieve modest success.
7. Leverage Your Hobbies
I have put my hobbies to work to make money, selling items I make or repair on Craigslist and eBay, or through apps that let me market my hobby items to locals that might be interested in what I make. Anyone can do this with what they like to spend time doing, from photography and artwork to crafts and furniture.
8. Get A Door-to-Door Sales Job
We kept our jobs as door-to-door cable salesmen for 10 months after launch. While it was hardly a fun job, it allowed us to set our own schedules, which meant freedom to revolve our day jobs around our new business. It also gave us sufficient income to bootstrap without going into debt. Depending on the opportunity, door-to-door sales can be a great way to support yourself while taking the leap.
9. Stay Part-Time at Your Job
As you ramp up your startup company doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to leave your previous work or devote full-time effort. At the end of the day, you still have bills to pay. In my experience, I stayed on as a part-time contractor for the company I was employed, which helped me fund my personal needs and also a bit of the start up company.
10. Sell a Niche Product That’s in High Demand
Selling a commodity with a need that essentially sells itself is easier than you think! As an Internet marketer, I’ve discovered items no one ever thinks of selling, yet use on a daily basis. By finding a niche product and building an attractive website with precision optimization, you can build capital for your start-up easily.
11. Participate in User Research
There are great opportunities to make money on the side by participating in user research and offering your experience to test a new product. Sites like Respondent.io and UserTesting.com can connect you with surveys and phone interviews that are relevant to your background that can have some serious payouts without too much of a time commitment.
12. Wait Tables
I’ve waited tables for many years while working on my early startup days. Being a waiter gives you the flexibility of working at odd hours, for short lengths of time and making good money. Making some extra cash on the side while you are starting a business will help reduce the level of stress while your business is not producing. Being a server affords you the flexibility to tend to your startup.
13. Create Affiliate Marketing
I have been doing affiliate marketing, so I realize that you can make good money with it. If you have a passion for generating content or advertising, it is a no-brainer. Pick a niche that you enjoy writing or making videos about, and make a blog or social media page centered around it. You will be surprised how quickly and easily you can make some good extra money.