Whether you are working and looking for the way into building your own business and being able to leave work, or whether you are an entrepreneur looking for some extra gigs, side hustles are a great way of generating additional income streams, and not keeping all your eggs in one basket so to speak. Side hustles are so called as they fit neatly around other commitments, like the day job, but can offer a valuable financial boost, so here are ten ideas to get you started.
1. Sell on eBay
Nice and simple, you can either sell your unwanted items on eBay, or you can build a shop, buying wholesale and selling at a profit. The key to getting sales are quality descriptions, keywords in the title and high-quality photographs. Keep backgrounds white and only show the item, not other random things that happen to be in the shot. Be sure to look at commission structures and the cost of post and packaging and these can drain your profits, but the upside is you can sell pretty much anything as there is a category for most things.
2. Online Tutoring
If you have a degree or equivalent level of education, you will find there is a demand for online tutors. There are several sites that will help you match with potential pupils but remember that they will want a commission in return. You can set this up on your own if you are confident, and there are a range of platforms available that let you live chat, with video. You can either teach your subject or look into English as a foreign language, as this is always in demand.
3. Be a Domestic Goddess
If you have some spare hours and are looking to fill them, why not consider domestic duties. Whether you offer a collection and return service for ironing, or are happy to visit people and clean for them, there is money to be made in taking away these hated chores from other stressed workers. If you have green fingers, this could equally apply to gardening. A great way to get your exercise and make some extra money is to offer a dog walking service. Be sure to look into insurances for public liability.
Another favourite way to bring in an extra income stream, if you have a spare room, is to register on airbnb.com. Here you will find travellers passing through that are looking for a place for the night or a few nights. It is up to you to set the rules of who you are happy to host, but savvy folk have managed to get their whole mortgage paid each month thanks to this website. There are other sites that run in a similar way so consider registering on all of them.
5. Rent Your Driveway
If you live near a big hospital or near a busy town your driveway could be a potential goldmine. If you have the space, consider renting out your driveway, even better still if you can offer unsociable hours, as places like hospitals often do not have enough staff parking provision, and night workers and shift workers are always on the lookout for places to park. Just remember to make visitors aware, as you cannot charge and then have the space in use when they turn up.
6. Become a Landlord
A tale as old as time, being a landlord is an easy way to boost your annual income. If you can afford to have a second property, you have the basis of a great side hustle. Hand the day to day running to an agency and sit back and watch the passive income roll in. If you are in the market for a property to start this off, student lets are always in demand if you live in a university town or city.
7. Be an Extra
This one is a little bit location dependent, as you do not want to negate your fee by travelling for hours. However, bigger cities are almost certainly going to have various films and television shows being shot, and there are a number of websites that help you find these opportunities. Extras are needed in all age groups, male and female, so do not be put off looking.
8. Write for Money
Writing for money is another great idea. Businesses, large and small, often outsource writing, and freelancers tend to be cheaper than using another company. Blogging is perhaps the most popular job that gets outsourced, but people also look for book writing and web content. Again there are freelance sites like Fiverr and Freelancer that can help you get started.
9. MLM Sales
You will be aware of several MLM companies operating at the moment, if you are not sure then we are talking about things like JuicePlus, Avon, Aloe Vera and many others. You are basically a sales rep for another company and earn a commission on the items that you sell. Often bad mouthed as pyramid schemes, as long as you are aware of how they operate you should be fine. Some will push you to create teams of your own, which in turn earns you more money so might be of interest. Alternatively many will let you sit as a sales rep and just make your own commission. You will need to be outgoing and bold and not afraid of repeating your message over and over, but there is money to be made.
10. Create an App
So this probably requires some upskilling for most people, but mobile apps are huge and do not show any signs of becoming less popular. In fact, this is a growth market. Being an app developer means you get paid even if the app is not a big seller. The person who came up with the idea will make payment on completion of their app. If you have the skill to create apps, then you can also use it to make your own and hope you hit a really popular niche.
Whether you have days where you feel that your order page is seeing tumbleweed and nothing else, or whether sales are trickling in nicely but you are not overly busy, increasing sales is something we all long to achieve. However, running a business is also costly, so naturally, we try and avoid spending loads of money on advertising we cannot afford or professional coaches to tell us what we are doing wrong. But can you actually achieve better product sales without jeopardising your profit? We think you can, so here are some great ideas to boost sales.
Be Proactive on Social Media
While many social media platforms play down the organic reach because they want customers to use paid advertising, do not write it off as futile. Remember that social media is all about brand awareness and getting people interested in your message. Don’t just post product after product, try and get some interaction going, ask customers to leave reviews, start conversations by posting industry-related news, and then sprinkle in some offers and product placements.
Run a Giveaway or Promotion
People love something for free and failing that a discount works really well. Consumers can sometimes feel like they are bombarded by product after product, so they don’t bother to look unless something catches the eye. On social media, a giveaway is often a great way to boost likes and get your page shared for free. Once people like your page, anything you post appears in their newsfeed, so generating new likes creates a whole new potential customer base. It doesn’t have to be an expensive item or a significant discount, so don’t overstretch yourself.
Again, people are more interested when they think they are saving money, so considered offering a group of related products at a slight discount, you sell 3 or 4 items where you might have only sold one so, 10% off is a price worth paying. Many retailers offer these multi-buys on a flexible basis, as it is essential that customers feel they are choosing what they actually want not having something they are too struck on forced into the deal, maybe by a necklace and, if you add any set of earring, and any ring, the 10% discount will be applied.
Ask and Listen
Be sure to offer a feedback system when you make a sale. Your current customers shopped with you for a reason; you want to know what that was as it helps you understand who your customer base is. You also want to find out if they would shop with you again, and importantly if not, why not. This helps you effectively target any advertising you do, and if needs be make changes to the way you run your business.
Be Competition Aware
Check your prices against other similar retailers. You want to sit in line with them, and not be massively cheaper or significantly more expensive. Being too cheap, which is something we are all tempted to do, suggests to the customer that your product is inferior or in some way not as good. Pricing yourself out of the market is another glaring problem. Find the right balance and sales should increase.
Freelancing can be the most rewarding way to work, which is of course why so many of us choose to be an entrepreneur and build a business. However, it can also seem like we are continually chasing ourselves and finding it hard to create a happy medium between family and work. So just how do we balance freelancing and family life.
Build a Schedule
If you want to make sure that you have the right balance you need to do some planning. Decide what hours you can realistically work and block those out, the rest of the time is family time, and you need to try and stick to the separation between the two. For some people one block of work a day is the best solution, for others work gets scattered into chunks that fit neatly between things like school runs, bedtimes and meal times. It is all about assessing your day and deciding what you can fit where.
Have a Back-up
So, while a schedule seems fine in principle, we all know how easy it is for things to change. A child off school sick, an appointment with the doctor, there is any number of things that can upset the balance. The way many people overcome this is to have a contingency plan. Whether that means giving up a night off to catch up or having to message clients to ask for more time, having a plan in place means you will be less stressed if the worst happens.
There is no point cramming your schedule so full you become a screaming wreck in the corner. It is essential that you set realistic targets when it comes to working. Many clients will happily wait for work as long as you keep them in the loop. Asking for a realistic deadline, not enforcing your own ideas makes more sense. Naturally, clients will want their work doing promptly, but if you have set a 24-hour goal when a client would be happy to wait three days, you will be able to better plan and prioritise work. Sometimes you will have to say no, but that is ok.
Ditch the Small Stuff
Hands up who has a cleaner? Domestic tasks are something that many parent entrepreneurs end up outsourcing. The simple fact is work and kids are your priority, and you can earn more in an hour than you would pay the lovely lady who pops in three times a week to help with the housework.
She does a better job than you do and you can rest easy knowing that it will all be done. Consider creating carpools with other parents if after-school activities are taking up chunks of time each week. That way you can do one a month rather than one a week and save yourself some time. Anything that you want to get rid of to free your time is a consideration. Far from feeling guilty, you should feel proud of yourself for finding a more efficient and effective way to get these things done.
If you have always wanted to start a business from home, or you are looking to develop an income stream while the children are younger, so that you can expand on as they grow, but don’t know where to start then have a look at these. We have six business ideas for parents that can either be started from home or worked around school and nursery to help you get your entrepreneurial streak kick into action.
1. Cleaning Business
Whether you find a gig cleaning offices or you find a niche working for people in their homes, cleaners are in high demand. If you feel that going out of the house is not for you, then you can always employ people to do the actual cleaning while you run the office. Lots of working professionals have a cleaner to help make life easier, so check out whether there is any provision in your area and if not maybe this could be your route to success.
2. Mobile Hair and Nails
If you already have skills or are happy to do a spot of retraining, then mobile hairdressers and beauty technicians are also popular. Older people often struggle to get out of the house so having someone to come and cut their hair is invaluable and helps them feel less isolated. Another trend is to have clients in your home but offering the facility to have their children with them. Check out health and safety issues but as the parent remains with the child the whole time you shouldn’t have too many considerations.
3. Freelance Writing
If you really feel that you need to be based at home and have a good grasp of the English language, freelance writers are always in demand. You can write anything from newspaper articles to blog posts, as long as you can write accurately and quickly then you can earn a decent amount of money. It is also something that can be done exclusively online, so if you would rather not have people in your home or have to find childcare to go to work, this could be an option.
4. Web Design
Web design is always a popular skill; many small businesses do not want to pay the extortionate prices that large agencies charge, so having a small freelancer that can help them set up their website is a bonus. Check out the latest platforms as you may need to look at up-skilling before you can get going but the demand is there if you have the skill.
5. Dog Walking and Sitting
Pet sitting is always something that people look for. Whether a client is looking for someone to walk and visit their dogs while they work long days, or whether they have to go away for a few nights and would prefer to avoid kennels. You will need to check out insurance and local authority requirements for boarding dogs in your home.
Whether you have room to keep stock to resell or whether you look at some of the million MLM companies on offer, a lot of people find that selling is the way to go. You need to be sociable, but a lot of interaction is done via social media. Be sure to work with a reputable MLM if that is the route you choose.
Being a freelancer or entrepreneur can be tough, if you are a small business, it might just be you, and that can be pretty isolating. Add to that the pressure of trying to work and bring up your family and you can sometimes find the anxiety voice in the back of your head challenging everything you do. Often we worry that we are not good enough, perhaps you feel torn between the need to earn a living and the urge to be with your children more often or maybe you feel you cannot compete with other businesses in the area. Whatever your fears are they can become genuine and leave us feeling second rate. So just how do you stop anxiety telling you that you’re not good enough?
Don’t Sweat the Size Difference
Ok, you are a one man (or woman) band, so what? Just because you know of other larger companies in your area that do the same as you, doesn’t mean your business is not valid. Some clients actively prefer the personal touch that comes with dealing with the same person consistently; they seek out the small business. You need to remember that you have your own set of unique selling points and that is your advantage. You need to focus on your services and offering them to the best of your ability, and you will find there is a massive amount of customer loyalty out there.
Bad Days Happen
However, with that in mind, even doing your best can lead to a bad day. Bad days happen to everyone. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, whether you work for yourself or are a faceless soul in a sea of thousands in a giant corporation, it happens. People make mistakes; customers are foul, this is just life. Try not to beat yourself up if you screw up. Try and remember that a problematic client might actually be dealing with something awful at home. Bad days are not a reason to throw in the towel, so try and shrug it off with that old adage that ‘tomorrow is another day’. On the subject of making mistakes, the best tactic is to own up, apologise, correct and move on. People generally understand that things sometimes go wrong so just be brave and move on.
The third tip is to ensure that you have support. It can be a lonely world, so whether you find other freelancers and working parents in a similar boat and create a networking group, or whether you have friends and family happy to step in, use your support. It can make all the difference in the world if you can voice your concerns to another person. They will be able to help you see why the anxiety voice is wrong and why you are doing an excellent job, but that is something we struggle to do for ourselves, so be sure to build in support somehow.
If you are running your own business and juggling this with bringing up children and family life, you will not be alone in having days where you feel a bit like you are standing in quicksand while the world floats past your head. Parent entrepreneurs have a unique life that means they can often spend more time with their children than if they had to go off to the office every day, but they can also feel like the business will never thrive because there are just not enough hours in the day. This is where the benefits of setting better goals come in.
Goals Bring Focus
When you are setting goals, you are effectively making a list of what is essential and stating your intention of getting these things to reality. So set goals for both work and home in order to create that fantastic balance you have read that parentpreneurs can have. Be sure to think through the goals so that you make them realistic and achievable and be clear in what you are setting about doing.
Goals Bring Decision Making
If you have defined a better set of goals that are well thought out and robust, they also act as a decision-making tool. Knowing where you are going and what you want to achieve means that when unexpected situations and opportunities arise you will be in a strong place to know instantly if you’re going to move forward with them or shelve them. It will be easy to see if they fit into your goal-oriented plan or if they are going to take you off on a distracting tangent that means your original targets will not be met.
Goals Offer Direction
While we may not want to consider a final destination having goals helps move you through the phases of life and makes it easier to plan for the future. Some working parents actually prefer to have long, long-term goals as this offers them a focus and helps them stay on track. Whether it is home ownership, a specific retirement date or just the knowledge that you have created a strong business that can support your family, goals give you the direction you need to stay on track.
Goals Provide Balance
When you are working and looking after children, it can be easy to flounder and never entirely be sure whether you supposed to be having a parent day or an entrepreneur day. Having clearly defined goals that are better than a vague list of things that might be nice helps you find balance. You will be more readily able to see what needs doing and how you can get the home work-life harmony you are looking for. It makes planning for events with the children more manageable, and you can schedule appointments, paediatrician visits and more around your goals and account for this downtime more effectively. By using goal setting, you should feel less like you are sinking and more like you are flying high.
There is something quite magical that comes with the freedom of running your own business. As a parent, it offers another level of convenience that you cannot get when you work for someone else. However, if you are not organised and create yourself some rules you can feel like all you do is work and throw your children at nurseries and relatives, so how do you create a balance? Here are some great tips for parent entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Balancing is a Skill
What you have to remember is that while you may be at home while you work, you are neither a full-time worker or a full-time parent. In order to make this situation work, you are going to have to learn to balance the two. Whether that is grabbing an hour of work while your baby sleeps, or whether realistically you need to have a couple of half days childcare scheduled, finding the pattern that works for you is paramount. Some parent entrepreneurs make it look so easy, their darling little one plays happily on the floor by their desk for hours, while your darlings seem to have one volume and leave you wanting to tear your hair out. It is about finding the balance that works for you.
There is a myriad of apps that help with organisation, from to do lists to full-on task management software. Many offer a free trial period or cut down version so have a look before spending any money and see what works for you. We are fans of Trello and Todoist, both of which are mobile, so work not only on your home based computer but on your phone and tablet too. This means you can stay organised on the go and never miss a trick. Be realising with your time scheduling; there is no point in trying to schedule a meeting for dinner time if the family need you to be in parent mode then.
Clients are just people, and the chances are many of them have families of their own. If you are expecting a new arrival make clients aware of this happy event as it may impact your ability to meet deadlines. Most people respect honesty and will have no problem waiting a little bit for work, especially if you are laying in a hospital bed having given birth or at home looking after the older children while your partner is delivering the new arrival. It is easier for people to feel positive about a delay if they can understand the proper reason behind it. Struggling stoically onwards while missing deadlines left right and centre is not suitable for your business reputation. Clear communication is the key to making sure you maintain a great relationship with your clients. Many parents often state from the start that they will not be at their desk during school run times, but can offer work after the kids are in bed for an hour or so. This flexibility is often what swings a contract for many people.
The Parents in Biz Hub is a supportive community of entrepreneurial parents. It’s an inclusive network where you can share ideas, seek advice, and use your experience and expertise to help others. Find out more here.
There’s no doubt that it can be quite an expensive process in trying to start up a business. As a parent entrepreneur, the costs can seem extraordinary. Trying to figure out all of what you’re going to be paying can be difficult, as it will vary from one person to the next and change with each situation. However, there are a few things that every parent entrepreneur is going to have to take into consideration when thinking about costs, and we’re going to be looking at that here and now.
First of all, you need to think about what you’re going to need to start off with. This involves the materials which you need to make sure that the business can progress. This will include things like a laptop if you’re going to be working from home, premises if you’re running an actual brick and mortar store, or the cost of buying a website domain if you’re running an electronic business. These are all basic costs which have to be considered because without them the business can not progress.
Now that you do have a basic set of materials and resources available to you, it’s important to consider the marketing costs of your startup. Now that the business is established, you need to make sure that you’re advertising it to the world. Marketing is an expensive option for people to consider unless you choose to work with social media. Marketing can be a costly endeavour, but you have to consider whether or not it is worth it for the sake of the business. But regardless, you have to consider how much you’re prepared to spend into marketing, and also the time it’ll take to get a marketing system set up – applying for social media, contracting a marketing company, etc.
Something else that you have to consider when it comes to your business startup is the sourcing of products. You need to consider how much of the products are going to be to buy; It’s so important to consider this because so many people try and make an estimate as to the costs of the products and wind up getting out of pocket.
Overall, these are just a few of the things that you need to consider when it comes to trying to start up your business. The costs which are associated with this will vary from one business to the next, but these are just a few of the basic costs which most startups need to take into consideration. It’s all about getting yourself started, which can be a real challenge for businesses run by parent entrepreneurs. However, if you’re going to run a business, you’ll need to think about all of these.
We built a course exclusively for parents! Create Launch and Grow a start-up course for parents! Find out more here.
We all want our business to succeed. It is often the pursuit upon which we place all of our hopes, expectations, and dreams. Unfortunately, this need to push on and make our businesses reality can often be damaging to our relationships. Being a parent entrepreneur can really affect you here, as you’re trying to do so much that you run the risk of something going wrong. There are warning signs that your business is taking over the relationship, and we’re going to try and help you spot them.
You Don’t Spend Time With Your Partner Because Of Work
One of the first and biggest warning signs that something is wrong with your relationship is when you find yourself working when you should be spending time with them. We get that you want to make a successful business, and that’s fine, but you have to have a balance. If you’ve not got time for your partner because of work, then it’s a sure fire sign that your business is causing problems.
Feelings Of Isolation
Do you ever feel alone? Do you ever feel like you’re in this without any support and that you’re spending your nights and days miserable, isolated and without comfort? That’s a sign that something has gone very wrong. You shouldn’t ever feel like you’re alone when you have a partner and a family, but that’s often what it does feel like. Obviously, this can be very troubling for you to try and deal with, but it’s definitely a warning sign. Your partner should be a source of comfort and strength, not a stranger to you.
CLICK TO TWEET I think for any relationship to be successful, there needs to be loving communication, appreciation, and understanding. Miranda Kerr
Your Work Comes Up In Arguments
Arguments with a partner are never a good thing. However, it’s when your business start to come up in arguments that something is really wrong. When this happens, you absolutely have to recognise a warning sign for what it is. If your partner is angry at you for spending too much time working, and that the business is part of their upset, you need to take a step back. A healthy work-life balance is absolutely crucial for anyone who’s trying to successfully raise business and a family, so one can not come at the expense of the other.
Overall, these are three warning signs that there’s something wrong with your business, in regards to how it’s affecting your relationship. Your relationship with a partner is such an important thing, and it should never be jeopardised by work. If you ever start to feel that it is, it’s time to consider a change. Remember that the most important component of any successful business is your happiness. You can’t make something successful without taking care of yourself as well. It’s so important to do this because you can not hope to succeed when you face challenges at home. These warning signs are easy to spot, and you should look for them constantly because they can really be a problem.