I love this question. If you have to work on the side while building your business, I recommend doing something you absolutely hate. That keeps you hungry to succeed on your own. You'll also typically save your energy for the evenings and weekends where you'll want it for your business. Don't expect to make much money at your "other job" but you can work it to pay the bills while you build your business. This approach also forces you to build incrementally, and it keeps you frugal. This is not necessarily ideal. Having a bunch of money set aside sounds nice and luxurious, but not having the resources puts you in a position where you have to figure it out to survive. I love that. I started my business eight years ago on $150 and today we do a million a year. Don't wait until you have the resources to start safely. Dive in however you can. And avoid shortcuts. Don't waste your time scheming to make bigger money on the side. Do something honest to live on and create a business that drives value.
Putting yourself in a situation where you have to scramble to survive while starting a business is a terrible strategy. And if you are already looking for shortcuts ("quick ways to make money") you might not be ready for the challenges that come with starting and building a business.
Even when you bootstrap a business it's wise to have either 1-2 years worth of personal expenses saved or an income stream that meets your financial needs and allows for the time freedom needed to get your business up and running.
With that said - I'm sure someone is going to tell you what you want to hear... That you CAN build a successful business in your spare time and that there ARE ways to make quick cash while you do it. They're going to tell you that THEY did it and you can too.
If you choose that path all I can say to you is...Good luck with that.
While that scenario makes for a good story the probability of succeeding with it is quite low.
One of the real secrets to business success is doing everything you can to start with the odds as much in your favor as possible. When it comes to business "well begun is half done."
That's why many new entrepreneurs seek out mentors and coaches - Because the investment made with a coach saves time and money (avoiding mistakes) and the wisdom they learn helps them increase their odds of success ten-fold (or more).
Give me a call if you'd like to talk this through.
In any case I wish you the best of luck and the greatest success.
Two years ago, I quit my full time job as a digital strategist at an advertising agency to focus on a startup. The startup was consuming the majority of my time but prior to quitting my job, I bought a new home. To suggest that money was tight would be an understatement. Either way, I had to do it and I was going all in for this new business. That said, I had to ensure the house didn't get taken from us before we got into it.
I decided that I would leverage my knowledge in consulting and bring that to the market. For me, I think consulting is an effective way for any entrepreneur to make some cash on the side. Whether you're a developer, designer or marketer - selling your services is a great way to generate side income. In fact, the majority of the revenue I made from consulting was put right back into the business. A few things that you should keep in mind when taking this approach:
1. Don't offer ongoing, loosey goosey consulting agreements. You don't want your clients to expect that they can call you any time of the day to have you run and put out a fire. Instead of working on a retainer or on an hourly rate - Work with specific deliverables & a fixed rate.
2. Bill 50% up front. Remember, C.R.E.A.M = Cash Rules Everything Around Me.
3. Ensure that your clients are aware of your time commitment and other obligations.
4. Don't be afraid to say no. You might get to a point where your consulting business is booming and your startup is slow at growth. Instead of turning your focus entirely to the service side, remember the long-term goal and limit yourself to taking on enough projects to cover your basis.
5. Never, ever sell your services on Fiverr.
Hope this helps - If you have any questions about the consulting thing and how you can do it effectively while running your business - Give me a shout!
There are multiple approaches you could take here. The problem is that finding something which is "quick money" but also good money. Here's my experience:
For the record, I've done £200 /hour consulting, I've owned businesses that employed teams, I've sold phone call consulting, I've written and sold a book, I've done paid speaking gigs, paid teaching gigs....and I've also sold laptops for £7 /hr.
Some were big money, some were quick money, few were both.
If your core expertise and career goal is a knowledge worker (you're a great strategy consultant or web developer) then most revenue opportunities will need a little time to ramp up. Writing a book, or getting consulting gigs (and getting paid) all takes weeks or months.
This is because you either need to create the product (and create the marketing buzz and audience around it) or you need to invest time to build up a portfolio, reputation, testimonials, networks and contacts.
But once they're up and running, a book can easily bring in £1,000 per month with only 4 hours work a week writing blog posts and emails to promote it. Just 2 days consulting at £500-£750 /day could pay the rent and bills for a full month.
So writing just 1 book, or doing just a couple days a month, could be the difference between survival or not.
However, in my life I've had times when I needed something *now*. A bill came up. The credit card was maxed. Whatever - life said "Hey, you messed up cashflow this month!".
And so I've put my ego aside and ignored the fact that I can write code for £300 /day or I can do consulting for £500 /day.... and I've gone to work for a nighclub promotions team for £100 /night. Cash paid, there and then, money was in my pocket.
I also have a friend who's on a sweet salary, university educated, gets great consulting work... but sometimes when something bites her in the ass, she'll jump into doing some cleaning shifts with an agency for £10 per hour. Despite selling her copywriting to PR agencies in London for £100 /hr.
So yeah, I guess I'm trying to say explore how to monetize and productize your expertise. But if you need something fast and short term, there are many legal ways to make "quick cash" that usually require nothing more than swallowing some pride and focussing on the end goal to get you through.
Depending on your skill set you could do the following things:
-Attend networking events see which folks need website maintenance. That is a good avenue for recurring monthly revenue
-If you have strong knowledge of Social Media. Find companies who does not have a strong social media/web presence and help build a social media presence. You charge monthly for social media strategy once it takes off. Recurring revenue.
-If you are good writer and active on TripAdvisor. You can move into reputation management so you respond back to customer complaints on behalf of hotels provide them with a weekly report with what people had to say. Recurring revenue.
-Build a wordpress website of projects you have built in the past. This is your marketing tool. Seeing is believing. Make sure you have a polished website
-Get on Behance, Odesk, Guru, and bunch of others. Make sure you bid on the lower end of things so you have a great chance of winning projects and build credibility in the ecosystem.
-Use Craigs List. It is a crap shoot but it is always worth a shot perusing.
A lot of people are suggesting the consulting route and that is fine. I suggest taking a job that is simple and monotonous which does not require much thinking at all on the job. Mental downtime at work = paid time to plan out your business. Assembly line work, event staff, security guard, truck driving, etc can all work for this strategy. I wrote an internet security patent while working on an assembly line. Assembly line work is boring and thoughtless. Perfect for thinking about something else while on the job. I had a lot of time to think about the patent all day. Then I would come home and write down stuff that I thought about all day and added it to the patent. In this way I was "paid" to write a complicated patent which would have taken the same amount of thought and time if I wrote the patent on my couch at home getting paid nothing. A solid business needs thoughtful planning anyways so why not get paid for it?
Get as close to the money as possible (for me this was B2B tech sales) and look for big pain points that you can solve. Typically the bigger pain points are around things that are costing these companies lots of money, either directly or indirectly with opportunity costs.
If you can legitimately solve a $10,000 problem for a company or bring them $10,000 in revenue, it's not hard to sell them on $5000 in consulting fees.
Hourly consulting can be "quick money," but at least for me one offs aren't really worth it. You often spend as much time or more with small clients for little gigs as you would with bigger reoccurring clients that you understand more and more over time, making you even more invaluable to them. If you can't get your foot in the door with a client any other way than a few hours of consulting, then do it, but relying on little consulting gigs to eat gets stressful fast.
I recommend reading Personal MBA or Pumpkin Plan for tips on using the 80/20 rule to make "bigger money" faster. It's not magic and it takes a lot of hard work, but if you're going to work hard you should also work smart.
If you want more specific advice on how I built my consulting practice, message me.
I am a serial entrepreneur, and ultimately built a multimillion dollar business. However, it took me several tries before I got my 1st business that would support me without working another job. My 1st recommendation is the opposite of what most people are told these days. Many people believe that a real entrepreneur trusts their vision so much, that they quit their job to work on a full-time. Personally, I feel that is too risky. To be frank, the odds are that your very 1st try will not be successful, and even if it is, you're probably going to have to pivot numerous times to make it successful. If you don't have a source of income, you're going to put an enormous amount of pressure on yourself that you don't need. You will already have the enormous pressure of making the business survive, and you don't need more.The way I did was I worked my full-time job for 40 hours and then I worked my 2nd job on my business for another 30 to 40. I realize this doesn't work for everyone… I was fortunate because I didn't have a family or significant other. If that's your case, then I recommend taking on a 25 hour a week job. (another person posted similar advice, but I strongly disagree with their suggestion to pick a job that so horrible it forces you to get your business to succeed. You will already have plenty of pressure. The key is to pick something that you would be fine doing for a while… And then if you are fortunate enough to have traction, then you'll be doing great. And if not, it will give you lots of room to explore different options.) Another option is to work freelance jobs (although this is a better option if you are in an emerging economy, rather than a mature economy where the relative pay is not as hot). If you'd like some specific advice for your situation, give me a call here on Clarity.
I recommend crowdfunding. The components of Crowdfunding are the exact same components of marketing most startups. The key to success in Crowdfunding is Crowdfunding preparation! ABC TV Show, Shark Tank star Mark Cuban says "Any startup who doesn't do Crowdfunding is crazy. For the past three years I've been interviewing Crowdfunding campaigners to learn what are the distinctions between Crowdfunding failures Crowdfunding successes and MEGA crowdfunding success."
I will be happy to answer any questions about the new portal opportunities and new ways to reach more backers.
Broadcaster, Mike Hayes 415-781-9296
You've gotten a good variety of answers and things to ponder in response to your question. Once you've decided on a direction, I suggest you tap into your existing network to see who knows someone you can help. I hope you have kept your network warm over time or this may be a bit of a challenge for you -- but do it anyway.
Don't be "sales-ey" when you approach your network, be prepared to explain to them who your target market is and how you help that market solve their problems. Ask your network for help. And, ask your network how you can help them.
This will do two things for you. It will help you stay in contact with your network (always a good thing!) and it will help you build out your offer so you can make some money to hold you over.
Freelancing is likely to be a great option for you.
I run Expert360, an online marketplace for freelance professionals. We focus on bringing businesses and freelancers together to get work done, often within days or even hours. The site gives you the freedom to bid for contract work that interests you and suits your professional skills. Kind of like a matchmaking service, but less romantic. Freelancing will give you the flexibility to work on growing your business, while also developing your professional skills and giving you a stable income, no matter where you’re based.
Ironically, I used it in the start to supplement my own income whilst I was trying to build a business. :)
I have been in the Bootstrap phase of startups a few times, and I now I am an advisor to people who are doing the same. I will tell you how I did it, and how I've seen others do it, so you have a complete picture:
Me at 24: No Salary for 1 full year during bootstrap phase. Collected some money from Unemployment, parents helped with rent, had a roommate, became An extreme couponer (seriously, those skills are extremely valuable to a startup person), did mystery shopping for groceries, restaurants, dry cleaning and gas and also in-store electronics demos at Best Buy (and others) for $30 an hour.
Me at 30: moved onto a sailboat and sailed to Mexico to save money. Insisted on being paid while company was getting started but had another remote full time job in case things didn't work out.
The only other ways I've seen people survive during bootstrap phase is:
Self-Supported (inheritance or previous earnings)
Supported by spouse/significant other/friends
Home equity Loan
To make money with less time commitment sounds like oxymoron. There are no shortcuts to make money. Likewise, there's no shortcut to build business. It takes time, unquenchable passion, unmatchable perseverance, immaculate values, will to serve, and hunger to earn getting served to raise a business venture. You may not put all your eggs in one basket but you can't build a successful business venture in spare time. It has to be planned and with absolute dedication.
Make sure you either have enough savings to survive or you have family/friends who could help you in prolonged survival. Don't jump on the business bandwagon because anyone else is doing that. Businesses are built on a basis of opportunity cost, but those opportunity cost comes at the expense of sacrifice.
There could be various ways to take the first step forward, the best one could only be decided if you shed some more light on what you intend to do. Thank You!!
Get a full time job(s) doing what you do best. Sock away as much as you can and build a good credit score as fast as you can. When your score is great start acquiring credit cards but absolutely do not use them. Eliminate as many expenses as you can and do life lean and mean. In the meantime, study, plan, evaluate, think and move your business idea forward part time. Work your business around your full time job. When you have amassed lots of cash and opportunities to tap into credit then you will be ready to go full time. Or maybe the part time business will start producing enough profits to allow you to make the leap. In a start-up cash flow is king. You will make costly mistakes. Life will happen that will cost you money. Be ready for that. Treat this whole endeavor as the extremely important and life changing event that it is. It's going to suck the life out of you on good days so you had better be prepared. And make sure you have health insurance and disability insurance in place. You don't want to take too many chances that something will derail you. Again, cash is king. And by the way, I speak from experience. I started my own accounting firm which is a relatively safe business and it is arguably the hardest thing I've ever done (other than staying married)!
I wrote a little $10 ebook on "How to be in your day job until your business takes off". It speaks from the perspective that you currently have a day job to cover your expenses until your business takes off. If that is your situation, shoot me an email and I'll happily send you a free copy!
If you'd genuinely value a clear, steady space to think out loud, eliminate overwhelm, and gain clarity regarding the many options you are faced with, I do hope you will consider giving me a call.
When you start a business you enter into a perpetual sales role. An idea worth considering to earn money and sharpen your skills is a salaried sales position on second shift (or with a flexible schedule). Whether you find a phone sales, inside sales, or retail sales position, you will be paid while overcoming the obstacles you will face "off the clock" with your own business.
Second shift work (As longs as it is not too physical and exhausting) would allow you to have mornings free for working on your business with a fresh mind and allow you to be available for business meetings, key networking events, and high visibility volunteer opportunities.
Another direction you can take is to become a protege of someone who is doing what you want to do, or running a business the way you want to run yours. But these opportunities are harder to come by.
Whatever you do, have a sharp vision, get clarity of focus, and a sound strategy so that when you have time to work in and on your business you can engage in meaningful action. These steps can get you into a flow and momentum that are priceless.
All the best with your entrepreneurial ventures!
The eternal question! How to live while boot-strapping a business. The most important piece of advice I give to clients is to build their business while they still have a job. Why? Beyond the obvious answer of taking the stress off of you - I can tell you that clients know when you are seeing them as desperately needed money rather than a fabulous client you are excited to serve. When you are coming from neediness it is all about you. When you are coming from the desire to serve and you are feeling good about yourself - it is about the client.
I am sure if you are an adult that you have multiple skills that you can use in the short term and monetize. There are so many things I could do if I had to and I know I will never go hungry. So focus on how you can make money doing on what you already know and built your business slowly but with great integrity and you won't regret it. :)
I am an online marketing automation consultant. When I stopped working full time - I got several gigs as a subcontractor to people in my industry who were just a bit further along than I was. I didn't get paid as much - but a learned a lot - both in terms of skills and how to run my practice.
If you can, try doing some short-term contract work for people who might one day be customers for your products. Often, people call this kind of work "consulting", though consulting really means being asked for advice, which is just one kind of short-term contract work.
The reason contract work is good for entrepreneurs is that it puts them squarely in front of a lot of customers, where the entrepreneur can notice problems or issues that many of them have in common. From that, the seeds of a product idea might germinate, and the company can begin to grow from these early customers.
The down side is that it of course takes a lot of time to do this kind of work, and your market may be running away to one of your competitors in the mean time. So, are there alternatives? For some people, there are. The most usual being to obtain external investment for your business from family and friends. There are downsides to this too, of course. The main one is that if your business isn't as good as you initially thought, you might disappoint these family and friends, which feels really bad. Plus, you probably learned something during the failure, and perhaps are ready to try again. Good luck getting money from family and friends for another business, if you screwed up the first one.
So its a balancing act. Lose speed but gain experience. Or gain speed but forego early customer interactions. These are not the only two possible outcomes, but they are representative.
Found this recent article talking about 5 different startups and how they raised capital an interesting perspective. One even stumbled into a new business model to help others raise capital. http://www.smarthustle.com/article/how-5-smart-hustlers-found-money-for-their-startups/
I personally started with an eLance membership and took on my first two clients there, while I built up the rest of my collateral to start generating outreach to my professional network and am now mostly generating word of mouth referrals. The nice thing about eLance is that you can take on work that you are skilled at and that helps pay the bills, but isn't directly in line with what your core business does, thus avoiding looking like you are all things to all people and diluting your "what exactly does your company do" messaging.
Hope that helps. Good luck!
I've had experience with this one and would recommend determining one thing that gets you fired up and would also let you offer something to the world which the world would love to pay you for..
For me, this has turned out to be something related to forming a virtual team and letting my team work on the time-consuming tasks and I'd just be managing them, making sure they deliver quality services to clients. This has cost me a minimal up to none at all (investment) since what I just need are reliable team members/staff and me posting ads on job sites regarding our services or through Odesk..
That has worked for me.. But primarily that would really depend on your interests/niche. :)
When I was starting out, I did a wide range of work across the full spectrum of knowledge I had on things. I would repair PCs and help people setup home office networks. I hated doing this work because it always resulted in a lot of support calls. Once I had built up my web client customer base to the point where I was managing enough small business websites to sustain a comfortable living, I referred all past work that did not fit into my specialty to local businesses that handled this. This resulted in creating some great relationships that generated referrals for more web clients.
Some of the PC repair clients I had were small businesses who ended up using me to create a website for them.
What do you know how to do? How can you generate some income from it in the interim? Is there any crossover?
Once you are comfortable, you can continue to shed some of the stuff you don't want to continue doing for work.
Consulting and Coaching (not requiring certification) can both provide fast paths to cash, if you have skillsets that make that possible.
Ebay auctions and other online auction portals can also offer an opportunity if you have inventory on hand to sell.
Can you hold an estate sale? Do you have goods on hand that have value that you don't mind relinquishing to free up cash flow. (Garage sales don't make nearly as much money.)
Consignment is another opportunity and takes very little effort. (Note, this isn't Craig's List, they want it for free.)
The key here is to know how much money you need to make and for how long. There is a difference between what you'd need to do and the skillset you need to have for $10/hour vs. $200/hour. I've worked at both ends.
A site like this one allows you great flexibility while allowing you to charge what you deem appropriate, leads can be uneven and the best way to generate is to get active with questions and drive business from other sources, like social media, and online forums.
Knowing a bit more I can make more targeted recommendations. Coaching and consulting require the least amount of effort and offer great flexibility.
Like farming it's knowing where the ripe yields are and harvesting those first. We buy domain names and sell or flip them for £1000 or more. Our cost is minimal. Go to people rage have the farm and you it get someone who knows about the industry to start buying .
You've gotten an interesting, mixed batch of answers to your question.
Here's what I would personally do:
1. Think of a skillset that you posess, or would like to develop, that compliments your venture and what business you plan to do. (Consider the role you plan to hold in the venture down the line.)
2. Get a job that actively engages that skillset (for example, if you think sales is that skillet - perfect, get a sales job and get the experience & development you need, while being paid for it and making ends meet.)
3. Apply your newfound experience and cashflow to supplement your venture.
I'd love to continue the discussion on a call and hear about your personal situation.
Some thoughts you may find useful. Do you think if one has access to quick ways to make money with less time commitment, one would still be building a business? Building a new business requires burning your bridges. Building a business is a serious activity and doing that one activity is hard enough. Thinking about making money on the side to survive has the risk of diluting your focus from building your business. I am sorry there are no easy answers to make quick money.