You might be desperate for work, but don’t necessarily jump at an opportunity that sounds too good to be true. In my article about common Craigslist scams, I wrote about fake employers who “hire” new employees, then “accidentally” send them too much pay. They’ll ask their victims to wire back the difference, but a few weeks later, when the bank discovers that the initial check is a fraud, the “employee” is on the hook for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Every successful business has an automated sales funnel. Yet, so many businesses are completely unaware of the power of an effective funnel. Sales funnels provide automation in the sales process. They help you build a relationship with your audience and develop a bond with the consumer. There are plenty of tools you can use to build a sales funnel, but the world's most successful businesses often create custom-coded funnels.
If you don’t already have a job, you can try your luck with a day labor agency in your area such as Labor Works or People Ready. Generally, these jobs are of the low-skill, low-pay variety — construction helper, mover, retail or warehouse work. Arrive early in the morning, and if you’re chosen for a job, you’ll work that same day and receive payment at the end of your shift.
Hold a yard sale. If you have a yard or garage and plenty of items to sell, you can have a yard sale as early as tomorrow. By advertising your sale on local Facebook pages and Craigslist, you can also skip the paid newspaper ad and keep all of the profits for yourself. If you don’t have time to price everything, try asking patrons to “make an offer” or grouping similar items on tables with an advertised price (e.g. everything on this table is $5).
OneOpinion— signing up is completely free, as it should be. This survey site, like many others, works on a points system: 1,000 points = $1. Once you reach 25,000 ($25), you can choose to cash out via PayPal or an Amazon gift card. OneOpinion also offers product testing, which means you have the opportunity to test new products at home before they hit the market.
Sell things to pedestrians. Entrepreneurial sorts sell things like cold drinks on hot days or hot nuts in winter. This method can be especially lucrative if you set up a spot near a sporting event, park, etc. You’ll need to have a small amount of money to invest in the product, but then you can sell it at a much higher return and make some quick cash.
Evaluate Web sites. Another way to make extra cash in a short amount time – $10 for about 20 minutes of work – is to sign on with UserTesting and evaluate Web sites. You need a computer with a microphone and Internet connection, and you’ll have to fill out a one-page demographic profile. You’ll receive work if your profile matches that of the target audience of sites being tested. Then it’s just a matter of using UserTesting’s screen recorder, which you'll need to download to your computer, to record your verbal comments and on-screen movements as you click through a site. Site owners typically are looking for feedback about whether the Web site is confusing to navigate.
Mentorship. With sites like Etsy, it simply doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel when opening a shop. Instead, look to others who have been down the path and have learned the hard way what to do – and what not to do. Blogs like Handmadeology and EverythingEtsy.com offer hints and guidance for artists just looking to get started in this profitable home-based business.
Buy underpriced used books. Outfit a phone with an ISBN reading app, scan the ISBN numbers of books at used bookstores and thrift shops, and compare the asking prices with what the books are selling for on a site like Amazon. Whenever you get a good hit (which won’t be often but, since the process is fast, won’t take long, either), buy the book and resell it online. Be discreet about this, as the store managers probably won’t like what you’re doing.
Be proactive. Remember Murphy's Law: "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong." Make plans, complete with as many calculations as possible, then anticipate everything that can go wrong. Then make contingency or backup plans for each scenario. Don't leave anything to luck. If you're writing a business plan, for example, do your best to estimate when you'll break even, then multiply that time frame by three to get a more realistic date; and after you've identified all the costs, add 20% to that for costs that will come up that you didn't anticipate. Your best defense against Murphy's law is to assume the worst, and brace yourself. An appropriate amount of insurance may be something worth considering. Don't forget the advice of Louis Pasteur, a French chemist who made several incredible breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease: "Luck favors the prepared mind."
Another great way to earn money from your home office is to sell your skills or knowledge by teaching classes. For instance, if you’re an exercise guru, you might start an exercise class in a large spacious area in your home. People are willing to pay to learn about many fields of knowledge, from cooking and gardening to soap or candle making. Playing a musical instrument, child birthing, dancing, dog training, yoga, and even foreign languages are all great topics for expert classes.
This can include advertising, but many businesses also need help just filling up their social media profiles with relevant (and consistent) content. If you enjoy learning about social media and want to take things a step further and make extra money, social media management is a great option. If you’re good at it, it can also open up a lot of doors for you down the road. This is a great article from Small Biz Trends on How to Start Your Own Social Media Business.
You can do a lot of things, like selling old study or work books on eBay. You could look into having a yard sale and sell old toys, shoes, and clothes. You could have a bake sale or lemonade stand, but to make it stand out, add a twist like blackberry mint lemonade or lemon curd sunshine. If you are creative with it, you can attract more customers.
Host a giveaway on your store. Run a Facebook ad to a giveaway landing page on your store. Use a tool like Rafflecopter to add multiple contest entries like sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and more. You want this giveaway to get maximum reach. You’ll want to make sure you have a retargeting ad running on your store at the same time. The retargeting ad isn’t going to be the only way you’ll monetize the contest though. When sending high numbers of traffic to your website, you always want to have a retargeting ad running. The giveaway page has to be located on your store website – do not put it on another site or on social media. Otherwise retargeting won’t work. After the contest for the giveaway prize has ended, you’ll send the winner the prize they won. However, you’ll also send everyone who lost a runner up prize. The runner up prize can be a $5 gift card for your store. Make sure that all of your products cost over $30 and have more than $15 profit so you don’t lose money. The gift card almost acts like a discount code.
As you likely know, Airbnb is a popular website where people can rent out a room or apartment from ordinary folks and bypass a hotel. So, if you’re comfortable with strangers and you live in fairly well visited place — a large city, college town, or tourist area, for example — you could make some money renting out a room in your home while you’re there, or renting out the entire place while you’re gone. You can expect to make less than whatever nearby hotels charge, but that can still top $100 a night pretty easily. In fact, Airbnb is the most lucrative of all the sharing economy gigs, according to one study.
If you have an extra room in your house, consider listing it on Airbnb. Airbnb is a new way to travel for many people around the world. Instead of booking through expensive hotels, why not stay at someone's house? As a guest, you can choose high end to low end, choose to stay with other people or opt for privacy. As a host, it's a great way to make side money, utilize unused space, and meet new people! How much you can earn depends on your area so I recommend finding out by becoming an Airbnb host yourself!
Do you know there are companies and people out there that make some pretty good money offering their cleaning services to households and companies? They'll come in and charge you either a set fee per room or an hourly fee to clean up. They can come weekly, monthly, or whenever you think you need some extra scrubbing. What's the point? Why not have the person they hire be you?
Mow lawns or plow driveways. If you’re willing to mow yards or shovel or plow snow in the winter, you could easily start your own snow removal and lawn mowing business on the side. While you can usually find work by reaching out to your local community via word-of-mouth, flyers, or online message boards, the website Plowz & Mowz allows you to set up an online profile and reach more customers in your area.
Make the most of your spare space by listing it for short term rentals with Airbnb. If you know how to be an Airbnb host that wows their guests, you have an amazing opportunity to make money fast. By creating a wonderful experience for your guests, you’re setting yourself up for great reviews and lots of repeat guests. Check out our complete guide on getting started as an Airbnb host.