People often ask us what they can do to earn additional money on the side while working full-time. The list is endless-from joining a networking company to writing to buying and selling stuff. The key to success is finding something that matches you. There is no one-size fits all.
Before you invest time and energy into an income earning endeavor, consider these three questions:
1. Am I good at this? So many people try to earn money using skills and knowledge they are only beginners in. This diminishes their chances of success. So stick with what you know and you are good at because it will probably be easier to do as well because its something you’re an expert in alrady.
2. Do I have competitors? Who else is doing what you are doing or selling what you are selling? How are you the same or how are you different? Will you be fighting for clients? Knowing what’s out there will help you strategize how to get clients or buyers and how to keep them whether it’s by employing a good marketing strategy, by focusing only on people you know, or by having a different product or service offering.
3. How much time can I devote to this every day/week and what’s my target income? Remember the goal is to have additional income so a) you should be allotting sufficient and realistic time on this, and b) your earnings should be worth your time and effort. Your first few months will be all about building your credibility and creating a market for yourself but at some point you should assess if it’s worth it.
Now there are two basic categories for earning money on the side. You can either, offer a product or offer a service.
Offer a Product – A product is a tangible object. It could be something you own or have made. Or it could belong to someone else. Check out a few of our suggestions below.
Be a Referrer – Align yourself with friends who are agents of insurance products, real estate, cars, etc. refer clients to them and get a commission when your referred client decides to make a purchase. Naturally you could also become an agent yourself, but that may take some time, licensing and money to do.
Sell something – It could something you make really well like cakes, jams, candles, jewelry, bags, food, paintings, etc. It could also be something you buy in bulk (thus cheaper) and sell at a profit. You could also help sell something owned by someone else including jewelry, appliances, furniture, etc. and earn from the commission.
Properties Broker – If you have a lot of OFW friends who have bought properties they would like to rent out or sell, you could be the caretaker and broker of these properties.
Offer advertising spots – If your home is situated in a prime location, a wall or the gate could be used as advertising space. Your car can also be used to advertise.
Make your home a movie location
Offer a Service – Your skills and knowledge are intangible sources of wealth. Unless you are offering a technical/mechanical service you probably won’t need capital to be able to make money.
Teach What You Know – This could be in the form of tutoring services, skills training (i.e. for baking, cooking, accounting, photoshop, etc.) which you could conduct one on one or for a small group.
Software/Computer Based, Online and Web Services – There are so many things you can do online such as web design, content writing, graphic design, system tester, promoter, or encoder/data entry.
Events Services – You could be an event coordinator, host, promoter, supplier (i.e. flowers, back drop, lighting, Photobooth, etc.)
Market Research/Product Testing – Do you know someone in market research? Advertising or a company’s R&D? They often look for ‘real people’ to test out their campaign, new products and services, test their systems etc. You could participate in FGDs or be a mystery shopper.
Business Services – Offer your full time job skills as a freelancer or part timer. Look for small businesses that need help with their bookkeeping, accounting, inventory, marketing, etc.
These are some of the many things you could do to earn additional income. Just remember these three things: 1) it must be worth your time, 2) it shouldn’t interfere with your full time job (remember that’s your regular income, it sustains your family), and 3) remember the things that money can’t buy -family, friendship, integrity, peace of mind, love, etc.
Author: Guita T. Gopalan, Managing Director, Colayco Foundation, the first, the most experienced and the most effective in teaching personal finance to Filipinos. This is her first guest post.
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