They say that if you do a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s a nice sentiment – but how many people can afford to abandon their current work in the hope that you’ll find your dream job before the next mortgage or rent payment is due?
For a lot of new businesses, starting out means working alongside your current job – and doing so on a tight budget. Working toward freedom from your regular job means you’re going to have a lot more flexibility to expand and diversify going forward. We’ve compiled 6 ideas that won’t cost a fortune to get started and could be a step toward doing something you love!
Reselling books and magazines
Your local charity shop or car-boot sale is likely to be awash with books and old issues of magazines – so much so that it’s not uncommon to see ‘5 for £1’ offers to make space on the shelves. People don’t have the time to sort through the huge piles, so everything tends to have one low price – even though there’s money to be made.
A quick look on Amazon or Ebay will see back issues of magazines selling for anywhere between 99p and £5 – so if you’ve bought a stack of 20 for £1 you’re moving into impressive profit margins quickly. The internet is going to be your outlet here, so opening an account on a popular selling site is essential.
That said, if you’re willing to spend a little more time, you can target your buyers a little more precisely – selling issues of Total Guitar magazine on a guitar forum’s buy and sell section might take a little more time – but you’re likely to make a little more. If you’ve got a particular area of interest then focus on that as your starting point.
There are huge numbers of people who want a pet but don’t want their animal to hinder their lifestyle, offering an opportunity for anyone who’s animal focused to make some money. Could you offer a walking service? Perhaps you could open your pet-friendly home for animals whose owners are going to be away? Do you have specialist knowledge of exotic animals that you could turn into money when their owners go on holiday?
Are you knowledgeable about a particular subject? There’s a huge market for good internet ‘content’ whether its a plastic strapping supplier or local digital marketing agency you will be in demand – in other words, the text you read on websites and blogs. The people who create websites might have the technical expertise needed – but the time and effort required to create the right words to accompany a site means it often works out well to pass that job to someone else.
Again, you’re going to want to focus on areas that you’re interested in – not just for your own job satisfaction, but because you’ll stand out from the crowd if you look a little different from the hordes of other writers online.
“Freelance writer specialising in health and fitness, yoga and vegetarian eating”
An intro like that is likely to attract more of the right kind of work for that person instead of:
“Freelance writer, I’ll write about anything, good rates”
There are some great freelance websites that you can get started on for little or no sign-up fee too, look at sites like PeoplePerHour and Fiverr as places you could start selling your services. You’ll find some great tips on most sites on how to work with clients too – so you’ll find your feet in no time.
Building flatpack furniture
If you live within an hour or so of an IKEA store, there are going to be massive numbers of people who buy furniture despite dreading the prospect of building it when they get home. If you’re at least a little technically minded and can find your way through the flatpack instructions then people will be delighted to invest in you putting it together for them.
£25 will get you a respectable cordless screwdriver – and save the arm ache that comes after extensive Allen-key turning…
Cleaning and housekeeping
You don’t have to work on the internet to make money. If you’ve got an eye for cleanliness offering cleaning and housekeeping services can turn your skills into cash very quickly. As people become more and more busy, having someone take care of their home tasks can make a lot of financial sense. That might be cleaning, ironing, general housekeeping (washing up, making beds, tidying) – or even light gardening and outdoor tasks.
The great thing is, it’s likely that you’ve got the items you need to clean with already – and if transport is a problem, you’re probably going to be working for someone who already has an ironing board and hoover – so the chances are you could take any other required kit in a bag.
Starting by offering your services locally can work well, whether that’s flyer and business card through the door or some advertisements on local noticeboards or social media.
Become a ‘virtual’ assistant
As more and more people’s lives rotate around working online – there’s a growing demand for people who can help coordinate what they’re doing. The actual tasks are going to vary from person to person, but sending emails, organising a schedule, researching and some data entry tasks are not uncommon.
Flexibility is a good trait to carry into your job as a virtual assistant – you might not have a huge amount of contact with the person you’re working for – sometimes you’re just on the end of a Skype connection – but being able to tick jobs off their to-do list is going to make you invaluable.
The demand for virtual assistants is high, especially those who speak English fluently. Again, freelance sites are the place to look!
Work to suit you
If you’re planning on working alongside your current role you can adjust the times you work in your new business to suit your needs. As your confidence grows, that can be the time to start looking at ways of dedicating more time to your new venture. Alternatively, you might enjoy balancing two roles and the financial incentives that come with that!