If you are a small business owner or freelancer, you know that one of the disadvantages of being your own boss can often be the fluctuation in your income. Often how much income and when that income becomes available to you each month can be hit or miss. Some self-employed individuals plan ahead for the tight times, particularly if they know what months will be a feast and which will be famine. If you don’t have that knowledge, which is likely most of us, it can be one of the scariest parts of being self-employed. Luckily there are ways to alleviate the feast or famine cycle. Here are 5 side-gigs that can add additional income to your business.
- Expand your services. If you aren’t maxed out as far as time for client projects is concerned you could consider adding a new service to what you offer. For example, when I first started out I provided administrative support services. After learning WordPress to create my own website and with skills I already had related to website design like HTML and CSS coding, I decided to offer WordPress website creation as a service. Although it wasn’t exactly administrative in nature, the businesses I marketed to were often in need of websites or WordPress assistance. Creating a website or two a month made a big difference in my income, but it was sporadic and couldn’t be depended upon. When I later added WordPress maintenance services, the monthly income amounts were small, but they were steady and dependable.
- Coach others in your field. If you’ve found success in your chosen field, your experience and knowledge may be what someone just starting out needs. By offering to coach others and give them tips for starting and growing their business it could provide additional income to your business. Again, this may be more or less sporadic, but as a side-gig, it can provide a supplement to your business income.
- Paid webinars and/or speaking. You know things. Things that other people want to know. I’m serious. There is always someone out there who is looking to learn about the things that you know. From how to use specific software to how to create meme’s, there are folks out there that want to learn. Offering low-cost webinars is a great way to share your knowledge with others, especially if you record it and/or make it an evergreen webinar. Or if speaking live is something you enjoy, consider speaking on something you know at a conference or event. Many give their speakers an honorarium. Local business groups are always looking for speakers at their meetings, and while they usually don’t offer pay, it could be a great way to find new clients.
- Create a course. If you have a depth of knowledge in a subject that goes beyond what can fit in a webinar, consider creating an e-course. Platforms like Udemy and Teachable make it easy to offer your course to others. Be ready to either really market your course or be patient when it comes to using this side-gig to add additional income to your business. When I first launched “Work From Home as A Virtual Assistant” I was lucky to make a sale a month. I didn’t really do anything to market it. Amazingly over the years, it’s grown all by itself to the point where I can count on a certain amount of money to come in each month. It’s even become a Udemy best seller!
- Monetize a hobby. All of the ideas above generally have some connection to your business. Not this one. If you have a hobby you enjoy it could become a pretty good side-gig for bringing in additional income. If you’re a crafter or artist, it’s an easy step to start selling at local craft fairs, festivals or even on Etsy. Hobbies like spelunking or genealogy may not be as geared toward monetizing. Yet with just a little creativity you could create a guide to the caves in your area or teach a class on finding your roots at your local library or adult education center. If you decide to monetize a hobby, it’s up to you whether to let your business contacts know. Only a select few of my clients and those in my business circle know about my Etsy Shop and mixed media art. That is, until now P.S. I didn’t start them to supplement my business. I was just looking to recoup the money I was spending on supplies.
A couple of points about side-gigs.
- You want to be sure they aren’t so time-consuming that they interfere with your business.
- You want to be sure the time, energy and/or materials you put in is worth the income you get back
- Sometimes a side-gig can end up being more lucrative than the business you originally were looking to supplement.
Experts have talked about the wisdom of creating multiple streams of income for a long time. For freelancers and small business owners who struggle with the ebb and flow of cash flow in their businesses it just makes sense to find a side-gig or two to add additional income to your business.