Has the slumping economy got you looking for ideas to earn some extra money? If so, personal finance blog Wise Bread can help you out with their list of 10 small businesses that are free or cost little to start up. Here’s the list along with their “advice to live by” for each suggestion:
1. Freelance writing – Keep a copy of all of your published articles in a digital portfolio that you can email to potential clients.
2. Stock photography – Make sure to watermark your photos before posting them online to share with friends and family members. Dishonest people will use your photography without permission if you don’t take the time to do this simple act right away.
3. Web and graphic design – Do not cheapen the quality of your services by bidding too low on a project. Ask a fair price and forget about the gigs that are not willing to pay you what you’re worth.
4. Artwork or handcrafted items – In addition to the cost of materials, add in labor to the price of your artwork and handmade wares.
5. Tutoring – The more websites you sign up for, the greater your chances of tutoring full-time. If paying a percentage of your wages to a third party doesn’t appeal to you, print out business cards and rely on word-of-mouth advertising to launch your business.
6. Caretaking – Do not give out contact information to a person until after you have done some research on them. A criminal background check on a client is a small price to pay in terms of your safety.
7. Mystery shopping – Do not expect to get rich by secret shopping one location. The key to success is to register with multiple shopping companies and to check your email frequently.
8. Online teaching – Avoid paying astronomical fees to list your services on websites. Opt instead to choose places that allow you to post ads for free.
9. Virtual assistant – Set up shop in a quiet part of your home that is free from noise and distractions. Invest in a good headset and pick a home phone plan with unlimited long distance calls.
10. Product demonstrations – Wear a comfortable pair of shoes because you will be standing on your feet the whole time that you are working.
They also list several issues to consider before you embark on a new money-making venture — issues like assessing your skills, knowing your competitors, and negotiating a price.
Our guess is that this tough economy has more and more people looking for ideas to earn a bit of money on the side. Anyone out there with a small business or additional work commitment that’s helping you earn a few extra bucks?