5 Businesses To Start for Extra Cash

While you’re out scrounging for venture capital for the next big enterprise you’ll be heading, you may need to augment your income. You may not want to take the plunge and start driving for Uber, but there are other simple jobs that can bring in extra money.

We seem to be living in an age of the multi-jobber. Those who perform a variety of tasks in different areas to make a living. While hustling for business is a necessity, the good news is that many of these jobs don’t require special skills. As with anything, honesty, dedication and good work may be all you need. So what are some jobs you can do that could expand your personal bottom line? In no particular order:

Dog Walker

Being on time and taking care of your client’s pet’s exercise needs is straightforward. If you love animals, so much the better. You’d be doing a service for owners who don’t have the time to devote to this aspect of their dogs’ lives. Neighborhood flyers or a craigslist ad could get the word out for you.

Handyman/Yard Work

If you’re good around the house, you’ll be good around someone else’s. We’re also including exterior tasks in this category such as pool cleaning or lawn mowing. Like dog walking, some of these tasks are things people have no time for themselves or they just don’t know how to do them.

Car Wash/Detailing

Again, you’re helping a customer who doesn’t have time. If you’re mobile and come to their location, you save them time again that would be spent driving to a car wash. A little bit of elbow grease and an eye for detail could make you an in-demand commodity in your neighborhood

House Sitter

Almost everyone goes out of town at some point. For extended absences or when they have to leave pets behind, having a house sitter will provide peace of mind. It’s about the lowest tech job out there so no special training is involved but commitment and reliability are two key elements you’ll need.

Be a Tutor

If you’re good at something, math, computers, or even drinking wine, chances are someone wants to know what you do. Local flyers, online ads or word of mouth may help connect you to that person that needs to learn what you know.

man tutoring young girl

Share your knowledge. Be a tutor!

There are other jobs as well that you can do. It all depends on what you know and what you like. Make a list of things you can do or are good at and market yourself in those areas. While you’re sitting at your neighbor’s house, use the time to build that new company website or crowdfunding project for yourself.

Top 5 (Simple) Tips for Entrepreneurs

If you’ve started a business or are thinking about starting one, you’ll no doubt have done a lot of research in your market. You know who your competitors are. You know what you want to achieve. You have a business plan. Great. These are all basics. But aside from getting it up and running there are areas of your life that contribute to a healthy business. Some concern your business—like marketing—but others concern you personally. It’s important to keep both aspects in mind because you are your business and vice versa.

1. Network

For businesses that don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing, networking is crucial. Whether in person or vitually, you have to get in front of an audience (your market). Join your local chamber of commerce and attend its events. Membership and a plaque on your wall isn’t worth much and keeps you invisible. Make the most of your membership but appearing regularly at events.

Similarly there are other networking organizations such as BNI. While these are chapter-based networking groups (one person per profession, etc.) you can establish relationships with fellow members and spread the word about your business.

With both, attendance/visibility is the key.

While not an in-person form of networking, sites like LinkedIn can be great, too. Connect with potential clients and others in your market. Be active and share information. Keep active with your connections even if it’s an occasional message. As with the in-person networking above, you want to (as far as its possible) establish relationships with your connections. By sharing information you become the expert in your field to those you’re messaging. They’ll remember your name and face. And avoid coming on strong and asking for business right away. No one likes to be hustled, especially right after connecting. Keep sharing your expertise and after a few communications then ask for business or a referral.

2. Ask for Advice

You’re not going to know everything so be open to advice from others who’ve been in business for a while, even if it’s a different business. They’ll have made the same mistake you will and can help you avoid some pitfalls. On the other hand, some people love to hear themselves talk and want to be the expert on everything. Trust your instincts and take away what you think is good and ignore that which you really question.

3. Learn to Spot Trouble

Make your life easier by finding good people to work with. If you do get inquiries, some research may be in order to find out about the people who may work with you. Do your collegaues at the chamber of commerce like this person? Have the worked with him or her? What was it like? Sometime you can tell just by speaking to a person or by what they write in an email. Problem people are going to be grief down the road. Avoid them. Especially when starting out. Find good people you can work with and work with them.

young entrepreneur stressed out

4. Take Time for You

You can’t do good work if you’re sick, worried or stressed. Find the time—make the time—to commit to a workout schedule. Even a walk around the block each morning is better than forsaking all exercise just to work on your business. Exercise helps deal with stress and clears the mind.

In a similar way, you also want to disconnect from your work. As they say, don’t take your work home with you. We’re all guilty at one time or another of burning the midnight oil but the mind needs rest just like the body. While easier said than done, try to shut out your business in the evenings, especially before bed. A rested brain will be better able to cope with whatever comes its way. And the mind has a way of working out problems subconsciously so give it a break. It will thank you for it.

And coupled with rest is fun. You need to have some fun. Oft repeated, but certainly true is that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!” We need to see new sights and experience new things to keep us at once both stimulated and distracted. If you’re a sole proprietor, make sure you spend time with friends on a regular basis.

Don’t forget that “you are what you eat” so keep an eye on what you’re eating. Take stock of what’s going in you. Is it healthy? Great. If not, make a commitment to eat healthier. This along with exercise is going to contribute to overall well being and without that, the amount of work you do won’t mean much.

This last part isn’t so much about business as it is about living life well. But without taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to do the others effectively. And really, life is not just about business.

5. Keep Going

Remember the words of Winston Churchill: “Never, ever, ever give up!” The only sure way to fail is if you stop trying. You will fall. But you can get up again. Continue to learn, to communicate with others, to improve your health, life and business, but keep going. Remember the adage, “Ninety percent of success is just showing up.”

Show up!

Customer Appreciation: Take it Seriously in 2016

Immediate Response to Customers

With more and more companies making use of social media responses to customer inquiries or complaints can be almost instantaneous. The vast majority of Twitter users expect a company to respond to them when they Tweet. This can mean addressing a concern within the hour. There were almost a billion customer complaints lodged on social media in 2014. It’s the smart company that responds quickly to solve problems.

Social Influences Buying

customer making online purchaseThe importance of an active social media presence is going to go a long way toward conversion. Studies show that more customers decide to make a purchase based on social media than on your website alone so this cannot be overlooked or taken lightly. All of the major social sites have implemented ads in various formats. Engagement is a key concept here and the more engaged (and the more opportunities for engagement) translates into increased sales.

Videos (Live)

TV ads are prohibitive for smaller companies and conversions can be scattershot but video is cheap (think youtube) and with outlets like the Twitter-owned Periscope growing by leaps and bounds, streaming a live video can put you in the same league as huge companies. It’s simple to broadcast from your own mobile device. You increase brand awareness but can also engage with customers. There’s a realness to a live video that a staged and scripted commercial can’t match and your iOS- or Adroid-using customers can view what you’re streaming. Meerkat is another such service worthy of investigation.

Optimization

Regardless of your use of social media, the starting point is your business website and it needs to be visible. Sure, social helps this (a lot) but nothing substitutes for correct, relevant content on your site. Google demands relevancy over everything and this is where search engine optimization comes in. A website is not good enough. The content you have is critical. Not enough and the big G thinks you’re not relevant. Wrong content (i.e., doesn’t contain the things your customers are searching for)? Same thing. A complete internet marketing campaign must include SEO. Without a page one ranking you’re going to be invisible. Virtually all traffic comes from a page one ranking. Anything lower is worthless.

SEO will also address technical issues that Google takes into account like mobile friendliness, page load times, bloated code and others. With mobile searches overtaking desktop, being mobile friendly isn’t just a good idea. In fact, it will prevent you from moving up to that top spot.

With good social signals you can drive customer traffic to your site, but the user experience must be optimized, too. Once a customer lands on your site their visit needs to be intuitive and free of impediments. With Google Analytics installed, you’ll be able to view customer paths on your site, where they drop off in the buying process or identify elements that may be frustrating them.

Bottom line, the avenues for customer interaction and appreciation are open more widely than ever and the savvy business owner will take advantage of them. At the very least an optimized website and an active social presence will go a long way to greater visibility online and trust by the people you want to purchase your product or service.

Major Benefits Of Business Blogging

When it comes to effective marketing strategies online, one of the most recommended solutions today is blogging. If you are a business owner, especially of a small business, you are probably wondering how a business blogging can improve your business. And if you prefer this marketing campaign, will it be worth your time and effort. Well, business experts would absolutely answer a big YES.

Compared to other marketing solutions online, blogging is relatively inexpensive and easy but has been proven to provide positive results in business marketing campaigns. With proper and effective blogging, businesses can really enhance marketing strategies, increase traffic for the business site, and attract more potential customers for the business.

According to a study, marketers reported that 81% of businesses who are using blogs for marketing say that blogging are really vital for their business.

So why use business blogging?

It can boost your SEO campaign in a huge way

We all know that search engines really love fresh contents. And one way to make these search engine crawlers love your website is by feeding it with frequent and quality blog posts. With more blog contents, search engines will be able to find new contents to index therefore providing you the opportunities to use all those vital keywords so you can increase your visibility on SERPS or search engine results pages.

You can establish relationship with your existing and potential customers

Blogging in your website helps you interact and communicate with your customers therefore helping you build positive relationship with your customers. You can do this by asking questions to your customers through your blogs and allowing your site visitors to give feedbacks or comments on the site. With these comments, you will learn insights about what they really want in the business and ways to improve customer services. Building a rapport with your customers will also show them that you really value their satisfaction therefore also building trust with your customers.

You can demonstrate your expertise and establish a good reputation for your business

One way to effectively establish your business in the industry it belongs is by showing that you are an expert on what you do. Create blog posts that provide relevant and valuable information so your site will become a helpful resource site for a lot of people. With informative, quality contents, you’ll get more opportunities in converting more traffic to sales. With a good and reliable business blogging campaign, you can improve your credibility and reputation, which are essential if you want to compete with large companies already operating in industry.

Help build your brand as a business

Sometimes, having good credibility is not enough anymore especially if you are running a small business within an industry where a lot of big businesses and established names are already present. You don’t just need a good name but you should also have a unique brand that customers will automatically remember when thinking of the products to buy.

Create more marketing opportunities

The great thing about blogging is that your blogs can be shared anywhere, anytime, and in various platforms all over the internet – which is a free marketing for your business. If you post a really good blog, readers who like the post will share it in social media sites, tweet it or even email it to others. The sharing of your blog posts by your customers will validate the credibility of your business. More people will be reached by your blog posts therefore reaching more audience and potential customers for your business.

With these incredible benefits of blogging to business, it is definitely a good thing to blog for your business. By lending the right time, effort, and probably a little amount of money for business blogging, you’ll have greater opportunities for business growth by increasing business visibility, reaching wider market, increasing traffic and sales, and establishing your business within the industry.