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Running a home business is hard/exciting/exhausting/invigorating.
I’d love to tell you that working from home is all unicorns and rainbows, but I won’t. It’s incredible…but also incredibly challenging at times!
But, as the old saying goes, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”
I have worked from home full-time for over ten years and still feel like a newbie some days. But there are also days I know I have gained knowledge and experience worth its weight in gold.
I’ve learned to always prospect for new business, to set boundaries for myself, and always to have multiple streams of income running at all times. I’ve also learned NOT to put all my eggs in one basket.
If you are a freelancer, virtual assistant, or small business owner, the best thing you can do for business longevity is to have multiple income streams coming in at all times. Your core business is being an author or running a direct sales-related or online business. Your core business is being a graphic designer or service provider who works as an independent contractor (like me). Whatever you choose to do, having your fingers in multiple money-making pies makes good business sense.
Business Income -The Spokes of your Business Wheel
I’ve always likened my business plan to a wagon wheel, the old west kind with a solid core and multiple wooden spokes. I’m sure there’s a *prettier* analogy, but that one has always worked for me.
Examples of “Spokes” for your Business “Wheel”
More of the Same: If you have successfully written for one magazine, start pitching to others. Your past published articles act as a resume and proof to other publications that you are an experienced writer. Scan your published clips, create a document with links to additional work you’ve created and sold, and you can even do like I did and make a Freelance Portfolio page on your website to send prospective clients to.
If you are used to doing blog posts for one client, ask for a referral for another. Haunt sites like UpWork.com and HireMyMom.com to find new work opportunities. Even if you have plenty of action, never stop prospecting for more. You can use the work you are doing now to leverage new income opportunities.
Don’t Dismiss the Littles: By “littles,” I mean the sites like TaskRabbit and Fiverr that offer payment for your actions for a small amount of money. I know offering a service for $5 barely seems worth your time, but sites like Fiverr have been a steady source of easy work for me for almost two years. Last year, I funded nearly my Christmas gift shopping expenses with the money I earned from Fiverr. The key for you, the service provider, is SPEED. Only offer Gigs you can do quickly, 15 minutes or less. For me, since I write fast, I offer the option of 300-word parenting articles or 300-word social media articles for $5.00. Another work-from-home mom that I know is a proofreader on Fiverr and makes a respectable income from proofreading other people’s work while her five kids nap, play, or after they are in bed for the night. Don’t rule out these smaller streams of income. Fiverr may take a little time and patience to build up a client base, but it can become a stable revenue stream, not a big waste of time.
Get Creative: I have been an eBay seller since 2000, and though I have never experienced a landslide of income, I can tell you that those $20 sales always come at a great time. I highly recommend setting yourself up as an eBay seller and not selling any items under $10 in value. Study other seller’s listings to see how they do things, ask for free boxes and packing materials from area businesses, and do your best to take quality pictures. Even simple photos snapped with your iPhone will work if the item has a good (and extensive) description and a fair price. There are many amazing Reselling YouTubers with amazing and educational content to get you on the right path and keep you there.
Create Your Products: This one is one I have yet to perfect…but I am still trying! Currently, I’ve self-published two non-fiction business books, FREElance FREEdom and MOM BOSSING, and I’ve also traditionally published my first children’s book, Sissy Goes Tiny, and co-authors a children’s literacy and activity book, The ABCs of Book Jumping.
NOTE: Just because you’ve published a book doesn’t automatically mean you will be rolling in dough. Marketing books in a noisy and crowded online world takes work. But as your authored books catalog grows, so will your income.
Affiliates: I know there are people out there doing super-well with affiliate income. I’ve made money every month with affiliate sales. If you are unsure what affiliate sales are, this site explains it perfectly, plus gives you some of the best affiliate partners available.
Use the skills you already have: You may already be utilizing the knowledge in your noggin as part of your money-making endeavors; I know YOU know more than the services you are offering now.
Did you know that, somewhere in the world, is someone willing to PAY you for the knowledge that you possess? Only some people love bookkeeping or can write with ease. You may have a skill that someone could desperately use for their business right this very moment. Much of what I do as a Virtual Assistant is doing just that: helping business owners with tasks in exchange for a nice income. Review my What it Takes to be a Virtual Assistant Series HERE.
There is no magic pill for expanding and diversifying your small/home business. Like anything worthwhile, it will take plenty of time, blood, sweat, tears, and possibly some cuss words. But it is very doable. Start by brainstorming what “spokes” you can add to your business wheel.
You got this!