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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 awesome…but challenging to say the least!
But, as the old saying goes, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
I have worked from home full-time for over seven years now and though that may not sound like a long time, I still feel like a newbie some days. But there are also days that I know I have gained knowledge and experience that is worth its weight in gold.
I’ve learned never to stop prospecting for new business, to set boundaries for myself, and always to have multiple streams of income running at all times. I’ve also learned to NOT put all my eggs in one basket.
If you are a freelancer, virtual assistant, and small business owner, the best thing you can do for business longevity is to have multiple streams of income coming in at all times. Maybe your core business is being an author or running a direct sales-related or online business. Maybe your core business is being a graphic designer or service provider who works as an independent contractor (like me). Whatever you chose 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…you know, 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 been successful writing for one magazine, start pitching to others. Your past published articles act as a resume of sorts 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 create 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 opportunities for work. Even if you feel like you have plenty of action, never stop prospecting for more. Use the work you are doing now to leverage new income opportunities.
Don’t Dismiss the Littles: By “littles,” I mean the sites like GigWalk, Ibotta, 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 of my Christmas gift shopping expense 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 turn into a stable stream of revenue, 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 don’t sell 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 as long as the item has a good (and extensive) description and a fair price. Fellow mompreneur, Sarah Titus, has a TON of great eBay selling info on her website as well, and here is one of the many things I have for sale on eBay.
Create Your Own 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 with their third book in the series, STREAMLINED: The Art of Minimizing Workspace Resistance due to be published as an ebook by April 30, 2020. 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. My goal for 2020 is to publish a total of two more self-published books.
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 for a fact there are people out there doing super-well with affiliate income. I’ve made money every month with affiliate sales from If you are unsure what affiliate sales are, this site explains it perfectly plus gives you some of the best affiliate partners available.
Google Adsense is another option as well and anyone can sign up with Google Adsense. I will say though that this income stream has not been great for me and seems to work much better for other high-traffic blogs.
Use your Blog for Sidebar Advertising: This is something I really want to expand upon in the coming since a site’s sidebar is a great place for monetization. When it comes to selling ad space, sometimes it’s tough to know how much to charge. I found this great formula for blog ad pricing template at Anyonita Nibbles that makes a ton of sense and I think could act as a solid guideline.
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? Not everyone loves 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 today by brainstorming what “spokes” you can add to your business wheel.
you got this!