Image by: shankar s.
By Michael Sterling
Let’s face it. We all want money. In 2014, the opportunities will be limitless. All it takes is finding areas that suit you the most, and fortunately for you most of them require minimal effort. While you’re building up your company, there’s no shame at maintaining a small side business to balance out the finances. Here are a few ideas:
#1) Social Media Consulting
Social media marketing is no longer a question. It’s a necessity. Companies across the world are hiring consultants whose sole purpose is to oversee social media engagement, and the best part is it doesn’t even have to be in-house. Many companies have come to hire freelancers or stay-at-home marketers to take the responsibilities.
According to Forbes, benefits of social media fame are more than just about advertising. The more likes and tweets you have, the higher value society tends to place on it. In 2014 especially, as mobile will achieve mainstream potential, websites will need to be optimized for smart phones. This will make social media engagement all the more needed.
Social networking apps like Instagram and Vine are going to become much more involved, making social media consultants a requisite. Now is the time for social media professionals to take the plunge. Before you jump into the scene, here are a few things to know:
- Have Past Examples Of Your Work – Company managers are looking for engaging campaigns with real results that increase a brand’s exposure. Request links to current online examples for potential employers.
- Have A List Of Ideas – Depending on each interview you may go on, devise a list of particular ideas for that company. What kinds of Facebook ads, Pinterest contests, or Twitter hashtag campaigns can you roll out and when?
- Know Your Connects – It’s a good idea to have an established connection to industry influencers who may help build awareness for their products and services. Make sure you have them as a Twitter follower and that they’ve “liked” your Facebook posts. Managers will check.
#2) Computer Maintenance
Whether you’re tech savy or not, computer maintenance will always benefit you. With the proliferation of tablets, smartphones, and laptops for every coworker and family member, the opportunity to learn more about these gadgets by providing services will only enhance your working knowledge.
Providing anti-virus software installation, desktop cleanups, software downloads, or even printer hookups will allow you to become fully aware of where the world of technology is going. Consider it a paid education. The best part about it is there’s always going to be a need, and it’s not disappearing any time soon.
#3) Recycling Company
More and more people are educating themselves on the environment. Consumers are starting to gear towards more eco-friendly ways to live their lives, which means recycling has the potential to mean big bucks. Unfortunately, many people are too lazy to get the details in order. This is where you can come into play.
The average homeowner doesn’t know where or how to recycle the stuff they’ve got. If you pitch a great local advertising campaign, along with a pickup truck of course, all you need to do is the labor. Remove their scrap metal, old computers, electronics, ink cartridges, and other recyclable materials.
Making a profit, while also helping the earth, sounds like a great idea to me. Steel, copper and computer are worth more than ever. If you want to jump at the opportunity, the time is now to let your customers find you. Make cheap business cards at VistaPrint.com, set up your website on cheap platforms like Wix.com or WordPress.com and start building your clientele.
#4) Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant takes nothing, only a laptop and a good website. They’re becoming more and more popular since online has made it easier to do simple tasks at home. If you’ve got a background in administrative work but want to work for yourself, this is perfect, especially if you’re trying to startup your own company on the side.
V.As work remotely and do all the things a business owner or manager doesn’t have time to do, i.e. email replies, customer follow ups, invoicing, or paying the bills. Through the cloud, all of these tasks can easily be done at home. Sounds like a dream come true, don’t it?
*Tip: Create your own website and make it known that virtual assistant work is your forte. Sites like ODesk.com and Elance.com make it easy for you to find work and establish yourself. If you’ve done administrative work in the past, recommendation letters are greatly appreciated.
#5) Translator/Copy Writer
If there’s one thing lying in the back of a business owner’s mind, it’s the idea of going global or appealing to a wider audience. Because the internet is what it is, even the smallest of companies are buying international domains so as to gain a larger social media following. If you’re fluent in another language or are just perfect at editing documents, marketing yourself as an editor of sorts might be a good idea.
Most businesses can’t afford to keep a translator on staff. As America becomes increasingly multilingual, everyone is finding themselves in need of foreign language speakers to interact with customers, or produce written content. Bilingual speakers will never have a hard time finding a job nowadays, so beat the rest to the punch.
One of the best ways you can reach the international world is to create an Elance account. Elance is one of the top sites for freelance work, and has proven consistent to many freelancers. It’s reached by any company around the globe and if you find your niche, you have potential at finding steady work. Once you have solid content, you can always sell yourself at another level.