There are a variety of ways to bring in more money even while you aren’t working. If you already have a small business or are just a single person looking for ways to make a little bit more money without having to work a lot more hours, there are opportunities available to you.
Some of these options are known as passive income. Passive income means you make a one-time investment up front, and then receive benefits over time with very little to no effort from that point on. The rest are low-lift income generators, meaning you make more income with less work than you would normally spend on your ordinary work. Think of it as a side hustle without a lot of need for hustling.
Interest is the classic type of passive income. You put your savings into an account that earns interest. Through the magic of compound interest, the longer you let your money sit, the more interest you earn on your own money as well as the money the bank already paid you. Here’s why it’s magic and completely passive. If you deposit $10,000 into an account that earns 5% interest per year, at the end of the first year, you will have $500 more than you began the year with, without lifting a finger. At the end of the second year, you will have an additional $525 from the interest on your original $10,000 plus the interest on the $500 you made in interest the previous year. That’s $1025 of income for doing nothing for two years.
Earning dividends operates similarly to earning interest in that you make an initial investment and then receive income for just letting your investment sit there. To earn dividends, you need to purchase stocks that pay dividends. A good bet is what are commonly referred to as “blue chip” stocks. These are companies that have been around for a long time. Think of the big name, old-school companies like AT&T, 3M, Mastercard, or Lockheed Martin.
Hold a Note
Again, if you have some money and want it to do work for you, rather than let it languish in a checking account earning no interest, consider becoming a lender. Stocks go up and down in value. Good interest rates can be hard to come by. If you lend money to a person or business, you can set the interest rate yourself. To ensure that you actually make money, make sure you lend to someone who is reliable and capable of paying you back. Also, make sure you get a lawyer to look over the loan contract to make sure you are protected as much as possible.
Use an Answering Service
Speaking of lawyers, law firms are a good model for why answering services are passive money-makers. Many times, people looking to hire a company who provides a service want to speak to an actual person when they are shopping around. Many people conduct their personal business after regular work hours, when companies like law firms are generally closed. A legal answering service can help bridge the gap of not needing to keep your firm open extra hours, but it also brings in business while you are taking your down time. When people want a quality service, they have to feel like the people you are hiring are people and that they are reachable. Note that this applies to all service industry businesses, not just law firms.
Set Up 24/7 Buying
If your business is selling goods, not services, make sure you are selling around the clock. That doesn’t mean you are making sales calls like a zombie who doesn’t need sleep, it means you need an online purchasing platform. Online stores are one solution. Online catalogs are another. Even if your particular goods are not the right type for an Etsy or Amazon shop, a catalog allows would-be customers to get the information they need to want to buy. Be sure to fill your catalog with easy ways to get in touch with your sales people.
Book Affiliate Marketing
If you already have a great website, blog, Instagram site, or other platform, allow targeted ads to fill in some of your empty space. The right ads can actually add value to your content, since your visitors are already looking to you for information or guidance of some kind. Why not make money pointing them to products you believe they would want?
You can rent or sublet an apartment you already own, but there are also other, less obvious opportunities to earn rental income. If you have a two-car garage, and only use one spot, rent the other. If you have a storage space in the basement of your apartment complex that you don’t use, rent it out. Think about the things you own that you don’t use daily. More and more, people are renting things like tools, lawn-mowers, bicycles, sports equipment, and other items that are expensive investments for folks who only want to use them occasionally. Get creative and make your stuff make money!