It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior in high school or a senior citizen at the Social Security Office. It never hurts to have a few extra dollars in your pocket. Here are five of the best side jobs to help you achieve just that:
1. Cut Hair
Everyone with hair has one common problem – they have to cut it sooner or later. The way I figure it, that means there’s a built-in market for your services with great residual income. Even if you’ve never had a pair of scissors in your hand, this is not a difficult profession to succeed in. Yes, it will take a little time to build up a clientele. But once you do you’ll have as much work as you want. You may or may not need a license, so make sure to check with your local government. If you do need a license and you practice without one and get caught, you may never be able to apply for a license. Do it right, please.
How to become a hair stylist. You can attend a vocational school to learn the trade. But check your local adult education program too. They may offer a lower-cost alternative. And if you have courage and don’t need a license, you can simply take a correspondence course or buy a book and have at it.
Marketing Tip: Do one thing that 99% of the other hair cutters don’t do if you want to see your business expand quickly. Send reminder e-mails to your customers when it’s time for a trim. This shows your clients that you care about them and are thinking about them too. This little touch will separate you from all the other stylists out there and you’ll have a floor full of cut hair (and a cash register full of coinage) in no time.
2. Lend Money
Here’s something that both hairy and bald people need – money. Take advantage of that by lending your own money out at an attractive (but fair) rate. You’ll make more money than the bank is paying and you’ll be helping others.
Make many small loans for short periods of time. Let people know that you are doing this as a business and not as a favor. And tell your friends to tell their friends too. As such, be very clear about your need to charge a fair interest rate. Also, make sure to only make loans that are collateralized. Finally, make sure your customers know that you’ll take them to court if they are unable to repay the loan.
If you do get into the lending business, make sure you comply with federal and state laws. You may need to get licensed, and there are caps on the amount of interest you are able to charge.
You may like the idea of this business but not be enamored by all the work involved. In that case you can use a peer-to-peer lender like Lending Club. They put borrowers and lenders like you together. They do the screening and they allocate your money across many loans. It’s a nice service, but understand that the loans they make are unsecured. For more information, see my Lending Club review.
3. Teach Kids How to Organize Their Rooms
How many parents complain about their children’s rooms being a mess? Every parent I know does. Turn that problem into an opportunity. Teach kids how to organize their own rooms. Explain the joys of having an organized space to live in. Motivate them to want a clean and organized room. Again, this isn’t about cleaning the rooms for the kids. It’s about teaching them how to do it and motivating them enough to do this for themselves.
Marketing Tip: Put a small and inexpensive ad into the local schools’ announcement sheets. Pass out fliers in the parking lots of schools and in front of supermarkets. It won’t take long before you will have to turn away business.
4. Financial Advisor
Do you know how many people turn to me for advice on large and small financial matters? It’s astounding. If you’ve got good common sense and good money skills, help others and help yourself at the same time by becoming a financial advisor. Charge people a consultation fee for each visit. Again, be careful not to run afoul of the law. Check with your state to make sure you know what you can and can’t do without a license. If you are charging an hourly rate for a limited number of clients, you may not need a license. Be careful about what you consult clients on. If you simply provide generic financial advice, make sure to never provide specific advice on investments. You definitely need a license to do that. And if you actually manage money for clients, you’ll need a license as well.
5. Massage Therapist
Do you enjoy a good massage? Of course you do…and so does everyone else on the planet. Everyone you know is a potential client.
Some states don’t regulate this industry, but some do. Make sure you comply with governmental laws. Either way, proper training will help you do a better job for your customers and that means repeat business, referrals, and higher prices.
These are just five ideas to help you make money, have fun and help a lot of other people. It’s a question of looking inside yourself, finding out what you are skilled at and then getting out there and offering it to the world.
What unique idea have you turned into extra income?