Looking to earn some extra cash? The internet has made this very simple in recent years, and there are many opportunities for side gigs if you keep your eyes open. Not all of them are equal, and some require a more careful approach if you want to avoid financial distress. But as long as you have a plan and you’re careful about executing it, you should be able to see some extra money flowing in relatively soon.

Just remember that you should maintain a fine balance between being patient and overinvesting. You don’t want to rush things, but you will also need to know when to step up your game. Seizing opportunities as they present themselves is one of the most important factors for an entrepreneur running a side business.

Freelancer

If you have any viable skills, you could always try your hand as a freelancer. The market is full of people looking for specific services, like art, writing, music creation, and more. In general, anything that you can consider a marketable skill is something you can sell as a freelancer as well. But remember that this kind of gig can take a long time to start, and it may not even work out at all.

You must also be careful in your choice of niche. You’ll need to find the right balance between the two extremes – too crowded and too unpopular – and depending on what exactly your skills are, sometimes one of the two directions will be more appropriate than the other.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping refers to running an online store without an inventory. You receive orders, redirect them to wholesale suppliers, and get things delivered to people without having to hold on to anything yourself. This can be very useful for those with limited space available, as well as people who want to try their hand at running an online store without investing too much into it first.

Keep in mind that dropshipping has become extremely popular in recent years though, and it can be very difficult to get into for this reason. But if you do manage to break in, it can be a very lucrative market.

Tutoring

On the note of selling your useful skills, tutoring is an alternative to freelancing that can sometimes be much more profitable per hour. It all depends on what you’re good at, and how well you are able to teach others. Don’t underestimate the importance of that last bit though. Having good teaching skills is crucial here, and it’s something many people overestimate themselves with.

Thankfully, this is something that can be improved with time and effort – just like any other skill out there. You just have to be realistic with yourself about your own capabilities, know what your weaknesses are, and be prepared to put in the work required to address them from start to finish. 

Programming

It’s becoming a bit cliched in recent years, but being a good programmer can be very lucrative if you know how to market yourself well. It takes a long time to develop good skills in this field, which is precisely why good programmers are so highly sought after and well-paid. It’s something you can also do on a freelance basis, but it’s generally better to find consistent contracts if you want more reliable work.

The one downside to working as a programmer for a side gig is that people’s expectations will sometimes be a bit unreasonable, and you’ll have to learn to say “no” often.

Things to Keep in Mind

Running a side business isn’t all about having the right skills for the main task at hand. You also have to consider some auxiliary factors. Funding is a big one that people tend to underestimate in many cases. If you don’t have the required capital, things can flow much more slowly. At the same time, building up that capital can take time and effort, and it may be out of your reach to begin with.

Loans are a good way around those restrictions. A carefully chosen loan can give you much more freedom in developing your business and pushing it in the right direction. But at the same time, if you’re not smart about choosing the right deal, you risk finding your company in a difficult situation later on. After all, failing to repay a loan can have some dire consequences, and people often underestimate them.

In the end, no matter what kind of activity you choose, persistence will be key to your success. You have to keep pushing forward, even when it seems like times are tough and not much is happening in your field. Sometimes, you may even be tempted to give up completely. But that’s just the way it goes when running your own business. It’s the same process every single entrepreneur out there has gone through at some point in their lives. It builds character and develops your skills, and will be an important cornerstone in your future growth in this field.