By: Tom Chatham
Many people have lost their job and now require government assistance or have a lower paying job they are trying to survive on. Things will probably get worse before they get better. You need to assess your situation and the resources available to you and determine how best to use what you have. Most people have resources, equipment and knowledge they don’t immediately realize that can be used to produce extra income. If you need some extra income and an extra few hundred a month would make a lot of difference, take some time to sit down and list the things you might be able to do to generate income.
Raise baby chicks for sale – With an incubator and egg turner costing about $100, and a breeder flock of 5 to 10 chickens, you can hatch out up to 40 chicks every 21 days. This can generate $75 to $100 every 21 days depending on the price you sell them for. People only buying 2 or 3 chicks will be willing to pay a premium because the price will still be relatively small. With the cost of food rising, many people are now raising a few backyard chickens to produce some of their own food.
Sell eggs – If you have the room to raise a few dozen chickens you may be able to sell the extra eggs to earn extra money. The average pullet can lay about 20 dozen eggs the first year and some breeds can lay up to 25 dozen. If your birds can free range at least part of the day it will greatly reduce the amount of feed you will need to buy, increasing your profits.
Sell produce – Even with the smallest yard, it is possible to grow many types of vegetables in sufficient quantities to allow extra for sale to health conscious neighbors.
Rent out storage space – If you have an unused shed or a garage, you can partition it off into smaller units and rent out the space as storage units.
Rent out living space – If you have an unused bedroom or a garage or shed you can convert into an apartment, you can rent it out to generate extra income.
Rent out a truck or utility trailer – If you have a pickup truck or a utility trailer that you don’t use every day, you may be able to rent it out to individuals that need those services on a temporary basis. You may even be able to rent out your services to load/unload and drive the load to its destination.
Rent out a camper trailer – If you have a camper trailer that you don’t use very often, you may be able to rent it out by the day or week to someone taking a vacation. Used pop-up campers can be found for less than $1,000 and may offer a good return on the money invested. It also provides you with an emergency shelter in the event of a disaster.
Open a barber shop/beauty salon – If you have an empty room or garage you can use, you can start your own barber shop/beauty salon with a minimal of equipment.
Lawn maintenance – With nothing more than a push mower, gas can and a weed trimmer, you can start your own yard maintenance service in your spare time. Just cutting a few small yards on the weekend can generate an extra few hundred dollars a month.
House keeping for the elderly – Many elderly people can no longer do physical housework due to age or injuries. These people are growing in numbers and offer a good market for weekly business. This may include housekeeping, cooking or laundry services.
Sell/deliver meals for the elderly – Some elderly find it difficult to cook for themselves every day. A service to cook and deliver meals to them may be a needed service in your area.
Taxi service for the elderly – Many elderly cannot drive anymore or find it difficult to take public transportation. These individuals may require transportation to buy groceries or to get medical treatments.
Sell honey – If you have bees or would like to get some, this might offer you the ability to sell some of the honey you produce for extra income. This can be expensive to set up but most of the equipment will last for many years.
Sewing services – If you have sewing ability and some equipment, you may be able to offer this service to those who lack the time or experience.
Provide car pool service – If you have a vehicle that can carry 3 or 4 extra people, and you have the time, you may be able to offer car pool services for a small fee to offset your daily fuel expenses or generate extra income. If the price of gas continues to rise, this may become a sought after service for those that still have a job.
Mobile auto service – If you have some mechanic experience and a few tools, you may be able to offer mobile auto service to people. This does not have to be full repair services but can be specialized such as brake replacement or oil changes done in the clients driveway.
Monument service – This is something that many people would not think about but it is a lucrative business. When people die they not only require burial services but following that they almost always need a monument placed on their grave. Many times the funeral home sells this service but there are many businesses that offer only the sale and placement of monuments. It requires very little equipment and the profit potential is very high and this is something that can be done in your spare time.
Pet sitting service – Many people have pets that need caring for when the owner is out of town for a few days. If you have a garage that can hold several cages of various sizes, you may be able to build up a reputable service that can generate good income for very little work.
Bed and breakfast – If you have a large home with extra rooms, you might want to start a bed and breakfast inn to put those extra rooms to work.
Plant nursery – If you love growing things you may want to grow extra things in your spare time to sell. Things such as fruit trees and fruit vines are becoming more in demand with the rising price of food.
Sell baked goods from home – This can be a good fit for those that like to bake. If you buy many of the main ingredients directly from the farmer such as corn and wheat to grind yourself, you will have a good profit margin and will be very competitive with stores if prices rise significantly.
These are just a few of the ideas you can use to start a part time business using the resources you already have. Before starting any business venture you need to think it through and list all of the resources you would need to operate it. You need to look at the startup cost and operating expenses in a realistic way to determine if it is viable and worthy of your time. With a lot of these ideas, you are providing a service or value added product that requires mainly your time and knowledge. Your time and knowledge should be used to maximize your earnings with the least amount of equipment and resources. Hopefully this list will provide you with ideas to expand on to help generate extra income.
By: Tom Chatham – Author of The American Dream Lost
Many people have gone to collage and spent many hours of hard work preparing for a career they expected to be there and provide for them until retirement. Many of those people are now unemployed and cannot find even menial work to support themselves. The whole work paradigm in the U.S. has shifted. Many of the jobs that we used to have in the U.S. are gone and will never return, accept it and move on. Until you do that you will be stuck in a cycle of denial that will suck the determination out of you and set you up for repeated failure.
As stated in a previous article, The West Line and Americas Fading Glory, the domination of the U.S. as the world leader in production has passed and we will not get it back. A lot of the service related jobs that were created to fill in for the loss of manufacturing jobs were not sustainable and the national wealth we used to maintain those jobs is gone. We are shifting into a smaller, slower economy and those that can adapt to it will be able to provide a modest living for their family over the coming years. The standard of living that most Americans are used to is gone along with the jobs. Americans have lived beyond their means for many years and the shock of having to live a more modest standard of living will be difficult for many to adjust to.
There will be a market for high paying jobs in the tech industry and some other specialty careers but these jobs will be few in number and only the best in their field will have a chance to get them. Instead of hundreds vying for these jobs there will be tens of thousands for each one. Most people will be locked out of this high paying job sector so in order to prosper you must think in different terms. Jobs that provide a basic service or product to individuals will be the dominating sector in the future. It will be as it was many years ago where most people will specialize in one area that is needed by people on a local level.
The destruction of the job market will also spell the destruction of the big box stores and all of the products they import. Destruction of the national currency will make the cost of imports prohibitive to all but the richest in society. This will necessitate the return of localized production to supply the needs of society. The theory of economy in volume that created and enriched the multi-national conglomerates has reached a plateau, and the mom and pop operations that helped build and enrich this nation but were later destroyed by multi-nationals, will be to some extent the blueprint for future business operations. The increasing population and the rise of energy prices as our energy resources decline and become harder to extract, will necessitate the local production and distribution methods that once dominated the economy.
For those that have little chance of possessing the high paying jobs of the past, the future will require that you turn your energy and resources inward to embrace the vision of entrepreneurial activities. Creating a small independent business will be the best hope for those caught up in this new paradigm. The best businesses will be those that are labor intensive but require the least amount of equipment and infrastructure and can be shut down and reopened quickly depending on the economic climate. Those that offer products or services in demand by a populace that has little excess money for luxury items will find a strong market. Many of these types of businesses will require knowledge and specialty tools that must be possessed by the businessman in the conduct of daily operations. It is these tools and knowledge that will provide the value that customers seek.
Just to cite some examples to give you a better understanding lets look at four businesses. A butcher requires very little space and equipment. His value is in his ability to butcher many types of meat. A produce stand requires very little infrastructure. Its value is the ability of the owner to grow food that people require so they can eat every day. A mechanic only requires a well stocked tool box and the knowledge to repair cars. A carpenter only requires a well stocked box of carpentry tools and the knowledge to use them. While a butcher is locked into one task a grower can adjust to seasonal demands and produce different food products. A mechanic has the knowledge of mechanical equipment that allows him to repair things other than just cars. The carpenter can not only build a home but has the knowledge to repair and maintain it and to build other types of structures and even furniture depending on his abilities. You must decide what you like doing and acquire tools and skills in that vocation to create your own economic future.
One thing that most people need to seriously consider is the return to family farming. As discussed in the book, The American Dream Lost, about 2% of Americans now operate farms. Given the economic forces acting against us that number needs to increase to 15% – 20%. This will eliminate a large percentage of workers from the urban work force easing unemployment and provide stability for communities and families. A small family farm of 10 to 40 acres can provide employment, shelter, energy, clothing and food for a family no matter what the economic conditions are. For those that are considering sending their children to collage, that money may be better spent by buying 10 acres of farmland and some basic farm equipment and giving it to them to start their own business. No matter what happens in the future one thing is certain. People need to eat. One of the things that must also happen is the elimination of laws and regulations that hinder free enterprise and small businesses in particular. This must be done on a local level to be effective.
As the economy continues to deteriorate, those that foresee a return to local production and prepare to take advantage of it, will position themselves to prosper in the future. Large corporations can only be prosperous if the consumer base has sufficient spendable income to purchase the items it sells. With unemployment increasing and prices rising on many goods, spendable income will soon shrink to insignificant amounts. Those that foresee a major crash of the economy and are preparing for barter type services will most likely be some of the first ones with the ability to take advantage of the situation and prosper from it. Those that prepare for the transition to a new economy will enable an easier transition and help stave off the chaotic conditions that normally accompany these changes.