By Andrea Woroch
There's nothing more rewarding than starting your own business. Opening the front door of a shop for the first time, launching a new product or watching your problem-solving solution take flight can be life altering. However, regardless of your business idea or efficiency of execution, there's one certainty – it won't be easy.
A handful of serial entrepreneurs have enough funding and financial security where they don't need supplemental income during the building stages. They're the lucky ones. For everyone else, the long hours of payless labor mean you're either burning through your life savings or doing everything you can to keep the lights on – and the dream alive.
Of course, traditional jobs and part-time work are options. However, rigid schedules often mean entrepreneurial projects come second, slowing an already arduous process. To keep the creative juices flowing, while still earning enough money to avoid moving into your mom's basement, give these moneymaking options a try.
1. Pick up odd jobs.
You can make some extra cash by helping locals with odd jobs around their home – such as assembling furniture, organizing, cleaning or even grocery shopping for them. Sites like Taskrabbit.com will connect you with people in need. Plus, these jobs can easily be accomplished when you have some downtime throughout the day, night or weekend.
2. Dog sit.
Turn your passion for pets into a side hustle by dog sitting, right from your own home. Sites like Rover.com connect you with pet parents looking for responsible care for their canines. You can easily rake in up to $1,000 per month just by opening your home to furry friends. The best part? You can still focus on your entrepreneurial project without having to leave your workspace – just with a little added companionship.
3. Rent your ride.
If your car sits idly in your garage or driveway for hours a day, while you slave away at your future business, consider renting it out. Sites like Getaround.com offer peer-to-peer car sharing which includes full insurance coverage. For those who live near popular attractions or in a big city, renting your parking spot by the hour or day through sites such as SpotHero.com is another option.
4. Start a blog.
As an entrepreneur, you likely have a unique set of skills and may be surprised to find that others will come to you for advice. Starting a blog doesn't take much work and the more you grow your following, the more you can make through affiliate marketing and online ads.
5. Become a rideshare driver.
A part-time job that offers a flexible work schedule and worthwhile pay can be incredibly hard to come by. That's why a rideshare driver may be the perfect solution. As a Lyft or Uber driver, you can make as much or as little as you want based on the amount of time you want to haul people around. Plan to drive during peak hours when there is higher demand and higher pay per ride to maximize your earnings, such as after work or weekend evenings. As a bonus, you can deduct mileage on income taxes, too. If you're planning to run errands, flip into driver mode before or afterwards, while you're already in the car.
6. Go undercover shopping.
Retailers and restaurants use mystery shoppers to get feedback on customer experience and product quality. Earn money by listening to a salesperson try to sell you a product, test-driving a new vehicle, or trying a new restaurant. You can find legitimate mystery shopping gigs through the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA). Just make sure to avoid any companies that require upfront costs. That could be a scam. If you would like to monitor your credit to prevent identity theft and see your credit reports and scores, join MoneyTips.
7. Get paid for your opinion.
Businesses pay big bucks to find out how and what consumers think to improve their marketing efforts. If you enjoy sharing your opinion among a group of peers, you can find a focus group that pays cash at sites such as FindFocusGroups.com. Simply search by city to find groups near you, covering everything from politics to baseball to video games and travel. There are even groups that are looking for alcohol taste testers! The pay is anywhere from $50 to over $400 for your time and thoughts. This means that you can have fun talking about the topics that interest you most while making money.
8. Be an e-juror.
Some attorneys use large panels of online mock jurors to gain valuable feedback on their cases before they go to trial – and will pay you for your time. At OnlineVerdict.com, for example, you can earn $20 to $60 per case you review, and it's an easy way to bring in some extra cash. Keep in mind, jurors must live in the county or federal district where the case will be tried, so sign up at a couple of sites to receive e-mail notifications about cases posted in your county.