With South Africa still suffering from high unemployment rates, we have to do what we can to survive. And that means bringing in some extra money. A lot of people are trying to find ways to establish some financial security just in case something goes wrong. Making money on the side can be challenging. Working from home can make it a lot easier. What can you do to make money from home?
The extra money you make from home could help pay the bills. Maybe you need a little extra to send the kids to school, maybe you want to save towards retirement, or you need cash to help pay off some debt. Whatever the reason, if you’re sitting most nights in front of a TV screen waiting for bedtime, it would be better to start making money from home instead.
With a bit of drive, you could even be running your business one of these days.
How to make money from home
1. Sell the stuff you don’t need
A good way to make some extra money is to start right at home. We all have a few things around that we can do without. Things like old clothes, kids’ toys, sports gear, out-of-fashion accessories that you don’t wear anymore, old electronics (you can even sell a broken phone) and if you’re lucky you might have an old motorcycle or second car. Anything will do.
Selling a few things could even prepare you for starting your own thing at home. If you’re transitioning to start your side hustle from home, getting rid of a few things might even clear up some space for an office.
Once you have a ton of stuff you can sell. The next big question is, where do you sell it?
Online buy and sell platforms
Selling your goods online is easy and you’ll manage to reach a lot more people that way. You can even promote your products on other platforms, like Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. That way you’re reaching out to more people.
- OLX: OLX is a global online marketplace, operating in 45 countries. The platform allows you to buy and sell goods and services like electronics, fashion, furniture, vehicles etc.
- Bid or Buy: Bid or Buy is an easy, quick and profitable way to make some money from home. Bid or Buy is an online auction website. The platform is available in 160 countries, you can sell almost anything there.
- Gumtree: You may be familiar with Gumtree. It’s an older platform that was used a lot a couple a years ago. You can sell everything on this platform, as long as it’s not illegal of course.
2. Open an online store with Shopify
Shopify is currently one of the largest online e-commerce platforms. The platform gained popularity because of it’s easy to use functionalities, wide range of features and affordability. The platform is so big it’s being used by 10% of all e-commerce businesses in the world, including major brands like Budweiser, Tesla, Red Bull and Nestle.
Shopify allows you to manage all of your website, sales and operation needs, from one place. The platform even provides additional features catered to brick-and-mortar type businesses. This makes it a perfect platform for making money from home.
You can sell physical products, drop-ship products, digital products or even services on the platform. As long as the product or service does not have any legal restrictions like alcohol, medicine or weapons. You can pretty much sell anything you can think of, from furniture, electronics, cosmetics, music etc.
Although the platform offers a 14-day trial, you will have to choose a plan that suits your needs. They have a range of plans on offer, starting from R137 ($9). Choose a plan based on what you need and what you can afford.
If you have what it takes to run your online store from home, have a look at Shopify. It has helped many people earn a passive income over the years.
3. Be a writer
If you have some writing skills, starting as a blog writer or a freelance writer can be a fun way of making money from home.
Writing has become a mainstream side hustle around the world. There are a lot of online platforms that allow writers to create new and exciting content. You could be earning dollars while working from home.
Of course the better your skills and experience in this field, the better jobs you’ll be able to get. The good thing this, you don’t need to be Hemingway to be a writer. The online market for new writers is vast, and there are plenty of jobs out there.
If you want to take your skills to the next level you can even look at doing an online course that will teach how to be a successful writer.
Go through this checklist before you jump into blog writing.
- Have some work ready: You will need some previously written work before you can start applying for jobs. Clients will want to see your writing style and skills. Once you have a concrete writing ability you’ll be able to search for jobs in the market that you prefer. If you don’t have anything to show, study successful blogs and write your blog samples. Remember you don’t have to stick with one market, you can write for various industries and expand your writing abilities.
- Have the right tools: You don’t need a lot to be a successful writer. But, you’ll need the basics to start making money from home. The most important things are a computer and a good internet connection. You don’t ever need the greatest computer. All you need is a working computer that has Microsoft Word and has access to the internet. You will also want to make sure that you have sufficient space to work. A desktop could take up a big area on a desk while a laptop gives you more freedom to work from anywhere.
- Online platforms: When you’re ready to start making money from home as a freelance writer, you’ll need to sign up to online platforms. There are a lot of online platforms that help freelancers get jobs. Online freelance platforms include Fiverr, Freelancer or Upwork. These are only a few platforms available out there. You will have to find the one that works for you.
4. Work with pets
Being a pet sitter or dog walker has become a lucrative way to make money from home. The best part about being a pet sitter is that you are in full control.
You could make good money from being a dog sitter. If you play your cards right and offer good service you could walk away with close to R10 000 each month. You can offer multiple services from dog walks, host a doggy daycare, or even look after dogs and cats overnight.
Working with animals offers you some flexibility. You are in control of your services, how much you charge and planning your schedule. You can even decide which animals you would like to work with and have different prices for the type of animal.
5. Sell your knowledge
Another great way to make money from home is by selling your knowledge and skills to others. Various platforms allow you to sell classes online or you can go old school and teach one-on-one.
There are online platforms like Udemy or Coursera that allow you to sell your services online. You can sell almost any type of course on these platforms, right from home. If you have the skills to teach someone something, you can sell it.
Maybe you enjoy teaching people how to cook. If you do a great job, people might be willing to purchase your cooking classes and even subscribe to more classes in the future. People are always keen to learn something new, from gardening, playing instruments, raising children training dogs, yoga etc.
To succeed as a teacher, you will have to make your classes stand out and appeal to your audience. That means you should steer away from simply teaching something and move towards creating something special. If you manage to do it right, you’ll have people signing up over and over again throughout the year.
You’ll have to plan your classes to-the-tee for them to be a success. These classes take a lot of work, but they can lucrative for making money from home.
Consider the following before being the world’s next best teacher:
- The idea: You will have to put some effort into these classes before they take off and become a success. Before people start engaging in your classes they would want to know exactly what they’re getting, and they’ll compare what you’re offering to how much it costs. One way of selling your classes is by making them unique to a specific topic. Selling something too broad might be misleading or uninteresting. Stick one topic at a time.
- The class: Decide how many times you would like to sell a class and fit that time around your schedule. If you’re offering weekly classes you would want to make sure that you deliver on time, every time.
- The price: When deciding how much you’ll be charging for these classes you would want to do some research. Find out what others are offering in your field and compare how your classes match up to others. It’s a good idea to come in a little lower than your competitors, this could be a selling point for your customers. You can offer more for less until your ratings start piling up.
- Advertise your classes: The main reason for your success will be determined by how well you manage to advertise your classes. You will have to get the word out somehow. A good place to start is by asking your friends and family to push your new adventure and get the word out. You can print flyers and put them up at churches and schools. You can create a Facebook page and promote through social media. You could even have your website if you wanted to. The possibilities are endless, all you need to do is find what works for you.
6. Sell goods at a Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s Markets have become a meeting point for young families and friends to hang out over the weekend. You can take advantage of this by selling homemade food at markets. Although this is not making money from home, you’ll still be making food from home.
If you’re blessed with the ability to make tasty wholesome food, why not earn some extra money from it?
Some of these markets are so popular that they might have regulations before letting you sell your products. You can sell your lovely goods to friends, family and neighbours first and build up a small clientele. You can use this as a learning opportunity and perfect your recipes before going to the farmer’s markets.
There are a few things you’ll have to consider before getting started in this new adventure.
- Sell the right goods: There are a lot of different goods you can sell at a farmer’s markets, from fresh fruit and veg, juice, jam, bread, cheese, homemade meals etc. You’ll have to do some research to find out what people want and what you can provide.
- Licencing: Make sure that you don’t step out of legal bounds when you are selling at markets. Selling fresh produce may be easier to sell because they may not require a licence. If you want to sell ready-made food you might have to get the local health department to take a look at your product first.
- Know the rules: All markets will have different rules, make sure you understand those rules before selling there. You can’t simply set up shop and start selling. You’ll have to fill in an application and get permission to sell your goods there. You can find this information online or talk to the market manager.
- Stand out from the crowd: Just like any business, the more you stand out the better opportunity you’ll have to succeed. You want to make sure that your stand is attractive and inviting. Your products should be neatly displayed and labelled. Dressing up may help sell your products as it will create a professional unified image.
Avoid the Get Rich Schemes
In most cases the get rich schemes only make the schemer rich and not the person doing the work. Don’t be the victim of these con artists, it’s not worth it.
People generally fall into a trap thinking they can make easy money, but in reality, they end up losing money and waste a lot of time.
It’s best to simply steer away from these offers.
Face the challenge of working from home
We all work in different ways and work best in different environments. Find the place the works best for you without throwing everything else in your life out of balance.
Remember these are only a few ideas to start making money from home. If there’s something else you can think of, pursue it. Nothing is holding you back, but yourself.
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