By Hassan Osman of PartTimeWebpreneur.com
The universal formula for making a profit is this: Profit = Revenue – Cost
If you’re an employee, this means that the total profit you make is equal to how much money you bring in, minus your total expenses.
So to increase your take-home profit, you have to either increase your salary or decrease your expenses.
In other words, you need to make more money or save more. You can of course ask for a salary raise to increase revenue, but that’s not always easy, and employers have limitations on how much you can make per year.
So your main option to increase your profits is to cut back on your expenses – fewer outings, less travel, and no Starbucks.
While this is a solution, it only works to a certain limit. You still have to pay for rent, electricity, food and other basic needs. So there’s a lower limit that you cannot surpass with saving money.
The best solution to make more profit when you’re employed is to start a side business. And unlike saving, running a side business has no limits on how much money you can make – you can technically become a millionaire while working a full time regular job. Plus, it also lets you enjoy the stuff you might otherwise have to cut out of your life.
There are thousands of ideas you can pursue to start a business – sell a product, develop an application, and launch a membership site to name a few – but one of the fastest ways to make more money is freelancing.
Freelancing sounds a lot more intimidating than it really is, but all it entails is selling your services on the side.
There are a lot of online marketplaces that will help you get started with freelancing, and here are just a few of them:
- Elance: Elance is one of the largest online platforms for hiring freelance professionals. Think of it as eBay for the freelancing world. Individuals post a project that they need help with, and freelancers bid on them to win. No matter what type of skill set you have or industry you work in, if it can be outsourced, chances are someone is already paying for help in that area. The best way for you to figure out what services you can offer is by browsing through the current projects that are listed on Elance. Then simply create a free profile and start bidding on projects! (you only pay for the service if someone hires you).
- Craigslist: Craigslist is well known for selling and bartering used products in local markets, but do you know you could also sell your services there? Head over to the Craigslist main page, choose your city, and then sift through the services section to see what you can offer to your local community. Craigslist is also free to use, and you can anonymize your email so you won’t receive a lot of spam, and only people who are interested in your services will contact you.
- Udemy: Udemy is a platform for selling online courses. If you are knowledgeable about a particular subject, you can simply create and upload course materials (videos, PowerPoint slides, etc.) to Udemy, choose a price you want to sell your course at, and you’re set. It’s a simple straightforward portal for viewers to attend courses that they’re interested in. It’s also free to list your course, but Udemy takes a 30% fee of the course price when someone purchases it.
- Fiverr: Fiverr is a relatively new website that lets you sell “gigs” at $5 or more. The idea is that you sell a micro-job – something that doesn’t take much of your time for a low price point so that you can sell multiple gigs (or upsell) for more comprehensive services. Those $5 jobs could also serve as a way for customers to get a sample of your work so that they can possibly hire you for bigger projects. Fiverr is also free, but you pay a $1 fee when you get a $5 gig.
Have you tried any of those services? Please share you thoughts in the comments below!
About the Author:
Hassan Osman is a Senior Manager at Cisco Systems, a graduate student at Harvard, and a blogger at The Couch Manager. Sign up to his latest blog, the Part-Time Webpreneur, to learn about how busy employees can start and run an online side business (views are his own).