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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Thanks to the Internet, people can make a steady income from wherever they are utilizing a variety of skills. All you really need is an Internet connection, a computer, and an idea. Below are even more small business ideas for you to consider if you are looking to start a business or need a second income stream.

21.) Freelance Writer or Editor

Do you love to write? Content creation is a huge part of marketing in today’s world and companies are always looking to add good writers to their teams. You simply need good writing and editing skills.

22.) Professional Blogger or Social Media Influencer

Blogs and being a social media influencer are both great ways to make money. The pros make money selling advertising and affiliate marketing on their own blogs or social channels. They also get paid to blog for other companies and travel or use products to promote them. Popular topics include travel, cooking, health, technology, finance and more.

23.) Proofreading Services 

Similar to writing services, a good proof reader is worth their weight in gold! If you love grammar and punctuation, consider offering your services to others. You can even promote your service on websites like Upwork, LinkedIn, and other places where prospective clients may look.

24.) Social Media Manager

If you are a social media expert, managing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other social channels for others can be a lot of fun. You will need to help the company keep up with the latest trends and tricks for building and engaging their audience, but if you have the skills and desire, this can be a very lucrative side business.

25.) Photographer

This is another great side job for someone already in the field or even an aspiring hobbyist. This is not an easy one to start unless you already have the correct equipment and knowledge. If you aren’t a pro yourself yet, you can team up with professionals at a lower rate to learn the trade. It is also best to select a photography niche and focus on it such as sporting events, weddings, family portraits, pet portraits, etc.  Instead of trying to do all of them, select one as each niche has its own challenges and special equipment.

26.) Sell Photographs

If you have the equipment and a passion for photography, but do not wish to be a photographer, you can also sell the photos you take to stock photography companies. Sites like Shutterstock and iStock by Getty Images will allow you to sell photos for money.

27.) Graphic Designer 

If you already work as a designer, consider offering your services on the side. You can network through business networking groups and in places where businesses look for graphic designers, such as Upwork and LinkedIn to start building your side clientele. If you have other related skills, such as animation and web development, you can further broaden your offerings and generate more business.

28.) Web Designer

Every company needs a good quality website. If you have the skills to build it – offer those skills!

29.) Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) 

As a web designer, you should have experience with SEO or Search Engine Optimization.  SEO is complex and challenging to get right and this is particularly true because the major search engines are constantly changing how they rank and display sites in searches. If you have good SEO skills, you can make quite a good amount of money offering those skills to companies.

30.) Shoot or Edit Video

Video is an incredibly popular marketing tool today. It is one of the best, most engaging, ways for companies to communicate their messages to consumers. If you have the skills and equipment to shoot or edit video, this is a great way to make some extra cash.

We at VAMBOA, hope you have enjoyed this mini-series. Today’s digital environment makes it so easy to monetize your existing skills and passions. Whether you are looking to create a full-time business or simply want to make some cash on the side, there is never a bad time to begin.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Even if you have a full-time job, a second income stream can come in handy and provide you and your family more opportunities and options.  Below are more ten more ideas that may help you find a side-business that would be perfect for your life.

11.) Make & Sell Handmade Products Online

This one is excellent for anyone who has a fun craft they like to do. Do you create jewelry, clothing, toys, craft supplies, home décor, or more? List them for sale on places like Etsy.

12.) Online Tutor

There is always a need for a good, patient tutor in many subjects and for almost every age group.  Especially with so many students learning remotely with parents working, the demand is greater. The most popular needs are usually in math, science, and English. This is a great side job for those who are already working in education or a professional in a field that is complex. You can start a tutoring business on your own or sign up for online services such as Aim-for-A or Chegg Tutors.

13.) Survey Filler

This one isn’t a well paid opportunity but it is fun and incredibly easy. You can sign up with companies like Survey Junkie who will pay you to take surveys on a variety of topics.

14.) Virtual Assistant

Working as a Virtual Assistant can be very profitable but can also be incredibly time-consuming and challenging.  More than ever with remote working, companies, and individual need Virtual Assistants.  A Virtual Assistant takes care of tasks that other people are too busy to take care of yet need to have done. Tasks such as sorting emails by importance, proofreading, formatting email newsletters, or responding to customer questions and comments online are just a few examples and there are many more.

15.) Furniture Maker

If you have wood working skills, this is a great way to make some money. People love high-end, uniquely designed, hand-made furniture that is made in the USA.  You can sell these items through online channels, farmer’s markets, craft fairs, and more.  This is the type of business that embraces referrals and word can spread like wildfire.

16.) Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate is a great way to bring in passive income. You can rent out whole homes if you have the ability to do so, you can list spare rooms in your home for rent online on places like Airbnb, or you can invest in commercial properties through investment companies.  This requires some capital and good credit, but it can be very lucrative.  Real estate is in high demand.

17.) Jewelry Repair

This is another business that requires training and certification. However, if it is a passion of yours, it would make a great home business. Customers simply drop their pieces to you, you fix them, they pick them back up.  You might even design a few pieces for sale too.

18.) Daycare or Baby Sitting

Providing daycare services in your home is a great side business to run if you love children and have a home that would be a safe and fun environment for kids. Babysitting doesn’t require any special training, though having at least a CPR certificate is encouraged. Setting up a full daycare facility will require licensing as well as home inspections, background checks, and following specific regulations (that differ by state).   Now with the vaccines, people are going out again and

According to Care.com 2019 Babysitter Survey, the average babysitting rate in 2018 in California was $16.25 per hour and some babysitters in areas such as San Francisco, received as much as $22.50 per hour.  If there are multiple kids, the rate can go up and then many parents also tip.

19.) Pet Sitter

Pet sitting, like babysitting, does not require any special certification, only a safe environment and a love of animals. The rates vary depending on the services and whether you are just feeding and walking the pets or staying over with them.

20.) Podcast Producer or Editor

Podcasts are very popular these days as marketing tools for a wide variety of companies. If you have any experience writing content of any sort, you may want to look at writing content for podcasts.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this mini-series and more Money-Making Small Business Ideas.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do Women and Minorities Face Venture Capital Challenges?

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

 

The number of women and minorities that acquires venture capital as entrepreneurs are not as good as one would hope. Only approximately 10-18% of all venture capital goes to teams that include women or people of color. Investors wrongly assume that women entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs of color, are getting enough money or too much money already. This simply is not the case.

 

The majority of investors are mainly white males who do not see, speak with, or seek out women and/or minority founders. They often assume when they do finally come into face-to-face contact with this group that they are an odd aberration.

 

Unfortunately, the response of many venture capitalist is to subject woman and minority entrepreneurs to much more scrutiny than companies seeking capital headed by white males.   This discourages other women and minorities from contacting venture capitalist to fund their growth and future thus exacerbating the problem.

 

Women and minorities often are not even received all that much better by other women or minorities. Even established and successful companies, run by women or minorities, face a lot of challenges and difficulty raising money since they are still viewed as “too risky” by most investors.

 

The Venture Capital community is much less inclined to explore how diverse businesses might be the right fit for their fund or can present outstanding opportunities to take calculated expansion risks. They often tend to stay within their comfort zone and the same circles, businesses, investment advisors, etc. Change is sometime difficult to wrap their heads around and this often reinforces their investing bias.

 

Women and multicultural entrepreneurs represent a huge missed investment opportunity since together they represent a huge part of the United States population and quite a large number are successful entrepreneurs. Additionally, government agencies require corporations to do business with a diverse supplier network.

 

Overcoming the Challenges:

We all need to work to break the cycle to break investor bias!

 

Everyone needs to reconsider who they think of when they hear the word “entrepreneur” and include a wider, more diverse mix, into their thinking and investing. Women and minorities are just as talented, intelligent, and innovative as anyone else.  Often, they have had to deal with greater challenges to get where they are and have more practice with overcoming business obstacles and challenges. Women and minorities need to be as loud, forceful, and public about their business ventures as others who have done so for decades. They need to make a dedicated effort to get in front of Venture Capitalists for funding and consideration.

Obstacles to Starting Your Business & How to Overcome Them

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By Debbie Gregory.

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There are a large number of people that consider starting their own business but simply give up before they get anything off the ground. They become paralyzed or stuck by their fears.

 

Five Biggest Business Obstacles & How to Overcome Them:

 

Self-Doubt:

Many potential entrepreneurs stop before they even begin due to self-doubt and the fear of failure. Don’t allow self-doubt to stop you from making your dreams a reality. If you need assistance getting started, it is always a good idea to reach out to support groups or mentors to help you overcome these mental blocks and provide you the encouragement you need to keep going.

 

Knowledge:

Most people start a business because of an idea and not necessarily because they are fantastic business people. There are so many resources available today to help anyone start and run their own business. You can easily take online courses to learn what you need begin.  You can also watch tutorials, consult with a mentor in the industry, join support groups, hire people who have the knowledge you lack, or use software to take care of certain tasks.

 

Legal:

Legal considerations and legal fears are a significant hurdle for some people.  These obstacles can easily scare away potential entrepreneurs. You do need to be aware of any potential legal problems and prepare for them but it doesn’t have to be so daunting. There are plenty of online resources that can help guide you, sites such as the U.S. Small Business Administration or Legal Zoom.

 

Funding:

Financial fears are the number one issue that stops people from even starting a business in the first place. It is also the major reason for a business closing its doors. Funding fears are everything from the fear of not making enough money to draining your savings account to try to stay afloat. Most people are comfortable with a steady paycheck from a larger corporation and do not want to take a chance on the fluctuating income of their own small business. It can be frightening but success can bring huge rewards and put you at the helm of your own ship controlling your destiny.

 

Ways to Generate Funds:

  • Start the business on the side of your normal 8-5 job and keep the security of your paycheck
  • Work part-time as a rideshare driver to generate additional regular income
  • Offer consulting services
  • Begin your business by selling online before transitioning to a brick and mortar storefront and avoid these costs until you generate revenues
  • Rent a room in your home for income
  • Rent your entire home out through services like Airbnb.

 

Website:

Marketing your business takes planning, proper administration, and a bit of know-how. The main marketing tool your business will need is its own website. You can opt to hire a pro to put your site together or you can utilize the multitude of do-it-yourself options. Most eCommerce platforms have very nice drag-and-drop templates that you can use. A lot of the website hosting companies do as well. Take the time to do a bit of research before you choose where to build your site and pick the option that works best for you.   A website is a “work in progress” and you will improve and grow your web presence as your business and revenues grow.

 

Too many people let these obstacles hold them back from starting and running their own business. There is always a way over or around any problem you may face. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams. Remember you often must fail before you succeed.

 

Remember these quotes:

  • Winston Churchill: “Success if walking from failure with no loss of enthusiasm”.
  • Thomas J. Watson: “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really:  Double your rate of failure.  You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all.  You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes.  Make all you can.  Because remember that’s where you find success.”

 

 

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Part 3 of 3

 

What You Need to Start and Run a Business : Online Resources and Tools

Often starting and running a business means that you are doing most of everything all by yourself. The good news is there are a multitude of resources out there that can help! Thanks to technology, there are tons of affordable and easy to use tools that can automate some of your most redundant tasks. Whether you need a hand starting your business or you are already up and going, below are some great resources to bookmark and take advantage of.

 

General Business Guides and Resources

 

General Business Programs:

 

Funding and Money Management Resources

Loans: 

 

Grants:

 

Peer-to-Peer:

 

Crowdfunding:

 

How to manage money

 

Money Management Programs

  • Expensify– can help track your expenses
  • Due, QuickBooks, Gusto– and can make your accounting and payroll a bit easier
  • TurboTax – helps you do your own business and personal taxes

 

Legal Assistance and Documents

 

Marketing Resources

 

Marketing Programs

  • Google Adwords – pay per click search engine ads
  • Facebook Ads – pay per click social media ads
  • Hootsuiteand Buffer – automate your social media posts
  • HubSpot – all-in-one marketing platform with CRM, marketing, and sales
  • MailChimp – generate leads and run an email marketing campaigns
  • Intercom– chat and market to your customers

 

Networking

  • YEC– help with networking
  • Business Networking International (BIN) – get referrals by connecting with other businesses in your community
  • SCORE– pairs businesses with volunteer mentors
  • LinkedIn Small Business– to connect, promote, and network businesses
  • Volunteer Match– locate volunteer opportunities in your community
  • Check your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club for more local networking resources and events.

 

Other Helpful Programs:

  • Google’s G-Suite– free resources to organize and conduct business like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and more
  • Google Analytics– when paired with your company website it provides demographic and behavioral information about your audience
  • Survey Monkey– great to use to hear from your customers
  • FreshDesk – automated customer support platform
  • LastPass– remembers and stores all of your passwords
  • Trello– project management that lets you assign and monitor tasks
  • UpWork– a good place to find freelancers
  • ZoomLifesizeSlackand Skype – great to keep in touch with clients and virtual workers as well as conduct meetings

 

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that you hve enjoyed this three-part series.  We hope these online tools and resources are valuable and will help your business.   If you are a veteran, former military, spouse or loved one, consider joining VAMBOA.  There are not any membership fees or dues.  Here is a link to join:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/.

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