A good side gig greases the wheels of your budget, creating a little free cash to accelerate debt elimination or bump up your fun money category.
1. Bookkeeping for a Buddy
When I sold my share of the business to my former partner (and still good friend), he lost his "books guy" - me. He never got into the habit himself, so when it was time to do the books for this year's taxes, he hired me. Once I'd built his P&L and Balance Sheet for him, I offered to contininue maintaining his books for $100 per month.
He uses YNAB in his personal finances, making it easy to set up a business budget file, share it through Cloud Sync, and keep his transactions current. The gig takes me about two minutes per day, five days per week. And it's nerdy budget fun.
2. Website Disaster Prevention and Recovery
This is a reasonably simple gig with a technical-sounding name.
My clients all use WordPress (same platform as this blog). I charge them $25 per month, which covers:
- A full daily backup of their website.
- Monitoring for malware attacks by hackers.
- Emergency support if anything on their site breaks.
Sounds complicated, right? It isn't. Yes, you do have to have the technical skills to fix a broken WordPress site. I've been working with WordPress for a few years; I rarely run into a problem I can't solve (and I'm not a programmer).
The sneaky part of this service is the fact that I just go to third parties to buy the backups and malware monitoring. I set up accounts for each client, tack a little extra onto the price to cover the emergency support part of the business, and bundle the whole thing as my "WordPress handyman" service.
My clients know they could set these services up for themselves, but they choose to pay me because it reduces their mental overhead and time risk. If something - anything - breaks down with their site, they just email or text me and I'm on it. That's the value-add. Nerdiness for fun and profit.
3. Website Assembly and Customization
The niche here is working with clients who need a clean, presentable website but don't have thousands of dollars to invest in someone with Adam's experience and ability. They hire me to assemble a functional site from existing components (WordPress plugins and WordPress themes). It's only a few hours of work for me, so it's only a few hundred dollars for them. And, again, it's nerdy fun.
I'll also have clients hire me for one-off tweaks or cutomizations to their sites. I bill $50/hour for that kind of thing. I realize many people don't have the skills (today) to run with my second and third side gigs - but many (most?) of you could do "bookkeeping for a buddy."
There's no need to overstate your ability or your value, either. I'm not claiming to be a tax professional (gig 1) or a full-blown web developer (gigs 2 and 3). I'm using skills I've developed to save my clients a little time and headache.
Think you could run with any of these ideas to make a couple hundred bucks each month?