I’m always coming up with and searching for new ways to earn some money. Sometimes a lot of great ideas hit me all at once and other times, I’m at a stand-still in the creativity department. Fortunately for you and I, I’ve come up with some good ones lately that I’m going to pursue further. Remember that micro businesses are businesses that are purposely only 1-5 employees large to keep things simple.
If you’re stuck with coming up with ideas, hopefully these will inspire you. If you still can’t come up with anything, you’re totally more than welcome to pursue these ideas for yourself!
1. Grocery Delivery Service.
- Buying groceries is something that a lot of people do weekly. It can be pretty tedious, monotonous, and time-consuming especially if you have a large family. This service would be perfect to offer to elderly people who have difficulty moving around, a professional who is always working, and for stressed out parents who want one less thing on their plate.
- I did a little research and found this site for my area. With rates like that, the potential to make money is there but their rates are too complicated and a bit annoying….a turn off for potential customers. So lets say you charge a flat rate of $25/delivery…you go shopping once a week for this person so you earn $100/month for each customer. Have 10 customers and you can make $1,000/month. The great thing is that you could bundle the deliveries together and go shopping for multiple customers all at once. Let’s say you can fill up half a cart per customer and can push around 2 carts at once. You could technically shop for 4 customers within a certain time frame. So for that time plus delivery time, you could earn $100 just like that.
- You could post an ad on Craigslist which points potential customers to a website where it tells them more about your services. For the elderly customers who may not have internet access, you could hand out flyers in your neighborhood.
- You could offer an initial free one-hour consultation to possibly create a shopping list with the customer, find out any food allergies, or even create a list that is full of healthier options.
- I would stick to grocery stores at first but you could also offer shopping and delivery services for member wholesale stores at a different rate. This would add value to the customer as they would not have to pay for a membership to these stores!
2. Package Pick-up and Drop-off
- With our family business, I go to the Post Office at least twice a week. During the busy months, I may go 5 days a week, twice a day. By going so often, I know how long it can take to wait in line. I also know how impatient some people can get. Basically what you could do is pick up packages from homes or businesses, find out how the customer would like it shipped and if they’d like any added services like tracking and delivery confirmation, and wait in line and drop off the packages to be shipped. It doesn’t matter if you don’t use these services very often as the learning curve isn’t that big to get started.
- You will want to check with the Post Office and other courier services if something like this is legal as there may be national security concerns involved.
- This service is great for busy people, people who work 9-5 where most Post Offices are open 8:30-5:30, elderly people without means of transportation, small business owners who don’t have the time, ability, or man power to wait in line, among others.
- You can offer these services on Craigslist with a link to a website and offer a free initial consultation. You can also post flyers in your neighborhood, go to small businesses, or join your local Chamber of Commerce and find potential businesses who could use your services there
- You can charge a flat fee, a charge per package, or different charges for domestic and international shipments. You do need to fill out customs forms for international shipments.
- You can offer added services such as actually packing the packages, dealing with possible lost packages, and figuring out the logistics so things arrive on time.
3. Dog Walking
- If you enjoy being around pets, this could be a great possibility. If you have a dog and already walk it, you could walk it while you walk a customer’s dog as well and make some money while you do something you’d do anyways.
- This service would be perfect to offer to the elderly, busy professionals who work all day, parents who are busy, people who are away on vacation, and others. Basically, anyone who has a dog but is away from home all day.
- I did some research and found out that you could make anywhere from $15-25/hr walking a dog. If you walk a dog for an hour/5 days a week, you could earn $75-$125 a week/dog or $300-$500/month. Do this with 5 dogs and you could make $1,500-$2,500/month. If schedules permit and the dogs all get along, you could walk multiple dogs at the same time.
- Post ads on Craigslist with a link to a website that shows your services. You can also post flyers around your neighborhood or around dog parks.
- You could offer added services such as taking the dog to the dog park, dog beach, vet, or groomers.
4. Referring Sports
- If you have some sort of interest in a certain sport, played a certain sport growing up, and/or know the rules, you could become a referee.
- Growing up playing soccer, I realized that refs were in high demand but we would always have the same ones. There was such a shortage that the leagues encouraged us to become refs when we were about 13 to ref younger kids.
- Making judgements solely on information from youth soccer leagues in my area, you can make $12-15/game refereeing a 6-year old soccer game which lasts 40 minutes or so. You can probably ref 3-4 games a day depending on how big the league is, number of refs available, etc. The competition level will also vary the pay. The older and more competitive the kids, the more you could be paid per game
- Most recreational leagues have games on week nights or Saturday mornings and most competitive teams have games on Saturday mornings.
- You could also possibly ref high school or adult league games on week nights.
- Competitive adult games are usually played on Sunday mornings and you get paid well but players can lose their temper very easily and get violent quickly…I know this because I’ve played in an adult league for 2 seasons.
- Sometimes there are tournaments that last all day over the weekend. This would be a great opportunity to make lots of money.
- You do need to be certified by taking courses and have to buy a uniform and other equipment but you should be able to make back your initial investment in a weekend or two.
- For more information on becoming a soccer ref in the United States, check out this link
- For other sports and countries, you could probably use Google and find similar information.
5. Virtual Assistant
- More and more businesses need help but not necessarily a full-time employee. They also probably don’t want to pay all the benefits and taxes involved with having such an employee.
- Because of the internet, businesses can hire assistants that are located anywhere in the world and they don’t even have to ever meet face to face.
- Tasks vary from client to client. Some common tasks are giving reminders, scheduling appointments, research, and creating documents. Basically anything to assist your client as the job title suggests 🙂
- Compensation varies depending on the client and tasks involved. I’ve seen the going rate anywhere from $5-20/hr. The amount of hours and the consistency of work may vary…some clients will need you daily, some only a couple days a week, and others a couple of times a month.
- Social skills and organization would definitely be a plus for this position.
- You will hopefully create a long-term relationship with your client so make sure it’s someone you’d like to be involved with for a long time to come.
- Depending on the workload, you may be able to help multiple clients a week.
- A good place to start looking for clients who need virtual assistants would be elance.
Hopefully these micro business ideas will help you in your micro business quest. I’m looking to add a few into my business portfolio. The cool thing is that most of these are pretty flexible starting out. At the beginning it could be possible to pursue all of these at once until one or the other requires more time.
I’ll be sure to fill you in as things progress. If you decide to pursue any yourself, please let me know how things turn out for you! Are there any other micro business ideas that you can think of? Any insight is greatly appreciated!