In 2018, I started trying to use a side business to pay off $40,000 in credit card and student loan debt.
Today, I’ve achieved that goal – and more. In 2021, I’ve built enough income streams to quit my $98,500 a year engineering job and work on my business full time.
At 28, I am my own boss and work less than four hours a day. Last year, I made over $189,000 from seven income streams.
My biggest traffic comes from a side business teaching people how to start making money: I post educational content on YouTube, mentor people on Patreon, and sell business consulting services on Fiverr.
Here are three businesses you can start today for $50 or less:
1. Unleash your skills on Fiverr.
Start-up cost: $0
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services. Common jobs include graphic design, writing and translation, and digital marketing.
I created my first business consulting listing in 2021. I have had great success selling products on Amazon and would like to share my knowledge on e-commerce.
I charge $60 to $350 for product research. Someone will tell me what they’re interested in selling, and I’ll find a specific product in that category that’s in high demand and low competition.
I then put together a research report that includes product details, manufacturing locations, and cost estimates and profit analysis. I sometimes consult clients on how to list products on Amazon. I made $29,000 in my first year.
Fiverr is free to join and only charges you when you complete your order. The platform charges 20% of your income.
Some other free freelance platforms to consider: UpWork, 99designs, and Guru.
2. Use Patreon to benefit your audience.
Start-up cost: 50 U.S. dollars
Patreon allows you to build and sell memberships by providing exclusive access to your work. I signed up in 2020 to teach people how to create an Amazon store.
Every month, subscribers pay to communicate directly with me and learn about top sellers in different categories. Last year, I made $33,114 on Patreon.
Registering to create content on Patreon is free. Once subscribers pay to join your group, you only pay to use the service. Patreon charges 5% to 12% of your monthly income, depending on how many features and tools you need.
Here’s how it works:
- Decide on membership products or services. You can list anything you have skills and experience with. Search Patreon for creators working in your area of interest to find out which products are selling and where you have the most opportunities.
- Conduct competitive market research. Once you’ve identified your niche, check out similar creators’ pages to determine a reasonable price to charge subscribers per month and what features you’ll be offering.
- Make a welcome video. Post it on your page to give potential subscribers an overview of your service. You don’t need to invest in video editing software – iMovie or DaVinci are free and easy to use.
- set one google ad campaign. This will help you target people looking for your product or service. I only spent $50 on my ad campaign.
- Interact with your subscribers regularly. Listen to their feedback and find out what features to add to your page. Word of mouth is critical to growing your Patreon business.
3. Rent your car on Turo.
Start-up cost: Variety
Own a car? Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform that lets you rent out your vehicle and is a great way to generate extra income.
In 2019, I bought a $22,000 Polaris Slingshot with a $2,000 down payment. I see people in my market renting out their Slingshot for $150 a day, and since my monthly payment is about $400 (including insurance), I only need to rent the car for at least three days a month to make ends meet balance.
In 2020, my gross profit was $5,717.
Signing up for Turo is free, but the start-up fee will vary depending on your vehicle. Here are three tips to help you maximize your profits:
- Differentiate your listings with eye-catching photos. To help my listing stand out, I take pictures of my slingshot in front of graffiti artwork and local tourist attractions.
- Installing a lockbox saves you time and provides more flexibility. I put one on the side of the house so the tenant can pick up the keys if I’m not around. I always ask for a photo of the client’s ID to make sure it matches the details on their Turo account. I will then send check-in instructions.
- The vehicle with the highest rental return. Turo has data on average annual earnings for different types of cars and markets.For example, renting a Toyota Prius makes more money than renting a Range Rover.
Josh Elwood is the founder debt dollar. follow him Instagram and YouTube.
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