#entrepreneurship

Did You Have a Side Hustle When You Were a Kid?

From a young age, I was always intrigued with the possibilities for making my own income. I was about 6 when I gathered up some of my brother’s toys, cleaned them up and sold them to other kids in our neighborhood. My brothers were not happy!

Fast forward a few years and I was able to see firsthand how a side hustle could be successful. My father, a janitor for the Public Board of Education picked up jobs on the side to help supplement our family’s income. Sometimes he even let me tag along as a “little helper.”  My business, Cleanlots, was inspired by a simple side hustle that my father used to perform cleaning up litter at a nearby shopping plaza. I remember thinking how easy it was. We would venture out in the early morning hours, then walk around the property cleaning up litter to ensure that when the stores opened, customers would find a clean, litter-free environment.

It’s fun to look back at my journey from a young boy. I had an inherent entrepreneurial spirit, but that was also reinforced by my parent’s words, thoughts and actions.  If you have young children, are you encouraging them to be the entrepreneurs of the future?

Even now, after running my side hustle for more than 35 years I can draw inspiration from children. I recently discovered this story on business powerhouses who weren’t even old enough to drive before they launched successful small businesses. From candy inventors to equipment manufacturers, to businesses built on social entrepreneurship, these kids have no lack of wisdom – even in their young age.

Did you have a lemonade stand, cut grass or pet sit for money while growing up? I’d love to know more about your personal story. Leave a reply in the comments below!

7 Reasons Why You Need a Business Mentor—And How to Land One

One way to get strategic with your business trajectory is to land a trusted adviser in the form of a mentor. Mentoring can take many forms, such as a one-on-one relationship or a mentoring circle within an organization. The best mentor-mentee relationships involve two-way learning and reciprocation.

Mentors help professionals feel more engaged, derive more meaning from their careers, and grow their businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, small business owners who receive three or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased growth.

Need more of a push? Here are seven reasons why you need a mentor this year:

1. A good mentor will help you identify blind spots

Blind spots are a funny thing because they exist for everyone—even the most successful leader. But when blind spots are our own, we are oblivious to them. While you yourself may not easily recognize where your weaknesses lie, a mentor can help you improve self-awareness. Think of this aspect of mentoring as a healthy reality check.

2. Give you access to a sphere of influence

mentor can offer a large network of connections that you might not otherwise have had access to. Would your business benefit from introductions to more distributors, potential customers, or new vendors? Your sphere of influence facilitates these key interconnections.

How many small business resources can you name that cost $0? Not that many. And you can’t put a price on a mentorship, except for time spent. Both parties should agree to meeting parameters, times, dates, and agenda items so you can meet as efficiently as possible. When you enter a mentor-mentee relationship in an organized way, it will be time well spent for both parties.

4. Cheer you on through ups and downs

We could all use a cheerleader in our corner, especially when it comes to the trials and tribulations of running a successful small business. When you are paired with the right mentor, they genuinely want you to succeed. Your mentor will encourage you during your lows and be one of the first to celebrate your highs.

5. Challenge you in positive ways

Short-term and long-term goals aside, a great mentor will also challenge you to think outside the box. In an article in Inc., John Brandon explains one of his own techniques for mentoring: “One strategy I’ve used with those I’m mentoring is to assign a fairly difficult task to complete—something that will require my involvement. I don’t see mentoring as just a weekly chat. It’s an ongoing relationship and one that should always be moving toward a specific goal. It has to be intentional and specific, not vague and by the seat of your pants. Keep track of the task together and use it as a teaching aid.”

6. Share what they’ve learned from their own experience

Learning from others’ mistakes can be priceless. Who wouldn’t want to shorten the learning curve when it comes to building your small business? In most scenarios, a mentor is older, wiser, with years more business experience. With that experience comes tales of far reaching success, and also brutal failures. Honest, vulnerable conversations with your mentor will help shape your future business decisions.

7. Help you overcome your complacency

Have you ever felt stagnant in your business? A good mentor will help you establish realistic goals, hold you accountable to the tasks that help you achieve those goals, and push you when you feel like giving up.

How to find a business mentor

Once you have decided that you would like to have a mentor, how do you go about locating the right one for you?

Look at your current network. Is there another small business owner whose company’s growth is something you’d like to emulate within your own business? Take stock of your LinkedIn connections to see who is open to mentor-mentee opportunities.

Check for local SCORE opportunities. SCORE was founded in 1964 as a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SCORE network includes 10,000+ expert volunteers offering business mentoring and workshops at 300 SCORE offices across the country. Visit the SCORE website to find the closest local office; your local SCORE chapter will help pair you with a suitable mentor.

Investigate contacts within your specific industry. You might think this suggestion is counterintuitive for competitive reasons. However, seasoned professionals who are passionate about their field often offer mentorship services to other small business owners in their own industry.

Finding someone you admire should be a top priority. Make a short list of potential candidates and see where your personalities align. You can feel them out by having informal meetings where you discuss your goals and trajectory before officially asking them to be your mentor.

When asking a person to become your mentor, you want to be direct. Try something like, “I can see you’re a great team leader and I’m managing a team for the first time. Would you be able to work with me over the next year to become a great team leader?”

Once you have committed to the process, good luck. And if years from now you find yourself being asked by someone to be their mentor, draw on this experience and pay it forward!

88 Side Hustle Ideas for 2020

88 side hustle ideas for 2020

88 Side Hustle Ideas for 2020

Are you looking for side hustle ideas to boost your income, pay off debt or to work for yourself? A side hustle is a great way to generate a second income while keeping your current job.

To make extra money, people often look to part-time employment while some start a business as a side gig. The key to finding the right hustle is to combine an activity you enjoy, that fits your schedule, skills and financial goals, with a way to make extra money in your spare time.

If you need a little extra income each month but don’t know where to start, I’ve compiled a list of 88 side hustle ideas for 2020 to get you started.

  1. Parking Lot Litter Removal

Every business wants to keep their property clear of litter. This means you can make money going for a walk! You simply walk the exterior property of any retail, office or industrial property and sweep litter into your litter collection bag. When your bag is full, the contents can be emptied into the onsite waste dumpster. Almost any commercial property with a parking lot is a potential job site. The work is done at night or early morning, on foot, using inexpensive hand tools and can earn you $30 – $50 per hour.

I made so much money in this side hustle, I quit my full-time job after only 3 months. It’s been my business since 1981.

See cleanlots.com for details.

  1. Ghostwriting

There’s a huge demand for content and a lot of ways to make money writing it. Check out one of several ghostwriting platforms like Scripted, TextBroker or The Content Authority.

  1. Drive for Uber or Lyft

This is one of the more popular side hustles. Driving for one of the app-centric taxi alternatives can be a great way to make money nights and weekends. It provides an opportunity to work when you want. Uber and Lyft both have a feature that allows you to pick up rides along your normal route!

  1. Tutoring

What subjects are you knowledgeable about? Parents will pay good money to assist their child’s education. Tutor students in person or online. Check out Eduboard or WyzAnt.

  1. Consulting/Coaching

In what field are you an expert that others would pay for your advice? You can get started quickly with platforms like Clarity.fm and make great money on the side.

  1. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants provide administrative support to clients from their home-based office. Find gigs on FiverrIndeed and Upwork. Or hook up with an established VA company like BELAY or Fancy Hands.

  1. Daycare

Do you love kids and have a lot of patience? Consider starting a day-home. Offer meals/snacks, activities and of course, supervision. Working parents in your neighborhood are looking for you. Check out care.com.

  1. Handyman Service

There are lots of people who are willing to pay someone with skills to do odd jobs around the house. See Angie’s list, Craigslist or Task Rabbit.

  1. Voice-Over Talent

If you have a good speaking voice, you can get voice-over work on sites like Freelancer, People Per Hour and Upwork.

  1. Lawn Care

Plenty of people would gladly pay you to cut their grass. Offer a discount if they provide the mower and trimmer.

  1. Photography

You can earn a residual income from selling your photos online over and over again. Check out iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, Bigstockphoto or Fotolia.

  1. House Cleaning

Make great money cleaning for people who are too busy to do it themselves or hate cleaning. Use their cleaning supplies. Cleaning businesses are super side hustle ideas since they can cost so little to start and be turned into very profitable enterprises. Search your area in Craigslist.

  1. Ecommerce/Dropshipping

Sell products online without actually stocking the items themselves. Operate your business from anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. Check out Amazon, eBay or Shopify.

  1. Selling on Etsy

Etsy is the world’s largest marketplace for hand-crafted goods. Whether you make craft items, jewelry or small pieces of furniture, you can open up your own store at Etsy.

  1. Selling on Zazzle

Sell your artwork or craft items for profit on Zazzle.

  1. Dog Waste Removal

Some people love their dog but not the “gifts” they receive from their pet. Make money doing what others won’t do.

  1. Babysit

If you have some experience caring for children, you can watch other people’s kids so parents can have a date night. Connect with care.com to become a certified and recommended babysitter in your area.

  1. Dog Walker

Dogs need exercise, but their owners aren’t always able or motivated to take them for a walk. Check out the app, Wag, that links up dog walkers and dog owners.

  1. Truck for Hire

If you own a truck, offer to pick up various goods for people, haul junk to the dump or assist with small moves. Post flyers in your community or advertise in Craigslist.

  1. Rent Your Car

You can rent out your car on a daily or hourly basis through companies like GetAround and Turo. They handle the insurance.

  1. House Sitter

You can make a house appear to be occupied for homeowners who are away.

  1. Errand Service

Assist people with various errands and tasks. Check out Task Rabbit or the apps, Gig Walk or EasyShift.

  1. Gardener

Specialize in planting and maintaining flower or vegetable gardens for people who don’t have “green thumbs”.

  1. Referee

Recreational sports leagues need officials. This can be a fun way to make extra money on the side if you can tune out the odd cat call.

  1. Alterations

Handy with a sewing machine? There are plenty of people in need of someone to mend their clothing. You might have great success advertising in your local community newsletter.

  1. Carpet Cleaning

You could specialize in small jobs such as pet stain removal.

  1. Computer Tutoring/Support

There are still portions of the population lacking basic computer skills.

  1. Pet Sitting

When pet owners travel, they often need someone to care for their pets. You can become a pet sitter at care.com or simply watch over someone’s pet at Rover.com.

  1. Spring and Fall Yard Work

Many people enjoy the exercise from mowing their lawn but can’t be bothered with the extra seasonal cleanup work. Offer a Spring power rake and aeration service and a Fall leaf cleanup. Rent the equipment as needed.

  1. Paint Street Numbers

Offer to paint people’s street numbers on their curb so their house can be more easily found. All you need are paint and stencils.

  1. Rent Out a Room

Own a home with an extra room? Rent it out to make extra cash. Possibilities include full time renters, college students or vacationers. Check out Airbnb.

  1. Rent Out Your Garage

People are always searching for extra space to store their stuff. Do you have room in your garage for someone to store their motorcycle or RV?

  1. Door Peep Hole Installer

This is one of the more unique side hustle ideas I have come across. When I moved into my new house, someone rang my doorbell one day. They offered to install a peep hole in my front entrance door for $30. They were done in about 5 minutes.

  1. Card Sender

Offer to mail out invitations, thank you cards or birthday cards for busy people or businesses.

  1. Home Entertainment Installation

Plenty of people search for someone to mount their big screen TV to a wall and make necessary connections. What’s difficult for some can be profitable for others. Check out Task Rabbit.

  1. Assembly Service

As with Home Entertainment Installation, a lot of furniture needs assembly from someone who can make sense of the assembly instruction (not me!).

37. Freelance Proof Reading and Editing

You can find work from businesses and individuals in need of proof reading and editing on Upwork.

38. Vehicle Advertising

Turn your vehicle into a money-maker by covering it with advertisements. Check out Wrapify or Carvertise for more details.

39. Clean/Repair BBQ’s

People enjoy cooking outdoors but some don’t like the cleaning and maintenance.

  1. Snow Removal

Clear snow from sidewalks and driveways with a shovel or snow blower. Clear snow from parking lots with a plow blade mounted to your truck.

  1. Instacart shopper

With the ability to set your own schedule, this makes for a convenient way to make great money during your free time. https://shoppers.instacart.com/role/full-service

  1. Answer questions

If you have an area of expertise, you can get paid to share your knowledge on JustAnswer.

  1. Complete microtasks

You can find obscure tasks and requests for freelance services on Fiverr or Mechanical Turk.

  1. Officiate a Wedding

Get ordained online and start advertising for gigs!

  1. Uber Eats and Door Dash

Just like Uber or Lyft, but without the passengers.

  1. Become a Notary

Charge a fee to notarize documents. I bet your friends would rather meet up with you than stand in line at a bank.

  1. Write for blogs and online magazines

From local reviews to exotic vacations, simply writing about your experiences can earn you extra income from industry bloggers.

  1. Odd Jobs

Nextdoor is a great place to find people who need odd jobs, and they’re usually conveniently close to your home. Gigwalk app is another way to find small jobs in your area and only work when you want to.

  1. Barista

Are you an early riser? Most Starbucks open at 5:00am, meaning you could work a part time shift before your regular job. Or evening and weekend shifts. Plus, they have great benefits.

  1. Teach English

Make great pay teaching English online! Vipkid.com

  1. Teach Fitness

Become a Personal Trainer and help others to find a healthy way of living.

  1. Teach Yoga

Many yoga studios offer instructor training which you can use to hone your craft and learn how to instruct others.

  1. Home Baking

Decorate cupcakes and dip cake pops as a home baker! This is a creative and flexible side hustle that would allow you to limit your orders or fill up your free time, depending on the week.

  1. Travel Agent

Despite the internet providing widespread access to travel information, there is still a huge demand for letting someone else handle the research and booking.

  1. Caregiving – for older generations

Have some time to sit and chat or take a stroll? There’s a family caregiver out there who needs a little break.

  1. Brand ambassadors (on social media)

Tag and share photos of what you already wear. With a discount code that links the sale to your name, everybody wins.

  1. Mystery shopping

Shop the store you were hired by, or spy on their competition!

  1. Give your opinion

UserTesting.com and similar sites pays you to visit websites or apps, complete a set of tasks, and speak your thoughts aloud.

  1. Storage Unit Auctions

Bid on abandoned units and let the scavenger hunt for valuable items begin!

  1. Invest in Vending

Think about how many vending machines you have walked past this week alone. How many have you purchased from in a pinch because you were hungry or thirsty?

  1. Transcription

Transcribing audio and video is a great part-time job you can do at home. Check out Rev.com for opportunities.

  1. Cook

Have culinary skills? List your services on HireAChef.com to find catering gigs.

  1. Act

Ever wanted to see your name in lights? Consider applying for opportunities to be an extra in movies shot near your location! A simple online search for “extra casting calls” in your city will pull up websites with casting calls you can answer.

  1. Organize

Do people rave about your organization skills? Put that to work by helping others to declutter their kitchens, closets and garages.

  1. Teach music

If you’re musically inclined, why not teach your skills to another generation? Lessons could be given out of your home and you could schedule them back to back to maximize your time.

  1. Rent a Friend

There are over 600,000 people registered on RentAFriend.com to make themselves available to attend weddings, play a round of golf or act as a tour guide. Get paid to socialize!

  1. Touch Therapy

Want to become a trained professional snuggler? Touch therapy is a platonic alternate therapy so people can experience the healing power of human touch.

  1. Rent Baby Gear

Make extra cash by renting and delivering baby gear to help traveling families with BabyQuip.com.

  1. Surrogacy

Give the gift of life and help a family’s dream come true.

  1. Blood/Plasma Donations

The amount of money you can earn by donating plasma is related to the volume you’re able to donate. The more plasma, the more cash you’re paid.

  1. Sperm Donations

Sperm donation clinics have a lengthy process to determine if you are a good fit with their clinic, but if you meet qualifications and pass all the screening procedures you could find a lucrative side hustle.

  1. MLM

Multi-level marketing business continues to boom. Whether it be selling beauty products or kitchen gadgets the most successful MLM’ers have a large social network they can tap into to advertise their products and recruit others to join their selling team.

  1. Human Billboard

You’ve seen folks wearing sandwich board ads standing in front of shopping centers or at busy intersections. Sign spinners are also in demand.

  1. Sell Your Clothes

Communities like Poshmark.com allow you to sell new and gently used fashion, accessories and select home goods.

  1. eBook Publishing

Have a great idea for a book? Now more than ever it’s easy to self-publish online. Feel free to ask me any questions about how I did it.

  1. Create an Online Course

Create an online video course and earn money by teaching people around the world.

  1. Spray tan on demand

Invest in some equipment and start advertising your service! Folks will love that you travel to them and can provide a spray tan in the comfort of their home.

  1. Lifeguard

Love water and sun? Get certified and lifeguard at local beaches and community pools.

  1. Mobile vehicle detailer

Another great side hustle where you’re providing convenience. Whether parked in a driveway or in the company parking lot you can come to their location of choice to perform this service.

  1. House Painter

Painting is a skill, but it’s not all that complicated, and you can make decent money once you know the tricks of the trade.

  1. Window Washer

Even if you live in a small town you can make a window washing business a successful side hustle with little skill and minor equipment expenditures.

  1. Sell Your Hair

Have you ever thought about how much your hair is worth? The folks at HairSellon.com operate a marketplace where you can match with buyers looking for your exact hair type!

  1. Home Staging Business

If you’ve ever binged HGTV on a rainy weekend you know that there is a market for home staging in conjunction with real estate buying and selling.

  1. Start an Estate Sale Business

You don’t need special training or certifications to become an estate salesperson. Estate sales are often conducted after someone has recently died, but they’re also used by people looking to downsize or liquidate personal collections.

  1. Golf Instructor

Certification is important with this side hustle and will impact your compensation depending on your level of training.

  1. Ink Refiller

This is an environmentally friendly business that you can operate in the convenience of your home. Ink refill businesses save the earth from those unwanted empty cartridges that become useless once empty.

  1. Furniture Upcycling

Handy with woodwork and upholstery? Recycled and upcycled furniture is gaining in popularity with eco-conscious consumers.

  1. Refurbish Electronics

Many people are looking to save money by buying a refurbished product. With some basic repair skills, you can turn a broken phone, tablet or television into a profitable side hustle business.

 

Do you have any side hustle ideas on how to make extra money on the side? Please share them by posting a comment below. If you like this list, please share it.

Active Side Hustle Ideas

Active Side Hustles Dog on Beach

Are you looking for active side hustle ideas to boost your income, pay off debt or to work for yourself? A side hustle is a great way to generate a second income while keeping your current job.  To make extra money, people often look to part-time employment while some start a business as a side gig. The key to finding the right hustle is to combine an activity you enjoy, that fits your schedule, skills and financial goals, with a way to make extra money in your spare time.

This list of Active Side Hustles is also geared to those of you who don’t like sitting around. If you like to be out and about, meeting new people and/or burning calories while you’re working, this list is for you!

Parking Lot Litter Removal

Every business wants to keep their property clear of litter. This means you can make money going for a walk! You simply walk the exterior property of any retail, office or industrial property and sweep litter into your litter collection bag. When your bag is full, the contents can be emptied into the onsite waste dumpster. Almost any commercial property with a parking lot is a potential job site. The work is done at night or early morning, on foot, using inexpensive hand tools and can earn you $30 – $50 per hour.

I made so much money in this side hustle, I quit my full-time job after only 3 months. It’s been my business since 1981.

See cleanlots.com for details.

Daycare

Do you love kids and have a lot of patience? Consider starting a day-home. Offer meals/snacks, activities and of course, supervision. Working parents in your neighborhood are looking for you. Check out care.com.

Handyman Service

There are lots of people who are willing to pay someone with skills to do odd jobs around the house. See Angie’s list, Craigslist or Task Rabbit.

Lawn Care

Plenty of people would gladly pay you to cut their grass. Offer a discount if they provide the mower and trimmer.

House Cleaning

Make great money cleaning for people who are too busy to do it themselves or hate cleaning. Use their cleaning supplies. Cleaning businesses are super side hustle ideas since they can cost so little to start and be turned into very profitable enterprises. Search your area in Craigslist.

Dog Waste Removal

Some people love their dog but not the “gifts” they receive from their pet. Make money doing what others won’t do.

Babysit

If you have some experience caring for children, you can watch other people’s kids so parents can have a date night. Connect with care.com to become a certified and recommended babysitter in your area.

Dog Walker

Dogs need exercise, but their owners aren’t always able or motivated to take them for a walk. Check out the app, Wag, that links up dog walkers and dog owners.

Truck for Hire

If you own a truck, offer to pick up various goods for people, haul junk to the dump or assist with small moves. Post flyers in your community or advertise in Craigslist.

Errand Service

Assist people with various errands and tasks. Check out Task Rabbit or the apps, Gig Walk or EasyShift.

Gardener

Specialize in planting and maintaining flower or vegetable gardens for people who don’t have “green thumbs”.

Referee

Recreational sports leagues need officials. This can be a fun way to make extra money on the side if you can tune out the odd cat call.

Carpet Cleaning

You could specialize in small jobs such as pet stain removal.

Spring and Fall Yard Work

Many people enjoy the exercise from mowing their lawn but can’t be bothered with the extra seasonal cleanup work. Offer a Spring power rake and aeration service and a Fall leaf cleanup. Rent the equipment as needed.

Paint Street Numbers

Offer to paint people’s street numbers on their curb so their house can be more easily found. All you need are paint and stencils.

Door Peep Hole Installer

This is one of the more unique side hustle ideas I have come across. When I moved into my new house, someone rang my doorbell one day. They offered to install a peep hole in my front entrance door for $30. They were done in about 5 minutes.

Home Entertainment Installation

Plenty of people search for someone to mount their big screen TV to a wall and make necessary connections. What’s difficult for some can be profitable for others. Check out Task Rabbit.

Assembly Service
As with Home Entertainment Installation, a lot of furniture needs assembly from someone who can make sense of the assembly instruction (not me!).

Clean/Repair BBQ’s

People enjoy cooking outdoors but some don’t like the cleaning and maintenance.

Snow Removal

Clear snow from sidewalks and driveways with a shovel or snow blower. Clear snow from parking lots with a plow blade mounted to your truck.

Instacart shopper

With the ability to set your own schedule, this makes for a convenient way to make great money during your free time.

Uber Eats and Door Dash

Just like Uber or Lyft, but without the passengers.

Odd Jobs

Nextdoor is a great place to find people who need odd jobs, and they’re usually conveniently close to your home. Gigwalk app is another way to find small jobs in your area and only work when you want to.

Barista

Are you an early riser? Most Starbucks open at 5:00am, meaning you could work a part time shift before your regular job. Or evening and weekend shifts. Plus, they have great benefits.

Teach Fitness

Become a Personal Trainer and help others to find a healthy way of living.

Teach Yoga

Many yoga studios offer instructor training which you can use to hone your craft and learn how to instruct others.

Caregiving – for older generations

Have some time to sit and chat or take a stroll? There’s a family caregiver out there who needs a little break.

Mystery shopping

Shop the store you were hired by, or spy on their competition!

Cook

Have culinary skills? List your services on HireAChef.com to find catering gigs.

Act

Ever wanted to see your name in lights? Consider applying for opportunities to be an extra in movies shot near your location! A simple online search for “extra casting calls” in your city will pull up websites with casting calls you can answer.

Organize

Do people rave about your organization skills? Put that to work by helping others to declutter their kitchens, closets and garages.

Human Billboard

You’ve seen folks wearing sandwich board ads standing in front of shopping centers or at busy intersections. Sign spinners are also in demand.

Spray tan on demand

Invest in some equipment and start advertising your service! Folks will love that you travel to them and can provide a spray tan in the comfort of their home.

Lifeguard

Love water and sun? Get certified and lifeguard at local beaches and community pools.

Mobile vehicle detailer

Another great side hustle where you’re providing convenience. Whether parked in a driveway or in the company parking lot you can come to their location of choice to perform this service.

House Painter

Painting is a skill, but it’s not all that complicated, and you can make decent money once you know the tricks of the trade.

Window Washer

Even if you live in a small town you can make a window washing business a successful side hustle with little skill and minor equipment expenditures.

Home Staging Business

If you’ve ever binged HGTV on a rainy weekend you know that there is a market for home staging in conjunction with real estate buying and selling.

Start an Estate Sale Business

You don’t need special training or certifications to become an estate salesperson. Estate sales are often conducted after someone has recently died, but they’re also used by people looking to downsize or liquidate personal collections.

Golf Instructor

Certification is important with this side hustle and will impact your compensation depending on your level of training.

Furniture Upcycling

Handy with woodwork and upholstery? Recycled and upcycled furniture is gaining in popularity with eco-conscious consumers.

Do you have other active side hustle ideas that we haven’t coveredThis is a list of active side hustle ideas. If you want to earn extra money on the side but don't like sitting around- this list is for you!? Please share them by posting a comment below. If you like this list, please share it.

EMAIL/CAN-SPAM

You may think email is a no-brainer when it comes to marketing your business but it’s important to adhere to the laws regulating email communication.

You may think email is a no-brainer when it comes to marketing your business but it’s important to adhere to the laws regulating email communication.

Having owned and operated my business for over 35 years, I’ve amassed a long list of tips and marketing tricks that I enjoy sharing with other business owners. In part one of our series, I introduced a fantastic resource that Google provides FOR FREE! If you haven’t already, here is why you should claim your free Google My Business Listing. In part two we discussed how to use video for small business marketing. Video is so important and if you aren’t already implementing its use I can show you some ways to get on the bandwagon!

You may think email is a no-brainer when it comes to marketing your business. There are nearly 4 billion active email users around the world, so it makes sense! However, improper use of email when reaching out to prospects can create major problems for your business. In the U.S., the CAN-SPAM Act includes a list of laws regulating commercial emails. The GDPR in the E.U. and Canada’s CASL laws may also apply to you if your business engages with international customers.

Resource # 3: Email (with consent)

Email for Small Business

Got consent?

The laws regulating email communication are intended to protect and violating them can result in tough penalties for your business.

Here is a summary of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information.Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines.The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad.The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located.Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly.Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipients opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that sends the message may be held legally responsible.

Understanding Permission

Permission is the act of getting consent from a subscriber to send them commercial email marketing messages. There are generally two types of permission: implied permission and express permission. You have implied permission to email someone if you have an existing business relationship with them.  Think of a someone who is a current customer or an active member of a community forum that you run.

If you don’t have implied permission, then you’ll need express permission to email a person. You are granted express permission when someone enters their email in a subscribe form on your website.

Companies that build permission-based email lists usually see the fruits of their labor with high open and click through rates on their campaigns.

My advice is to collect data correctly. Covered in my book in a section titled, “Warm Calling”, be clear about why you are collecting information and how you intend to use it. Use full disclosure and ask for explicit permission to send email.

How to Grow Your Email List

Here are some creative ways to grow your email list while adhering to privacy laws:

  • – Add a subscription area to your website.
  • – Offer a lead magnet: Create a compelling piece of content that requires an email address before the download is available.
  • – Add a “Sign Up” button to your business Facebook page.
  • – Warm Calling. Covered in my book, I provide real life examples of how I collect email addresses and how you can too!

Effective email marketing converts your leads into customers, and your customers into brand advocates. When building your lists, be clear about why you are collecting information and how you intend to use it. Use full disclosure and ask for explicit permission to send email.

Why You Should Claim Your FREE Google My Business Listing

One of the aspects I love about being a small business owner is connecting and mentoring others who are building their own business. Having owned and operated my business for over 35 years, I’ve amassed a long list of tips and marketing tricks that I am more than happy to pass along. Let’s be honest, after initial startup fees, marketing usually becomes your largest monthly expense. It’s a necessary evil – if you don’t market, people don’t know you exist. If you spend too much in the wrong place you won’t reach your target audience. Marketing can be overwhelming, expensive and time-consuming. But I’m here to help!

Why You Should Claim Your FREE Google My Business Listing

Find the freebies

What should a small business do when they are starting out or are focused on keeping to a strict budget? My recommendation? Find the freebies first. Now when I say you should start with free; I don’t mean asking your cousin’s sister’s friend who owns a print shop hook you up with some free postcards. (By the way, there is nothing wrong with snail mail as I have found it effective in some instances of my own business.) What I mean by starting with free is that there are legitimate, zero-cost resources available to small businesses- you just have to know where to find them. No favors to repay to your cousin’s sister’s friend. No expenses that will put you into debt.

In this blog series I’d like to tell you about the marketing resources that I’ve found most effective for my own business. This first one may surprise you. (And it’s absolutely FREE!)

Resource # 1: Google

I’m not recommending you go out to Google and search for “Free resources for small businesses”. Actually, that’s always a good idea, but I digress. You’ve heard of Google AdWords and may even have considered throwing a couple hundred dollars a month at it to see if it improves your site traffic. You probably used Google Maps to navigate or like me, use it to locate a new client job site. Likely you have all of your appointments scheduled and organized in Google Calendar. But have you heard of Google My Business? In my opinion, Google My Business is one of the most under the radar tools coming from one of the biggest names in the digital space. It’s shocking to me that so many businesses have websites, but so few have claimed their free Google My Business listing.

Let me help you with these common questions:

  1. What is Google My Business?
  2. What types of businesses should use Google My Business?
  3. Is it beneficial to use Google My Business?
  4. Is it easy to claim your free listing?
  5. What happens if I don’t claim my listing?

What is Google My Business?

This tool was initially launched in June 2014. It was designed as a way to give business owners more control of what shows in the search results when someone searches a given business name. What we’re seeing now is that Google is really pushing for the first page of search results to be a business’s new website. Instead of clicking through to an actual website, Google is making it easier for searchers to compile all their research (location, directions, phone number, email, product and service information, reviews, etc.) about a company without ever leaving the search result page.

“Wait! Google doesn’t want to send folks to my website?”

What we’re seeing here is just a reflection of consumer online behavior. Think about how you interact with google when searching. If Google shows you all of the information you need to make a purchase decision, why click any further?  Now put yourself back in your business’s shoes. If your local competitors all have a plethora of information on their Google Listing and you don’t, which business do you think they are going to be more attracted to?

What types of businesses should use Google My Business?

Are you an internet-based business? There is no reason why you shouldn’t claim your free listing. However, this tool is especially helpful for local businesses, those which rely on attracting local customer into their location. Brick and mortar stores, franchises with multiple locations (GMB allows you to add multiple locations that you serve), and service-based businesses benefit the most from this tool. Google reports that every month there are 5 billion searches for restaurants, 3 billion searches for hotels, and 600 million searches for hair and beauty salons.

Benefits of using Google My Business

I can’t downplay this first benefit. It is FREE! GMB also increases your visibility while giving you control over the content that appears when someone searches your business name. Because Google My Business listings appear both in Google Search and Google Maps, businesses can market their brands, products, or services to users on all devices that use these tools. With a complete and up-to-date Google My Business page, businesses can help potential customers find them and encourage them to buy their products or services.

I’m ready to claim my free listing! How do I do it?

Your free Google My Business listing can be set up in minutes. Visit this link and follow the online instructions. If you prefer a more personal interaction, you can even call Google and they will help you set it up for free over the phone: (1-844-491-9665).

Squatters

It can be alarming to find out that someone else has already claimed your business listing. Before you panic, reach out to anyone who’s had a hand in helping you market your business because it could be that they’ve already taken this step on your behalf. If this isn’t the case, Google provides instructions on how to submit a transfer of ownership request.

I hope I’ve made a compelling case for claiming your free Google My Business listing and that you’ll take advantage of this resource – today! After you’ve claimed your own listing, search for some of your friends’, colleagues or vendors’ businesses. If they haven’t yet claimed their listing I hope you will call them to let them in on this quick, easy, and free tool that will optimize your marketing efforts.

Teaser Alert! In the next part of our series, we are going to talk about video, the how and why a small business can utilize it to help market your business and (gasp!) link to it in your Google My Business listing!

Reinventing Entrepreneurship: Focus on Making a Difference and You’ll Make Plenty of Money

We entrepreneurs want to make plenty of money – but not at all costs. Entrepreneurship is about pushing ourselves to be better than we were yesterday, for the most of us. The definition of entrepreneurship focuses primarily on risk and initiative rather than the accumulation of wealth. Most of us won’t become billionaires, but we can still all make a positive difference in the world and make plenty of money at the same time.

Are you giving back? You can do so in a number of ways. It could be financial, such as donating to a favourite cause or charity. Or you could give the gift of your time.

Has someone provided some assistance to you that resulted in the growth of your business? Belonging to communities related to your business interest on social media is a great way to give back and build your business at the same time. People will often seek help for a business problem in the form of a question. You can provide an answer to their question to help them out and be seen by others as an expert in your field. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to work together on a project where the both of you can make plenty of money. Try to post something positive on your social networks every day.

You could offer your expertise to a charity or cause. Perhaps you could volunteer to be manager, treasurer or coach of your child’s sports team. Help raise funds for a special project. Or help with a community clean up. I’ve found all to be a rewarding experience both on a personal level and with the contacts that I developed.

Phil La Duke writes in his post that maybe it’s time to adopt 6 simple behaviors to rebrand entrepreneurship. Check out, Reinventing Entrepreneurship: Focus on Making a Difference and You’ll Make Plenty of Money.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295321Entrepreneurs don’t need to pursue the accumulation of wealth at all costs. We can do, we can be, better than that. I had to look up the definition to be sure, but an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” I found it odd that while we think of entrepreneurs as primarily driven to make enough money to buy the world a Coke (even if I DID have the money I just don’t have the time or logistics support to do that) the actual definition doesn’t even mention money, but instead focuses on risk and initiative. So with that in mind maybe it’s time to rebrand entrepreneurship by adopting six simple behaviors: Reinventing Entrepreneurship: Focus on Making a Difference and You’ll Make Plenty of Money