In my last article I touched on having multiple sources of income which seems to have sparked some interest about the topic amongst our readers. In this article I’ll go into greater detail about generating mutliple streams of income.
As I mentioned in the last article, having muliple streams of income is a good idea. The old saying “never put all your eggs in one basket” was, and still is good advice.
One day your business may dry up caused by internal factors such as mis-management and sabotage; or external factors such as declining economy, competition or changes in legislation. I know a fellow web developer who had created a successful poker website which made a passive income (meaning he didn’t have to do anything) of about $400 a day. However, earlier this year a law was passed banning online poker in the US which seriously hurt his income. His sole source of income.
So, what can us techies do for other sources of income to supplement our current income?
Web Development and Hosting
Web Development can be a nice source of extra income provided you manage it correctly. Most of the computer technicians on our forums have already created their own websites for their computer business.
To successfully manage a web development project, you need to have everything in writing and explain to the client the web development process. In a past article I mentioned exactly why you need to manage it carefully:
Websites are intangible items that you cannot touch or feel, as far as the client knows we press a magic button and web pages appear. What they don’t understand is that there is a lot of development work that goes into creating a website such as finding out what they want, designing, coding and working out any bugs. A design change that they request later down the track may take hours to finish. Limits on what can be changed at certain points needs to be written into a contract. Something else that occurs frequently in the web development world is when the client does not respond to your messages in a timely manner so you can continue with the work. Yet they expect you to keep the original deadline. This, and many other clauses protecting you are all written in the Web Development Contract included in the Computer Business Kit.
Web Hosting is a great source for passive income. After initially setting up your clients account they don’t call every often. I host alot of my old clients that I created websites for and some of them wont even send me an email for years, though I still get paid every month. There are some great reseller packages at Hostgator which allow you to have unlimited domains starting at $24.95 per month. You only need a small amount of clients on a reseller account to become profitable.
Buying and Selling on eBay
I know of someone who took advantage of a deal a computer parts retailer was having. The retailer was selling 300gig hard drives for $99 including shipping. This happened in March 2006 and is still a pretty good deal now days. Anyway, he brought as many of them as he could (25 or so) and sold them on eBay for around $160 each, which is still cheap. After 3 days they were all sold and he made $1525 with little effort.
Back in 2005, the same person spotted some 1ghz Xeon servers labelled as normal Pentium 3 desktops at an auction. He brought all of them for $5000 and had made a total $25,000 after expenses by selling them on eBay.
Computer Swap Meets
Ok, this isn’t a new source of income since it is still the computer business. However, it is a great place to make some more money on weekends and pickup some new clientele.
Pick up some Extra Work from Nationals
There are quite a few websites out there such as Guru.com and Onforce.com that will bring in the clients and outsource the work to you. The only issue is that you have to work for them and pretend to be one of their employees. You dont get to keep the clients and the provider keeps a percentage.
Auctions and Computer Flipping
Computer Auctions are a great way place to get cheap computer parts. To find a computer auction in your area, search Google for something like “computer auctions yourtown”. In the same way people buy houses or stocks at low cost and sell high, you can do the same with auctions. You could easily buy some broken computers very cheaply, fix them and sell them for a higher price on eBay.
Do Whatever your Good at
For you it may be fixing cars, video editing or graphical design. For me its web development and thus Technibble was born. I cant tell you what your good at, you have to figure that one out for yourself – but I’m sure you can figure out a way to make money with it.