Extra Earnings: Unexpected Ways to Bootstrap Your Income

Business.com / Finances / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you're struggling to feed your business with funding, don't worry, so is everyone else. Here are some unusual ways to bootstrap your biz.

Economically, times are still tough, and coming to terms with this has pushed us to be innovative and resourceful. In 2014, the average savings rate was 4.8 percent, far short of what the average American worker needs to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Ultimately, we have started looking for ways to obtain spare cash for our savings or boost a new regular source of income and our new businesses.

Whether your business is in the infancy, developing or growth stage, here are a few ways to bootstrap your income and earn some extra cash on the side:

1. Rent Your Place Out

Your home is probably your most valuable asset and is probably one of your highest monthly bills, so it only makes sense to invest in the idea of using your home to earn a bit of cash on the side. Your home could be a money-making machine. Take note that they may not be suitable for everyone depending on landlords, city laws and mortgage lenders. Regardless, it is worthwhile to inspect the situation as you could miss out on a small treasure.

The Spare Room

This is a great way to hone in some extra cash. Renting out your free room doesn’t need to be a laborious situation; if you have the right spot you could find a sub-letter who only requires a room for a few nights a week. This way you can grab some extra dough for your pocket and have the house to yourself on weekends. If you don't have a spare room or if the idea of having a stranger live in your home whilst you’re there makes you uncomfortable, you could consider letting it out only to tourists. The other option is…

Renting out your house

You can rent your whole place out while you take that long-awaited holiday, the trip could essentially be covered by the guests in your house. If renting out your vacant room or entire home occasionally is more suitable, there are great services out there to make the process easier, such as Airbnb. Airbnb is a website service where people can list, discover and rent out their places to short-term lodgers. It’s a great way for you to monetize your extra space and advertise it all over the world. If you still feel a little weary and have that fear of not being in control of your precious home, there’s a service called Guesty, who offer to take care of managing all the logistics remotely for you, such as cleaning or being available 24/7 for your guests’ needs.

2. Freelance your talents

If renting out your home makes you uncomfortable, another option is selling your talents. There’s always that extra hour at the end of the day spent watching TV, this hour could bring home the ‘gold’ or a few extra pennies at the end of the month. If you have a flair for writing or any other computer skills that can be done remotely, sign up for one of the many freelance sites where you can offer your services.

Check out Elance, odesk or Guru, to name a few. If you’re really up for anything, try out Fiverr,  a website where you can sell almost anything for $5. People request for the craziest things, so if you have any party tricks up your sleeve, this is a fun way to make some money on the side. If calculations are correct, by 2020 more than 40 percent of the American workforce (60 million people), will be freelancers, contractors and temp workers, according to a study conducted by software company Intuit.  This is a viable option for those trying to muster up more funding for their business.

Fiverr lets you purchase services from other users starting at 5 dollars.

(Source: Fiverr)

Related Article: How to Find Funding Outside of Traditional Methods

3. Crowdfunding

If you are just starting out as a business, crowdfunding has become a popular way to generate funds and the internet is your main source to launch such campaigns. Crowdfunding is a way to ask a group of people to donate a defined amount of money for a cause or project in exchange for rewards. The initiatives could be for a nonprofit, political, charitable or commercial cause such as financing a campaign for a startup company.

A crowdfunding platform, such as Kickstarter, brings together an organization that proposes the idea or project they want funded with a crowd of people who support those proposals. As an entrepreneur, you will be itching to get things cracking as soon as possible, and a crowdfunding campaign can begin immediately.

Choose your platform, create an effective pitch, share your campaign on all your social media platforms to get the word out and lastly, use a crowding funding site that allow you to give a gift in exchange to your supporters (people love incentives).

4. Guerilla Marketing

The techniques of Guerrilla marketing can help any bootstrapping entrepreneur launch their business on a shoestring budget. It’s fun and gives startups the chance to flex their creative muscles. No matter what your startup is, it’s a unique way to create buzz without spending millions of dollars.

Guerilla marketing is all about improvisation and utilizing the tools that you already possess. It could be a chalkboard or a billboard; the point is to get your name out there. It’s all fair and well to pass out flyers about your company, but at the end of the day that won’t get you noticed.

Think innovation; if you’re a food startup,  hand out free samples of your delicious food. Basically, the most important marketing tactic for any startup is to find that one unique and loveable characteristic of the product and use available resources to speak to potential customers.

Take a cue from Chef Gordon Ramsey. On an episode of his show “Kitchen Nightmares”, he makes an employee go outside and lure potential customers by offering free samples of their food. This is the exact type of guerilla marketing you want to achieve.

Think innovation, if you’re a food startup,  hand out free samples of your delicious food.

(Source: Blast Media)

Regardless of how you use your talents to make a few extra bucks, the fact that you're willing to get out there is the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit. Maintaining that and not stopping until you meet success is a surefire way to end up where you want to be.

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