Running a side business can be a handful for even the most seasoned entrepreneurs. Becoming a small business success story rather than a grim statistic takes smarts, planning and commitment. As such, savvy side business owners should look for passive streams of income to have some sources of revenue that don’t involve trading dollars for hours and to gain an edge over the competition. Whether you’re an organic farmer, a party planner or a jewelry designer, the following passive income streams are worth considering.
Monetize Video Content
For physical and digital businesses alike, publishing YouTube videos supported by ads is one of the easiest ways to make money online. It can also be one of the most lucrative. Some individuals earn millions of dollars annually from their YouTube clips. While you probably won’t get anywhere near that figure, you can rake in a tidy sum by posting informational videos pertaining to your business’s niche.
Offer a Guided Course
People that are interested in mastering a skill or learning about a subject in a hurry are more than willing to pay good money for guided instruction. Publishing an online video course via a platform like Udemy, OpenSesame or Academy of Mine. Once you’ve put in the leg work, your courses will run on autopilot and can make you a mint without any effort on your part.
Sell E-Books on Amazon
While the web has irreversibly transformed many industries over the years, the book publishing business has been impacted far more than most. Nowadays, publishing your own e-books online is incredibly easy. Better yet, authors come away with a far greater share of the profits than they did just a few years ago. With a little free software like Scribus and a great idea, you can publish bestsellers on Amazon that will earn money for years to come.
Publish Helpful Mobile Apps
With smartphone penetration in the United States exceeding 50%, a mobile app is a clear-cut route to residual profits given the right tack. An app that will really succeed is one that assists your customers in making buying decisions, thereby saving them time and money. Hopefully, those decisions will result in sales for you. If not, you’ll at least have a few dollars per app purchase to show for your efforts. Put out a version for iOS and Android to cover most of the major bases.
Sell Branded Goods
Offering low-cost but high-quality goods with your business logo slapped on them is a proven money maker and a terrific promotional tool all in one. T-shirts, totes and USB sticks are popular items that can be extremely profitable and increase awareness of your side business. Though branded goods don’t generate passive income per se in and of themselves, they will increase revenue by boosting your business’s profile.
Focus On Royalties
Licensing your own work or purchasing the copyrights to the e-books, songs and photos of others is a massively underutilized passive income avenue. For instance, you could buy photographs on Fotolia or Shutterstock and license them to content creators. Another possibility is buying the rights to background music for video content. Copyright exchanges such as You License allow interested parties to bid on music rights.
Launch an Affiliate Program
In a way, affiliate sales represent the ultimate passive income stream. Cutting marketers in on the action in exchange for increased sales enables SMBs to significantly boost revenue with little additional effort. Test drive platforms such as Commission Junction, ClickBank, Google Affiliate Network and LinkShare to get started. You can also make money by referring customers to companies that operate in closely related but distinct niches.
Get Involved in Real Estate
Both physical and digital side businesses need a place to operate. Many SMBs that start out in the home or garage eventually need commercial space to grow and attract new business. If you can swing a loan to purchase a commercial building, the monthly payments can be made by renting out space to other small-time entrepreneurs. Just be sure to have a solid plan in place insofar as securing renters is concerned before pursuing this particular option.
Play the Financial Markets
Once you’ve socked away a reasonable amount of savings, you should think seriously about growing your money through cautious investing. A diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds can deliver reliable returns without undue risk. If you feel like taking a more active role in your investments, P2P lending networks like Lending Club and Prosper enable investors to make small loans to their fellow entrepreneurs.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Succeeding in the cutthroat SMB world has always been a challenge that requires the full attention of any entrepreneur. You can create a buffer against the constantly changing economic tides by exploiting passive income stream opportunities such as the ones detailed here. Passive income tactics enable a side business owner to boost ROI, improve their bottom line and triumph in the face of uncertainty.