Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there were only two ways to get paid: with cash or with a check that got deposited into your bank account. Every week, you would line up at your boss’s office door and wait for him to find your paycheck in a pile of paper. Then you would take that check to the bank and wait in line to deposit it into your account. Then, sometimes, you had to wait a few days for the check to clear. Only then would the money you’d earned be available to you.
Thank goodness those days are over!
It started with the invention of direct deposit. Companies could transfer funds from their account into yours instantaneously and the money would be available immediately. This was great for everybody involved. You didn’t have to wait for your money and your employer’s books got much simpler to track and manage.
Today you can transfer money from your account to someone else’s (or vice versa) simply by tapping a “button” on your phone’s touch screen or, in some cases, simply by waving your phone or a card in front of a sensor!
The advances in payment technology have done wonders for entrepreneurs and freelancers–many of whom still dealt in checks, preferring not to give out their banking information until a solid working relationship with a client had been established. Today payments can be processed and money exchanged in seconds, without the freelancer or the client ever knowing a single detail about the other’s banking information.
These advances have also made it easier than ever to start up side businesses and freelance gigs, particularly for those involved in the creative fields. If this is something that interests you, here is how you turn the fantasy into a reality.
Step One: Come up with some startup capital.
The great thing about side businesses and creative side gigs is that you don’t need a ton of money to start them up. You’ll only need enough to buy a domain name, some hosting and to produce a few pieces of merch/inventory. This can almost always be done for less than a thousand dollars. Heck, sometimes it can be accomplished for less than a hundred if you choose to produce your merchandise through drop shippers like RedBubble, Society6, Zazzle, etc.
If you don’t have those funds right now, but are sure you can earn enough through your side gig, taking out a small loan can be a great way of finding funding. According to the Max Lend Loans website, taking out a small independent loan only takes a few seconds.
Step Two: Place Your Orders
Order your domain name and hosting plan. Use a CMS like WordPress to set up a quick and easy to navigate website that tells people about who you are and what you’re selling or offering. You can set this site up yourself now and then use the profits from your first few sales to hire a professional to polish it up for you later. Order your merch/inventory.
Step Three: Set Up Your Payment Processes
This is where we get back into the banking and payment advances we talked about in the beginning of this article. You need to set up at least a couple of different types of payment processors. You need to set up a web payment system as well as a mobile payment system that you can link to your bank. The good news is that a lot of these new and contemporary payment platforms offer all of these things through a single account, which can help reduce fees, etc.
To this end, it’s good to be ready to sell all the time. Mobile payment processors make it possible to sell goods wherever you have them. This is particularly helpful for musicians or artists who might want to tour and who could use the sales of merch at shows to help fund their next tour stop.
Step Four: Tell Everybody You Know About It
Start spreading the word! Connect with everybody you can think of on social media and make sure they know that you’re starting up this side gig. Don’t forget to include any professional contacts you might have. For example, Max Lend Loans has a LinkedIn page. Connecting with your financier, your web host, etc, helps you grow your network beyond your immediate social circle and can lead to many more sales.
From here, it’s a matter of keeping up with sales and promotions. You don’t have to worry about how people will pay for your offerings because modern payment systems have made the process incredibly simple. The only thing you have to worry about is keeping your audience happy!