When it comes to starting off a small business, things may not always be certain. Small businesses can see periods of a substantial surge in sales, but times when the business becomes slow can come just as easily.
They can even see overwhelming success followed by a sudden downturn, which, as a small business owner, you cannot really do much about. That is just how things work and you have to roll with it. Of course, financial slumps due to a slow period will make your life difficult. You need to be able to deal with all the inevitable financial lulls that are going to come your way. The problem? Your local business is not doing well enough.
There is one way to help your financial situation stay solid even during the times when business is slow. In fact, it gets better. You can use this method to help your local business really take off. This magical solution is called passive income. Also known as residual income, passive income is an effective way to grow your business from a local entity to a global one.
What Is Passive Income?
So what exactly is passive income? To put it into the simplest of words, it is a method of making money through a revenue generation source, which you are not actively involved with. That being said, it is still taxable just like your active income.
Passive income usually works like this: You invest some money in a venture. After that, you just sit back and reap the benefits of a revenue-generating stream without having to make any substantial effort. Of course, you need to do your due research before you make the investment. Doing your homework and some initial legwork to determine the validity and potential of the passive income source is important. There are plenty of options that you can consider as the source of your passive income. We’ll discuss them later.
Just remember the fact that passive income is still income. Just like active income, passive income is also taxable. You need to report your earnings through passive income to the IRS.
Why Passive Income?
Whether or not you know this, every entrepreneur actually dreams of being able to make their lives easier through passive income. Still, the question begs to be asked: Why passive income? I’ll tell you.
Other than the fact that passive income is an amazing way to realize you’ve made some more money when you wake up every morning, it can help you grow your business. Considering the fact that you never know what the future holds, solely relying on your business for enough profits to help you take it to the next level is going to take a lot of time. Anything can cause a slump to hit your local business. If you are someone who provides an on-demand massage service to clients in your city, you might see your business running smoothly but what if you get injured somehow when going to an appointment? What if you’re unable to work for a few weeks? You cannot just sit around and hope for a miracle to take place. Someone has to pay the bills. You need to earn some money, right? That is why having a backup plan for generating income is a smart idea.
I’m not saying that you cannot see a lot of success by just focusing on your small business for income. You might be able to do that just fine. I just know that it is not a good idea to place all your eggs in a single basket. Things can always go wrong and it is better to be safe than sorry. The fact that passive income is also taxable by the IRS comes with an advantage. In case of depreciation or losses, the depreciation tax write-offs are one of the best tax advantages that passive income can offer you.
Passive Income Methods
Several passive income methods have been used for the longest time. The following are a couple of the most common methods to make residual income include:
Real estate is one of the most common methods to make passive income on the side. Rental property business is booming and you can make a significant amount of money through rental property investment. The only problem is the incredibly high upfront cost, which a lot of people cannot afford to make.
Stock Market Investment
You can invest in the stock market and take home the earnings from the dividends of smart stock market investments. Of course, the problem is that you need to be a lot more careful about your investments in the stock market. After all, it’s a tricky avenue.
While the typical passive income methods are time-tested and true, they can become too distracting for you to focus on your business. After all, you want to start earning passive income so that you can grow your business, right? Well, guess what? You can make passive income that will actually directly help you to grow your business. Online passive income is the way to go.
Online Passive Income Methods
Technology has made life a lot more convenient if you want to earn passive income and know what you need to do to make it happen. There are several options to consider for making online passive income. Coincidentally, you can use these methods to make your own local business known at the same time. The internet is amazing that way. I’ll tell you what I mean by this.
Start a Blog
I’m going to start off with the most basic method of making passive online income. I wrote this post in order to make money. “Wait, what? You can make money by starting a blog?” Yes, you actually can!
You see, when you start a blog on your website and you offer useful content to your readers, you are essentially providing value to them. If people like reading what you write, more and more online users will visit your website. The increased website traffic can be monetized using affiliate links. Of course, you cannot rely on making thousands of dollars by writing about anything and everything. You need to follow a little thoughtful approach. The more niche-specific your website and blog topics are, the better it will work for you.
Now, for instance, your local business sells home décor items that are a little out of the box. Your business, in and of itself, is a niche because of that. You know that there is something different about your business which can help you stand out. Through blogs, you can help boost the sales for your business.
Write blogs on topics like home décor ideas, easy ways to make your house look great through unique home décor items and anything related to the products that you sell. Make sure that your content is not too salesy. Instead, focus on providing good quality content to your readers. Make them understand how they can benefit from interacting with your business by telling them how you can address their needs.
My recommendation is starting off by writing several blog posts and then publishing them one by one every week. That will help you provide consistent content to your readers and drive more traffic to your website.
Affiliate marketing works best when discussing products on the blog. You provide the links to all the things related to what you’re discussing on your blogs. For instance, if you’re running a doggy daycare business, you can write about different accessories for dogs and how they can be useful to your target audience. Partner with affiliate companies that sell the products you’re writing about so that you can earn commissions off of sales made through traffic, which you directed towards their business.
Create an Online Course
This is a method of making an online passive income stream, which can work for literally any kind of business out there. It does not matter if you are someone who has a life coaching program or if you are a Michelin star chef at a five-star restaurant – it is applicable to everybody.
If your business already has an active and engaging audience via your blog, you can surprise them by stepping up the game and creating a video-based tutorial course for them. All you really need is some basic video making equipment and some basic editing skills.
Through the content that you have already been providing to your visitors, you have established that you know what you’re all about and you are a pro at it. That vital trust factor will be there, considering the fact that you have been providing them all that useful information for free through your blogs. Needless to say, they will not mind purchasing an online course made by you for everything that you do for them.
Besides, once you have an online course ready, you can sell it in a number of ways online. The most obvious avenue would be your own website but that doesn’t need to be the end of it. If you upload your online course on an educational website like Udemy Skillshare, or Teachable, you will get exposure to millions of potential students. These websites are designed specifically for providing educational courses to people over the internet.
Of course, there is another way you can go when it comes to earning off of your online course. If you don’t want your avid followers to pay anything, upload your online course on YouTube and monetize your videos through Google AdSense. It will automatically place the ads on your videos and you will get to make around $7 per thousand views of the video.
Think about what works better for your business. You can use either one of them based on your specific needs. You can even utilize both of these in combination by letting the people watching your YouTube content know that with the Udemy/Teachable courses, they can get to learn a lot more. Just make sure that the pricing for your online courses is reasonable, based on the time and effort you have put into them and the kind of audience you want to target with your content.
E-commerce is also a great way to make online passive income and help your business grow – especially if your local business has something that you can sell online. For instance, if your local business sells tiny antique items, you can count on making more sales online than through your physical shop. You will need to set up your own website where you have placed the products that your business sells.
Selling your wares online is actually quite easy now thanks to platforms like Shopify. If you are looking to build an online store of your own, you can just use the readymade templates that they offer. This way, you do not have to spend so much time designing your own online store. It gets better. Shopify even offers you tools that can help you increase your online sales. They offer you the facility of processing payments, handling the returns, promotions and even creating coupons.
Now imagine pairing this up with an excellent blog. You already have an established e-commerce store that sells the products of your business and you can make things even better by driving more traffic to your website through your blogs. Your online passive income stream can help your business become an international sensation
Podcasting is rising in popularity across the world. Following the audience and advertising model, podcasting has become one of the most commonly used models for making passive income online. Of course, it’s not as easy as just sitting back and relaxing. It requires some effort on your part on a consistent basis. Considering the fact that you can use it to make your business grow, all that effort will be more than worth it.
When you write blogs and get a lot of traffic on your website, you can use affiliate marketing and advertisements or sponsorships to monetize your blog. It’s pretty much the same deal when it comes to podcasting and monetizing it.
With a podcast, you have an audience that you will build over time. Make sure that your content is interesting so that you get more and more people to listen in to what you have to say. Having a niche topic is always going to help your podcast stand out from the rest. If you can manage to get a significant following, you can use your podcast to help you earn online passive income. Sponsorships are obviously the best way to monetize your podcast
Other businesses will use any and all opportunities to advertise their products and services. As a successful podcaster, you can earn money through the cost-per impression model. For instance, if you make a 15-second mention of the sponsor of your podcast in the beginning, you can make a prearranged amount of money for every thousand listens of your podcast. Alternatively, if you make a minute-long mention of the sponsor during the midpoint of the podcast, you can earn more money for every thousand listens.
Just like with blogs, you are going to provide value to your listeners through your podcast sessions. When you make a good impression on them, you will build a reputation, which will make your listeners more inclined to engage with your business. Focus your podcasts on the industry that your business is relevant to so that the increased following can result in better leads for your own business. Again, it helps not to be too annoying and sales-pitchy about your own business – you can reserve that for your sponsors. Your primary objective should be to provide your listeners useful information. By building a solid reputation and a strong following, you’re automatically going to be taking care of marketing your own business.
If you want to know more about how to start a podcast for your own business, you might want to read this. I’ve dedicated a whole post to starting your podcast because it is one of the most promising ways to start earning online passive income that can help your business grow.
For the longest time, passive income has been considered to be a way to just earn money on the side while you focus on running your own business. I say that online passive income can not only help you earn more money on the side, it can actually help you take your business from a local level to a global one. Use these passive income ideas to help your business grow.