Posted by Allison on 1 April 2009, 16:10
In these times of rising prices and stagnant pay rates, it's not hard to see why so many people are thinking about how they can raise some extra money. The easiest short term solution is to sell some of your belongings that you no longer need or want, but for a more long term solution you could do what many other people have already done and think about setting up a small business online to bring in another income stream altogether.
One of the advantages of selling online is that it opens up the whole world to you. And with payment processors like PayPal that you can use, you don't need to worry about using a currency converter to transfer any foreign currency into British money, since it's all done for you.
So what do you sell? That's the most important question, and the path of least resistance is to sell something that isn't tangible. So for example, instead of buying stock that you may not be able to resell, you could create a product that you can email to someone. One of the best examples of this is an eBook. This is an electronic book, often in PDF form, that is anything from 10 pages to 200+ pages long. The price can be anything from a few pounds or dollars to a few hundred, depending on the subject.
If you'd rather stick with something you don't have to create, you can start small on eBay and build your business up as your budget and time demands. It pays to research your market thoroughly before you start though, and as with eBooks you should think about what you know. Do you have a hobby that has left you with items you no longer want? Sell them on eBay and then find out where to get them at wholesale price to resell. Do you have a passion for something that you could turn into a business? Explore it further – many businesses on eBay have started out as a hobby and are now full time concerns.
The website ByteStart has a lot of information on it for people who are thinking about starting a business online, including all the practical issues you will need to think about, regardless of what you are going to sell. It's a haven of advice and support, and it also has a section which deals specifically with eBay and how to approach it for the best results. You can see it by going to http://www.bytestart.co.uk/content/24/24_3/index.shtml. There are also a myriad of other websites out there that can help you further, and the more information you know up front the less you will have to figure out as you go along!
The most important aspect to consider is how much time you have available to bring in a second stream of income. Are you going to start out part time with a view to eventually quitting your job and doing this full time? Or are you planning on simply running it as a hobby? Whatever the answer is, you'll need to make sure everything is official right from the start.
In short, even though your wages from your regular job might not show any signs of increasing for the time being, there are plenty of other things you can do to increase your income. All it takes is that first step to get things moving.