Earning Extra Money – Physical Goods & Services

When it comes to earning extra money, most folks are interested in finding ways to earn extra income at home. Chances are, you’ve got a job already. Someplace you have to get up every morning, get dressed and fight traffic to get to, and you’re not looking for something else like that.

Now, maybe you don’t mind dealing with the general public, as long as you can do it on your own terms, or perhaps you’d rather find something where you can “work” while sitting at home in your bath robe and Rocky-n-Bullwinkle slippers. Either way, this section’s got you covered. Also, you may be able to find ways to make some/many of these ideas viable for your children if you didn’t find anything that suited you or them in the article on ways for kids to earn money.

What you’ll find here are all manner of ideas you can use to churn out physical goods at a profit to sell to people, either on a strictly local basis, or on the ‘net, or both, and when you’re ready to market to the masses via the internet, check out the article entitled “Earning Extra Money – How to Earn Money on the Internet” as a starting point). You’ll also find information on in-demand services you can offer to do, in exchange for money.

Selling goods and services is one of the fastest ways to get yourself set up and making money. In each of the ideas presented below, I’ll provide you with a basic materials list. These are the bare minimum bits of equipment you’ll need in order to get started with the particular idea presented. Some of them cost money, and some don’t. The rule of thumb that I use here is “about the cost of an iPod.” Whenever possible, the ideas for earning extra money presented here, when they cost anything at all for startup, are roughly the same as you’d spend on a new iPod.

Of course, all of the ideas have certain requirements in common. If you mean to operate a full time business, then at some point, you’re going to have to address the issue of getting a business license. Requirements vary state by state, and often, city by city, and it is far beyond the scope of this site to guide you through the particular requirements of your city or state. The good news is that you can test, experiment, and practice, and actually find yourself making a fair amount of money before you make it official and go file all the necessary paperwork. Take advantage of that! Also, you’re going to need a computer, and an internet connection would be helpful, even if you don’t intend to use the ‘net for marketing. As you are reading these words, we’ll assume you’ve got that covered. Finally, you’ll need some basic software to keep yourself organized and/or to help you produce marketing materials. Reference the article Extra Income Ideas for all the software you’ll need to get started (none of it costs any money).

One last item to note. Please don’t treat this list as an exhaustive, all inclusive menu of money making ideas…it is not! I could write for a thousand years, solid, and still barely scratch the surface of the various ways you could run a stay at home business, and it would be folly to even attempt such a thing. If you find something you like on this list, that’s awesome! Run with it! But if you don’t, then my hope is that the list provided here will get your mind turning on things you DO like/enjoy, and from there, you’ll come up with a list of your own.

Now…who’s ready to make some money!?

#1 Simple Movie Making
Cost: $0

An exceedingly simple concept, even if you know next to nothing about computers. It’s one of those things that people, a) don’t want to take the time to do, and b) can’t be bothered learning how to do. There’s a lot of money to be made in doing things that fall into these two categories, so take the time to learn. If you’re even a little computer savvy, you’ll probably be able to crank these babies out with less than an hour’s worth of playing with the software. The idea here is to take photos from vacations or family events, put them to music and create simple movies via Windows Movie Maker. Most computers today come with a DVD burner, and Windows Movie Maker already installed, so the only investment needed is the (minimal) time required to master the application and DVD’s which you probably already have lying around the house. If you want to earn extra money at home with an absolute minimum of investment, you could do a lot worse than this!

You can enhance/refine this idea by adding a LightScribe DVD Burner for less than the cost of an iPod, and personalize your offering by incorporating one of the family photos onto the surface of the disk! (These can be found for anywhere from $50-$100 for the drive itself, plus the price of discs).

#2 – Digitizing Family Photo Albums
Cost: A decent scanner can be had for ~$100

Next on the list of ways to make money working at home, is digitizing. Anybody who has one or more of those old school, dusty old photo albums lying about their houses are your potential clients, and there are TONS of them! The idea here is that you make your service known, take pictures from your clients, scan them and clean them up (if needed), and either put them on a digital photo album (which the client would pay for, of course!) or onto a disk/jump drive for viewing/safekeeping. Again, a LightScribe burner could be added to enhance the value of your offering. If photo editing is needed, there’s no need to buy software, as you can get a perfectly good free program on the ‘net (see the article entitled Extra Income Ideas for details). Again, the addition of a LightScribe burner will set you back less than a hundred dollars, even with the purchase of an additional supply of discs.

#3 – Remixing
Cost: $0

If you’re a music lover, take advantage of the fact that many of your fellow audiophiles are technologically challenged. If you ask around, you’ll be amazed at the number of people who don’t know the first thing about ripping and burning CD’s, and are too intimidated to learn! Most of these same people would jump at the chance to have someone do it for them, and again, most modern computers come with everything you need to do this already preloaded. Just invest about forty-five minutes learning how, and you’re all set! This is actually such an easy way to put money in your pocket that you might start feeling guilty about it…don’t! Once more, a LightScribe burner will lend an air of professionalism to your work, not only enabling you to charge more, but also helping to set yourself as a cut above anybody else who might see what you’re doing and think about joining the party!

#4 – LP to Digital Conversion

Vinyl albums are an old technology, but still in abundant supply, and there are a growing body of collectors seeking to preserve their treasured collections. You can help with that. The next-gen turntables come with software to guide you through making a digital copy of the albums you play on the turntable, and in short order, you can complete the conversion process and hand your client a CD with his treasured album preserved on it. Not only is this an excellent addition to the list of ways you can be earning extra money quickly (both in terms of demand for the service and profitability), but it also gives you a bit of exposure to a technology you might not have seen for a while (or depending on your age, this technology might even predate you!)

#5 – VHS to Digital conversion
Another hidden gem of an idea, and a fantastic way to make money working at home. There’s all sorts of demand for this type of service, and is very easy and inexpensive to get into. A great many people still have copies of commercially purchased videos they’d love to convert to a modern (digital) format, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of VHS home movie tapes out there, crying out for conversion. This is a huge market, and will be for some time to come!

#6 – Digital Photography
Cost: Varies, but you can get a camera more than good enough to get you started for about the same price as an iPod.

Unlike the other ideas presented thus far, this entry on the list takes you away from the computer and outside. With a bit of marketing, you can easily sell your photo-documentation services and take pictures at a wide variety of parties and celebrations, and the beauty of it is, this idea can easily be combined with the first idea on the list (simple movie making) to create even more options for yourself.

Expanding your thinking a bit, there’s no reason you couldn’t combine two or more of these ideas into a suite of services to offer your clients. In no time at all, and with very little money out of pocket, you could put together a full service multi-media menu of offerings for your clients. Remember, the more types of services you offer, the more business you are likely to attract! Just be careful what you wish for, because you might soon find yourself with more business than you can handle!

Pros: The major advantage of the ideas presented above is the fact that none of them are very expensive to get off the ground, and in fact, they all lend themselves rather well to being combined in various ways to expand the products and services you offer. This, of course, lends itself to greater profitability, as the more services you are offering, the greater the likelihood that any given individual will have a need you can fill.

Cons: Maybe this wasn’t what you were looking for. In that case, don’t give up! If you like the idea of offering physical goods or services, but just didn’t happen to like anything listed here, keep reading! There are tons of other ideas on this site, and perhaps you’ll see something that will spark some ideas of your own! Or, perhaps you’re just not all that into the idea of selling a physical product. Again, no fears! You’ll find plenty of information on other types of businesses. Check out “Establishing a Passive Income Business,” next, to see if there’s something there that interests you!

The only other potential downside here is that there is a bit of a learning curve involved, if you’ve never messed with any of the technology mentioned above. Still, all told, you could be functional on every single piece of software you’d need to do all six of these ideas inside a single day, and I daresay that’s a faster learning curve than you’ll find in most any other business!

More “Big Secrets” Revealed

Okay, so now that your head is swimming with ideas of what’s possible, I get to hit you with the bad news.

Get this straight before we go any further on our journey together: I can’t make you rich.

No one can make you rich.

No one but you.

These ideas can, have, and will continue to make money for those who use and apply them. You can do this stuff part time, after your “regular” job and pick up money to take your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever out to dinner, or put gas in your car, or anything else you’d like to do with the cash.

You can scale these ideas up as they begin earning you more money and reach just about any income level you’d like to, and the information on this site can show you how, but at the end of the day, that’s all it can do.

I can show you.

You have to do the hard part and actually take action.

What happens a lot of times is that people get a thing called “Analysis Paralysis.” There are so many damned options to choose from…so many possible directions to take these kinds of things in that people get lost in the process of evaluating and deciding, and they never quite get around to the DOING part.

Don’t let yourself fall into that trap.

Also, remember this important detail: You don’t have to know everything in order to be the “smartest guy (or gal) in the room!” You just have to know more than the folks you’re with.

Think about that, and what it means for you in whatever venture you’re attempting.

You don’t have to know everything!

Isn’t that liberating?

You can forge ahead without having all (or even most of) the answers. Without really knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re following a pattern or program laid down by someone else, don’t worry about how or why all the pieces fit together. You’ll learn that and get a handle on the “big picture” as you DO whatever it is you’re doing. Just follow the steps provided and don’t over think things. When you get to the end, study your result and compare it to the result you thought you’d get. If you’re happy, build on it. If you’re not, that’s the point at which you sit down with your thinking cap on and map out what you’ll do differently next time. And there WILL BE a next time, right? If you try something and it doesn’t work out quite like you’d hoped or expected, you’re not just going to give up at the first indication that things might get a little tough, are you?
I don’t think you’d be here reading this if you were a quitter. I think you know intuitively that answering the question of how to earn extra income is going to require work and effort on your part, and that there’s a learning curve involved. And because of that, I think you’ll relish the challenges that lie ahead, rather than shrink away from them the first time something doesn’t work out.

So that’s the end of today’s lesson. Hopefully, it has given you loads to think about, and again, even if you didn’t find anything in the list above, there are plenty more ideas where those came from, right here on this site, so keep reading!

For the moment though, take a break and ponder the points above. We’ll still be here when you get back, and if you’ve found something you like here, then you’ll probably have questions. Lots of questions!
That’s okay though, odds are, you can find the answers here!

Summary – Big Secrets Revealed

• No one can make you rich but you. Reading and studying a thing isn’t where the magic is…the magic is in the ACTION you take, using what you have learned. Don’t fall prey to Analysis Paralysis! Avoid this by choosing to act. Even if you do the wrong thing, you will learn from it, and do better next time!

• You don’t have to know all the answers (or even a majority of them) to start a profitable business. Don’t think, DO. Take action based on what you know and what your vision of the desired outcome is. Analyze after, not before. “After”, you have a result you can compare to your vision. “Before”, you just have thoughts that don’t amount to anything tangible.

Free Stuff Referenced On This Page

Nothing that shouldn’t already be on your computer, but we’ll outline them anyway:

Windows Movie Maker

Windows Media Player

You can also do a Google search for “free windows movie maker” and “free cd/dvd ripper” and come up with all sorts of third party products that won’t cost you a dime. In fact, I would heartily recommend this, if for no other reason than to better understand what’s available.

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