5 Micro Businesses you could start today!

Strategies for Start Ups and Growing SMEs

5 Micro Businesses you could start today!

Ever head of ‘Money for Jam’? Have you been thinking lately about earning some quick cash to cover the bills or save for something special?

The old Money for Jam idea is that you can take whatever resources and skills you have right now and turn them into something that you can sell for money. So here are 5 simple ideas you could try right now to earn some extra money with very little cash in the bank. And no…Uber didn’t make it onto this list.

IDEA #1…The Writer

Are you skilled at writing? Do you know how to follow a structure and be persuasive? Then how about learning how to write Award, Tender, and Grant applications? All of these activities are money earners for other businesses but they rarely know how to do it well unless they’re very experienced. You can attend ‘Tendering for Government‘ and ‘Capability Statement‘ workshops from QLD Government for about $50 each. But you could be paid hundreds (or more) to draft these applications for others.

The more practice you get, the better you’ll become so if you need to do a couple for free or pennies to prove your worth – just do it. And as you do it, make sure you keep track of what works and what doesn’t and how to get the work done in the most efficient way – time is money with this one.

IDEA #2…The Scanner

Have you heard of a ‘paperless office’? Well, lots of homes and small businesses still struggle with this concept. Even if they’ve converted their processes to going paperless, they may still have boxes or cabinets packed full of paper archives with no spare time to sort through it. If you have a multi-page scanner, a computer and know how to map a filing system (or follow one) then this is pretty easy. Quote per box or per page (usually cents per page) and get to work.

You may also need to offer a ‘Non-Disclosure Agreement (One Way)‘ for this one. You can create one Legal document online for FREE when you sign up with LawPath and this will give you a professional edge to be able to offer this as part of your document care since you may be offering to handle very sensitive business information at times. Many businesses also don’t know the rules for keeping records but the Australian Government has a quick reference page on Record Keeping you can use to learn the rules.

IDEA #3…The Negotiator

Are you solution-oriented? Are you a little charming and can hold a conversation with most people? Then consider being a Representative for some local small businesses. Many small businesses are either too busy or too nervous to get out there and chase big clients for their business. If you’re a people person who can grow your business network and feel comfortable striking up a conversation with strangers then go for it!

Set up as a sub-contractor and learn some basic negotiation skills…but the reality is, the less ‘salesy’ you are, the better you will do at this. This kind of connector role is generally a commission based gig so consider reviewing adverts for ‘Sales Representatives’ to get a feel for what would be an appropriate fee level and structure for the specific industry. And you MUST have a signed SERVICE AGREEMENT with your clients or you risk working for nada.

IDEA #4…The Neat Freak

Do you get a twinge of satisfaction from cleaning and tidying that weekend mess? Then there’s a whole range of instant and cheap business ideas you could start today…

  • A small laundry service
  • House cleaning (inside or outside)
  • Pool cleaning
  • Yard cleaning
  • Closet sorting
  • Driveway cleaning (and painting)
  • Wheelie bin washing
  • Garden weeding

Brainstorm all of the icky jobs people hate to do and there’ll be people willing to pay you for doing them. And as a side note…if you buy yourself a Green Cleaning book like A Guide to Natural Housekeeping: Recipes and Solutions for a Cleaner, Greener Home from fishpond.com.au (Australian owned version of Amazon) and learn how to do these tasks ‘chemical-free’, you’ll be in even higher demand!

IDEA #5…The Restorer

Do you have old things in your home or nearby that could be lovingly revitalised with minimal effort? A bedside table that’s banged up but a little paint and a new knob and you’ve got a beautiful piece ready for sale?

c/o Uniq FurnitureDon’t believe me? This is an age old trick for making cash from thin air. A splash of paint to make something look like new is not a new concept…we do it to houses all the time. Visit your local paint or hardware store for pointers and use some ingenuity for gaining free bits to restore…the Gumtree FREE listings, Council pick ups (ask the home owner’s permission as a courtesy), or even place your own free ‘WANTED’ ad somewhere visible. You could make $20-50 per piece or way more.

Or if you’re better with cars then I’d go with the vehicle flip. Bought for scrap at Auctions, then a detailing kit and engine de-grease and you could double your money in an ‘as is’ sale (but remember to be honest in these transactions…don’t say you’ve had it for years and it runs like a Lamborghini if that’s simply untrue). This is more risky and needs more starting cash though so approach with care.

The most important thing with this idea is to ALWAYS make sure you restore with the BUYER in mind…this is for cash, not self-satisfaction.

What other ideas can you brainstorm to suit your budget and skill level?

Easy Gigs

Except for the Restorer, all of these ideas depend on your ability to get out there and find businesses or individuals to offer your services to. This can be nerve-racking but what I say to you is “How bad do you want it?” If you really need the extra cash then you’ll find the courage to get started. And remember, everything is scary the first few times you do it but if you can make yourself do it every day for a weeks then it will become comfortably familiar.

If you really struggle with marketing yourself and your new ‘Money for Jam’ idea, then stick with Uber, Airtasker, Air BnB and any other global gig money spinners. You won’t earn a huge income but they’ve been proven to work and a little extra cash is better than none 👍


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