Let’s be real.
Job security no longer exists. While in our hearts we knew this to be true, it took the Corona Virus to really hammer it home. Many people were either furloughed or let go of their positions. Very few companies felt an obligation to keep their staff. In fact, letting people go was the first thing most companies did to save money.
And as always, we women have born the brunt.
You see, many women take breaks from work to raise their children.
In doing so, they lose the benefit of growth and pay increases at a time in their careers when this is most likely to occur. This partially explains why women on average make $.81 on the dollar earned my men. Add divorce and widowhood to the mix, and you will find most women over 50 do not have a decent income set up for retirement.
For these reasons I believe that every woman over 50 should develop her own side business.
It could be anything from putting a few hundred dollars every month into your retirement fund to a significant business that makes us financially independent, or dare I say…rich!
What I like about a side gig is you don’t have to quit your job to do it. You can start it in your spare time and build it to the level that makes you happy. The risk reward benefit is pretty low.
Here are 10 ideas of businesses you can start.
- Sell online – Develop a product that you can sell on a website. You can even buy products from manufacturers and sell them through your online platform. The perk of selling online is that you can work on your business anytime of day and/or weekends. It is perfect to work around your full time job. The margins are high and the overhead is low, so there is a good opportunity for profit.
- Direct Sales – There are many companies out there that you can sell products for and earn a commission. In-direct sales independent representatives, not employees, sell the products. Companies like J Hilburn, which makes men’s clothing and Discovery Toys, which make educational toys, hire people to sell their wares directly to the customer. Again this is a great business for someone who has a job and needs flexible hours for her side gig.
- Sell items on EBay, Amazon, or Craigslist – My son has a friend who buys exercise equipment at yard sales and sells them on Craigslist. He is making a tremendous profit as he buys things really cheap and sells it for many times his cost. These sites rank very high in the amount of traffic they receive. This kind of business can really make you money. But, it does require you to put in the marketing effort to get people to see your products. Just listing products and hoping for the best is usually not enough. You need to learn the tactics and strategies for creating sales.
- Start a blog – Take your passion, and see if there’s an audience for it. It could be cooking; car repair, or making quilts, whatever floats your boat. Then create a revenue stream by harnessing these people’s interest. The key to making good money as a blogger is to have multiple streams of income. For example, charge companies to advertise on your site, or have an affiliate program where someone can buy another merchants product by clicking on a link from your site. When the sale is done the merchant pays you a commission from the sale.
- Create an on line course – This is a great way to earn money online because it allows you to monetize your skills. Once you make the course you can sell it for years. You might have to update it from time to time but it usually is evergreen which means it is always for sale.
- Sell services on Upwork or Fiverr – These companies are online sites that help companies find freelance workers around the world. No longer are we limited to our geographical area. We might live in small town USA but we can bid on jobs in any major city. You can do work as a virtual assistant, booking, marketing, writing, or editing. You can even form a company of freelancers that you can leverage to do the work for you while you take a cut yourself. What is your special skillset?
- Online coaching – Coaching is an idea that has come and stayed. Coaching as opposed to counseling tends to focus on specific areas and measurable outcomes. It is less about understanding your psyches and more about planning actionable tactics to achieve goals in your life. What are you good at doing? Are you great at online dating, or business growth? Whatever your expertise you can turn that into a coaching business.
- Home organizer – I love watching shows like Marie Kondo where she takes a home that’s a hot mess and reorganizes it to perfection. That’s what professional organizers do. Whether it’s a closet or room or a whole house there are plenty of people who need help in this area. Think of what a satisfying business this could be as you help people in overwhelm to simplify their lives.
- Party planner – This is a fun and creative business. Think weddings, showers, sweet sixteen’s, Bar Mitzvahs, and many more occasions where someone would hire a planner. Key strengths for this business are great follow through and organizational abilities.
- Public speaking – First you need something to speak about. Then you need to develop your speech. I recommend joining Toastmasters. Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. They will teach you to hone your skills through a series of talks you give to your club. You start small and build up your abilities till you feel polished. You may have to start your business with unpaid speaking gigs till people start finding out about you. Then once you have raving fans you can start charging.
Whatever you decide to do, take it seriously and do your best. It’s not about becoming a workaholic or even getting rich. The purpose of your side gig is to help you achieve the financial security that you need to live a fulfilling life. After all, money is always an issue – especially when you don’t have enough!