BY SARAH BULL, http://economymom.com/
More and more Americans are finding that working in the gig economy is the best way to go when it comes to making extra money, because there are many jobs to choose from, they can often be done from home, and the hours are flexible. Some people have even been so successful that they’re able to make these gigs into careers, which often allows them to work from the comfort of their own homes every day, instead of just on the side.
If you’ve been thinking about taking on a second job, the gig economy might be for you. Essentially, any job that is part-time and allows you to work for yourself is considered to be a “gig.” It includes driving for ride-sharing services, walking dogs, freelance writing, and selling handmade items like artwork or jewelry. Because of the boom in the gig economy in recent years, there are several ways you can make money online doing what you love to do. With a little research, you can figure out the best path for you.
Here are some great tips on how to get started in the gig economy and maybe even turn it into a career.
Think about what you’d like to do
There are so many different types of jobs out there that it can be hard to narrow them down to just one. Do some research online and look at the skills required. If you have a hobby--such as making jewelry or sewing--you might think about turning it into your own business so you can sell the finished products online. With so many different platforms available, it’s now easier than ever to sell handmade items around the world. Think about the pros and cons; if you turn your favorite hobby into a money-maker, will it still be enjoyable? If not, it might be best to look elsewhere.
Figure out the financials
Becoming self-employed comes with a lot to think about in regards to the financial end of things. For one thing, you’ll need to make sure your Connecticut LLC (if you choose to explore this option) has been correctly registered with your state. Additionally, your tax responsibility will change, but you’ll also need to make sure you have some money in savings to promote yourself or for when business is slow. It’s a good idea to thoroughly research business credit cards as well, so that you can choose the one that’s right for your specific needs. There are several out there to choose from, but they vary in terms of interest rates, annual fees, and benefits.
If you need larger amounts of cash to purchase equipment or buy inventory, you might want to look into a small business loan. There are several different loan types to choose from, but which ones you will qualify for will depend on factors like your credit score, cash flow, and debt service coverage ratio. Like with any loan, be sure you know how much your loan will cost you, what you’re offering as collateral, and how long it will take to pay it back before you sign on the dotted line.
Create a workspace
If you’re going to be working from home, you’ll need a space where you can sit quietly and do your thing. Minimize distractions and get organized so you can maximize your output--and therefore your earning potential--from the get-go. If you don’t have a room that could be used as an office, just find a quiet spot in your home to fit your desk, and talk to your family about the rules: when you’re working, no interruptions. It can be difficult for little ones to remember at first, but once you get into a routine, it will become easier.
Getting started in the gig economy can take a little time, so be patient. Boost your exposure by networking online, either on social media or on a site like LinkedIn, and maintain a presence there so that clients can find you easily. With a good plan, you can turn your side gig into a career.