Over the past month I’ve been thinking about how much work it takes for me to make money. What I do isn’t passive at all.
The hours I work, or the amount of posts I write, dictates how much money I earn. And while I’m happy with what I do and still very much prefer it over a traditional day job, I want to work on starting a business that is more scalable.
To me a scalable business is this: A business that doesn’t require trading hours for money. It can be run with either hard work upfront or with a few hours of maintenance each week. It has potential for growth.
I really, really want your input.
I’ve come up with three ideas for you to choose from. Majority rules 🙂
How it Will Work
I’m going to list my three business ideas and then I want you to vote via the poll at the bottom.
Here’s how it will work: You pick the idea. Then next week will be my “action week.” I will get the startup phase of the business completed.
I’ll post about what I’m doing several times next week via a blog post or video.
(And just in case you were wondering this idea was triggered by Daniel. Only I’m putting a slight twist on it.)
By the end of the week I’ll have my idea turned into a business that’s up and running, and ready to go!
What Am I Willing to Invest?
For this particular project I want to keep the initial investment fairly low so that it is attainable for anyone.
The budget is………….$100
Idea #1: Selling Physical Products on Amazon
The first idea that I’ve been dabbling with for a while is selling physical products through Amazon’s FBA program. With the FBA program you simply send your merchandise to Amazon and then they will ship it to the paying customers and handle customer service for you.
Here’s how it will work: My Dad owns two retail stores so I’ll start off by sending all his merchandise that isn’t selling to Amazon. I’ll also do further research into what I think I can successfully sell on Amazon and pick through his store or order from his suppliers using my $100.
He and I will split the profits 50/50.
(FYI: He’s already told me I can do this if I want to.)
Idea #2: Creating a Video/Text Course on Freelance Blogging
Idea number two is creating a complete course on landing freelancing blogging jobs and selling it either on Udemy or through a separate website.
Here’s how it will work: I’ll create a course comprised of both video and text walking people through finding a freelance blogging job step by step.
I’ll also include bonuses. (Maybe a short e-book or a resume template.)
Once the course is complete I’ll try to sell it.
Idea #3: Creating a Money Management Course for Singles
I’ve actually thought about this one a lot!
Here’s how it will work: I’ll create a website with a targeted down niche about money topics exclusively for single people. I’ll create a seven or ten day course walking people through straightening out their money and include the course in an email sequence.
This course would be 100% free to people because the money maker would be in affiliate links located in the course material.
Getting Started is the Hardest Part
Getting started on a business idea is the hardest part. While my idea may not be turned into perfection next week it will be ready to make money and I can go back and tweak it from there.
I’m so excited and ready to go!
P.S. If anyone wants to join me and try to get a business up in running in seven days let me know. We can email back and forth for support or create a private Facebook group where we can all share ideas, success, etc. The more support you have the more likely you’ll be to succeed.
I’m going to turn off the poll at 5pm on 8/8. My 7 Days will run tomorrow (Saturday) through next Friday. Excited!
The results are in. It was a close call. Stay tuned!
They all sound awesome and like they could be profitable! If you go the Amazon route, have you read Amazon mom? She has some good pointers in there. One of them was that regional foods sell like hotcakes at marked way the heck up prices. Can’t wait to see where this goes!
I haven’t read Amazon Mom so I will have to check that out! I have just been watching a bunch of Amazon YouTube Videos. My problem is whenever I think I’m going to go for one of these ideas I change my mind and then think I should be working on a different. So I’m soo excited to see which one makes the cut!!
I’ll have to email you the link to it. Short little valuable read. Can’t wait to see which one wins out! I totally hear you on indecision, but these are all really great ideas and I can’t wait to see what happens.
This sounds pretty good! I love this! I’m going to say number one and once you are successful hit number 3.
Thank you for the vote!! I can’t wait to see what the final result is!
I voted for the money management course 🙂 It’s an original idea that I haven’t really heard about before. I’ve looked into selling with FBA and even started getting some products, but then I stopped. It seemed like more effort than it was worth, but in your case, you already have the products and you’re way ahead of the game. August is supposedly the best time to get your products in for the busy holiday season- might be well worth a try this year!
Thank you for voting. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. If I could get products in before the holidays then I might have a chance at succeeding. Plus, I have an advantage by not having to put my own money into it if I don’t want to. I think it will probably be a ton of effort at first but once you learn everything and get a system down it’ll become easier.
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
Sounds fun, getting started is definitely the hardest part. I’ve had a book in the works for a few months now, mostly because I have so much trouble getting around to working on it.
I feel ya. I’ve been working on an eBook too but it requires a lot of research and for me that’s soo boring. I’ve come to the realization that if I want it to be successful I’m going to have to hire someone to research for me.
i voted for number one although i think you have a VERY big advantage about having the ablity to be able to access inventory. I also looked into selling on ebay. It was a very close though to number 3 because i’ve been dying to see a course like this on a personal finance blog especially being a single mom.
You’re right I do have big advantage not having to pay for inventory. The biggest problem though is that the majority of the good stuff at my Dad’s store guns & ammo (can’t sell on Amazon lol), clothes, toys, and work boots all have to preapproved by Amazon which I’m told takes 3-6 months. So I will have to be creative with what I send in if that’s the winner 🙂
Ree klein says
Hi Alexa, see my more detailed comment below, but I wanted to tell you that I sell toys and never needed to be approved in that category. I also sell under Beauty, which does require approval and that was a slam dunk…one day to get approved and I’m a newbie.
I thought all three ideas sounded great! My personal favorite was number 3 simply because I think it is something people really need.
Thanks Tennille. I’m so excited to see which one wins!
I think is such a cool idea. I love the idea of a blogging course or a money for singles course. I think once you design and put the program together, you could get closer to a “passive” income.
These would be for sure more passive than anything I’m doing now. I think once I got around the Amazon learning curve that I’d be able to keep up with that in a day a week too.
Melanie @ My Alternate Life says
Such a cool idea! I would say go with #3. It sounds like it has a ton of potential and you can relate your own story to it. Keep us posted!
Thank you! I’m gonna turn off the poll at 5pm and see which is the winner 🙂
[email protected] says
I think you should sell stuff on Amazon. I’ve thought of reselling there too, so you can be my guinea pig =)
I’ll be the guinea pig. For better or for worse haha
Mike Collins says
I voted for Amazon. I think that would be an interesting case study that anyone could follow along with and try for themselves.
Ree klein says
Hi Alexa, I have a lot to say on this so bear with me!
Amazon FBA selling ~ I started three months ago and I’m blogging about it under Income Labs on my site. It will take you more than $100 to start. Just the label printer will cost that much. And, selling low-priced inventory (under $10) is likely to be a “loser” and you’ll probably have a lot of competition. When a lot of other sellers are listing the same products you have, they tend to keep lowering their price to earn the “buy box.” It’s a losing proposition. I’d love you to read my posts and tell me if you think I’m wrong! (Note: I’m three months in and still in the red.)
Freelancing course ~ LOVE THIS IDEA! This is definitely in line with what you say you want…a more passive income source. Heck, I’d probably buy it 🙂
Money Management course ~ I’m in the personal finance blogging space. Your course sounds good. It would probably work better online than in person. I have a series of instructor-led courses (you can see them described on my blog) that I offered locally. But what I found is that people aren’t so likely to sign up for something in their neighborhood when they would be announcing to the world that they are terrible with their money!
Ah, lessons learned!
Can’t wait to see what path you choose, and remember…you can do them all!
Thanks so much for the comment, Ree! I am also relieved that I can sell toys. My Dad has western/cowboy type toys and I did some research and saw that the cap guns he has are selling on Amazon for 22 (they probably cost $7-$8 wholesale) they are ranked somewhere in the 2,000s and have only three other sellers. With Christmas coming I thought these would do great.
And you’re probably right about the $100. I bought a new laser jet printer a couple months ago but we have an inkjet printer at my Dads work so I though I could use that to print labels? Is that possible or do you need a label maker?
So I was thinking I would have to spend $40 for the Amazon seller account, $10 for labels, and then the other $50 for shipping (depending on what I send in)
Does that sound right?
Okay I’m off to check out your Amazon blog posts. (Amazon is currently in the lead!)
Ree klein says
Hi Alexa ~ First, thanks for checking out the posts, I really appreciate that! Here are a few more insights I can share based on my experience…
– Sign up for Amazon’s Professional account. You’ll get the first month free. If you sell 40 or more items/month, it will pay for itself because you will be saving $1/unit, which is a fee component added to all free accounts. If you think you’ll do less than that, reconsider this as your next project!
– Get Amazon’s “Amazon Seller” app (that’s the IPhone name, not sure if they have it for Android). It is FREE.
– RUN over to your Dad’s store and start scanning things. The app will tell you a lot of important things, such as:
~ if the product is in a restricted category
~ how many other sellers are offering this item (run for the hills if Amazon is a seller)
~ how many of those sellers are FBA sellers (if there are too many, the competition will be too great)
~ the total amount Amazon will take from the sale proceeds for their “fees” (yes that is plural)
~ enter $1 for the shipping cost even if they pre fill a lower figure (if they pre fill a higher amount, leave that alone)
~ if your “profit” is less than $5 you should reconsider sending it bc there isn’t enough room to adjust your price and still make a profit
– Look for things you can “bundle” or sell in multi-packs. That, in my opinion, is the most profitable way to sell.
A note on shipping costs: You will have to pay up front for the supplies to package, label and box your inventory for shipment. You should use Amazon’s shipping partners for the actual shipping because they get a big discount you can’t get on your own. This means that you drop off your boxes at the local UPS store (or have them do a pick up) and then you will see the charge show up on your Amazon account.
As long as you sell enough to cover the cost of shipping the inventory, you’re okay (no need to account for that in your start-up money). If you don’t sell enough to cover shipping, warehouse fees and your seller account fee, Amazon has the right to charge your credit card. Fair warning! That hasn’t happened to me, but it probably has happened to others.
Sorry for the long comment, but I want you to go in with your eyes wide open! Feel free to contact me directly if you go this route and I’ll help you in any way I can.
To your selling success ~
Thank you so much Ree! This is the type of information I am looking for. I’ve been watching YouTube videos but the information is so strung out. Awesome to hear about not having to pay for the shipping upfront. That’ll leave me my $100 to go elsewhere if needed, which I’m sure will be the case. I might have to email you and ask a couple questions. And out of curiosity how many items do you send in per month? I was thinking of starting off with 50 items but is that too low?
Ree klein says
I’m happy to share and hope it helps you get out of the gate winning faster than me! Here’s the breakdown of shipments I’ve done so far…
FYI…Amazon will split your shipments between warehouses located across the country. In my case, that means my “shipments” are usually sent to three different warehouses so I’m packing three boxes going to three different locations for each “shipment.” My nine shipments were really 27 shipments from my point of view. You can choose to send to one location, but they will charge you more (there are no free lunches!).
Hope that helps ~
I really like idea #3. I think it’s always relevant, something that a lot of people need help with, and easy set up.
Marie @ Financial Debauchery says
Hey, Alexa, I think number 3 would be perfect for you! But for me, I would love to try the number 1, I love the idea of selling stuffs online.
Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances says
Good luck! I can’t wait to see which option won.
I’m so excited for this, Alexa! Personally, I think the Amazon business plan seems the safest and easiest to start RIGHT NOW. You already have the merch, and you probably have an Amazon account. I’d go with that!
I vote for #3. These are my reasons for choosing that idea over the others:
The #3 idea seems to be flow really well with what you already do in life and what you seem passionate about. You’ve lived it and lived it well. It also fulfills what you said in this statement- “A business that doesn’t require trading hours for money. It can be run with either hard work upfront or with a few hours of maintenance each week. It has potential for growth.”
Yes, it would require hard work upfront, but wouldn’t require much out of you beyond that, though it certainly has the potential to blossom into more if the response is really good.
Although #1 sounds good and might be the best way to earn cash quickly, I don’t think it fulfills the low maintenance end of things. This is a business that will perpetually require work and input from you, especially if you want it to grow. It truly is another business and not something that really earns passive income.
As for #2, the market seems saturated on this topic. I see so many of these things available that I rarely give any of them a second thought. You are definitely a credible resource for the topic, but the niche of single people seems like an even better fit for you, and one that isn’t overly saturated where you could put your unique spin.