Making Money $$$
Making money with computers does not mean
printing money using a color laser printer, although that could win you free
room and board for 20 years as a guest of the federal government. Making money
with computers means using the power of the computer to provide a product or
service from the comfort of your home or office.
While you will find many Web sites, and hear
many radio and TV commercials telling you how you can make money with computers,
a general rule to follow is "if you need to invest in the idea of making money,
meaning you have to send money up front before you begin, then it is probably
not a legitimate, or successful way to make money" except, of course, for the
person selling the right, or the idea, to make money. That would be like an
employer asking you to pay them before they will hire you. Not a great plan for
you to follow. The best thing to do is to follow tried and true business
practices that use the Internet to expand your market. A few ideas are listed
- Affiliate Web-site
where you have affiliate advertising on your
Web site and encourage others to buy through your Web site. The best
affiliate service we can recommend is
- Architect/Computer-Aided Design
for families buying or renovating a home and landlords who own small
commercial buildings and are interested in improvements
- Business Consulting
serving large companies faced with hiring freezes and reengineering.
- Business Plan Writing
providing services for hopeful entrepreneurs and existing business owners
looking to expand.
- Computer Consulting/Training
providing everything from teaching basic computer programs in your home to
helping select the right hardware, software, and accessory packages for
- Computer Repair/Maintenance/ Programming
for any business that uses a computer but cannot afford to keep information
systems (IT) staff on salary.
- Data Detective,
or high tech programmer, who can think like a hacker to help companies
protect their data.
- Database Management/Mail List Service
providing up-to-date mailing lists to businesses, publishing houses, coupon
houses, political campaigns, and new entrepreneurs.
- Desktop publishing to provide
well-designed brochures, ads, newsletters, business cards, and other
marketing items to small businesses who do not have onsite marketers.
- eBay selling service
to help others sell their items on eBay while
you take a small commission
- eBay sales / Craig's List sales
where you find sought after items and sell them at a profit online
- Electronic Clipping Service
providing the latest information to company marketing departments,
publications, freelance writers, political campaigns, universities, and
public relations firms.
- Freelance Writing
for publications and businesses.
- Graphic Design
providing services to ad agencies, public relations firms, and new
- Home Inventory Cataloging/Organizing
for busy, two-income families that have more disposable income than time.
- Information Broker/Research Service
providing information to medical and legal offices, nonprofit organizations,
and individuals desiring information on specific topics.
- Inventory Control Service
helping small business owners get a better handle on inventory.
- Mail Order
providing specialized items to targeted markets.
for training, business presentations, interactive kiosks, and entertainment
- Newsletter Publishing
for small and medium-size businesses, associations, communities, country
- Personalized Children's Books
for the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles of the 4 million babies
born each year.
- PowerPoint presentation enhancements
to help businesses have great looking presentations.
- Referral Service
to help consumers find hard-to-find products or services.
- Sales/Marketing Service
to help small businesses and entrepreneurs compete with larger firms.
- Sign Making
for local retailers, schools, restaurants, and consumers announcing births
or celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions.
- Software Design/Custom Software
to help businesses meet unique needs.
- Utility Bill Auditing
to save your clients 50% to 75% of utility charges.
- Word Processing
to provide typing support for students, businesses, and professional people
like doctors, lawyers, and dentists.
It is important to understand that your
computer, and the Internet, are simply tools that can help you reach out to more
customers. Before choosing a business it is important to find something that you
would love to do because you will need passion to keep your business going for
the first couple of years, which are usually pretty lean in profits. The key to
all successful businesses are good old fashioned hard work and persistence. A
few key areas to consider when setting up your business are:
- Deciding on your market - many successful
small businesses specialize
- Determining PC requirements - buy only what
you need, or rent time from places like Kinkos
- Setting up your office - use your kitchen
table until you can afford to buy a desk
- Legal issues - lots of info online for your
state, county, and city requirements for small businesses
- Getting money and maintaining financial
control - start small and stay away from business loans
- Record keeping and taxes - lots of info
online and through the IRS to help you save on taxes
- Pricing your services - call competitors
and see what they charge then do it better and cheaper
- Marketing your services - word of mouth and
referrals are the best, and cheapest
- Associations - join them, network, let
others know you are looking for customers
- Online information - research, research,
research and find out everything you can about your industry
- Publications - read them all online where
they are free and full of ideas to help you be successful
Many large companies began in someone's basement
or garage, even before the advent of computers. Now, with the power of the
personal computer, some good old-fashioned determination, and a little seed
money, nearly anyone can find a way to make money with computers.
We recommend you avoid getting a business loan
to start making money with computers. When you use your own seed money, however
little you may have, you are truly your own boss. Every dollar you invest in
yourself only costs you a dollar and not a dollar plus high interest. Plus,
every dollar of profit belongs to you and you alone.
Beware when investing your dollars. If you look
at business opportunities in magazines and newspapers, they make it sound like
anyone with a computer can get rich quick. Radio and TV ads tell us we can make
thousands of dollars a month with our computer, working part-time. The fact is,
if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When I get calls offering me such great deals, I
always tell the caller I wouldn't feel right taking such an opportunity away
from them. I also remind them that they could make much more money by doing what
they're recommending than by selling me their idea, IF the opportunity is such a
great deal. Every legitimate way we have seen to make money with computers takes
good old-fashioned hard work and does not make you rich overnight.
As mentioned earlier, the most important thing for you to do before
you decide to make money with your computer is to ask yourself what you love to
do. I think this is the most important ingredient in making money with
computers, or in making money any other way.
Once you make a list of what you love to do,
then you can match it with one or more of the many businesses in which you can
use your computer to make money. In addition to the businesses we listed
earlier in this article, you may wish to consider:
- Babysitting referral service
- Bill paying service
- Billing/invoicing service
- Budget/financial planning
- Collection service
- Computer gifts/novelties
- Conducting/analyzing surveys
- Developing business spreadsheets
- Electronic garage sales
- Event and meeting planner
- Family history searching
- Financial consultant
- Fund raising service
- Grant writer
- Job referral service
- Managing stock portfolios
- Market research
- Medical billing/transcription
- Menu/party planning
- Nutrition counseling
- Renting time on your computer
- Resume service
- Retirement counseling
- Scholarship search service
- Specialized employment agency
- Sports league statistics
- Stock market analysis
- Tax assistance
- Technical writing
- Travel planning
- Web site development
The list is endless. Virtually anything that
deals with information can be offered from a computer-based business.
In addition to matching your talents to the
business opportunity, you need to determine if there is a need for your product
or service. Timing is very important. Bulletin board systems (BBS) used to be
very hot. When the Internet became hot, BBS operators starved if they were not
also Internet Services Providers. Keep in touch with what people are buying.
You also need to check out your competitors. Are
they making a good living? What can you offer that is better than they provide?
How can you use your computer to help make your product/service unique? With
careful planning and hard work, computers can help you make a lot of money.
Finally, think about how you might expand your
client base by creatively using the Internet to become a global business. The
Internet provides a host of opportunities that have not even been thought of