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Small Business Owner – It’s Always Something

It has been crazy busy the past several days. My office partner at the day job is out on vacation. Adding her responsibilities to mine, I barely have time to breathe. In addition to her workload, which is similar to mine, she also does additional reports. I am not familiar with them, so it takes me longer to complete.

Additionally, she is pregnant. While I’m happy she is having a baby, I’m NOT looking forward to carrying the additional workload during her eight to twelve week maternity leave. I will be surprised if anyone at the day job offers help.

My side hustle is a mobile DJ company. Having a small business is a challenge. It’s always something.

As is common for entertainers, it is “feast or famine”. Spring and Fall are the busy times of year for me. This October is the busiest so far. I have had my small business for three years. I currently have eighteen (18) events scheduled in October. This includes eleven (11) weddings.

Thankfully, I have another DJ who works with me. However, as those of you who have employees or contract laborers know, that brings it’s own set of challenges.

DJ B has been pretty dependable so far. However, he did get the flu earlier this year, and was unable to do a midweek corporate gig. DJ B called me that morning, while I was at my day job, “Brother, I can’t even get out of bed. I’m running a 103* fever, have sweats and chills, and am dizzy every time I stand up. I can’t do the gig today.

8-(

Panic time! That was about two hours before the gig was to start, and I’m at my day job for another seven hours. Happily, I had been performing as a DJ that week at my day job, for our annual employee appreciation event. I had to work overtime, doing my “real job”, plus performing four times over three days, for 1500 people over all three shifts. In lieu of overtime pay, I got comp time.

Guess what I did with my comp time. Yep, I left the day job, performed the retirement luncheon at the other company, packed up, drove back to the day job, set up, and performed again. 🙂

I booked a homecoming dance about two weeks ago for October 18th. I performed at Prom in April for this school and they LOVED it. I am also the paid announcer for their home football games. I offered to do Homecoming, but never heard back. Two weeks ago, the coordinating teacher calls and says, “We’d like you to do Homecoming“.

Great, but I’m already booked for a wedding, where the Ceremony is at 4 PM at one location, the Reception is about 45 minutes away at a second location, and DJ B is doing a wedding at a different location. However, I really don’t want to risk another DJ company coming in, doing Homecoming, and taking Prom by offering a crazy low price. I’m still the new guy in town, so I’m fighting to get market share from the local “big dog”.

The fun of being the small business newcomer.

So, I call DJ C, a guy I’ve worked with before, give him a verbal confirmation, and book the dance with the teacher. A few days ago, I text DJ C that I’m still waiting for paperwork (the teacher’s email is not working), but that the dance is still confirmed. DJ C says, “I didn’t hear back from you, so I’m booked elsewhere. I didn’t think it was for sure.

Geez… Why didn’t you call me before you booked the other gig? >:(

Over the weekend, I tried to reach DJ T by phone, email, and text. Nothing. I waited as long as I could.

Yesterday, I called DJ D. One of his guys is available, but the price is $200 more than DJ C, which seriously cuts into my profit. I’m providing the sound system. All DJ D has to do is roll in and perform, but I’m in a jam, so I gotta pay the price.

The fun of small business. 🙂

10 Creative, Simple Ways You Can Earn Money Quickly

10 Creative Yet Simple Ways Anyone Can Earn Money Quickly

I saw an article about a book by Kylie Ofiu, called, 365 Ways to Make Money; Ideas for Quick $ Every Day of the Year.

The article’s author said this book inspired her with some ideas for ways to earn money quickly. I have not read the book yet, but I would like to soon. The article got me to thinking about ways to earn extra money quickly. I came up with ten, but there are tons more.

Obviously, borrowing money is not a great option to get money quickly. At some future date, you have to pay the money back, generally with interest on top of the original amount you borrowed.

Instead, try some of these ideas to earn money quickly. Most of them are not hard to do, nor do they require skilled labor or specialized training. You may get your hands dirty, or have sore muscles, though. A few of the ideas are potentially unpleasant for a short period of time, but they are still better than borrowing money in many cases.

So, with no further ado… here are my suggestions for 10 creative ways to earn money quickly.

  1. Haul junk – If you have a pick-up truck, you can earn money quickly. After moving a couple of years ago, we had dozens of moving boxes that needed to be removed, and stuff that we no longer wanted (after we packed it, moved it, toted it, and unpacked it 🙂 ). Fortunately, at the time, we had a small pickup truck to haul them away. Now, we don’t. Once a month or so, I really wish I still had a truck. Also, about once a quarter, I have stuff that needs to be hauled to the local dump, but is too dirty or bulky to easily take in the car or van. Be the “guy with a truck”, and work efficiently, and you can earn money quickly with your truck… which is normally, a depreciating “asset”.
  2. Clean out garages – This is a perfect complement for the first idea. I would love someone to come to my house, and help me clean out and organize my garage. I have duplicate tools and extra DIY supplies. This is stuff that I have bought more than once, and more than I needed. Why? Because when it was time to do the project, I simply could not find the original I purchased, so I had to go buy another one. I’d pay someone 50-100 bucks cash if they worked a few hours to help me organize my garage… how’s that for a simple way to earn money quickly?
  3. Sell your junk – “So, now that my garage is organized, what do I do with all the extra DIY supplies and tools that I have duplicates of?” Take all the extra stuff and sell it! Garage sale, anyone? If you don’t want people wandering around your garage, list it on eBay.
  4. Flea Flippers – Buy old or flawed furniture, or home accent pieces, knick-knacks, etc. Shop at Goodwill, flea markets, garage sales, or ask your family members. Add a coat of paint, a little elbow grease for cleaning, or some decorator accents, then and resell. Check out “HGTV’s Flea Market Flip” for ideas. Just be careful not to fill your garage back up with junk, or someone else will earn money quickly by cleaning out your garage again! 🙂
  5. Selling cast-offs – Buy items at discount and list them on Craigslist. You can often pick up free items from the curb (just be sure the owner has put them out for haul-away… you don’t want to be arrested for trespassing or theft). You can also list on Ebay, but be sure to charge enough to cover your selling and shipping fees.
  6. Sell your talents – Craigslist, Fiverr, and Elance provide platforms to sell your skills or talents. Are you great at editing videos? Do it for people who don’t have a fast computer. Are you knowledgeable about graphic design? Create a logo for a small business. Have a beautiful or professional voice? Create personalized phone greetings for businesses, or voice drops for DJ’s. You can earn money quickly while doing something you enjoy!
  7. Mobile car washing – I spent Sunday washing my business van and my wife’s van. I spent about four hours washing and hand-waxing both. That’s four hours I could have spent working on my business, if someone had come to wash them for me. Go to a high density condominium complex. Ask the management if you can post flyers for a car washing service. Offer to wash and wax cars right in the parking lot. Upscale apartment/condos will generally have tenants who have nice cars, and disposable income. In many cases, you can use the complex’s water. Make sure you talk to the management first, so you’re not breaking any laws. Maybe grease the skids by offering to wash the manager’s car at no charge.
  8. Paint numbers on trash cans – Use stickers or stencils to paint the residence number on the cans, to help the owner identify the proper trash cans. Some municipalities provide this service when they deliver the can to new residents, but if not, this can be a simple way to earn money quickly.
  9. Paint numbers on curbs – Use stencils with black and white spray paint cans to paint residence numbers on curbs at the street. A neighborhood I used to live in near Houston had a guy come through about once a year doing this on a Saturday morning. He would earn money quickly by painting your house number on the curb in front of your house. He parked at the end of a street, walked down one side and back up the other, with a couple of cans of white spray paint, and a couple of black, plus a simple set of stencils. It would take him 10 minutes or so to earn $10 cash, and part of that time was chatting with the homeowner. This makes it much easier for guests to find the correct house/condo in the dark. It could also be a lifesaver if emergency services needed to find a specific residence quickly at night. You could do an entire street within a few hours.
  10. Rent out a room – A friend called a property management service and rented out her home while she was working out of the country for two years. Another blogger I know rents a spare bedroom in her 4 bedroom house, and they barely even see the tenant. Apply this extra money straight to your principal and pay down your mortgage quicker. Check references and do a background check on the potential renter, or use one of the new sites like airbnb if you want to list a room for tourists.

How about you? How do you earn money quickly? What ideas do you have to earn money quickly, but haven’t tried yet?