- Personal Finance»
- Income & Making Money
10 Smart Money-Making Ideas for 2012 and Beyond
10 Smart Money-Making Ideas for 2012 and beyond
Despite the poor state of the economy, some people will make lots of money in 2012. You need to remember that not everyone these days is impecunious. What can you sell to people who still have money to spend? What service or product can you provide for them? Although some traditional money-making ideas may not pay off well in 2012, here are a few time-proven, affordable, and practical ideas that may prove to be exceptions:
1. Start and operate a useful club. The goal is to come up with a unique idea that provides benefits people would be willing to tap into. Possibilities include a food/personal products co-op, a self-defense/personal safety coalition, a board game competition club, a travel-for-less-as-groups association, etc. Clubs allow people to meet new friends, get products and services at lower prices, travel less expensively, and enjoy special privileges available only to the members. The club makes money by charging annual membership fees, selling its exclusive products & services, getting the support of corporate sponsors and from fees paid for special events, competitions, and activities.
2. Become a “picker.” Thanks in part to the now-popular TV show “American Pickers,” more people are considering this always-interesting, open-to-anyone profession. Ironically, used-stuff businesses fare better during harsh economic times. For buyers, it means saving money on things they might not otherwise be able to afford; for sellers, it means a steady source of products, customers, and, if done right, profits. The trick is to sell for more than what you pay.
Start and operate a useful club
3. Hunt for precious stones and gems. There are quarries and mines throughout the country where you reside (as well as caves, underwater caverns, and abandoned sites) where you can look for valuables. You pay a fee for the privilege of digging but usually get to keep anything you find. This idea requires that you educate yourself on the different stones and gems that may be found, keeping in mind that they generally look different when first unearthed than they do in jewelry store shelves.
4. House-sit for empty property. Buildings, condos and houses for sale (or for rent) may have to stay unoccupied for long periods of time. While unoccupied, empty property can easily become subject to arson, vandalism, illegal occupation, and burglary. More prevalent during bad economic times, burglars break into empty property to steal built-in appliances, electric fixtures, wiring, pipes, water heaters, paneling, flooring, central heating/air conditioning units, etc. You can help prevent this by moving into such property either rent-free (saving you money) or for a flat, agree-upon fee. Considering how bad the real estate market is, the rent-free option is probably the most realistic.
5. Become a blogger. Even people who never thought of themselves as “writers” have been making good money by blogging on the Internet. By writing short, informative, and entertaining articles/blogs for websites, electronic newsletters, landing pages, and the e-versions of established hardcopy publications, you can provide a much-needed, in-demand service.
Very creative and funny idea
6. Invent or create something new. Do you have an idea for a new type of food, a new recipe suitable for mass production? Maybe you or someone you know has an original recipe for a delicious cookie, pastry, pie, cake, sandwich, etc. Or maybe you can improve a product that is already out there. Apply for a patent for your idea, if you can afford the fees; otherwise, there are companies that will help inventors make their dream come true for a percentage of the profits.
7. Help people clean up, re-arrange, and get rid of old items in garages, basements, and attics. During hard economic times, people often want to get rid of extra “baggage.” Such emptied places may then be turned into rooms people can rent for storage or even to live in. You can also offer to run a yard sale on behalf of the client, either at their place or yours—the proceeds can either be shared or be counted toward the fee to be paid to you for the work you did. If you have handyman skills, you can also offer to fix, renovate, or upgrade the places you just cleaned up.
8. Run errands on an as-needed basis. Most people would love to have a personal assistant who can run errands (pick up clothes from the drycleaners, grocery shop, take children to sporting events, drop off packages, type up important letters, make calls, drop you off at the airport, answer your emails, be your personal answering service, etc.) for them, if they could afford it. You can make it affordable for them by charging one flat, per-hour fee, in addition to reasonable mileage fees if driving is involved. You can be available on a 24/7 basis (even though they only pay you for the time they use you), for a low fee being their chauffeur, secretary, answering service, shopper, researcher, delivery person, etc.
9. Get a good digital camera and put it to use. There are many Internet sites, publications, and individuals who are willing to pay good money for unique, special topic, well-taken, clear, and attractive photos. Ask professional paparazzi, if you have any doubts. A picture taken of celebrities (especially if they are where they are not expected), for example, can be worth a small fortune. Fortunately, though, other subjects/topics can also be profitable, especially if you can capture something rarely seen, amazing, useful to someone, or particularly beautiful to behold. The idea is to keep your camera with you at all times. Learn how to master it. Also, familiarize yourself with businesses/sites that buy photographs, paying close attention to their standards, photo-taking guidelines, and submission requirements.
10. Get a metal detector & go treasure hunting. This is perhaps one of the best all-time money-making opportunities. You will need to learn how to use your equipment well and with ease (which may require several months of on-the-job use); you will have to learn about and abide by laws governing this activity (making sure to always ask permission from property owners before digging on their premises); and you will have to invest lots of energy and time. The good news, though, is that there are metal detector models to fit every budget, there are always more things to find buried all around us, and there will always be land that no one has searched for buried treasure. Some of the things you can find include lost jewelry, old coins, Civil War relics, Native American paraphernalia, buried buttons and bullets from previous centuries, and hundreds of other now-valuable items.
Ten smart ideas that you can realistically put to good use, provided that you are willing to put in the necessary hard word, learning, and commitment needed!
Whatever you do, May 2012 be the year of success, happiness and prosperity for everyone!