Comfort. Perhaps the biggest thing that you’ll need to do in order to create a successful B&B is to make sure that your guests are as comfortable as they can be. Remember, they’re paying more for the experience of being comfortable away from home. As a trial, spend a night in the room in your house that you intend to rent and view things from a guest’s point of view. Is the temperature comfortable? Is the bath in the room, or at least a comfortable distance away while still being private? Is the bed soft and inviting? The pillows? Is the bedroom interior design, including colors, soothing? Can you hear household noises, or do you feel that you’re in a world of your own? All of these are important questions to ask yourself, but the answers will determine whether or not your guests recommend your place, or come back for another stay. Think about all the minor inconveniences and discomforts that you’ve just gotten used to over the years, and remember that a paying guest might not tolerate those problems for a night. You may need to spend a little money to fix these issues.
In the planning stage, which must be done, you need to narrow down on why you are marketing and what you marketing. Making money must be factored into the equation, but money isn’t enough to drive people to push through all the resistance, patience, and hard work that is required to be successful. If your primary goal is making money you are subject to take the path of least resistance which may potentially land you in jail and/or hated and scorned by your customers.
FOR CHRIS PREKSTA, co-launching the now-popular YouTube show "Pittsburgh Dad" was a "happy accident." In 2011, Preksta filmed his co-creator Curt Wootton performing an amusing impression of his father's Pittsburgh-inflected accent, and the pair edited it to look like a family sitcom. They uploaded it to YouTube, primarily to share with their own families. But soon, the video was receiving tens of thousands of views and gaining coverage on local media stations.
Lynne Norris, who works out of her home in Pennsylvania (NorrisBusinessSolutions.com), says that rates for VAs run about $25 to $75 or more an hour, based on the types of services you provide. The startup costs are about $500 to $1,000, assuming you have an up-to-date computer and printer. Lynne loves the flexibility. "My children are happy that I don't miss the important things in their lives." Check out the International Virtual Assistants Association, orvirtualassistantjobs.com andteamdoubleclick.com for more.
6. Rent out your room on Airbnb. Airbnb.com is an online marketplace where people buy and sell the space they own. Some people rent out their vacation homes, some rent out their floor and an air mattress, and some rent out the treehouse in their backyard. (Seriously.) If you have space in a popular area, then you can easily create your own hotel of sorts.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Drive for Uber or Lyft: If you're in a locale where you can find Uber or Lyft (or even one of the many competitors around the world such as China's Didi), you could easily make a respectable income. The hours are flexible and you can work as you see fit, making it perfect even if you currently have full-time employment but are looking to make some money on the side.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
Need more ideas on how to make money online? Another strategy is using webinars to market your product, service, or course. I’ve done webinars to promote my financial planning practice and to drum up interest in my online course for financial advisors. With a webinar, you’re basically offering a lot of tips and advice for free — usually in a live format. At the end though, you pitch your paid product or service with the goal of securing a few deals.