So you've quit your job to found a start-up. You've got time at random hours, growing credit debt and no desire to move back into your parents’ place. Time to apply your creativity to your finances! Here's a few tips for making good money in good time:
1. Rent your apartment on airbnb.com. If you have a friend or partner who doesn’t mind sharing their couch or bed from time to time, there’s no better way to cover at least half your rent every month. To date, airbnb has booked over 5 million nights, and they offer a $50,000 Host Guarantee.
2. Volunteer as a research subject. It pays well (as much as $100/hour) and it’s also a great way to learn about other industries and people that could inspire new ideas for your business. Check out backpage.com for local listings in Ontario.
3. Team up. Piggyback on more established companies to fund and promote your business while helping them do the same. Yafa Sakkejha of House of Verona (a health retreat company) says “instead of selling directly to my audience of zero, I took the asset that I had access to (cheap resort property during low season), offered it as barter to a complementary business and they promoted my offerings. We split the proceeds 50/50 and they got to use the accommodations for free.”
4. Up your hourly. Skilled at accounting, social media or running events? Being self-employed means you can charge by the hour for exponentially more than you would at a regular job. Heather Payne from Ladies Learning Code, for example, takes on the occasional freelance project to help sustain herself as a startup founder, but also focuses on living a lean lifestyle.
5. Save money to make money. Only buy the essentials and get creative with things like potlucks, free events, home repairs and schools that provide services at discount rates (think haircuts and massages). Try going on a spending freeze to save money super fast. You’ll have more time to spend on your business, and the fire under you to value your work (see: #4).
7. Strategically position your workspace. Step one: ask a company with an opposite skill-set if you can share office space. For example, if you’re a designer, find an office with only developers. Step two: watch the freelance contracts come in.
8. Share your knowledge. Build your professional practice and promote your start-up by creating an online course on udemy.com. The site allows you to publish course materials on a subject you are knowledgeable about and get paid when people take your class.
9. Grow a garden. If you have some outdoor space and a bit of extra time, consider growing a garden to reduce your grocery bills and keep your body balanced.
10. Think long-term. If you find yourself with extra money, consider diversifying your investments and sharing the wealth with fellow entrepreneurs. It might not be the fastest way to make money, but it could pay off in the long run.
Ayla Newhouse is a Toronto-based freelance designer and the co-founder of 1THINGapp.com , an app that helps you write the happy story of your life through gratitude.