The Ultimate Guide to Make Money: On the Weekend
Below are listed services that require a certain amount of organization. These are things most people could do if they have the time – but would rather allow someone else to do it if possible.
Non-profit groups are always planning events. Some are done as fund raisers and others are done to involve the community in some special cause. These events are often organized by individuals who volunteer their time but have very busy lives of their own. Many of these groups would be willing to pay a fee to have a professional put the event together and coordinate all the activities that need to happen to make the event successful. Research is the key to being a successful event organizer. You need to attend a wide variety of events and determine which parts of the event seemed to go smoothly and which parts seemed confused. Carry a small notebook and make notes about what should have been done. Take some time and analyze how the event might have been improved. Pay attention to what the event was attempting to do and determine if it was successful. There are several specific types of events that you might consider specializing in at first.
Groups trying to raise funds often don’t have much in the way of money available for advertising. They are also more interested in the activities for which they are raising the funds than in fund raising itself. Most groups are willing to commit a portion of the money earned to have someone else do all the preliminary set-up work. Some research here is a good idea. Spend a few weekends attending various types of fund raising events. Talk to the people who seem to be in charge and determine how much money they hope to raise and whether or not they will be successful. This will help you guide your clients into activities that will allow them to reach their goals. Also look for ways to improve on the fund raisers you attend. What things could be added for little or no expense? How could the organization have been improved? What things should have been left out? Take a small notebook and make notes as you go for reference in the future.
Most people shop on a weekly basis for groceries. However, busy professional couples, the elderly, busy parents or people with other commitments for a particular weekend may all need someone do their shopping for them. If you are near a retirement community you could build up a regular clientele. Get a list of items to be purchased as well as a store preference. If you have the time, review the food store ads that appear in the local paper each week so that you have an idea of what specials and sales may be going on. Suggest some of these to the customer. Normal fees for this service vary. A percentage of the total bill is normal although you might want to set a fixed price if you are dealing with people on a fixed income.
Think about the amount of time you spend running errands each weekend. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone do that for you? Well, why not do it for others. Like the shopping example above, the possibility of developing a regular clientele is very high here. You might establish a set weekly fee for regulars and a per stop fee for new customers or one time users. If you don’t mind driving, this is a very good potential money maker. Be sure to take some time to figure out your gas mileage and create your fee schedule accordingly. Most people will gladly pay for gas, wear and tear on your car, and a profit for you to not have to go get the dry-cleaning or stop by the drug store.
Door to Door Transportation
Offering to pick people up when they need to be picked up and delivering them where and when they need to be delivered is an old, tried and true form of making money. Cab companies have known this for almost 100 years. But unless you live in a major city like New York or Chicago, cabs are not easy to find and not very convenient. Working within your own neighborhood, transporting goods as well as people (or even pets if you like animals) makes this a specific kind of business for which there is a very specific market but limited competition. It is easy to start and has low overhead. It also can conform to your schedule very easily. A variation of this would be to create a regular route to the local shopping mall or to the airport or to the local zoo. Families or out of town visitors could get to where they need to be without worrying about parking the car. This would be a great service to offer during the Christmas Holidays when parking at the local mall is such a nightmare.
Garage Sale Consultant
If you have any doubt about the mass appeal of the garage sale just take a moment to look through the want ads of Saturday’s paper. Garage sales have become a huge business. As a consultant you would be responsible for a wide variety of tasks including set up of the merchandise, establishing and marking the prices, and even the advertising. However, all of that knowledge is free for a little leg work. Spend several weekends going through the paper and visiting as many garage sales as you can. Spend twenty to thirty minutes at each one and notice what items get looked at the most. Which items are picked up and put down, what prices are asked and which ones the customers are willing to pay, to negotiate about and ignore. Look for signs and ads in the paper. What catches your eye? What helped you choose this sale over some other sale. All of this information will be very useful to your customers. And there are plenty of potential customers. The easiest way to find new clients is to read the real estate ads. People selling a home and getting ready to move will often have a sale, but don’t have the time to do the sale correctly. For a percentage of the sales made you can do the work. All they have to do is collect the money.
Estate Sale Consultant
A very important variation of the Garage Sale Consultant is the Estate Sale consultant. Estate Sales vary from Garage Sales in several very important ways and require a bit more homework. Unlike garage sales where a family is selling things they no longer need or use, and estate sale is normally of an entire household. There are often large items, antiques, or collectibles that can bring in a substantial amount of money.
In many cases the family members who are doing the estate sale are not in town and not available to oversee the sale itself. A certain amount of research to assure the family that they will get fair value for the items sold is important. But just like with garage sales, this information is free for the asking. Spend time at second hand furniture shops and antique dealers. Ask questions and get to know what to look for. Attend estate sales and see what furniture and other large household items are sold for. Look to see what items sell quickly and which seem to attract no interest. All of these things will help you determine how to price items. Knowing what is a fair price is one way of helping a potential client develop a sense of confidence in you. An additional way is develop a fee structure that is a percentage of the total sales for the day.
This is a business that can start very small and grow very quickly. Busy families and small businesses can both use a reasonably priced service. There are several specific markets to consider. Young families are often so busy that weekend cleaning becomes difficult or impossible to do. Having someone on a regular basis has appeal to more and more working adults. The elderly offer another growing market. This use to be limited to those people who couldn’t do the cleaning. But as seniors become more active and involved in retirement communities they want to spend less and less time doing things that others could do for them. This group also will have several homes and will be part time residents. This opens up the possibility of including home maintenance when the owners are away as part of the service. Small business owners often do much of their own cleaning. This is not the most productive way for them to use their time. By providing them with reasonably priced weekend cleaning services, you are giving them back time they can use to help their businesses grow.
If you enjoy working with tools and are a perfectionist, this may be the perfect weekend job for you. Most people have a kitchen drawer full of dull knives they never use. In fact, many people with throw away a perfectly good knife because they don’t know how to sharpen it correctly. There are several ways to market this service. You can specialize in knives or tools or you can go for the broad market and sharpen anything that needs a good edge. Either approach can be successful. Think of this service as a year round service. Knife sharpening is needed just before most holidays when families realize how dull their kitchen knives have become. During the spring and summer garden tools get a workout and need almost constant attention. In the fall axes and chainsaws dominate the market. Even in the coldest months there is a market for sharpening ice skating blades and ice scrapers. Pricing is usually done by the inch for knives and by the tool for everything else. Develop a regular client base and you will have all the work you will want. This is also a job that grows very quickly by word of mouth advertising.
Another area for someone who enjoys working with his/her hands is furniture repair. This is a particularly good job to consider if you have a number of woodworking tools and enjoy working with wood. You can specialize in re-upholstery or antique refinishing or general furniture repair. If you have an interest in old furniture, there is a growing market for second hand furniture. Purchasing used furniture and repairing it can turn a very nice profit for the individual with an interest in that area. Knowledge about how to repair furniture is no further away than the public library or your local home improvement store. There are a number of very good books on furniture repair techniques and an hour of time in your local home improvement store will earn you a solid, working knowledge of paints and stains and varnishes. If you are not sure about the demand for this type of service take several minutes and glance through the television listings for the next week in your area and note how many shows there are in your area that deal with this subject.
Indoor House Plant Gardener
There are several possibilities for that person who enjoys house plants. If you are good at getting things to grow, why not make that service available to your neighbors? Providing an indoor gardening service and also lead to a retail business as well. You can expand to sell plant supplies to your clients to help them maintain healthy plants between your visits. You can also put some of your knowledge into a pamphlet or booklet and sell that to them as well. If you really enjoy plants, a variation on this idea is to grow plants at home and lease out for special occasions like weddings or anniversaries and so forth. This requires a bit more space and time than taking care of plants in another person’s home, but the rewards may be worth the extra effort.
Weekend Child Care
Working parents sometimes find themselves scheduled to be out of town for a weekend and for whatever reason cannot take their children and have no one to leave them with. This is a service that can be done in your home or in the client’s home. Determine which would be easier for you and base your price structure on that. Also, determine who will be responsible for providing the food you will prepare for the children. Include this into the fee you charge. It is important that you are aware of all laws and requirements for child care your are may have. A phone call or two will get you the information you need to avoid fines later on.
Here is a job most of us did when we were younger. Today, having a responsible adult available to watch children for an evening is a luxury most parents only dream of. Playing with the children and reading to them as well as being able to prepare a meal allows parents more freedom to do whatever it is that is taking them out for the evening. This job might grow faster than you expect through word of mouth. It is a good idea to consider how many jobs over a weekend you will want to accept and what limits you might want to have concerning the length of time or number of children and so forth. Once parents discover a reliable sitter the word will spread quickly.
Weekend Pet Care
A variation of the concept of child care is that of pet care. People who are traveling but who own pets need someone to care for those pets when the owners are gone for more than a day. Boarding a pet with a vet or at a pet boarding facility means transporting the animal to and from that location. Many people do not have the time to do that. And, boarding the animal away from its home adds stress to the situation for the pet. It is much easier to have someone come to the home and spend an hour or so each day with the animal, feed it and provide the human companionship the pet has come to know and understand. If you like animals and can work with a wide range of pets, this is a good field to consider. It is important to make arrangements to meet the pet before the care begins and to make sure that you are clear on any special needs the pet might have. Fees are normally based on the number of pets and the needs that pet might have. Check out local boarding facilities and determine what the daily fee rate is. You will want to charge something under that level.
If you are really good with animals and enjoy a new challenge regularly consider training pets for their owners. Most pet owners don’t have the time or the knowledge to train their pets to do even the simplest of things like walk on a leash properly. A tour of your neighborhood park any weekend will convince you of the need for this service. You don’t need to be specially trained or be a pet psychologist to be a good pet trainer. There are a number of very good books in your public library that will provide most of the information you will need to know. A short conversation with a vet or kennel owner will provide the rest. Keep in mind that most owners don’t want or need a high level of training for their pets. They are interested in having a pet that is well-behaved in normal, everyday situations. They want to be able to take the dog for a walk rather than have the dog drag them for one.
Services for Out of Towners – Local Tour Guide
If you know your area well and enjoy being with new people consider being a tour guide. You would be responsible for meeting with the client and having an itinerary available of places most people would like to see when they visit. However, you must be willing to alter that and be creative if the client doesn’t want to visit the normal places for tourists. Fees are normal charged for half days and full days. Adjustments are made if clients wish to see things out of town or where long drives are necessary. It would be important to do some research and know the history of the area you will be touring to provide the client with the “color and background” most of us enjoy but never take the time to learn. This type of position would tend to be seasonal in most parts of the country. However, if you are fortunate enough to live in an area that attracts visitors year round this is something to seriously consider.
Many large cities spend millions of dollars every year to attract conventions for the tourist money they bring in. Many conventioneers will bring a spouse or sometimes the entire family with them. Unfortunately, those family members are often left stranded in a strange city for long periods of time. If you work well with people, you might be able to help both yourself and your city’s convention bureau. Acting as a companion and guide for those people who come with the convention attendee will make the convention experience more pleasant for both the person attending the convention and the spouse or family member. You would be responsible for acting as a local tour guide but also to transport your clients to the local shopping areas, cultural centers and restaurants. If children are involved a trip to the zoo or museums might be in order. Information about the number and dates of upcoming conventions is available through the convention bureau or the local Chamber of Commerce in your town.
There are many companies in this market, but most are geared towards large events, not small family gatherings or neighborhood parties. If you enjoy cooking or barbecuing, this is the place for you. If you have that famous recipe for steaks or chicken on the backyard grill, or if everyone always raves about your desserts, consider this a potential gold mine. Begin by focusing in your own neighborhood. Inexpensive fliers delivered to your neighbors’ doors would be a quick and easy way to start. Word of mouth will be your best advertising in the long run, but a few doorhangers will get your business off the ground. Concentrate on the type of cooking you like to do best. If you enjoy what you are doing, it will be reflected in your product and that is the quickest way to a very successful business.
Computer Class Instructor
Computers have become part of everyone’s life, not only in the work place, but in the home as well. They are part of our jobs but also part of our entertainment. If you aren’t sure how big a market this is check out the computer book section of a book store near you. Use the knowledge you have gained by offering to teach others how to begin using a computer, how to use it more efficiently, how to get more out of it, or how to use specific software programs. This type of class can be offered through your home, but you might also consider contacting a local computer retailer and offer to conduct the classes in his/her store. This would bring traffic into the store that is specifically interested in his product as well as give you access to a variety of machines and software to demonstrate with.
Web Page Builder (and maintainer)
One additional area in which you might be able to use your computer expertise is in the creation of and maintenance of Web Pages. If you spend any time on the internet at all you realize that most businesses are either on the internet or trying to get there. Small businesses may have someone who knows how to construct a page, but very often these people have too many other responsibilities to either create the page or maintain it and keep it up to date. Having a web page is a good business move, if it is well done and well maintained. A web page that is neither of those things can hurt a business more than help it. If you have the time and interest, consider becoming a “Web Master.”
Craft Class Instructor
Another type of class that is very popular is the craft class. If you enjoy a specific craft or art medium, share it with others and teach them what you have learned over time. This is an enjoyable way to put some time in with the thing you like to do while getting paid to do it. It would be a good idea to contact a craft supply store and conduct the classes their. Your students would have access to the supplies they needed for the class, which the store might be willing to sell at a discount to students. You might also consider working out an arrangement whereby you would get a commission on sales of material to students within a period of time following the class. Students who are learning something new are often very excited about their newly developed skills and will spend money getting all the supplies they need to continue immediately. That could be beneficial to both you and the store owner.
Arts and Crafts Broker
A rapidly growing industry is the traveling crafts show where companies and individuals sell original art work and crafts. However, most people would have no idea how to go about setting up a booth nor would they normally have enough art work or crafts created to make it worth while. You might be able to help them by becoming a broker for several artists and craftsmen. Offer to set up a booth at a local crafts fair and sell crafts on consignment. That would mean that you were only committing money to rent the booth but not buying the artwork itself. You would sell it for the artist and receive a commission based on the sale price of the work. If you find this enjoyable work, consider expanding and selling the art work or crafts directly to other retailers.
Tutoring is often something offered for children in school. However, that is not the only market available, although it is a good one. If you have knowledge in a specific area, foreign language, bookkeeping, or creative writing for example, you can use that knowledge to earn extra money on the weekend. Certainly, if you were good at math or English in school, contact your local school districts and let them know that you would be available as a tutor. Ask them what is the current rate for tutoring students in the area. They will have this information. The need for this type of help is greater than you might imagine. But school children are not the only people looking for someone with expertise to teach them something. Retired individuals and small business owners are another growing market for knowledgeable people to explore. Retired people have the time and interest to learn a new language, or how to do home repair. Business owners need to be up to date on the latest laws and market trends, as well as ways to advertise more effectively or do basic bookkeeping. Identify the skills you have and teach them to others.
Musical Instrument Instructor
If you have this training, make money with it. Teach others to play an instrument. This has been a weekend job for a very long time. But there are ways to expand this position. As your clientele grows and becomes more proficient, consider acting as an agent and getting paying jobs on weekends playing for parties and so forth.
Most people think of professional writers as the big name novelists. However, most professionals have other jobs and write part time. You can too. There are lots of markets available for someone who wants to write on the weekends. Consider writing for a small company newsletter. Contact small businesses in your area and find out if they have a news letter. If not, offer to write one for them. It might be designed for their employees, to keep them informed about what is happening in the company. Or it might be designed as a mailer that would go out to the customers to let them know about upcoming sales or promotions, classes that are being offered using the company’s product, or product demonstrations that will occur.
You might also write for a weekly newspaper. Offer to do a weekly column on some area of interest. Review movies, or television shows or computer software. The list of things possible is almost limitless. Write a column or two and offer to let them us the columns free for the first two weeks to see what the response is from their readership. Then negotiate the payment for each column. If you like to write poetry, consider sending your work into greeting card companies. Go to a card shop and a grocery store and look for the smaller companies. The major card companies, like Hallmark, have staff writers and normally do not accept outside submissions, but smaller companies depend on material coming from people just like you.
Photographer All of us have seen the professional photographer at big time sporting events. We may have used the services of a professional for a wedding. But what about the local Pee-Wee soccer league, or the neighborhood block party, or Aunt Martha’s 65th birthday. Most people enjoy good pictures, but most people don’t have the knowledge or experience to take good pictures consistently.
If you enjoy using a camera, whether it is a still camera or a video camera, there is money to be made with it. Perhaps the easiest way to begin is to take the camera to a local youth sporting event and begin taking pictures. Be sure to have some inexpensive brochures available explaining to the proud parents where they can order actions shots of their own little superstars in action. A few weekends of that type of freelance work will let you see how big this market can be.
Outdoor Possibilities Construction Site Cleanup
If you live in an area where there is a great deal of building going on, this is a service that has great potential. Offer to clean up all the scrap material that is created on a job site during the week. Most contractors will wait, if possible, for the job to be completed, before doing cleanup. But this has to do with man hours that are not productive. A general contractor probably has other things his crews could be doing that would make more money for the company than cleaning a job site. When you negotiate a fee for this work it is probably better to offer to do the job for a flat rate. This will allow you to determine if you want others to help you do the work or whether you can do it yourself. However, it is important to make sure that the contractor is responsible for providing the dumpster for all the scrap material you will clean up and that he is responsible for disposing of the material when you are finished. If the contractor is not willing to do this, then you will have to, but be sure you are aware of all fees and costs involved with disposing of the material in your area. This is a situation where you might be able to form several crews to work several sites at the same time.
Car Washing/Waxing Cars
One of the first jobs many of us had was washing cars for the neighbors. Today, with the expensive finishes on new cars we are not willing to trust our investments to youngsters. However, most of us know that our cars need to be washed regularly to extend the life of the finish, but our schedules just don’t allow it. If you enjoy working outside and enjoy cars this is a great opportunity. The financial investment is very small. Several phone calls to new car dealerships will get you all the information you need to make sure that you are using the correct products for the new, softer finishes.
Lawn Maintenance Contractor
Another job many of us had was mowing lawns for the neighborhood. Lawn and garden care has become much more involved in the last 10 years. This area can go far beyond the simple mowing of the lawn. Consider spending an hour or so at a local nursery. Learn what types of supplements the various types of lawns would need and when. Learn what plants do well outside in your area of the country. Find out what is the most effective watering schedule for your area during each season. This way you will be able to provide the lawn care service that your neighbors need and want but you can also help them decide on plants to include and can provide information to help them have the type of lawn that will be the envy of the block.