10 Amazing Passive Income Ideas for Entrepreneurs That Can Help You Make Money While You Sleep
As an entrepreneur you already know how true that quote is. Your business will suck up as much time as you can give it IF you let it. As a person who is smart enough to know how to start your own business, you also know that you should be making your money work for you while you sleep via multiple sources of passive income.
The truth about passive income is that it ALWAYS takes a little bit of work to get it started, but once you get it going the profits are usually pretty sweet.
Here’s 10 passive income ideas for entrepreneurs that can potentially help you make even more than your core business does.
CrowdFunded Real Estate
What’s not to love about real estate investing? Buying a property, often using other people’s money, then receiving constant monthly rent payments on top of the equity appreciation is a wonderful thing.
As an entrepreneur with an active business you probably don’t have time to find profitable properties and deal with the tenants, termites and trash. Fortunately there’s a few different ways to invest completely passively where other companies handle all of that for you & pay you a regular distribution of any proceeds:
REIT Investing: You can invest in a portfolio of properties via a REIT using a company like Fundrise or Rich Uncles with as little as $500.
Syndicated Deals: Accredited investors can pool their money to invest in attractive single properties with other investors. RealtyMogul is one of the top companies in this space.
Real Estate Notes: You can loan money on a short term basis to real estate investors. The loans are secured by the property and you get paid the interest. Peerstreet is one of the top companies for this.
Peer To Peer Lending
Peer to peer lending is a truly passive way of making your money make money for you while helping other entrepreneurs at the same time. P2P lending allows you to act similarly to a bank. You can use P2P lending platforms to find people to lend money to, view the credit worthiness of the borrowers and their reasons for investment. The top services do some sort of vetting of the borrowers via credit checks or other methods.
Personal P2P Loans: If you want to lend to people directly for personal uses you can do this through Upstart which was started by a team of ex-Googlers. They lend between $1,000 and $50,000 at an APR starting at 8.85%. To determine the borrower’s ability to pay back they use a proprietary loan scoring model that goes beyond just a FICO score. They take into consideration the school of graduation + the major, a person’s work history and more.
Business P2P Loans: Lending to other entrepreneurs can be a lucrative for you and, as an entrepreneur yourself, might make you feel good knowing that you’ve given another business owner a lifeline. Companies like Funding Circle & Lending Club make accessing these kinds of deals easy for you. Look for 4-8% historical returns on money invested (loaned to other businesses).
If you are reading this site then you are probably already pretty familiar with stocks, bonds mutual funds, ETF’s and etc. You know that they are some of the easiest & most passive ways to invest your money.
Since the point of this article is to introduce you to passive income ideas, we will skip over talking about how much money you can potentially make investing in growth tech stocks like Amazon, Google or Tesla. Keyword, potentially.
To build a large enough relatively reliable passive-income stream to supplement your business income you can also invest in dividend-generating stocks & public REITs to potentially receive a regular dividend on top of any appreciation in the stock/REIT price.
You can see upwards of an 8% return paid as a dividend from some of these. You have to do your research.
Be sure to use a no fee trading app like Robinhood or one of the traditional investment companies like Fidelity & Schwab that often won’t charge fees to make your investments.
Franchising Your Business
Business owners with a strong brand can often offer their businesses as franchises and let someone else expand the brand in other locations while keeping 10% or more of the gross in truly passive income while expanding your brand. That’s a great deal if you ask me.
Franchising isn’t as easy as taking an application and approving a new business to operate in another location using your brand. You have to take several steps like developing a very strict operating process for yourself and other companies to make it easy to maintain your brand identity and level of quality.
There’s several legal requirements for you to adhere to. You can view most of them here. We would highly suggest that you reach out to an experienced attorney to walk you through this process.
You can find more information and a ton of great resources to help you get started at the International Franchise Association‘s website.
How well do you know your customers? If the answer is “very well” then you might want to consider offering them other products that are well aligned with yours that they might be interested in. Setting up a deal like this is one of the easier passive income ideas because it doesn’t take much work once you find a good company to send customers to.
You might be saying, “What?! Are you crazy? Why would I promote another company?”
Well, as long as it doesn’t compete with yours and the offer is good there could be a lot of synergy. Take a look at the Sprint affiliate based partnership with Spotify above. Sprint is paid a certain amount of money per Spotify subscriber. This deal makes sense because someone with a new unlimited data plan probably wants to be able to stream some tunes. That’s a great example of brand synergy.
Think about what kinds of products or services your customers might love to use after using your product. Reach out to those companies and strike a referral partnership that takes very little effort on your part and ends up being a win win for both of your companies and your users.
Are you a retailer or do you have a strong brand? Did you know that you can do deals with manufacturers that will add your brand to a product and ship it for you?
For example, a well loved small coffee shop chain can offer T-Shirts, coffee mugs and more via third party companies to their email list and everyone who logs onto the wifi via the login screen.
The items that you create can also easily be added to online retail platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart and more. When it comes to passive income ideas very few things are easier than this.
This can be surprisingly profitable for you with very little work on your part. Just be sure that you order some samples of your products first to check for quality.
Take a look at Printful.com if you want to offer basic consumer items like shirts, mugs, pillows, phone cases and more.
If you want something that’s harder to make, you can always venture into the world of Aliexpress.com. They have EVERYTHING that you might ever want to sell, but be very careful selecting your suppliers. Be extra vigilant with your quality control. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with a supplier don’t use them. Your brand is more important than extra money so don’t let a bad supplier tarnish your brand with a sub-par product.
Renting Unused Space
Do you have extra office space or warehouse space? Why let it go to waste. Thanks to the shared office revolution brought on by companies like Regus and WeWork plenty of young companies would be very comfortable paying you to use part of your space.
Prices can range from $200 for a desk to $10,000s monthly for multi seat office spaces or warehouse space.
The best part of all of this is that this market has been automated like AirBnb so it’s never been easier to get started and find tenants. You can list your open office space on Liquidspace.com and your available warehouse space on Flexe.com which is the top site in the market for warehouse listings.
Subscriptions For Your Product or Service
Do you have the kind of business that people use regularly? If so consider offering a subscription to your business at a nice price. Almost every type of business can offer something that people would subscribe to. Here’s some examples:
Recurring Product Packages: Do you offer in person services like massages, car washing, cleaning services, auto maintenance, or anything else that people might get regularly? Help them make up their mind and offer them a monthly regular service package. They usually want it, you just have to offer it.
Extended Services: Does your product often require extra help with onboarding or maintenance? Offer it as an extra subscription package. “White glove service” is always useful and smart customers will usually purchase it because they know that their time is worth more than the cost of that extra subscription.
Membership Communities: If you have a product that is in an industry that people identify with personally or professionally, offering a community of like minded individuals centered around your brand might work. Your brand has to be strong, but if it is this is found money for you.
There’s more ideas of course. Hopefully these made you want to brainstorm and come up with your own. You are leaving money on the table if you don’t.
Create “How To” Courses
What you do professionally might come second nature to you now but you weren’t born with those skills. It probably took you a long time to perfect the process. Did you ever stop to think about how many people around the world are starting from square one and would love to know how to do the things that you do?
So, why not share some of that knowledge and make some money at the same time by creating courses that teach people some of your skills.
There’s several platforms that can help you do this cheaply and charge from $1 all the way up to $10,000 for your courses.
Udemy: This is one of the oldest platforms for creating online courses. They make it super simple to create your course, upload your videos and start making money.
Teachable: This is our favorite platform. It not only makes it easy for you to create courses, they give you the ability to make a fully branded website of your own using their platform. If you are going to get serious, this is what you want.
No matter which service you use remember that you will still have to do some level of promotion to make your courses popular. Hiring a cheap marketing agency to handle it might do the trick.
Share Tips & Tricks With Others
Maybe creating “How To…” courses is a little bit more work than you are willing to put in. That’s ok. As a business owner you might not have a lot of extra time to spend but never forget that your hard won knowledge is invaluable. You can still do some very light documentation of your process and make a little bit of advertising revenue. Here’s a couple of ideas:
Idea 1: Post a video series on Youtube of videos giving users inside tips on how to operate inside of your industry. You can do these on your phone and just upload them when you have a spare moment. Youtube will pay you a small amount for every 1000 views.
Idea 2: Start a blog outside of your company blog & write quick articles detailing things that you think might be important to someone who is getting into your business. It doesn’t have to be hard, think of things that have caused pains or created wins for you. You can run ads on this blog with Adsense & Taboola. If you really want to make it grow add videos to it as well.
This sounds exactly like what Gary Vee does, right? Well it is. You might not get rich from this but you will help a ton of people, make enough money for some free lunches and you might even get offers to speak at industry conventions. You might not get your own sneaker like Gary, but hey, ya never know.
Passive income ideas are everywhere
After reading all of the passive income ideas above you will notice one common theme, do deals where other people are doing the bulk of the work. In some cases such as the franchises, real estate crowdfunding or P2P lending it’s actually other people doing the work. In the case of the courses or video posting it’s software collecting the money and running ads for you. You don’t really have to do much personally.
Now that you know some of the ways that you can make this kind of money just keep an eye out for other similar opportunities that only require a little bit of setup but do the bulk of the work for you. That’s the key to making consistent passive income.