The Definitive Guide to Passive Income for Small Businesses

Posted April 24, 2017 by Thirty-Something Angie in Business & Productivity / 12 Comments

As a small business owner, have you ever thought about what would ever happen if you got sick or hurt? Who would do your work while you were unable? Would your business continue to run smoothly?

What Happens When You Can’t Work?

I know I didn’t have a care in the world about any of that when I first started out.  My business was thriving! I was on top of my game! At least, I was until I got sick.

I’m not talking about anything major, here.  No one was fearing for my life, and I never ended up in the hospital.  It wasn’t dramatic at all. I just came down with the flu!  Or was it strep?  I don’t even remember, but the bottom line is, I couldn’t work for a solid week.

Orders didn’t go out.

Product didn’t get made.

My business suffered a lot.

My income for that entire month showed my lack of work hours, and I had to fight hard to get things back on track. That’s when I knew I needed to diversify my income stream.  But how? I needed something that I could keep up with without adding extra hours to my day.

Enter…passive income streams!

Related: How I am More Successful with a Business Journal

What is Passive Income?

Passive income is the idea that you can create something once and earn money off of it indefinitely.  Anyone that has ever written a book experiences passive income.  It means you are not directly trading your time for money.

Did you catch that? That essentially means that you can earn more money without putting in more time!

Who wouldn’t want that?!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work at all. I think in that sense, the name is deceiving. But the idea is, you’re not creating, packaging, shipping, or performing a service in order to make that income.

Passive Income for Business Owners: What is it? And how do I get it?

Why Should I Want Passive Income?

Passive income is an amazing way to diversify your income.  I touched on a few reasons I wanted to create a way to earn passive income in the section above, but if you’re still not convinced, here are a few more!

  • You can earn passive income on the side of a full time job.
  • You can free up time to do something you love while continuing to earn enough to pay your bills.
  • You want to prepare for retirement, but still want income coming in.
  • You want more time to travel, but don’t have the time with a full-time job.

There are a lot of reasons that people want to try and build passive income into their business plans.  My personal reason is to protect myself at any sort of time that I can’t (or don’t want to) work. I want to earn money while I’m sitting on a beach for a week sipping mimosas.  I want to earn money if I have to halt business and take care of a family member.

Related: How CinchShare Changed My Network Marketing Business

How do I Get it?

This article contains affiliate links. To learn more about this, read my full disclosure here.

Now that you know what passive income is, I wouldn’t blame you if you want to figure out how to get it for yourself.  There are many ways to do this. I’m not going to lie, they all take a lot of work in the beginning.  Some more than others.  So, let’s go over some passive income ideas, shall we?

Some ways that you can earn passive income are:

  • Affiliate Marketing – This is a great way for bloggers to earn passive income, and it’s the only monetization strategy I’m currently using. Blogging isn’t exactly passive, and requires a lot of work, but adding links to your posts doesn’t add much time, and you can continue to see income coming in over the course of months and even years if you’re marketing your blog well! My most successful affiliates right now are Ultimate Bundles, Amazon, and ShareASale.
  • Own Rental Property – Rental property isn’t 100% passive, but assuming you have homes in good condition and have good renters, you can continue earning money month to month with little time invested.
  • Create a Digital Product – Digital products are a great way to earn passive income if you have an established business and a delivery system in place. You simply need to create the product once and list it.  If you keep traffic coming to your website, you can continue to earn money regularly without having to create new products.
  • Cashback Rewards Sites – Cash back rewards can be a really great way to earn money with almost no effort.  Sites like Ebates regularly offer cash back on purchases if you shop through them, and they also have a referral program.
  • Network Marketing – Even if you think you’re not a sales person, you’d be amazed at what you can sell if it’s a product you really believe in.  Have you ever posted about a book you enjoyed, making friends go buy it? That is network marketing! The only difference is that you aren’t getting paid for those recommendations.  I never thought I’d run a network marketing business, until I recently joined Young Living and realized that it really is something I can do. The right network marketing company can absolutely offer you passive income!

How do you know it's time to walk away from a good thing?

What are You Waiting For?

If you’re looking to diversify your income, create a paycheck that isn’t directly tied to the amount of time you put in, and build a safety net for your family, you definitely need to build a passive income stream.  It’s not easy in the beginning.  In fact, it takes quite a bit of work to build it up to a profitable point.  My motto is, though, that if it were easy to do, it wouldn’t be worth it!

This will take time, but with a solid plan, and the patience to see it through, you will see income start coming in soon.

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12 responses to “The Definitive Guide to Passive Income for Small Businesses

  1. Good suggestions! I’m self employed too, and it’s been so frustrating any time I’ve gotten sick or had to take unplanned time off. I feel like it takes almost two months to get back on track in these situations!!

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Exactly, Kristen! Adding passive income streams to my business has made such a huge difference in my income AND stress levels. Good luck!

  2. My husband and I would LOVE to have a rental property that we could make some (semi) passive income off of. Everyone else in my family does it and maybe after we buy a house we can invest that way, too.

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Hey Sarah! That’s one of our (semi) long term goals as well! We’re actually hoping to pay off this house and buy a new one, so we can use this house as rental property!

  3. These are great ideas! I never thought about the fact that if you get ill and can’t work. I especially like the idea of creating a digital product. I’m actually working on that now!

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Hey Summer! I think a lot of the return depends on the company! I’m earning as much as 40% on some sales, but others are really low.

  4. I think it’s a really good idea to think about passive income streams! I made a tiny start in this area by publishing a book which is now on Amazon–yes, I still have marketing to do, but the bulk of the work is completed, and I still will make money every time someone buys it, which I’m grateful for! Hopefully even years from now that book will be bringing in a little bit of passive income!

  5. Great information! Very newbie blogger here, and just starting to see how much work goes into it! Excited to see where this journey leads though, and it’s great to hear others are succeeding at it! Thanks for the inspiration and information.

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