7 Ways to Make Money from Your Idea

Most people assume that if you have an idea, you should grow it into a business. While that’s always an option, not everyone wants to run a business. Luckily, if you don’t want to run a business, you don’t have to. But if you think you can handle it, then start burning the other end of that candle – because you’re going to need that light!

Try Freelancing

Freelancing for your work is sort of a combination of running a business without really running one. You don’t have to worry about employees, or setting up an office. You can, of course, but it’s not a requirement.

If you’re new to an industry and you’re not sure if it’s right for you, freelance can be a great way to get your toes wet without jumping the whole way in. It’s pretty easy to get started. Often, all you really need is vision and a computer with internet access.

Freelancing is great for writers, artists, software developers and consultants, and you can do it while continuing your day job! #SideHustle, baby!

Work for the Dream

A lot of the ideas people have aren’t new. There are 7 billion people on the planet, so the chances of finding a similar product or idea is pretty high. I once had the idea for glow-in-the-dark tattoos, but a quick Google search showed they were already a pretty popular thing.

If I had been invested in that idea, it would have been simple to go down to a tattoo parlor and start learning. At the very least, working with a company that has the same ideas as you lets you learn about what’s involved, while staying satisfied with your current career choice.

Get a Hobby

This is working on the assumption that what you like to do is create. It might be artwork or clothing, makeup or handbags. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. You can make it and sell it online. If you start by testing the waters, you can always try Craigslist since it’s free, but places like Etsy will have a much better platform, and people won’t try to barter as much.

Copyright or Patent Your Idea

You might have a good idea, but are hesitant to invest in the manufacturing aspect of it. This is where a copyright or patent will come in handy. Which you choose will depend on your idea. A copyright will be used if your idea is just that – an idea. Books are copyrighted, as are movies and works of art.

A patent is for a material item – an invention or process; something tangible. If this is the route you decide to go, make sure you’re prepared to invest resources, both time and money.

Sell It

Selling your idea might sound like selling out, and, in all honesty, it is. That’s not always a bad thing, so give it a chance before demonizing it. If you need cash quickly, selling your idea is a good way to get it.

You’ll still have to do work, of course. You need to figure out what the idea is worth, figure out who might want to buy it, and then convince them it’s worth their money. Sales is not easy, but if you follow these three steps you’ll find a viable buyer in no time.

You can continue to stay in contact with the buyer as well, just to see if things pan out the way you hope. It could be exciting to see where your idea goes.

Digitize It

One of the coolest things about the Digital Age is the presence of apps. Angry Birds is an example of an app that made its developers millions. The same goes for Clash of Clans and Candy Crush.

If you have an idea and you can turn it into an app, it’s possible to make money with it. You might not become a multi-millionaire, but even a small amount of income can make a big difference in your monthly budget.

Websites like Coursera offer options to learn more about software development, so you can explore what goes into creating a program.

Start It Up

It’s true: not everyone wants to run a business. However, some people do. If that’s your dream – to work for yourself and be your own boss, then guess what? You can do it!

You’ll need to plan it out carefully and consider factors like startup costs, when and if you’ll be able to leave your current day job, manufacturers, supply chains, and marketing the product or service, just to name a few.

Don’t plan on doing this overnight; most business take a few years to get up and running. Even then, things can be slow to happen. The payoff, however, can be pretty extraordinary.

Sarah Landrum

After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR, Sarah moved to Harrisburg to start her career as a Digital Media Specialist and a writer. She later founded Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers.

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