Learning what your consumers think will contribute to business success

If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you own a business. A business is defined as the concerted effort of an organization to provide goods and services to make a profit. One can infer from this definition that a successful business is one that makes a profit.

A great many companies these days focus on such things as advertising and marketing to grow their businesses and achieve success; these are all well and good and do indeed influence business growth. But an oft-ignored resource that also contributes immensely to business success is learning what consumers think of your company/business.

Advertising and marketing, if done right, will gain the attention of consumers, but what happens after consumers have used your product? Advertising cannot tell you how well your product was received. Did the consumers like the product? Was it as good as your marketing team claimed? Are they likely to recommend the product to other people? These questions can only be answered by the process of learning what consumers think about the company, otherwise called consumer feedback. Consumer feedback can be solicited or unsolicited (as in online reviews), and consumers have free room to air their views and opinions about the products or services.

Learning what consumers think can contribute to business success in several ways.

Helps to Improve Products and Services.

Learning what consumers think about your company’s products and services, informs you on whether or not your products and services have delivered as expected and as advertised. It would also communicate to you the aspects where the company has not performed admirably. Thus from a careful perusal of the thoughts and opinions of consumers, you are informed of areas where the company has succeeded, as well as previously unnoticed lapses that may exist in the business operation. As a result, you can take the appropriate actions to remedy these lapses. Learning what your consumers think may also provide at no cost, worthy, and novel suggestions that the company may find beneficial.

Helps to Increase Consumer Base

For a business to grow, then its consumer base too must evolve. In this age, positive consumer feedbacks are a more effective way of convincing consumers to give your product a try. Positive feedbacks can even be incorporated into subsequent advertisements.

Helps In Decision Making

Consumer feedback is an excellent source of information that you can utilize in making crucial business decisions. The insight garnered from learning what consumers think about the company and its products, as well as taking their suggestions into account, will help the business owner decide what areas to channel effort and finances to get the highest return on investment. You might discover, for instance, that contrary to your beliefs, offering variants of your products, and not marketing is what your company/business requires for greater success.

Conclusion

Competition has never been fiercer than it is now. Business success is dependent on your ability to keep, as well as grow your consumer base. The best way to do this is by learning opinions, complaints, and adjusting to the needs of your consumers. That is why you should apply for a page on us-reviews so that you can get unbiased information and insight from your consumers that will be critical to the success of your business.

How To Keep Morale High At All Times

Keeping morale high is an ongoing challenge that all business leaders face. The importance of morale should not be overlooked as it has a direct impact on individuals and team performance, the workplace atmosphere, staff loyalty and much more. This all, in turn, impacts the success of the company, so it is an area that needs careful consideration, plus keeping morale high can make coming into work each day much more enjoyable for everyone and create a positive atmosphere. Here are a few ways that you could always keep morale high in the workplace, which could make a big difference to your company.

Allow Open Communication

You cannot expect people to feel happy in the workplace if they feel that they are unable to communicate as they wish. Therefore, you should allow and encourage open communication in the workplace but just emphasize that work needs to come first and that they always need to maintain a professional image.

Feedback

It is hard to know where you stand, and if you are performing well or not without regular feedback. Providing regular and honest feedback to staff can help them to know how they are performing, how they can improve and help them to feel valued. Hence, you need to make sure that you are communicating with staff often without micromanaging them.

Team Building

Morale will naturally be much higher when employees are surrounded by those that they trust, work well with, and enjoy their company. This can be achieved through regular team-building events and activities, plus social events outside of work can be highly effective at bringing employees together.

Monitor Employee Engagement

You can use change management tools from places like inpulse.com, which will allow you to survey and monitor employee engagement levels during periods of change. This will help you to track emotions across each department, identify any issues which need to be managed and take action to keep morale high during what can be difficult periods for staff.

Role Variation

People tend to get bored and frustrated if they are performing the same task day in, day out. Therefore, it is smart to provide role variation from time-to-time to keep employees challenged and to develop new skills, such as giving them a special project, increasing collaboration, or developing a new skill.

Know Their Goals

Following this, a good leader will be aware of what the goals are for employees and find ways to help them to achieve this. The majority will want to progress and take their career forward, so providing training, identifying opportunities and promoting from within the company can all help improve morale while also maximizing the value of your team.

Combine the above strategies, and you should notice a sharp uptick in employee morale. This is an area that needs constant attention, and there will be inevitable dips at times. Still, by taking action to improve morale, you can improve employee wellbeing and create a positive working atmosphere for all.

Job Spotlight: Operations Manager in Manufacturing

A career in operations management (OM) for a manufacturing organization can be both challenging and rewarding. Learning what the typical workday looks like can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Find out what to expect in this detailed guide.

Duties of the Operations Manager

The operations manager of a manufacturing facility is responsible for a range of activities relating to the creation and delivery of products or services. While the traditional definition would likely have focused solely on physical goods, modern thinking usually includes services as well.

Specifically, the manager’s role is to produce the product or service at:

  • The right price, from the customer’s perspective
  • The correct amount
  • The best quality
  • The specified time of completion

Meeting these requirements to be successful in their position involves managing not only daily operations, as their title suggests, but also the design process, the strategy behind these activities, and determining ways to improve on performance.

Thus, the major areas of responsibility are:

  • Designing an operations system
  • Managing operations
  • Improving operations

Taking a product from an idea through the manufacturing process to delivery to the customer involves many activities and many people. There’s no mistaking that OM is a distinguished career!

Why the Operations Manager Matters

The operations manager of a manufacturing facility is the person who connects people, activities, and equipment to provide the most value for the goods that are for sale. In this role, the person at the helm can drive the organization into a globally competitive space.

In a world where consumers have plenty of choice as to where they buy products and services, creating a value-laden product is vital for a manufacturing firm. To stay competitive globally, OM must consider:

  • Quality of the goods
  • Cost of the product to make
  • Purchase price for the customers
  • Flexibility of the operations
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Innovation of the product

All these dimensions hinge on the effectiveness of OM methods and technologies. Lean manufacturing techniques are more critical than ever, especially in the face of current challenges. Take the time to learn more about overcoming these obstacles in a future job in operations management.

Meeting competitive challenges is part of the job scope of the manager. Brainstorming and carrying out strategies to combat globalization and other issues is part of ensuring the future success of the organization.

Education Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement usually. Gaining an edge against the competition to get hired involves taking a specialized program, such as an Operations Management Degree from Kettering University Online.

As well, some managers seek advanced education in specialty fields, such as engineering, to give them detailed knowledge of the sector they work in. In addition to getting the educational background, practical work experience will help make someone more likely to get picked for the OM job.

Many professionals start their careers in a lower position within the organization. For example, they might work on the production line. This experience can qualify them to work in a more senior role later.

What Skills Make a Great Operations Manager?

As with a manager in any other field, a manufacturing operations manager must have good communication skills. They need to supervise teams, as well as explain processes and policy updates.

For a well-run manufacturing business, the manager of operations must be an effective leader. Their goal is to be supportive of those who need help but also to encourage those who are doing well to help them do even better:

A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” – Jim Rohn

Coordinating departments is also necessary. Only in this way can the organization ensure that processes are not redundant or ill-timed. Coordination is imperative, too, for quality control.

Managers must solve any problems that come up too, such as longer than normal production times, to help increase the organization’s productivity level. They must also adhere to any standards and processes set out by their employer.

The Planning Part of Operations Management

The decisions made in OM have the potential to impact a manufacturing organization for a long time to come. Managers must make decisions about the processes, with consideration of what their marketers want to achieve in the future.

For example, does the manufacturer want to be competitive cost-wise with their product or to be known more for exceptionally high product quality? Maintaining a high-quality standard may not be possible for a manufacturer who offers a large variety of products, just as a low-cost product may not be offered alongside a top-quality product.

The manufacturing operations manager also must decide where the facility will be located for making the goods and how to set it up safely. When planning where to set up the manufacturing plant, some key considerations are:

  • Whether there are skilled workers in the location
  • Will workers and their families enjoy living in this area?
  • Locations close to suppliers are favorable to minimize shipping costs
  • Facilities close to customers are advantageous too

Finding one location that meets all these criteria rarely happens, which is why it’s a decision that involves weighing the benefits against any faults with the physical area. Determining which item on the above list is the most important one to the business is a good starting point for picking the location.

Becoming an Operations Manager in the Manufacturing Industry

The overarching role of OM in the manufacturing sector is to transform materials and other resources into goods. A successful manufacturing process involves many key decisions on the part of the operations manager.

Building the skillset to be an effective operations manager for a manufacturing firm typically comes from a combination of education and experience. Specialized programs such as those available from Kettering can build expertise, as can on-the-job experiences.

In this career, a manager must overcome challenges and motivate teams regularly. It is a position that requires excellent communication and brings personal satisfaction at the end of the workday.

Supporting an organization, helping to achieve its mission, is what an operations manager dedicates their career to do, and it is an important role.

 

Key Areas To Reinvest Profit For Business Development

In order to succeed in any industry, you will need to spend money on the company, but when you do this intelligently, you will be able to recoup this through greater success. There are a few areas that will deliver high ROI. As a business owner, you need to focus on these areas so that you can succeed, grow the business, and compete with the bigger brands in your industry. It is not always easy to know what these areas are, and it will depend on your particular company, but here are a few of the main areas where it is always worth spending money.

Technology

Technology has evolved at an alarming rate in recent years and can be used to help a business to succeed in many different ways. You will want to reinvest money back into the company by spending on new technology so that you can streamline, make work easier for your team and stay competitive. A few of the best types of technology to look into include:

Cybersecurity

It is unfortunate, but you need to spend money on cybersecurity in order to protect your business from digital threats and cybercriminals. This is the biggest problem that modern day businesses face, but spending money on cybersecurity products and training can help to protect the company and provide peace of mind.

Equipment

The equipment that your business uses will have a direct impact on efficiency, staff performance, and the overall success of the company, making it an area where you must spend money. Businesses in many industries use conveyors to transport material, but the belts can become damaged over time, which could be holding the company back. Specialists like Fluent Conveyors can provide high-quality replacement conveyor belts, which could get the operation back on track and streamline work processes.

Marketing

There is always more that your business could do to promote itself, so investing more in marketing is always intelligent. It could help to increase brand awareness, boost sales, and improve your reputation. Digital marketing from an experienced agency will be the best way to get results online, but do not forget about more traditional forms of marketing, such as sponsorship, print ads, and getting involved with the community.

Staff

Investing in human capital is also intelligent because a business can only succeed with a team of hardworking and skilled employees. Reinvesting profits into new hires to bolster the workforce is key for growth. Still, you should also remember to train existing staff to improve their abilities, to keep them motivated and so that you can promote from within.

These are the key areas that a business owner should focus on when reinvesting money back into the company. Investing in these areas will help to take the company forward and allow you to compete at a much higher level, plus you can often recoup the money spent by improving the business in critical areas and increasing sales.

 

How Has Mobile Gameplay Affected The Slots Industry?

For many people, when someone mentions the word ‘slot games’, their first thought is going to go not to the many slot machines lining up in casinos across the world, but instead to the hundreds of different slot games that can be played online. The world is becoming much more virtual and much less physical, and when it comes to playing slots and easier online casino payment methods, this trend is one that looks set to continue.

But the online slots industry is not limited to laptop or desktop computers – far from it. Today, all kinds of mobile devices are on hand (literally) to allow people to play online slots wherever and whenever they want to.

How has this ability to play slots anywhere and everywhere affected the slots industry?

More Players

The first point to think about when answering the question of how mobile gameplay has affected the slots industry is the number of people who are now able to play these games who wouldn’t have been able to before. Mobile gameplay has opened up slots and online casino games in general to a much wider audience.

For one thing, we all seem to be incredibly busy all the time. Work takes up so much of our day, and then attempting to socialise, spend time with family, take part in hobbies… it all adds up so that even our free time is much more limited than it ever was in the past. If physical casinos were the only option, only a small percentage of those wanting to play would be able to make it there to do so. With online gaming on mobile devices, everyone has the same chance.

Plus mobile gaming opens up whole new world to those with disabilities that might make it difficult for them to head to a physical casino or betting shop to play. And of course, it means you can spend just a few minutes playing whereas the journey to and from the casino would take a lot of time.

More Money

With more and more people enjoying the chance to play, that means more and more money is being put into the slots industry. This can only be a good thing; designers and developers will be able to spend more time creating additional games which in turn makes the entire experience a much more fun one – seeking out new slots and trying them out is all part of the enjoyment factor.

And of course, when more money is being put into the slots (albeit virtually), the prizes and jackpots are going to be bigger and more frequent, and this benefits everyone.

More Regulations

The bigger the mobile slots industry gets, the more regulations need to be put into place to ensure that people aren’t scammed, don’t lose all their money, and can play safely. They are also put in place to ensure that casinos are able to work efficiently, and that the gaming developers are able to continue their work.

 

Common Question Broadband Only Deals

Of course you are the familiar with the word Wifi, Wi-FI and WIFI. Actually the wifi is coming from the broadband. Broadband is actually the device that provides the internet in the form of wifi. Broadband is actually the only internet service. The broadband only deals are mostly suitable for the offices, houses and the business corporations where lots of people have to use the Internet. The broadband internet is different from the mobile data in such away that, you have to set up the connection for the broadband and you can only use the broadband deals where you have set up it.

What is Broadband only deals?

Broadband only deals are the such type of deals in which you are offered with the internet. The internet will be unlimited and with the amazing bandwidth speed. By broadband device you can use the internet in the form of wifi on your mobile phone and laptop, however if you have the desktop then you can use the broadband internet via wire. Mostly people those are not used to of using the mobile data on the mobile they go for the broadband deals. The reason is it affordable and unlimited internet.

Why it’s a good idea to get Broadband Only Deals?

As we have mentioned the broadband only deals are mostly use in the offices, houses and business corporations. Actually the reason behind the choosing the broadband services is there are lots of people in the office those have to use the Internet frequently and it will be costly if the office provide the mobile data to every employee, so therefore the broadband only deals are using in the office so how the every employee of the office can easily use the internet with the fine bandwidth speed.

How Much Money can save in Broadband only deals?

Actually there is no exact calculation of the money that you can save from the broadband only deals, but if you compare it with the mobile data then you can save the lots of money. For example there is an office in which 50 employees are working and every employee required the internet again and again, so the CEO can provide them the internet via mobile data which will be quite costly for the company or the second option is set up the broadband connection in the office so the every employee can easily access the internet with the amazing speed and this way is very cheap.

How to Choose the best broadband only deal?

Well the selection of the broadband deal is quite easy, but you just need to look for the few things, such as first of all check the internet should be unlimited, the speed should be minimum 11Mbps and there will be no upfront cost (installation cost). If you find this kind of service then buy. The Three company has the amazing deals and offers of the broadband deals, so here we have suggestion of Three Company.

Home-Based Business Ideas That Work

More workers are pursuing opportunities to work from home. Eliminating commute times and increased earning potential are two of the reasons for workers to be interested in this option. Employers also find that they can reduce their expenses, increase productivity and boost morale by offering telecommuting opportunities.

Despite the increasing popularity of telecommuting, not all employers are willing or able to embrace this option. Staff who are employed by these companies and those who are preparing to enter the job market may decide that working from home is not negotiable and opt to start a home-based business instead of pursuing opportunities as a conventional employee. Those who are interested in this path will find that there is a diverse range of career options that can be pursued from home.

Therapy

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Photo Credit: Unsplash

With an online counseling psychology degree, you can prepare for a career as a therapist. This is a career that can be pursued from home. You can create a home-based office and see clients in person regularly. This approach has the benefit of eliminating your commute and enabling you to handle matters at home between clients. You will also save money that you would spend renting accommodations elsewhere.

It also has the benefit of creating a comfortable environment for patients who may find offices feel sterile and unwelcoming. You can also consider supplementing your practice with text therapy services that enable clients to receive emergency support without coming in for an appointment.

Telemarketing

Telemarketers can work from home with predictive dialing software that accesses a database of phone numbers. Technology can enable telemarketers to access company or client data via the Internet so that they can complete their duties from a home-based office.
Telemarketing is still an effective way of reaching new potential customers on behalf of your clients and technology is available that enables telemarketers to leave voicemails instead of disrupting people with a phone call. This enables telemarketers to convey pertinent information with each call made.

Mechanical Work And Car Selling

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Photo Credit: Unsplash

Auto Auction Mall enables users to purchase vehicles. The process is easy and it is possible to save a lot of money because the costs are closer to dealership rates. You may want to start your own business and sell used cars. Individuals with land can display vehicles for sale on their property.

If you are located on a road that generates a lot of traffic you will be able to build word of mouth and save on advertising costs. This can also be an effective business expansion idea for a home-based mechanic who has their shop set up on their personal property. You will be able to buy used vehicles, perform inspections, complete any necessary repairs and sell those vehicles. You can also generate business as a mechanic by offering these clients service plans.

Web Developing

Every business needs a website to effectively compete in the current marketplace. Web developers are skilled professionals who design and construct functional websites for their clients’ needs. Some focus on specific tasks, such as overall site design or creating programs to make a site function as required. They may be hired on a contract to build a new site or redevelop an existing site.
Webmasters are professionals who continue to update sites regularly so that the information presented is current and make sure that the site’s features work properly.

Freelance Artistry

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Photo Credit: Unsplash
You can utilize your creative talents in several home-based business opportunities. Artists can pursue contract opportunities to produce visual effects. There is also demand for book cover art, comic book artwork and graphic design for websites.

Writers can explore opportunities to become professional bloggers, write freelance articles and edit written content for publications. Musicians can work from a home-based studio to record and produce their music. They may also seek opportunities to create soundtracks of audio effects for movies, television shows, Youtube productions, and advertisements.

DIY Data Recovery May Not Be a Good Option For You

Data recovery is not as easy as it sounds. Many factors need to be looked upon in a data recovery process. When you try attempting DIY data recovery, the chances are that you might end up making it even worse. There are three reasons that one should not attempt DIY data recovery.

  1. Hard drives are very delicate
  2. It’s not an easy task
  3. A wrong move and your hard drive is gone forever

Many individuals have come across to lose their hard drives permanently as they attempted to recover their data on their own. Most of the time what people do is, they bang the hard disk, put it in a freezer, shake it if it still doesn’t work, open it finally and dust it over. It does not help you to recover your data. Instead, it makes you prone to lose your data forever.

Reason #1 – A hard drive is a very delicate thing. You cannot handle it roughly. When you open it to look at what’s wrong inside, you don’t know that you are only making it weaker. A drive contains a lot of delicate components such as disk platters, actuator arms, spindles, etc. These components are so fragile that even a single bit of dust could harm them. This is the only reason that professional data recovery services like SalvageData work in a cleanroom so that these delicate components don’t fall victim to permanent data loss. The disk platters are crafted with glass, light aluminum alloy, and ceramic, and they contain the data in a hard drive. When something comes in contact with these platters, the dust, fingerprints, and debris tend to attract them.

Reason #2 – Data recovery is compared to rocket science. It is never an easy task, no matter what type of damage it is that you have with your hard drive. You need to have the accurate knowledge, apparatus, and a clean environment to handle with it. If you think that running disk repair utility would solve all your problems, you are wrong. Recovery tools are never drive-friendly as they leave the chance to overwrite it. One wrong option, and voila! You lose your data permanently.

Reason #3 – A typical data recovery setting needs a lot of things within it. It requires a cleanroom where even air cannot come through because the air may contain dust. It also comes with a particle enclosure that stops the dust to enter the room. The person who recovers the data wears an outfit along with protective gloves, masks, and many things so that the platters do not get in touch with any dust or debris. In a cleanroom, they control the temperature and humidity levels for the sake of the hard drive’s welfare.

Once you come across a mistake with DIY data recovery, you are never likely to recover it back. Hence, it is the best idea to hire data recovery services so that you can have your peace of mind and be sure that your data is going to be recovered safe and sound.

How Does Working Capital Benefit Seasonal Fluctuations?

Working capital is the requirement of all businesses in order to finance everyday operational costs and short-term debt repayments. Businesses usually generate working capital via steady cash stream which is a combination of sales income and accounts receivable. Working capital is basically the difference between a business’s current assets and current liabilities. According to studies, however, this formula is not so simple when we add in seasonality effects.

The working capital your business needs, depends on the kind of business you run as well as on seasonal fluctuations. The type of business you own dictates how much working capital you need and at what times of the year. If your business is completely seasonal, such as growing and selling Christmas trees, your working capital needs would be different. Alternatively, if you run a year-round business such as a clothing store, the working capital your business requires would be different. So how exactly does working capital benefit seasonal fluctuations? Read on to find out.

Fund Low-Income Periods

One of the most practical benefits of working capital finance is to cover daily expenses in low-income season. It is easy to generate revenue for daily operation expenses in the months when business is earning revenue daily. However, it is harder to keep it running during the slower months of the year when sales are not good. Businesses need to prepare themselves for such times by figuring out their working capital needs and sources in advance. It also helps to be ready to tackle any unexpected working capital requirements arising from an unprecedented spike in sales.

Buy Inventory for Busy Season

Businesses can take advantage of working capital to fund inventory purchase during the slow season. Doing so helps the company prepare itself for the high-sales time period. You might lose sales opportunities if you purchase inventory in the peak season, as it may take time to arrive. By procuring supplies in advance, you get to make a head-start on production for the busy time ahead.

It is not uncommon for businesses to opt for working capital loans to finance their purchasing in low-income months. Doing this lets you prepare for the peak season and you can pay back the loan when your earnings increase. When you borrow money to raise working capital, they usually come at shorter repayment terms so you can repay them quickly. Businesses are usually able to repay such loans during peak season when revenues are high.

Finance Employee Requirements

Although peak sales generally indicate a good period for any business, you would need more employees during busy season. Alternatively, you may decide to increase the working hours of your present employees. In any case, you need to distribute the salaries of new employees or the increased salaries of your current workers. Working capital also helps you pay extra salaries so that your business can keep functioning smoothly. You might also discover that you need to train your sales force for the peak season. You can finance your employees’ training through working capital as well.

Helps Balance Investments

Working capital funding helps business owners balance their investments during seasonal fluctuations. If you have been in business for some time, you would know your busy and slow seasons. Research indicates that you wouldn’t make any major capital investments or repairs in the slow season. Working capital would, however, finance interest payment due in the low-income season on any loan that you have taken. You don’t have to worry about missing any interest payment on any long-term loan. In this way, working capital financing keeps your business afloat and your lenders happy the whole year round.

Doesn’t Effect Credit Rating

In case you need to borrow working capital for an emergency during seasonal fluctuations, it wouldn’t change your credit score. According to studies, businesses can fall behind repayment of their loans when they face difficult times, thus adversely affecting their credit rating. Lenders might hesitate in giving loans and may charge higher lending rates to businesses with bad credit scores. Working capital financing has no such negative effects on your credit rating. So you don’t need to worry about its future repercussions for your business.

Supports Business Growth

Working capital financing helps you grow your business and keep your products updated according to customer demand during peak season. For instance, there may be a new trending product and customers are demanding you add it to your stock. Working capital can help you procure highly-demanded products quickly, thus ensuring that you don’t lose revenue to competitors. You can also use working capital to fund your marketing and sales effort in the time leading to peak season. You might need funds to order marketing supplies such as banners, pamphlets, or paid social media marketing campaigns. Working capital comes in handy for all such situations so you can easily finance the tools to promote your business.

Freedom of Use

If you take a loan to raise working capital for your business, you can use it for various purposes. Lenders don’t restrict you to use the money on a specific area of your business. You can use the working capital to finance any area of business that needs improvement. This area can be anything from equipment repair, to employee hiring, to adding new products. You are free to figure out which areas need working capital the most and use it on that. You don’t need to explain the details of the use of the loan to the lenders.

Final Word

Business owners need to manage their working capital smartly and effectively to cover both the peak and slow seasons. It is easy to go on and splurge money on unnecessary expenses when the earnings are good. However, you should keep those months in mind when the revenue isn’t that high and plan accordingly. A successful business owner plans for seasonal fluctuations and secures working capital to keep the business afloat around the year.

 

Your Guide to Side Hustles

Getting by isn’t as easy as it used to be. No disrespect meant to the many success stories of the ’70s and ’80s, but those of us who are now — or still — out here trying to make a living have new challenges and new frustrations. A “gig economy” has stripped some of us of benefits that were hard won back in the Progressive Era. While the economy has grown, the wealth held by everyday, hardworking people in our country has remained remarkably stagnant; the trend continues today as a surging economy leaves too many behind. And if we work hard to earn a living, we may find that even that is not enough. Economists say the real wage of the typical American hasn’t budged in years.

All of this has created some real problems for Americans. Many of us have too little saved for retirement and too little in the bank to cover unexpected expenses.

But what can we do? Even if we aim for big policy changes or economic shifts, we need to come up with something in the meantime. That’s why so many people are now turning to the “side hustle.”

Why side hustles make sense

A side hustle is anything you work at for money besides your main job. It’s not exactly the same thing as moonlighting, though, because many (if not most) side hustles don’t involve an added employer. Side hustles are often entrepreneurial in spirit.

You’ll still pay taxes on your side hustle income (please don’t try to avoid this — it makes the IRS very upset), but having a side hustle allows you to increase your earning power by turning free time into work time (of course, assuming that you opt for an entrepreneurial side hustle, you can more or less choose how much to work and when). That’s a great way to build an emergency fund, supplement retirement savings, or pay down a debt faster.

From hobby to side hustle

Side hustles are great, but where can you get one? Well, you actually might already have one. Most people have hobbies they enjoy, but some of us can actually make money through our passions. Are you a weekend musician who plays paying gigs? A crafty creator who sells wares at art shows? Then your hobby might be a side hustle (and you should probably check in on the tax implications of that).

Or maybe you have a hobby that could be a side hustle. Does everyone love your crochet work? Your paintings? Your ceramics? Then maybe you should be selling them at art shows or through online marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay. It has never been easier for hobbyists to monetize their work, and choosing to make money off of something you already do and love could give you a side-hustle income without adding much new “work” to your days off.

Flipping and reselling

Folks with enough disposable income can do well flipping houses. They buy a run-down place in a decent neighborhood, spruce it up with renovations, and resell it fast for a quick profit. That can be either a full-time job or a side hustle — but, either way, it’s out of financial reach for many of us.

But houses aren’t the only things you can flip. If you master the market for some type of product or collectible on eBay or Etsy, you could snap up underpriced goods or pick up great deals at garage sales and then flip your finds for a profit. And then there are the products that you can buy in bulk through sites like Direct Liquidation — whole pallets of returns and liquidated goods from huge retailers such as Amazon and Walmart. Some entrepreneurs buy goods this way and then resell them on online marketplaces (including, sometimes, Amazon itself) for a profit. You’ll need to be knowledgeable, of course; try to focus on particular types of items so that you can learn everything you can about their resale values and popularity. The more efficient you can be with this work, the more you can make on the weekends or after work without having to quit your day job.

Passive income and long-term goals

A side hustle is great, but nobody wants to work forever. So we’ll leave you with this advice: Think about passive income. Sometimes, a side-hustle project like an e-book or a website (with ads) can give you long-term passive income that lasts after the work is done. Other forms of passive income don’t involve much “hustle” at all: Buying stocks and other investments can give you increased wealth without asking you to lift a finger. Be smart and work hard — you can still make it in this country of ours.