How Senior Caregivers Can Get Their Side Hustle On

Authored by Hal Salazar    Image courtesy Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

When you’re a senior caregiver, free time is invaluable. Though caregiving may be an exhausting job, some will crave more action. Enter: a side gig. Here are a few ideas from the Arizona In-Home Care Association for starting your own side hustle.

Benefits of a side gig

Naturally, the biggest benefit of a side gig is the extra income. No matter how much you make caregiving, having some extra cash is always a plus. The flexibility of a side job goes hand-in-hand with the extra money; you can work and earn as much as you need to, and you can take a break when you need to. That extra money can be directed toward anything from loans to outings with family and friends.

Starting something new also provides you the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and earn invaluable new experiences. It can serve as a relaxing change from your caregiving duties and potentially something the entire family can be a part of.

Options for work

The best part of the gig market is that the choices are endless:

  • Ridesharing
  • Babysitter/pet sitter
  • Become a Notary Public
  • Performing handyman duties
  • Create items to sell
  • Collect items to resell
  • Dog walking

You can choose from just about any category of tasks, tailored to your interests, time, and availability. For example, if you enjoy working with your hands and have the experience, you can use your talents for a set number of handyman hours each week. If your free time fluctuates, you can adjust how many tasks you take on.

Finding work

So you’ve chosen your side gig and want to get started. Start by searching for websites and phone apps that pertain to your desired gig.

If you can’t find a service that’s right for you or want even more business, word-of-mouth marketing is an excellent way to promote yourself. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about your gig. Offer discounts so they can test your service or product, and turn them into returning customers. They’ll likely rave to their friends and family, who in turn will want to try the product, turn into customers, rave to their friends, and continue the cycle. Remember, as noted by Referral Rock: “92% of people trust word-of-mouth referrals from those they know, above all other advertising.” Take advantage!

Staying organized with invoicing software

As a freelancer, one of the most important things you can do is to keep track of your invoices. Not only does this help you stay organized, but it also ensures that you get paid in a timely manner. While you could use a traditional invoicing system, invoicing software offers a number of advantages. It allows you to keep track of your invoices in one central location, and an integrated invoicing tool typically comes with a number of features that can save you time, such as templates from which you can create customized invoices, as well as automatic payment reminders.

Legal considerations

To make your side gig legitimate in the eyes of the law, there are tax elements to consider. It essentially comes down to what you’re paid and how. If you make a particular amount of money, you’ll need to pay certain taxes and deal with certain forms. Some of it is up to you, some is the responsibility of your employer, so it’s important to know exactly where you stand in their system. If you’re starting your own business, then you’ll need to select a business structure and register your business with the state.

Advertising yourself

If you want your business to grow, you’ll need efficient marketing. Refer-a-friend programs can be very effective, and you should never underestimate the power of a business card. Post on community boards, both online and physical. You could even create magnets with your name, phone number, email, and logo.

As Envision IT Solutions notes, a strong logo is crucial because it’s the first impression your company makes on a potential customer. Your logo should incorporate your brand seamlessly and separate itself from the competition.

Caring for a senior takes a lot of physical, mental, and emotional energy. Transform it into a drive for something more. The time is now: go start that side hustle. Remember to follow a few basic best practices including finding the right type of gig, marketing yourself, using tech for invoicing, and understanding all the associated legalities.

About the author:  Hal Salazar created Elders.Today to lend a helping hand to seniors via carefully curated resources. Hal is newly retired, and as he embarked on planning and preparing for his golden years, he realized there was a lot of information to keep up with so he started gathering it all on his website to help out his fellow seniors.

The Arizona In-Home Care Association represents a coalition of businesses in, and affiliated with, the in-home care industry who are dedicated to consumer protection and advocacy. Contact us today for more information!

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