Quick Programming Note: I’m going to be heading on vacation next week, so I may not post again until Labor Day. Things are so busy that I didn’t have time to proofread this article, so please excuse the minor grammar error.
However, the local zoning officer came and said that I can’t run a business in a residential area.
The conversation got very nuanced. Is someone allowed to bake cupcakes in their home and have them picked up? What about kids and lemonade stands? It’s hard to know where the line is.
There was a week where I researched everything about town ordinances. I didn’t eat much. I didn’t sleep. It was terrible.
I presented the evidence that I can host a few dogs at the house. He came back with a town ordinance that was intended for dog owners – no more than three licensed dogs at the house. It was no longer about running a business. I let it go, because I can work with that.
However, before we got to that point, I was in panic mode.
If I’m not making money from dog boarding, what’s the back-up plan? It has very much become my identity. Several years ago, I would have said it’s blogging, but many of you readers have moved on. I don’t make too much money from blogging, so it’s hard to consider that my job.
Fortunately, I can still make money from dog boarding. However, it feels like less of a job now that I have to keep the numbers low.
My Plan B
When I thought that dog boarding was done, I went into spreadsheet mode. I started to list new potential sources of incomes.
I had bought another bloggers’ website several months ago. I haven’t set it up though. I figured I could probably make $3,000 a year with advertisements on it. That’s a start.
Then I realized that I still have a strong Rover.com profile. I could switch over to dog walking, which would certainly be legal and not a zoning issue. I figured I could make around $30 a walk and do 300 walks a year for a total of $9,000.
Next up, I could make some money from Kid Wealth. Maybe some people would sign up via Patreon. I estimated that maybe I could find 25 people who would pay $3 a month. That’s $900 a year.
I also do some side work at a friend’s company. I have a little ownership stake in it and get some profit sharing. I thought that maybe I could do some extra stuff and potentially make another $5000 from it.
I thought about setting up a small company that provides email services like Aweber or Constant Contact. I know some bloggers that could use this service and save some money. I don’t know what the demand would be and I wouldn’t want to charge much (or else people would just stick with Aweber and Constant Contact). I figured if I could get 5 customers to pay $5 month that would be $300.
As you can tell by now, I really was starting to stretch. I thought that I could set up local small businesses with websites. I put that down as potentially worth $10,000, but I don’t know what the market for it would be.
Finally, I thought I could write a book about dog boarding and put it on Amazon. Books either seems like a hit or miss. I figured that maybe I’d sell 20 books at around $10. This way if it was a complete flop, I only expected to make $200 out of it anyway.
When I totals up all that money, I’d potentially have another $28,400. It’s not great, but not terrible – especially given my other duties taking care of the kids.
However, I didn’t stop there. In addition to all this real money, I came up with the concept of virtual money. I’d “pay myself” to do items around the house that I had been putting off. For example, I’ve had estate planning on my to do list for a long time and it never gets done. Well, I’d consider it worth $1000 to get it done. So of course, it’s not real money, but it’s not sitting around reading endless articles on politics – or something else that doesn’t improve our lives in some way.
I put together enough of these lingering to do items to add up to around $12,000 to give me over $40,000.
Will I Need My Plan B?
It looks like I won’t fully need to implement Plan B as I can host a few dogs. However, with fewer dogs around, I’ll have some more time. That means that I can certainly look into some of these projects instead of letting them linger on forever.