5 Instant Make-Money Businesses

Buy or launch your own small business and become your own boss with these 5 ideas which I personally rolled out myself or invested in. None of these make as much a return on investment as property and online businesses, but here it goes anyway:


1. Commissions (Affiliate Program)

This is basically the fastest cash you will make. It is the business of finding customers for other peoples products. In essence you become a marketer and you can be your own boss and work from home with this Commissions model. It can make you a lot of money on the side. A good example will be my app which I give free access to every customer who bought my books. If you purchased a book, you will have access to the app, upon request via email.


This is how it works. You get your own referral code in the form of a clickable link, which you can paste it in any message on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Emails, WhatsApp, anywhere.  If your referral clicks the link and actually buys a book, I share 50% of the sale with you (the app notifies you that you made a sale). The top 3 affiliates are earning R3000 per month, just by sending emails to their email lists and using Facebook!




2. Launch a Beauty salon

This was a fun 6 months for me. I launched a beauty salon in Sandton which focused on hair, beauty and massage treatments. The key is good location with high traffic. It is all about aesthetics. People want to walk in and feel pampered. You are selling an experience, not a service or product really. No rocket science to running this business, but you need to make sure you hire well. Source staff from beauty school where the young students are well trained and salaries are pretty low. Pros: If your business takes off, you could have a long term clientele base bringing in consistent income. Cons: High turn over of staff, in effect inconsistent service levels. This is not a scale-able business, but can make decent side income. My downfall was not enough time to manage the salon myself and I hired a thieving manageress. 


3. Sell websites

There are so many small businesses who do not have an online presence or website. If Google cannot find you, you cannot grow your business. So, if you know small businesses, tuckshops, mechanics, salons etc. who need a website, why not launch one for them. The going rate is R2500. It takes 2 hrs to launch a website using my 15 step guide.


4. Vending machines

Do you have spare time to run a vending machine business? If yes, then this can become quite a lucrative business for you. The upfront cost is the vending machine, which averages R20 000. Then the business is to stock it and replenish stock. It is difficult to get a mall or airport to grant you real estate for the machine. Good areas are restaurants and taxi ranks, in my experience. Vending ideas: 

  • Cool drinks and snacks
  • Cigarettes
  • Electricity and airtime
  • DVDs and CDs (yes, people still buy)
  • Kids toys and sweets
  • Electronics 



If ever wondering whether you should buy an UBER or not?... In SA, you cannot buy an UBER slot anymore. The rules for UBER has changed where only Drivers are allocated available slots. What happened, is, when UBER launched in SA in 2013 there was a push to get cars on the road and UBER allowed investors to buy slots and hire a drivers. Now, there are too many UBERs on the JHB roads and to scale back, they locked the allocations to drivers only. They took away inactive slots from investors, at no fee. Never buy an UBER slot from ads on GUMTREE. It is a scam. I bought an UBER X and UBER VAN slot for R30 000. Lost this money. I bought a Toyota Corolla, an UBER approved vehicle type (they only allow Sedans not older than 3 years) for R200 000 and got it onto the UBER platform/app. Only for the previous owner to go to UBER and reclaim his slot. He then sold it again to another person. UBER allows drivers to reclaim their slot. They have made slot selling illegal because of the fraud issues. If you want to be an UBER driver in SA, your real costs will be:

  • Car (R4000 per month)
  • Personal Liability Insurance (insurance for UBER is R2000)
  • Double disc for taxi (R500 a year)
  • Car License (R500 a year)
  • Brakes and drums (R2000 every 6 months)
  • Service the car (R2000 every 3 months)
  • Tyres (R2500 every 6 months)

There were 2 ways to structure an UBER driver arrangement. I found a driver on GUMTREE. He got my car and pays me R2800 every week. Basically, a renting of my asset arrangement. He keeps the car and I inspect it once a month. I then pay the driver R500 a week for renting his UBER slot. In essence, he pays me R2300 per week. Whatever he earns each week is his income. UBER drivers can make between an average of R5000 to R10 000 per week. I must warn you, although I made so much of money from my UBER, it is a nightmare business to run. The driver calls you almost everyday to complain about the petrol price (yes, that's his cost and each time the price goes up he will negotiate his rental cost down) or about repairing something that a passenger broke. The services and tyres are a never administrative issue and could eat away all of your profit. Actually, there is no profit in UBER for an investor. The only gain you make is that after 5 years of car installments, you end up with a vehicle which was self funded. The problem is, the vehicle is not worth much because of the high mileage. There is good money in UBER if you have the time to become a driver. People have left corporate jobs to be their own boss.