Getting a job with a criminal background is hard. Getting a job with a criminal background in a recession is even harder. There are many people without criminal records competing with ex-offenders and felons for fewer and fewer jobs. “I need money to pay my bills? I need money to live? I don’t want to, but I may have to resort to some illegal activity to make money. What other choice do I have?” Even in these tough economic times there is money to be made. Most ex-offenders and felons have skills that could be used to make money. You just have to think out of the box a little and be willing to do what it takes to earn money until you can find a job.
Here some ideas that can help you earn some cash quickly while staying on the right side of the law.
Selling Drinks or Bottled Water
Most of the year and especially during the hot summer months, an ice cold drink at a good price would be hot commodity at a park, playground, construction site or anywhere people gather. A very good place is wherever traffic backs up on a regular basis. You could buy drinks by the case, put them on ice and they would sell like mad.
A Cleaning Service
Busy people who do not have time to clean their homes or small businesses would gladly pay someone to do it for them. If you want your own business and you don’t have much money to get started, a residential house cleaning service maybe for you.
A Painting Service
Painting is a messy job so people really dread doing it, so if you have some experience and some friends there are certainly some folks who’d pay you to do it. Make certain you will be able to offer professional results at a better price than a professional company would charge. Distribute Flyers or Coupons for Local Businesses. Many local retailers and restaurants use flyers, door hangers, menus and coupons to promote their businesses. Use your phone book to find businesses that market to the general community. Pizza parlors, dry cleaners and sandwich shops are prime candidates for your services.
Graffiti Removal Service
Property owners especially business owners would gladly pay someone to remove ugly graffiti.
Car Washing/Detailing Service
People who do not have time to or energy to wash their own cars would pay someone to keep their automobile clean inside and out. You could be in business with very little money. You could schedule appointments at the car owner’s location on a weekly or monthly basis so you could maintain a steady income.
Dog Walking Service
Busy and housebound people would gladly pay someone to walk their pets. Dog walking services are big in urban areas where pets are often kept in apartments. You could build a list of steady clients or even take care of pets while owners are away.
Exterior Window Washer
Small business owners pay someone to clean their shop windows at a good price. All you would need to be in business is a bucket, scrubber, some soapy water and a squeegee. You could be making money right away. You could branch out into washing residential windows.
Yard/Basement Cleaning Service
A well kept yard makes a nice home even nicer but not everyone has the time or energy to do it and would pay somebody. Cutting grass, weeding, planting flowers, raking leaves (nobody like raking leaves,) and cleaning gutters could have you raking in dollars. Shoveling snow in the winter could also be very profitable.
Holiday Decoration Installer/Uninstaller
Putting up holiday decorations is fun for a lot of folks, some don’t. Everyone dreads the task of taking them down. This unique service would solve a lot of holiday problems and net you some cash.
Are you good at repairing things? Do you have woodworking or plumbing skills? You could offer to do small jobs at a fraction of what contractors would charge while guaranteeing quality work. Another twist to this is to make a list of local contractors and offer hire yourself out as a day laborer. There are probably quite a few contractors in your area looking for day laborers as a way to keep their own costs down.
Sell Baked Goods
Are you good at baking things? Do you have a special cookie, pie or cake recipe? Individually wrap portions and sell them at construction sites, in front grocery stores, strip malls or other high traffic areas.
These are just some ideas that could have you bringing in money while looking for employment. You never can tell. A business that starts out small could grow into something big. Starting your own business will be a lot of work. You have to be prepared to work long hours finding customers and promoting your business. You could print flyers describing the services your business offers. List your rates and your phone number or email address. Drop off a flyer at every house in your neighborhood. Ask local stores or coffee shops if you can post a flyer on their community notice board (if you do this, make a bunch of tabs along the bottom with the service you offer and a phone number, so people can tear one off instead of taking the entire flyer). The great thing about flyers is if you get enough of them out, you will get some response.
Handing out fliers, knocking on doors, and getting referrals is hard work that could pay off in a big way.