My Part-Time Passive Income Home-Based Business

Part-Time Passive IncomeNot too long ago I was asked how I was able to make money and survive with my small, home-based decal business. The fact is my decal business is really just a part-time business that is, for the most part, very passive in nature and provides me with a little extra spending cash to enjoy. I actually have a full-time profession that I am very happy with and do not intend to replace any time soon.

My purpose for putting together this small online business of mine was to have a little something to do during my spare time that I can feel proud of and make a little money with. But, what I have realized after almost 3 years of running my business is that this small home-based business is, for the most part, a part-time passive income bearing business that almost runs by itself. Let me explain…

First off, for those of you who try to follow my Sunshine Decals Etsy store, you might realize that my sales are not as abundant as many of my wall decal businesses competitors on Etsy. At least for me, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I will get to in a minute.

A Week In The Life of
An Online Decal Business Owner

What I have found is that I really do spend very little time working my business. My weekly routine may look something like this:

I wake up and reach for my iPhone, first thing in the morning, to check for sales and my Etsy shop status. Let’s say “no sales”. Moving on…
I later get off from work and on the way home, I check for sales, but no sales. Moving on…

Sometime before I go to bed I check for sales, no sales. But someone asks a question and I reply either right then and there or I wait to formulate a better response a bit later. Either way it only takes a couple of minutes to reply. It is either a hit or miss. Whatever. I move on…

More or less the same routine, but my shop status says that several people have either favored my shop or several items in my shop. Great! That means potential future sales… maybe. So what. I move on…

Still more of the same. But later in the day I make a sale. Awesome! Not only that, a customer that contacted me last week decides to follow-up and seems to be interested in one of my items, except they are just making sure its what they are looking for. Good – That means it is a very potential sale. I do not think I will start to get to work on today’s earlier sale, yet. I am going to see if I can get one or two more before I put my face to the grindstone. Let’s see what happens tomorrow…

More of the same but I get nothing. I think will go to work on that one sale tomorrow if nothing else comes in.

I wake up to two sales! Things are looking up! I think I will get to work on all three items when I get home from work later today and have them ready to package and ship out by Saturday morning. Since it is only three decals, I think I will knock them out in under 40 minutes and another 10 minutes for packaging. Sounds good to me. I get to it and I am done early. It’s time for a cold beer, or two.

A couple of hours after I drop off the packages at my local Post Office, I check my iPhone while on the road and I see I made another sale – This one is a gooder! And someone else has a custom order for me to work on. Nice! I have something to look forward to sometime this weekend. Maybe I can even finalize the sale on that customer that keeps poking around my store. Either way, sounds good to me! I will have at least another two packages to drop off at the Post Office before going to work on Monday morning. Life is good.

It’s A Part-Time Passive Life For Me!

Like I said, the fact is I normally do not spend a whole lot of time working my online wall decal business. My Etsy shop is open 24/7 all year long and I do not have to be there to open the doors. And as you can see, I do not even have to be home to find out that I made sales or answer customer questions. And when I do make sales, I do not rush to make them. I like to accumulate a couple of them before I get started.

Between answering customer questions, making decals and packaging them, and then dropping them off at the post office approximately twice a week, I normally spend only 2 to 3 hours a week tending to my business. Some weeks I spend a little more and other weeks a little less. That’s not to say that I do not try to look for ways to increase sales. I actually do sometimes scope out what other seemingly successful Etsy shops are doing to see if it will work for me and give it a shot – At times it helps and other times its all for not.

If you think I am exaggerating, click my status chart to check out my sales for the past 30 days:
Etsy Stats for August, 2013
And remember, I do not sell direct to anyone… I am just not interested right now.  Maybe one day I will.  The opportunities are there for the taking.  But for now, it’s a part-time passive  life for me!

 Post Script:  Do not be discouraged if you find my part-time income to seem meager.  My point in writing this post is to demonstrate how easy it is to make money designing and selling decals.  How much money you can make will depend on factors such as your designs, your marketing, who you market to, whether you sell locally, online, or both and how much effort you put into it.

I am personally happy with the outcome of my sales versus my efforts and time spent with this small business of mine.  Like everyone else, more would be better.  But I am good… for now.  And the part-time experience is excellent for me… I love it!  And I am learning something new all the time!!

I occasionally visit and read the forums just to keep in touch and I am always amazed as to how well so many folks are doing in this business.  In the future I will always have the option to take my business to the next level.  But, for now, I am happy just sharing everything I have learned thus far.  It’s all good!!  I hope it’s good for you, too!


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  • George

    Can the Esty store be closed when you go on vacation?

    • Jerry

      Yes. Etsy has a vacation mode for shop owners.

  • George

    Hi Jerry.

    Do you create your own images or buy clip art?

  • Sophie

    Hi Jerry

    You’re back! I’ve been running my decal store on ebay for 9 months now. i’ve also looking for ways to up the sales.

  • Holly Deal

    If you would, I am interested in talking with you to learn more about about your business to see if it would be something I could start on a local basis out of my home to earn some extra income to help me with upcoming college expenses for my two teens.

    If you would be willing to share some about your vinyl lettering business, I would like to learn more about it.
    Thanks, Holly