There are lots of ways people can make money, and the middleman method is quite possibly the easiest one. You don’t need to do any of the actual work yourself and it doesn’t require many skills. You don’t need lots of funds and you can start immediately.

Middleman Method

What do you need to do?

The first step is to find work in a particular niche. You then find someone else such as a freelancer or another company to complete the work and take a slice of the profits for yourself. You are the middleman who connects the two parties – one who needs a job doing and another who can complete the task.

There are many different areas that you can do this in, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be online, even though this is arguably the most common way. People do it all the time, even in trades such as plumbing, groundwork and other labouring jobs. A business will be hired for a job and they will then outsource the work. As long as you work out the costs correctly or get a fixed price for the job, you can always make a profit. See below for two examples, one online and one offline:

Online

You can set up a self-employed business as a designer. You can offer services to design websites, logos and more. Simply advertise yourself and get some customers who will place orders with you. Once you have a few orders which need to be completed, you then head over to a freelancer and ask them to complete the work. You can act as a project manager and communicate between the two parties.

Offline

It can be a little trickier offline and might require a little more knowledge in the area in which you are making money. However, you can do it in almost any area so it’s important to choose something you know a little bit about. For example, you could offer to print things for people, and once you receive the work, outsource it to another print shop online or offline.

Vistaprint offer a great example of the Middleman Method. They have a reseller program, which means that you can sell their products and services under your own brand. Set up in any of the areas that vistaprint specialise in, get customers and outsource it all to vistaprint. All the products and packages are unbranded which allows you to send the product directly to the customer. There will be lots of other businesses that will have a similar program which you’ll be able to use. Even if they don’t, you could get in touch with them and ask if you would be able to resell their product or service under your own brand. Check out the Vistaprint Reseller program here for an example:

vistaprint_logo

Most people who outsource offline normally work in that area already. There are still many things you can do if you don’t have previous knowledge and experience, but you will struggle a little more as the two parties usually have to meet, which can cause some problems. A plumber can normally outsource jobs to other plumbers if they are busy.

These are just two examples out of a plethora of options. You won’t need a huge amount of money to start doing this, but if you don’t have any cash whatsoever for your new venture, ask your customers for deposits. You can then use this to pay the freelancers to whom you are outsourcing the work. Some freelancers will require payment upfront before they complete the work, and it’s common for people to ask for at least 25-30% of the total amount before they start working. If you need to pay for advertising, you’ll have to pay out of your pocket for this when starting out; however, there are lots of places online such as forums and social media where you can advertise completely free of charge.

You can use Freelancer, Fiverr and other online marketing places to find people who will be able to complete the work for your clients. Unless it’s local, you’ll have to do your own research. You should advertise yourself more and hire more people to outsource the work to if you want more business or you’re becoming busier than you expected. The possibilities are endless once you start using this method and gain momentum.

Tips:

  • Pick one area and stick to it. Like any business, it’s easier to concentrate on one thing rather than several different ones.
  • Make sure you provide a good service. To do this, you’ll need to ensure that you’re outsourcing the work to another good business or freelancer.
  • Make your business look professional by designing a good website and maintaining friendly and professional contact with your clients and your freelancers.
  • If you are based online, spend time creating a social media presence, such as a Facebook page and Twitter profile. For offline businesses, consider getting leaflets and business cards

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