If you need extra money, creating a side income stream is an excellent option. The problem with most side income ideas is that the pay model is that you trade your time for money.
If you have a full-time job, finding the time to work a side gig can be tough. And, trading time for money is simply a losing proposition, in the long run.
The best side income ideas (and the best full-time incomes) are those that aren’t capped by how much time you can spend making money. In short, you need income streams that can be scaled. Otherwise you’re severely limited in how much money you can make, because time is an incredibly finite resource.
With that in mind, the best side income ideas are usually some type of business.
To get right to the point, an ATM business is one of the best side income ideas out there, if not the best overall. Here’s why (and how to turn your ATM business into full-time income, if you want).
Why an ATM business is the best side income idea
There are a few things that make an ATM business unique, as compared to other businesses. Your ATM business can be as large or as small as you want. It’s truly a lifestyle business. Build your ATM business any way you want.
But these are the three characteristics that make an ATM business an ideal side income idea:
The upfront investment is very low.
No matter what, you’ll need to put some capital into your ATM business to get it off the ground. However, it’s a minimal initial investment, compared to other businesses. The upfront cost is low enough that you could easily borrow all the money you need.
You can get an ATM machine for $1500 to $2000. And you’ll need $500 in cash to stock your ATM. So, on the high end, you’d need about $3000 to get your first ATM up and running.
It might not be ideal, but you could conceivably put the entire upfront cost on a credit card. We don’t recommend this. But it’s an option. This is a good article about how to fund your ATM business.
No matter how you do it, the benefit here is that you just don’t need that much money to get started. So, an ATM business is a great side hustle to start with little money.
The time investment is asymmetrical.
If you’ve read the blog of Tim Ferriss, you’ve probably heard the word “asymmetrical” a few times. That’s because it’s a relevant business term, especially for those who want to create lifestyle businesses. Here’s what it means in the world of ATM businesses:
What we mean here is that the return on the time you put into an ATM business is not one-for-one. Meaning that if you invest one hour working on your ATM business, you’ll get more than one hour’s worth of income out of it.
That’s because your ATM (or ATMs) keeps working even when you’re not. The income that you get out of your ATM business scales with the number of ATM machines you own, not the time you put in.
Of course, the time requirement of your business will increase slightly as you add more ATM machines to your fleet. But, the income will scale much faster than the time required. It’s an asymmetrical investment.
Once you’ve got your ATM business humming along, you could spend a few hours a week working on your ATM business, and get part or even full-time income out of it.
The business can eventually run without you.
The ultimate goal for many business owners is to have a business that runs and generates income without them.
It won’t happen right away. But, your ATM business can easily become a self-contained enterprise if you set it up right.
The majority of the work in your ATM business is maintaining and stocking your ATM machines with cash. These tasks can easily be outsourced. There are ATM vaulting companies that can take care of filling your ATMs with cash. And you can easily set up a maintenance contract with an ATM technician.
All of this will add some overhead to your ATM business. But, you can easily figure out how your business needs to be structured to be self-sufficient. Here’s what to do:
Establish your target revenue from your ATM business.
Calculate your average revenue from each machine (most successful businesses rake in between $400 and $500 per month from each machine).
Calculate the cost of outsourcing your ATM vaulting and ATM maintenance. You’ll need to do a little research, since the costs vary by area. Remember that the cost will go up a bit for each additional machine.
Use the average revenue from each machine to determine how many ATM machines you would need to cover your overhead expenses, while hitting your revenue goals.
For the math minded types, it looks something like this:
(Target revenue + overhead expenses) / average revenue per ATM machine = total number of ATMs required
That will tell you how many ATM machines you need to get up and running to create an ATM business that’s almost completely hands-free (sorry, there’s no such thing as truly passive income. You’ll have to get your hands at least a little bit dirty at some point).
If that sounds like creating full-time income, that’s because it is. However, it’s also the perfect formula for creating a side income stream. That’s because your target revenue doesn’t have to be your total life income.
You can set your target revenue at just the additional money you’d like to make from your side business. That will tell you how many ATM machines you need to build a side income stream that’s almost entirely automated.
All this goes back to the fact that you can build your ATM business any way you want. It’s a flexible business that you can build to suit your needs and your life.
What to do now
All this sounds pretty good, right?
It is. And it’s easy to get started. If you want a quick guide, check out our guide to getting your first ATM placement.
Or get the book on how to start an ATM business here.
And, if you want the most in depth training and guides that will help you start making money fast, become an ATMDepot member to get all the training and templates you need to become an independent ATM operator.