For many people across the country, an additional income is a necessity to making ends meet. Just one income is simply not enough anymore to cope with the rising cost of living. I mean sure, the likes of medical professionals who perhaps own their own practices might tell you a story of how their jobs are as fulfilling as they are filling of their bank accounts, but I always have just one question to confirm this.

If starting from tomorrow the government committed to paying you the salary you’ve been earning with no strings attached and that salary came in regardless of what you do with your life, would you still wake up in the morning to go to work? If the answer is no then it applies to you too, that being that you could definitely do with an alternative source of income which is not tied to the selling of your time in order to get paid.

But where does one look? While there is indeed somewhat of a global drive towards business, entrepreneurship and perhaps even just looking towards alternative, unconventional sources of income, competition has kicked up a notch as well. In today’s society it’s the easiest it has ever been to start up your own business, especially if you’re looking towards channels such as the online space over which to operate.

The low barriers to entry mean that pretty much anyone can try and get in on the action, more so with regards to replicating those business models which demonstrate themselves to be working out well. For example, if you perhaps decided to deal in the selling of demo Smartphones to buyers in your local neighbourhood, all it takes for a neighbour to become direct competition for you is a Google search for wholesale suppliers of demo phones and suddenly you have a competitor overnight.

So in a world where competition can spring up overnight and try to knock your hustle, the question is how do you set yourself apart so that you have staying-power?

It’s not rocket-science – you just have to look as close to home as you possibly can.

I mean sure, my demo Smartphone-pushing business idea can perhaps be funded quite simply and quickly by applying for short term credit, such as a short term loan from Mr Lender, but if I’m to make it work and future proof myself from any immediate competition it would have to be a business which sort of fell into my lap. By that I simply mean you need to look at your situation as it currently is and then build a business around that.

I, for example, love changing phones and I’m known for that – I tend to get bored of the features after I’ve figured out how all of them work – and so everybody within my circle knows that I’m kind of the go-to person if they have any questions about their devices or any handsets they might be considering purchasing. Referring them as buyers or getting them to buy from me then becomes natural. Finding your niche is just the first step; figuring out how you can make that niche a unique business idea is how you’re going to make the money roll in (with a bit of luck!)