12 Ways for Business Owners to Generate Cash FAST

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I know what it is to be comfortable in my current situation, and I know what it is to have a need. I’ll admit that my family and I have had times where we didn’t know how we were going to pay the bills. It’s stressful. You know you want to pursue entrepreneurship, but the fear of not generating enough cash in your business can be mentally hindering!

Whether you’re venturing out into entrepreneurship or still rockin’ it in the corporate world while you grow your business, there may be times when you get strapped for cash. I understand. It’s why I’ve created this list of ideas for entrepreneurs to generate cash quickly.

Not all of these tips will work for you. The purpose of this list is to get your wheels turning. If you want different results in your business, you can’t keep doing the same old thing. What’s something new you can do in your business to generate more income?

12 Ideas for Business Owners to Generate Cash FAST

Who Do You Know?

I know I have been completely guilty of this – when trying to promote your business, it’s sometimes easier to talk to strangers than our own friends and family. Do you offer a service or product that the people you know would be interested in? Talk to them about it!

A friend and I were chatting the other day about her photography business. Her main concern with her business at this time is bringing in more clients.   I realized that in the time we had known each other, she had never asked if my family would be interested in getting family photos.

I know you don’t want to badger… but you have to at least ask the people you know ONE time if they are interested in your products or services. If they don’t, they might know someone who would be.

Just Ask

This is similar to “who do you know”… but it focuses on asking others to share about your services. Why not ask five close friends (especially those who have connections!) to mention your services?

Even better, do you have a close friend who has an audience or large following? Try asking if they would mention you, your services, and/or your brand to their audience. You don’t know until you ask, and the worst they can say is “no”. Best case scenario? That random friend of yours with 300,000 followers on Twitter promotes your brand and business booms. It’s worth an “ask!”

Go to a Networking Meeting

Exhausted your list of people you know to pitch your services to? Meet new people. Especially if your area is highly populated, there can be hundreds of free Meetups that happen on a weekly basis. Meet with other entrepreneurs, share business cards, find referrals, and build business connections.

Don’t have a Meetup in your area? Start one! Invite other entrepreneurs to join you. This can be a great way to promote your own business, position yourself as an authority in your field, and network with other business owners.

Consult or Coach

If you have a product or service based business and haven’t tried coaching or consulting yet, this may be your time. Provide one-on-one coaching services to do what you are already doing well. Offer consulting skills to a business who could benefit from your knowledge.

Maybe you have an existing email list that you have never offered coaching to. Don’t feel the need to make it super complicated. You have valuable knowledge to offer – it’s why you started your business. Send out an email to your subscriber list stating what you can offer them. Set up a payment method and boom – you have a coaching program!

Create an Online Course

I only suggest this option if you already have some kind of substantial email list to pitch to (over a 1,000 email subscribers is best). Creating an online class is a fairly easy way to generate new income for those who already have a following…  My favorite platform to create a course on is Teachable. It’s super-simple to learn and sell your courses.

Before you dive into creating content for your course, I HIGHLY recommend reading this article from Bryan Harris. It goes into detail on how he created a course that people would want by seeing what people were already interested, and even getting people to pay for the course before it’s created (can we say, quick income?). He created over $220K in a 10-day pitch. It’s pretty phenomenal. This is one to bookmark people.

Teach an In-Person Class

Teaching an in-person class is a fun way to show off your skills by teaching them to others! What success have you had that you could teach others in a workshop or class? Don’t get hung up on all of the technical details. My theory in this is similar to launching an online course… sell then create. Choose a subject, date, time and price. Don’t even worry about a location at first. Then start selling! If you don’t sell enough seats to make it worthwhile, you can cancel the event… but selling first will ensure that there is enough interest to actually put all the work into securing a location and creating a presentation.


When is the last time that you connected with your previous clients? Try sending them a personal email to see how they are doing, how they are liking your product, or what their current state is on the problem you were working to solve with them. Then, offer them another product or service that would interest them. Can you offer them a re-sale, cross-sale, or up-sell? If not, maybe they have someone they could refer?

Remember – your previous clients have already seen the value that you offer. They are easier to convert than new clients and require less up-front costs to convert! Win-win-win!

Just to brush up, here are the different kind of offers you can present to previous clients:


If a client purchased a product from you that they may need again, reach out to them! This is especially good outreach if you have a service-based business. Clients usually need services provided more than just one time! You can even set up a schedule to contact clients again when they would normally need to purchase your product (like a house cleaning or car maintenance service… you can set up reminders to reconnect with your previous clients for resells based off of the date of their last purchase).

Cross- Sell 

A cross-sell is when you take a product or service that a client purchased, and you pitch a similar, related product or service to pitch to them. Amazon has perfected this process with their “frequently bought together” section on their site:

Generate Cash Fast
Even if a cross-sale didn’t happen at the time of the original sell, you can still reach out to your clients and see if they are interested in a similar product that would pair well with the product they have already purchased.


An upsell is similar to a cross-sell, and is best presented at the time of purchase. However, you can contact previous clients to see if they are interested in an upsell after their purchase as well. Did your client purchase your base package? Why don’t you call to see if they are interested in an upgrade (or upsell)? Did you sell an ebook on how to add content upgrades to blog posts? Why not see if the person who purchased the book is interested in a “Do It For You” service to add content upgrades to all of their blog posts?

Incentivize for Referrals

My husband and I also run a youth group (in all of that spare time that we have : ) One of our kids mows lawns after school. He was having trouble getting new clients so I offered a suggestion:

Why don’t you try incentivizing for referrals? For instance, let your customers know that if they refer a friend who ends up paying for their lawn to be mowed, they get a free lawn mow?

Let me tell you, people love free stuff! This kid had more lawns to mow than he could even handle and even enlisted a buddy of his to help out with the work.

How can you incentivize to get some referrals? Remember, the incentive needs to be GOOD to get others to act!

Search for Hourly Tasks

I am a big proponent on pricing your services based off of their value and not getting stuck in the hourly rate trap. However, when you need cash fast, landing some hourly business isn’t a bad idea. If you have services that you can offer online, try offering your skills on a website like Upwork or Fiverr. Take the extra time to build up an impressive profile and show off your experience. Write personalized emails with your bids that show off exactly why you are the right person for the job. You’ll be amazed how quickly work can come in when you present yourself well on these kinds of freelancing sites!

Run a Promotion or Sale

Some money is better than no money, right? Why not try doing a big sale or promotion of your most popular product or service. I wouldn’t suggest doing this often, as people will simply wait for the sale to come around. However, if you’re strapped for cash as an entrepreneur, this can be a great way to boost sales quick!

Save Instead of Spend

I have to put this one in here. Often when we are strapped for cash, we need to take a good, hard look at where our money is going OUT before we come up with a plan to get more money coming IN. If you don’t have a hold on your finances and spending, more money isn’t going to solve the problem. Print out a couple months of your bank statements. Where is all of your money going? Should you cut back on eating out? Are you really watching enough TV to be paying for cable? Are there subscription services that you signed up for that you aren’t getting enough out of? Where can you free up money in your budget?

Take an Already Learned Skill and Turn it into Side Income

I’ve saved the best for last.

When you take a statement like this it’s easy to think, “I think I would have thought of this already if there is something that I could do!”

Listen up, YOU are unique and possess unique skills that others would be willing to pay for.

Here’s how to discover what you can do to actually start making side income from your skills:

1. What industry are you in? What skills do you possess? What is something you do every day that others may pay money for?

Here’s how this tip played out in my own business- I blog and create online courses for entrepreneurs. A friend and I were talking the other day and she said, “I just don’t know how you do this! It’s incredible!”. I realized that creating courses is something that others don’t naturally know how to do, and a service that I could easily offer. So, I created a package idea and an example of the course I could create and sent it off to a big-wig online blogger. (Note – I spent TIME on my pitch – at least 4 hours creating a custom course for the guy to show him how my skills could benefit his business). Guess what? He signed up to pay me $1000 a month to create online courses for him. I’m now contacting other bloggers with personalized pitches to do the same thing. Side income – check.

*Side note- make sure you are pitching your services to someone who can afford to pay you for your specialized skill!

2. If you can’t think of something within your current job skill set, think of your interests and personality.

Now, knowing “I am a people-person” isn’t what you need to create side income. You must think of a way for that to solve a problem for somebody else.

“‘Follow your heart and do what you love’ is just a slogan. You need to get real,” says Kelly James-Enger, author of Six-Figure Freelancing. “If you’re not offering a service people are willing to spend money on, you’re not going to be in business [for long].”

What do you like to do? Do you know how to perfect the perfect Instagram shot? How can that be a service? Don’t just teach others how to do that (big paying clients don’t want to learn – they want you to do the work FOR them!). Can you show a client how you could completely overhaul their Instagram account in 2 months? I would pay for that service! Don’t discount yourself. Can you move a heavy desk? I paid for that service a week ago. Can you organize a file system well? For busy and successful people, that’s a skill that is invaluable and highly marketable!

3. Don’t forget the two key components for this to make you GOOD income.

First, target high-value clients. Target people who actually have the money to pay you for your service. Next, make sure you remember to provide VALUE FIRST. That means don’t come in with a general pitch. Make it customized and impressive. You could pitch to 10 people in a day with a general pitch and get no response – but if you spend 4 hours creating a personalized pitch for one person – your chances of getting hired increase by 1000% (that’s a made-up stat – but you get the point!).

Another thing you can do to give your business a boost? Download this FREE VA Checklist and Starter Kit!

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  1. Mandy Tillette on June 10, 2016 at 8:19 am

    What an incredibly informative and inspiring blog post! Thanks for giving me so many areas to explore when striving to generate extra income.

  2. Nadine on December 8, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Hey Abbey,

    You have been keeping me up and sleeping for few hours as I am devouring your content which is propelling me to launch myself there.

    You are a real diamond. Many thanks for putting this valuable information together for us.

    • Abbey Ashley on December 8, 2016 at 6:35 am

      That’s wonderful! What is the #1 thing that you need to do this week to propel you forward?

  3. Shela Yount | Email + Calendar Strategist on December 8, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Abbey, this article was incredible! So eye opening! Thank you for taking the time to share this!! I am so grateful! ??

    Now to get to work ??‍?

  4. celine on September 22, 2018 at 3:23 am

    You’ve also kept me up at night as I devour your content ! You’re a superstar !

    • Abbey Ashley on September 24, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      What a sweet comment, Celine! Thanks for the kind words!

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