Lots of pilots have second jobs. Some even have third jobs. I know a few pilots who wait tables and tend bar on off/reserve days. I fly with more than a few Captains that have another business totally unrelated to aviation. Having another source of income not only helps the pocket book...but is also a safety net.
Prior to flying I was all about computers, technology and networking. I lived and breathed computers. When my wife first met me I had at least 15 computers, all networked together (cables!) in a 520 square foot apartment. Yeah....I had "issues".
Nowadays I am much to broke to keep building the latest and greatest computers. I haven't truly built a computer since January 2007. My computer count has gone from 15 to "just" 5. Kinda sad.
One thing that hasn't gone down is my troubleshooting skills. A few times a month someone ask for help. So far they have all been Windows based computer questions. This is a good thing as I am still learning my way around a Mac. Several times a month I am asked for a business card so they can spread the word. Trouble is, I don't have one.
This week a pilot friend of mine had computer issues. I helped him out and he is back up and running. He let me know Best Buy and the "Geek Squad" wanted $150 minimum to just look at his computer. Ouch! I had him pointed in the right direction in under 20 minutes in the crew room at the airport. He called me later that night and I spent another 15 minutes on the phone. A bit later he was back up and running.
Then I got to thinking. Why not start my own side business? Nothing huge, just a basic website (I know a thing or hundred about designing and running websites), business cards and the rest to just have something. So I did it. I spent the morning doing research on what I need. Total cost out of pocket will be about $200. This includes filing fees for the DBA, new phone line (going to use Skype and route the calls to a prepaid cell phone), business cards, letter head, forms, and domain name. I think I will have it up and running within a week.
I will post a few business cards in the crew room, place ads in the free newspapers, craigslist and such. I'm not looking to get rich. Even a modest $200 a month would be nice.
If it takes off that would be great. At worst....well at least I have a business card to hand out.
Ah I had a question posted via my comments button. The question and my answer were too specific. I tried emailing back to the @aol.com email...but it was rejected. Shoot me an email at my contact email geek AT geekinthecockpit.com. Thanks.