11 Businesses That Run Themselves For Passive Income

11 Businesses That Run Themselves For Passive Income

Warren Buffett once said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.

I realized a few years ago after a wrist injury that if I couldn’t use my hands then I couldn’t provide for the family.

But it also was a wake up call to what Mr. Buffett was talking about. 

You see up until that time, my only income source was from the dental practice. And I’d never given my financial situation another thought as we are led to believe you go to school, get a job, and work until retirement in our 60’s or 70’s.

So this thought about getting money to work for me INSTEAD of the other way around was exciting yet I had NO CLUE where to begin. But I KNEW something had to be done if not for anything else, it’d be a great way to mitigate financial risk if something ever happened to me.

The next step I took was to look at how the wealthy operate. Why reinvent the wheel if I didn’t have to, right? After researching for several months I realized that Warren Buffet was right.

The wealthy invest their active income into assets that produce passive income to live off of.

It’s not rocket science but what do we do as soon as we start making money? We buy liabilities which go DOWN in value (cars, boats, SUVs, houses, etc.).

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with liabilities as long as you pay for them with passive income from assets that are working for YOU.  That’s the best part, you’re money is working for YOU and not the other way around. 

I’m currently in over 15 real estate syndications that are paying for my liabilities and constantly on the look out for opportunities that provide cash flow without me having to provide my time. 

And in this article, we’re going to discuss the top XX business that run themselves to increase your passive income streams.

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11 Businesses That Run Themselves

#1. Laundromat

A laundromat business is a great option to own a recession proof business that can be set up to run on its own.

Because it’s a self-service facility, the customers do all the work for you by loading and unloading their own clothes into the machine.

I lived in apartments for over 10 years during my training and none had a washer or dryer. I had to resort to using laundromats throughout the year.

Another benefit is that a laundromat is NOT a seasonal business model as everyone needs clean clothes no matter what season we’re in.  

Something else to consider is the potential for extra sources of additional income.

Sometimes it takes two or more hours for someone to complete their laundry and they’ll tend to have to wait on the premises. This provides laundromat owners a potential for additional revenue streams while providing extra value for their customers. 

Examples include:

  • food (snack machines)
  • entertainment
  • wifi internet connection
  • coffee, sodas, etc (vending machines)

#2. Self storage facility

As online shopping becomes more prevalent, the need for people to find storage space has seen a high demand. 

This fact alone makes owning a self storage facility a great idea to add another passive income stream to your finances.

Research has shown that self-storage facilities have performed extremely well in all economic cycles. 

During a market downturn, consumers tend to downsize into smaller homes causing them to move excess furniture and other items into storage units.

When the economy is good, storage units are still in demand. People who are moving need temporary place to store their furniture. And those starting new local businesses also need places to keep supplies for their start-ups.

Another benefit of self storage is that they generally acquire low maintenance as you’re not dealing with the typical landlord issues such as broken toilets. And most people that own them hire a property manager to handle these types of issues.

#3. Vending machine business

vending machine

A vending machine business (aka as a machine route) is another good option for a business that can run itself for passive income. 

Most of the time, these self-running businesses place several machines in high traffic areas throughout local communities.

It’s largely passive as if someone wants a Coke, they put their money in the machine without you having to be there

Occasionally the machines will need to be restocked but this can easily be outsourced. Also technology has made it easier and safer to collect money as new machines are equipped with modern payment readers which means less bills and coins to collect.

There’s also inventory tracking software which will notify you whether the vending machine is delivering good, bad, or zero items in real-time. 

#4. Car wash (In bay automatic)

car wash

A car wash business is another good place to look when it comes to businesses that run themselves.

An in-bay automatic car wash is where you drive your car into a bay and automatic equipment moves around to wash it. 

They’re usually found at gas stations or at a convenience store because they generally require less space than other types of car washes along with not requiring workers to operate. 

Customers pull up, swipe their credit card, drive into the bay and the machine does the rest.

#5. Start a blog

As someone that learned how to write blog posts from scratch, I understand what it takes to make it work. And because of the amount of time that must be put in, it’s certainly not passive initially. 

But once there’s enough articles to get the blog off the ground, then the extra money comes in without doing much there after.

  • There’s several ways a blog can be monetized such as:
  • running ads
  • selling products and courses from other people
  • sponsorships
  • affiliate marketing
  • plus several others

Here’s the good news, if you don’t want to start a blog from scratch then you can buy an existing one already making money.

There’s several popular sites online where this can be done such as:

  • Flippa
  • Empire Flippers

What’s nice about running a blog is that there’s no:

  • storefront
  • customers
  • orders
  • inventory

#6. Ebook business

Research shows that over 1/3 of college students use ebooks instead of physical books.

As the world becomes increasingly more digital, the amount of ebooks used will eventually surpass physical book usage. This fact along makes running an ebook selling business a good idea by taking advantage of this situation.

For starters, there’s never been an easier time to write a book. There’s multiple websites that provide content creators that can write a book for you.

When I wrote my first book, What They Don’t Teach You In Dental School, I was able to easily self-publish through Amazon KDP.

Not only is the platform free of charge, but you also get paid royalties from each sale.

Once a book is written, then any income from the sales is truly passive for years to come.

#7. Amazon FBA Business

One of the more popular ways to make money online is through Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon).

In a nutshell, you become a seller of products on the Amazon platform. 

You’re a “middleman” so to speak that can access their massive customer base along with leveraging their infrastructure and branding. 

Once you create a product (or find someone else’s product to sell), you’re in charge of setting the description and price.

And it doesn’t take long to begin seeing positive results in a matter of days due to their rapid operations in place such as handling all of the logistics (shipping, fulfillment, etc.).

Like most online businesses, all of the work to be put in is upfront before the passive income starts coming in. 

#8. YouTube channel

Social media platforms turn more people starting from nothing, into millionaires for creating content. Similar to blogging, most revenue will come from running ads on a YouTube channel.

It look a little over a year after I started my YouTube channel before I was able to monetize it with ads.

In order to do this, a channel must obtain 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time. Most people hit the 1,000 subs mark before the watch time. 

The key to success to creating quality videos that people find helpful and engaging. I love talking about passive income and real estate which makes it easy for me to provide a steady stream of videos. 

The one thing that initially held me back from starting a channel was my mindset. I kept asking “how” questions such as:

  • How do I start a channel?”
  • How do I edit videos?”
  • How do I create thumbnails?”

Who Not How

After reading the book, Who Not How, I realized that these were the wrong types of questions to ask. Instead of asking “how” questions, the book recommended we find a “Who” that can help for best results.

Once I found a “who,” I was able to move forward with starting the channel must quicker than on my own. 

Similar to the other businesses discussed, you’ll need to put in the work up front. But once you have enough videos to create an income stream from ads, money starts coming in monthly. 

#9. Online courses

The #1 reason why this blog became successful was the online course I took regarding “How to start a blog.” 

Online courses have become increasingly popular as they can be accessed from anywhere allowing people to learn from the comfort of their own homes.

If you’re considering starting one, you’ll need to:

  • identify your skill and interests
  • convert it into an online courses
  • market the course

Once your course gets up and going, nothing else needs to be done unless you want to occasionally update the material.

#10. Parking lots

I once heard the phrase, “there’s riches in niches.”

Even though parking lots are within a small niche in real estate, they have the potential to be extremely profitable

Research shows that there’s over 2 billion parking spaces in the U.S. 

Two popular ways to invest are buying a small parking lot or a private parking space. There are also real estate syndications (my favorite investment) that invest strictly within the parking lot space.

How much can you make?

If you have doubts about making money with parking lots or spaces, think again. In larger cities such as New York and San Francisco, parking is at such a premium that individual spaces in a parking garage can sometimes sell for $80,000.  

Yes, you read that correctly. 

As the population continues to grow and more cars hit the road, expect to see the number of parking spaces decrease thus making this type of investing even more attractive. 

If you want to learn more about how to invest in parking lots, check out this free resource:  Parking Lot Profits

#11. Billboard rental business

Running a billboard business can be extremely profitable with several ways to get started. 

The first way is buying an existing billboard.

The value of this approach is based on how many eyeballs see the billboard each day.

Another approach is putting a billboard up yourself. This could prove to be more difficult as many local governments put all kinds of restrictions and regulations on billboards.

If you’re not erecting a billboard on your own land, you’ll have to negotiate a lease with the landowner. 

Expect to pay 10-18% of the billboard’s income for leasing.


Investing in businesses that run themselves can be a great passive income source for busy professionals. The good news is you can be as actively or passively involved as you want depending on how much time commitment you choose. 

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