Monday, 20 October 2014

How to Earn a Little Extra To Help With Those Xmas Bills (and more!)

Christmas is coming, and we all know what that means! As well as potentially having to cater for the extended family and having to queue for hours for the big toys of the year – there’s also a raft of bills coming up. Think food, presents, drink, party outfits, travel – it all adds up.

Many mums are turning to work from home schemes to pay their bills. Often, if something is advertised as a work from home opportunity it’s normally a scam. If something is too good to be true, often it is. However, there are legitimate ways you can earn yourself a little extra money to help you through the season. And who knows, if it goes well it could turn into something bigger!

The place to start is in identifying what you’re good at that people potentially want and will pay for. It doesn’t matter if you’re artistic, crafty, love photography, or are just good with people – as long as you can identify where the opportunity is you’ll have a chance.

Once you’ve decided your overall plan, you will unfortunately need to invest a little money into it to get it moving. If you’re going down the crafting route to make goods for people to buy as presents for instance, take a look at sites like Hobbycraft to try to bag a bargain in getting the materials you need. If you’re going into photography (baby photography is always a great market for instance) consider getting some personalised USB sticks to give the photos out to your customers on. Companies like USBMakers can do these for you without breaking the bank. These additional touches can make all the difference when it comes to people loving your service – and ultimately the happier people are the more likely they are to recommend you to others.

Once you’ve got your idea and everything you need, it’s time to explain to people what you do. Start sharing with your friends on Facebook, your business contacts on LinkedIn, and of course tell everyone in the real world! Word of mouth and recommendations can get you a long way, particularly when you’re running a micro-business like this.

If you’re running a product based business (so selling crafts, arts etc) then think about marketplaces that would be a good place for your business. Etsy is great for selling handmade goods. They’ve got a huge marketplace, and a really easy way to sell everything you make. It gives you the chance to put your wares in front of a mass audience, which can only be a good thing!

Remember, don’t take on too much. At this late stage, if you can get something off the ground and get your bills paid then well done to you. In terms of building your business empire, see this as a learning period and learn lessons and put things in place that you can benefit from ready for next Christmas!


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