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The information contained in this guide is for informational purposes only. I am not a lawyer or an accountant. Any legal or financial advice that I give is my opinion based on my own experience. You should always seek the advice of a professional before acting on something that I have published or recommended. Any amount of earnings disclosed in this guide should not be considered average. Please understand that there are some links contained in this guide that I may benefit from financially. The material in this guide may include information, products or services by third parties. Third Party Materials comprise of the products and opinions expressed by their owners. As such, I do not assume responsibility or liability for any Third Party material or opinions.
The publication of such Third Party Materials does not constitute my guarantee of any information, instruction, opinion, products or services contained within the Third Party Material. The use of recommended Third Party Material does not guarantee any success and or earnings related to you or your business. Publication of such Third Party Material is simply a recommendation and an expression of my own opinion of that material.
No part of this publication shall be reproduced, transmitted, or sold in whole or in part in any form, without the prior written consent of the author. All trademarks and registered trademarks appearing in this guide are the property of their respective owners.
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About The Author
Andrea Amir has over 13 years of experience helping people reach their financial goals as a realtor, mortgage banker and educator. After experiencing her very own financial hardship — filing bankruptcy two times in the same year because she took misguided advice from a ―professional — she realized that with a solid grasp of financial literacy skills, a little planning, and discipline, such drastic measures weren’t needed at all. As a Certified Personal Finance Educator and Certified Housing Counselor, Andrea now spends her time maintaining financial success and educating others as well as helping them avoid financial issues.
Andrea Amir, the Founder of SmartMoneyChicks, is passionate about helping women understand and use money to their advantage. Smart Money Chicks focus is creating financially savvy women. Smart Money Chicks™, offers educational sessions and seminars.
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Table of contents
Choose the Hobby that’s Right for You to Develop an Income Stream…9
Capitalizing on Your Assets & Resources Making Money by Selling Products……………………………………………………………………… 12
Capitalizing on Your Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities by Selling Your
Services …………………………………………………………………….. 22
Setting prices………………………………………………………………… 26
The Business of Making Extra Money –Tips & Strategies for Success. 28
Time Management…………………………….…………………….. 29
Marketing Tips & Strategies………………………………….…….. 31
Develop and Perfect Your Skills …………………………………… 34
Managing the Details ……………………………………………..… 36
Start Small …………………………………………………………….38
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Sometimes you just need extra cash and you may even need it fast. It happens for any number of reasons. Maybe you want to make an extra car payment. You could owe more taxes than you anticipated. Maybe you want to buy a new computer or perhaps you are behind on your bills. There are thousands of reasons why someone might need cash and the reason really doesn’t matter.
Whether you’re saving for an upcoming vacation or you want start saving your emergency fund by capitalizing on the skills and assets you already have.
Many times when someone needs extra money they start looking to outside resources to help them. Maybe they take out a high interest rate loan. Maybe they ask friends or family. Maybe they take on another job or work overtime. All of those are options to be sure. However, there is probably a better answer right in front of you: The Side Hustle
What is a Side Hustle you ask?
A side hustle is often referred to as a side business or moonlighting, it is like a part time job but you enjoy doing it, most likely it is similar to your current trade or perhaps it is your passion. According to CNN, It is the fastest-growing job in America.
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You Possess Unique Skills, Talents, Knowledge and Resources
Generally, the best way to make money is to focus on the things that are unique to you. We’re talking about your skills, passions, interests, knowledge and even the stuff that you already own.
There’s a lot of money to be made and when you focus on what makes you special, you’re able to not only enjoy making that extra money, you’ll also have a much better chance at success.
For example, Lisa is in need of cash to pay for car repairs. She needs her car to get to work and of course she needs to get to work to pay her bills. Lisa is sharing her predicament with a friend. This friend, who wants to help, tells Lisa that she needs some alterations done on some clothing and she’d be happy to pay her to do the alterations. Lisa agrees because she needs the money but she hates sewing and she’s not very good at it. She is however a fabulous baker and makes cupcakes that are little works of art. If Lisa had done a little digging she would have learned that there was a craft fair in town during the weekend and she could have put up a booth and sold her cupcakes and other baked goods to earn the money she needed. Instead, she spent the weekend sewing, grumbling, and unhappy.
What Makes You Happy? What Do You Have to Offer?
From crafting to home repair there are myriad options for you to choose from. Each interest, skill, and passion presents an opportunity for you to make extra cash. Maybe you love gadgets and have a closet full of old cell phones, computers, computer parts, and even old gaming consoles. You could make a mint selling those electronics. And that’s just one idea for a gadget lover to make money.
*If you’re in dire straits and need cash fast it’s difficult to set aside that panic, fear, and frustration and brainstorm what you’re good at and how you can make extra money. However, that’s exactly what you need to do.
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When you can focus on what you have to offer it’s so much easier to make money quickly and you’ll have fun doing it.
Now is a great time for you to grab a notebook for you to have as you read all the way through, I have also provided space in here for you to take notes. Now, Take a moment and write down the things you love to do, the things you’re good at, the things you are interested in learning about and your existing belongings and resources (because you can earn cash by selling your clutter).
For example, a list might look like this:
Enjoy being outside – lawn care, gardening, dog walking, and snow shoveling
Have an old collection of coins from great grandpa that are sitting in the attic.
Also have that collection of Mexican tiles that I meant to make something with five years ago but never did.
Knowledgeable about training and caring for parrots.
Certified accountant and able to do tax returns for others
Each one of these is an opportunity to make extra cash and this ebook is designed to show you how to make it happen. The goal of this ebook is for you to identify the resources, assets, and opportunities around you and to turn them into wonderful cash. Who knows, your quest for additional income may turn into a full time business for you. It’s been known to happen!
How to Use this EBook
This eBook is designed to help you make the money you need in the time you need it. It discusses everything from how to choose the right income model for you to how to successfully set up your business and make profits.
There are two potential approaches to using this eBook.
The first is to read it through cover to cover. Then go back and review and highlight the areas you wish to focus on first.
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This is the appropriate approach if you like to read material and think on it before you take action. However like I mentioned earlier, you may want to keep a notebook handy when you’re reading so you can jot down any thoughts or notes.
The second approach is to read the eBook and take action as you work your way through it. Of course you can always take a combined approach. Take notes on some items and action on others!
Let’s get started!
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Choose The Hobby That’s Right for You to Develop an Income Stream
To earn money from your skills, talents, knowledge, and resources you’ve got to find the ones that fit you. Consider your answers to the following questions to help you pinpoint which of your skills, talents, knowledge, and resources you want to cultivate in order to make money.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Think about all the hobbies you enjoy. Feel free to list them out. They might be as wide-ranging as jewelry-making to teaching and building websites. The important thing here is that you recognize what it is you love that you can make money doing. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Are you willing to take a class? Consider the activities you truly thirst to learn more about. If you strive to discover more about a hobby, it just might be the one to help you make money.
Some people have begun practicing hobbies on their own with little to no formal instruction. If you love doing your hobby and want to make money at it, hopefully you’ll think it’s a good idea to further your skills with some expert instruction.
However, your decision whether to gain more information about your activity will be affected by the level of skill and know-how you already possess and your internal drive to further explore the activity.
Are you able to create something that you can sell? Many hobbies involve making an item that is then usable. For example, if knitting is the leisurely activity you enjoy, you’ll be creating wearable and other assorted items like scarves, sweaters and purses to sell. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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If not, will you be selling your skills instead? If you love to paint scenery on walls, you’ll be creating beautiful land and seascapes in people’s homes. You’ll be selling your time, paint supplies and efforts yet leave people with a lovely finished product. Other hobbies where you’d be selling your skills are planting gardens for people and organizing closets. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Is your favorite hobby online or offline? With the advent and widespread popularity of the internet, even more types of hobbies are available for people to develop online.
One such example is building websites. Even though some people are trained to do this type of work, others have learned to build websites by actually completing the process on a do-it-yourself web-building site. Some have even taken on building websites for their friends and family.
So, when you’re considering which of your hobbies to convert into an income stream, ensure you explore your online activities as well.
Keep your mind wide open. Remember that many activities you love to do can be considered a hobby to use to make money.
Ponder this: a person who loves to organize her shelves, closets and garage helps all her friends and family organize their homes. Why not consider organizing homes a hobby that she can do to make money?
As you review your hobbies, think about those activities that bring you feelings of joy and completeness. When you identify one or two, examine those hobbies from the position, “Will someone pay me to do this job or make this item for them?”
Selecting the activity that will pay off most likely will be pretty easy to do. Your personality, time, income goals, interests and abilities will all help you decide which route is right for you and then within that route, which income path best meets your needs. What I have found is that your path can be divided into two basic structures. These structures include services and products. The next two chapters will cover these.
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The very next chapter will cover products. Then, we’ll take a look at services in the next chapter.
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Capitalizing on Your Assets & Resources Making Money by Selling Products
There are many avenues you can take to earn money selling products. Some of the products you might already have in your possession. For example, you might have a collection of cell phones in a drawer. That is something you can resell. You might have a basket full of knitted hats because you love knitting. That’s a product ready to go too.
On the other hand, you may want to create a new product. You can create everything from an eBook like this to jars of homemade strawberry jam. Let’s take a look at all of your options starting with selling stuff you already have on hand.
Selling Your Stuff
You might be surprised how much extra stuff you have around the house that you can sell. In fact, it’s often a great idea to take an annual inventory of your home. The average household has more than $7,000 worth of unused stuff sitting around, according to research firm NPD Group. Anything you haven’t used or worn in a year can be sold, donated or thrown away depending on the condition of the item and the value.
Here are just some of the things that you can sell online and offline to make money:
Cell phones – delete any information and remove micro SD cards first!
DVDs and Blue Ray
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Computers and computer parts – keyboards, mice, hard drives etc…
Misc electronics like printers and scanners
Cameras and video cameras
Home décor including pillows, vases, and rugs
Wall art – mirrors, pictures, tapestries etc…
Small appliances – toasters, juicers, blenders etc…
Pet gear – used crates, clean beds, and water bowls etc…
Collectibles like figurines, coins, and dolls
Cars (Yes, some people have extra cars and car parts and selling them often makes great sense!)
Lawn, yard, and home maintenance equipment.
You’re thinking about all of the stuff you have in your home that you can sell, right? Great! Grab a box or make a list and start gathering your belongings. We have included an Inventory Checklist as a bonus.
What if You Can’t Part With Something?
If some items are difficult to part with set them aside and think on it for a day or two. Examine why you want to hold onto it. If the item was hidden away in a box or on a shelf in the basement it’s probably not honoring the reason you want to hold onto it. Either make use of the item or sell it and let someone else enjoy it.
Make Sure the Items Are In Good Condition
Once you have gathered the items you want to sell the next step is to examine it. Make sure it is in good condition. If not, do what you can to improve the
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condition. Polish, clean, and mend when it makes sense.
Choose Your Outlet
Once your items are ready to sell it’s time to decide where to sell them. You can sell them yourself by listing them on classified ad sites like Craigslist. You can list the items in your local paper’s classified section. That costs money through and Craigslist is free. You can host a quick garage sale too.
However, it might be quicker and more profitable to sell them on an auction site or sell them back to a retailer. Auction sites like eBay let you list your items and receive bids on them. This bidding process often means you get more for your stuff than you would otherwise.
You can sell just about anything on eBay and if you’re not interested in listing your items yourself you can take it to a service provider who specializes in selling on eBay. They’ll take a commission for the service so be aware of that. There are other auction sites you can use to sell your stuff too.
Etsy is a place to sell vintage or handmade items. If you have antiques or novelty items check out this site. Jewelry, home goods and clothing are particularly successful here.
There are also buyback places where you can sell your stuff. They include but are not limited to…
Amazon buys back used books, electronics, games, DVDs and more. Log into your Amazon account or create one, it’s free. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and under the caption, “Make Money with Us” you’ll see “Sell on Amazon.” Click that tab and follow the pages.
Play it Again Sports
If you have used sporting goods you can take them to a consignment store that specializes in sports equipment. Play it Again is one of the more popular stores but most communities have other options too.
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Gazelle is a company that buys back electronics. They buy everything from cell phones to computers. There are many other stores that also buy back electronics too.
If you don’t need the money ASAP then you might consider taking your items to a consignment store. These stores sell used items and take a percentage of the sale as a commission. If you’re selling high quality items or items that are in demand like children’s toys and clothing or designer clothing and accessories then consider a consignment store.
It can take a few weeks for your items to sell so the cash isn’t immediate but you can make good money for your items. Before you drop your items off and sign up, make sure you understand and agree to the store’s policies.
For example, some consignment stores donate the items if they don’t sell and if you don’t come back to pick them up in four weeks. And most consignment stores don’t call you to tell you if the clothes have sold or not. You have to stay on top of it and call them.
The good thing about consignment stores is that even if your items don’t sell at one store, you can take it to another one or you can try to sell the stuff yourself on an auction site or at a garage sale.
If this is the route you plan on taking. I highly recommend Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt Sell your Crap Guide. It is phenomenal. What if you don’t have stuff to sell or if you don’t have enough stuff to sell to meet your extra income needs or goals? Then it’s time to see if selling a new product is right for you.
Selling a New Product
First, let’s remember that you are a talented person with your own unique skills, knowledge and abilities. Maybe you make amazing purses like J Carter Handmade or maybe you’re a skilled photographer. Maybe you make really cool dog treats that dogs love or maybe you knit awesome hats. And maybe your grandmother’s secret mustard recipe is cash just waiting to fill up your bank account.
You can turn those skills, talents, and abilities into money. There is literally no end to the types of products you can make and sell. Here’s a small list of ideas to
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help you begin brainstorming the possibilities:
Bath and body products like lotion, perfume, and lip balm
Pet clothing and accessories
Knitted or crocheted clothes
Knitted or crocheted toys
Jewelry: earrings, necklaces, bracelets
Art: paintings, drawings, computer generated arts
Ornaments and holiday decorations
Dried flower arrangements
Food: baked goods, sauces, candy, soups and more
Bird houses, dog houses, bat houses
Ebooks and information products (more on this in a bit!)
Okay so you get the point. This list really could go on and on. It all comes back to what you know, love, and are good at.
Make a List
Sit down and make a list of the things you would enjoy making and selling. Don’t worry right now about how you’d sell it. Just focus on types of products you can make. A word of advice here…
If you need money quickly then focus on making products you can create quickly. For example, you can make hundreds of bars of soap in a weekend but you
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probably can’t build an entertainment center or paint a masterpiece in a weekend.
A Quick Mention about Information Products and EBooks
If you have specialty knowledge about a topic you can make good money creating a book, workshop, or even a video series on the topic. eBooks sell very well online and more and more people own digital readers and are actively searching for eBooks’ instead of print ones.
If you enjoy writing, or talking, about a specific topic and have specialty knowledge on a topic then consider creating and selling an information product.
For example, are you an expert organizer and do you have a system that works well? Do you have a stockpile of old family recipes you can gather into a cookbook? Do you have expert knowledge about how to rebuild old cars or train horses?
Your specialty knowledge can make you good money. And there are web services that can help you market and sell your book. Smashwords, Amazon’s self-publishing service Create Space and ClickBank are all options to look into if this path to profits is interesting to you.
Back to Selling Your Own Products…
There are a few key decisions to make before you begin creating and selling. They boil down to three main questions:
Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
How/Where Will You Sell Your Product?
How Much Money Can You Make?
Within those three primary questions there are smaller questions that you can answer to help create a plan.
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Who Are You Selling To?
Take some time to assess who your customer is before you try to sell a product. It will help you earn more money quickly.
Why Will They Buy Your Product?
How does your product solve a problem or provide value? Outline the benefits your customer receives when they buy from you. You’ll use these benefits when you write your flyers, advertisements, and even your business cards.
How Much Does Your Product Cost?
Research your competition, evaluate the cost of your product and the price of selling and price your products accordingly.
How Will You Sell It?
You may already know the answer to this question. Perhaps you’re selling on eBay or Etsy or maybe you’re selling at the farmer’s market or you plan on creating your own website. If you’re selling food you can also sell on Foodzie. Find the best method for you based on your product and your customer’s needs.
What Are Your Policies and Procedures?
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How Will You Market Your Products?
You can market online, offline or both. Flyers, advertisements, social networking and word of mouth area all viable options. Consider where your customers hang out and how you might reach them quickly and cheaply.
Income and Expenses
How much will it cost you to make your product and how much income do you expect to earn? How will you track your income and expenses (don’t forget that you’ll need to report it when tax time rolls around). We have included a Spreadsheet for you to keep track of your income and expenses.
Take the time to sit down and plan your income strategy. Things will go much more smoothly and you’ll be able to earn that money you need even faster.
Finally, if making your own products or selling your own stuff isn’t right for you consider selling other people’s stuff.
Making Money by Selling Other People’s Products
There are many ways to make extra money and many people have found great success by selling other people’s products. The advantage to this is that you don’t have to take the time to create products or dig through your attic. You can get started almost immediately.
Here are a few ways you can sell other people’s products:
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Have you ever been to a home party where you bought lingerie, baskets, cookware, candles, or jewelry? That’s direct sales. As a direct sales consultant you can make extra money pretty quickly. You do generally have to make an initial investment to buy supplies. However, it can be fun and if you’re money motivated you can make great money.
An affiliate marketer has a blog or website. They earn commissions when their visitors buy products (or services) they promote or advertise on their website. If you already have a website or blog or you’re interested in starting one, you can earn extra money as an affiliate marketer.
There are two essentials to affiliate success. The first is that your website or blog is about a specialized topic. For example, a blog about weight loss is pretty general. However, a blog about natural weight loss for women over sixty is a bit more specific.
The more specific your topic, the less competition you’ll have. Also, it’s easier to attract readers and earn affiliate commissions if you have a specific topic.
The second essential for affiliate success is content. The more articles, blog posts, and/or videos you have on your site the better. Your content is what attracts readers, it’s what keeps them at your site and it’s what motivates them to click on your ads and links and those clicks can earn you money!
If you decide to go this route, which is one of my favorite routes by the way. Here is a list of Affiliate Networks for you to sign up with. They are all free to sign up for. *you should never have to pay to be an affiliate* If you would like to become an Affiliate Marketer, Pick up a copy of Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook. A Super Affiliate is a person who makes over $10,000 a month. Rosalind is a Super Super Affiliate. Her Handbook walks you along every step of the way.
Speaking of clicks to earn you money…You can also earn money by selling ad space on your blog or website or by participating in a Pay per Click advertising campaign like AdSense. If you would like more information about starting a side hustle using AdSense. Send me a message and I will help you out.
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Wrapping It Up
Selling products, whether you make them yourself, dig them out of your attic, or sell other people’s products, is a great way to make money quickly. Some income models and products can generate cash more quickly than others. Time is definitely a consideration to make, especially if you need the money right away.
Other considerations include your passions, skills, interests and resources. Take a look at who you are, what you like, and what you have around you. And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. There are people, websites, and services out there to help you. From auction sites to farmer’s markets there are places designed to help you earn the money you need.
If the idea of selling a product isn’t appealing consider selling a service. The next chapter discusses the possibilities!
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Capitalizing on Your Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities by Selling Your Services
In the beginning we mentioned that there are two basic income models you can choose to make money. The first income model discussed was products. Now, let’s take a look at the second income model – services. Selling your services may be the ideal solution for you to make extra cash.
What is a Service?
A service differs from a product because it isn’t tangible. You can’t hold a service like you can hold a candle, cupcake, or toy car. However, services are extraordinarily useful and service providers of all types are in high demand.
Think about all of the services you use, or would love to use. Hair salons, oil changes, pet care, tax and accounting services, the list goes on and on. You can provide a service and earn extra money quickly. Here’s a short list of a few of the services you might consider offering:
Painting, Interior Or Exterior
Administrative Assistant/Virtual Assistant
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Car repair and/or detailing
Make a List
Go back to your notebook or Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down a list of services you could provide. Remember to consider your skills, interests, and passions. You may be a skilled cook but have no interest in cooking meals for other people.
Instead, you may be more interested in offering coaching or home organizing for people. Balance your interests and skills. Also explore the demand for your services in your community and online.
How Will You Provide Your Service?
The majority of services will either be provided virtually which means they’ll be provided online, or they’ll be provided in person.
For example, you can’t cut someone’s hair online but you can manage their scheduling online. In fact, there’s a very large and growing online service industry. Writers, administrative assistants, coaches and consultants can all provide their services online.
Let’s take a look at the two avenues and also the business and planning side of offering a service.
Most Service Providers Are Freelancers
Most service providers, whether you’re mowing lawns or coaching CEOs, are freelancers. That is to say that they work for themselves. They’re self-employed. Freelancing is something you can do full time, part time, or occasionally when you need the money.
When you’re a freelancer you make the rules. For example, let’s say you decide
to offer your services as a home organizer. You set your rates, choose your hours, and establish all of your own policies and procedures. If you charge
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$100/hour to organize a home that $100 all goes in your pocket. Taxes aren’t taken out. Neither are insurance, 401K, or social security.
That being said, you are also required to report that income to the IRS if you meet a certain threshold. So it’s important to set up good accounting practices to track all of your income and expenses. Options are available like, Wave Accounting which is free and perfect for the beginner. Quickbooks is the standard that most people use and extremely robust. It does have a fee but you can sign up for a 30 day trial to see if it is right for you. If nothing else an excel spreadsheet works just fine. Just keep track and consult the appropriate professional.
Offering Services Online
When you offer services online a website or blog is essential for your success. It is how potential customers find you and make a decision about whether you’re the right person for the job.
The good news is that for many service providers all you need is a simple website that at a minimum includes an about page, services page, contact form, a way to capture their email address. WordPress is a content management system that allows you and others to create a professional website. You can D.I. Y. or have a web designer create one for you. Both are possible. This will help you get more clients and thus make more money.
When you offer your service online, for example you decide to provide online content writing, graphic designing or virtual administration, you have options to market your services. You can market your services via social networking, content marketing and other proven efforts.
You can also find a few freelance job sites and use those sites to gain your customers and your extra money. Freelance job sites like Odesk, Elance and Fiverr are generally free to join. You create a profile, upload samples of your work or testimonials, and begin bidding on jobs.
A Side Note about Fiverr. Here is an excellent success story of a Fiverr freelance Chris Hardy. He started offering his services at the end of 2010 and so far he has made over $4000.00
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The more jobs you do the more feedback you receive. Build a reputation as an excellent service provider and you will have your pick of freelance jobs. It’s a great way to earn extra cash in a pinch or to boost your annual income.
Offering Your Services Offline
Some services just aren’t designed to be offered online and that’s just fine. It’s still a great way to earn an income and it may be more enjoyable if you like to connect with people face to face.
Offline your marketing tactics will likely be a bit different. A website is still a MUST. However, flyers, word of mouth and networking are all good ways to spread the word and get business quickly. In fact, your own friends and family may be the best sources for referrals and recommendations.
Just like selling products, when you sell a service you’ll want to take a little time to plan your strategy. The questions are essentially the same. They include:
Who Are You Selling To?
Why Will They Buy Your Service?
How Much Does Your Service Cost?
How Will You Sell It?
What Are Your Policies and Procedures?
How Will You Market Your Service?
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How Will You Track Income and Expenses?
Wrapping It Up
Offering your services can be a satisfying way to make money quickly. You already possess skills and abilities that are valuable to others. The key is to create a plan to offer those skills and abilities and to tell others about what you have to offer. Identify what you can do, and are interested in doing, and then spread the word. Offer your services, help others, and make money right away.
Set Your Prices
Hopefully, this strategy won’t be too difficult. Take a look at how others price similar goods or services. Consider how much time you’ll expend to do the labor to produce the product or complete the service. Be judicious in your record-keeping. List out your services or goods you’ll plan to make and sell, placing your charges for each item.
Keep in mind that when first starting your business, you might get more business if you keep your prices low. Of course, you can always adjust them later, doing so in small increments until you reach the price level you desire. It is a lot easier to go up then to go down.
A word of caution: Be careful starting out pricing by the hour. While it is true, you should know how much time it takes to complete your product or service. You do not want to price it that way to your client. It is a dangerous precedent to set.
Here are a few alternatives to pricing by the hour.
Price by Project
Offer Tiered Pricing
Hard costs + Overhead (Including Salary for you).
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If you are still unclear about pricing feel free to send me an email and I would happy to help you come up with the appropriate pricing model.
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The Business of Making Extra Money – Tips and Strategies for Success
One of the things that is important to remember when you’re on a quest to earn extra money is that you’re an entrepreneur.
The definition of an entrepreneur is:
“One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”
If you’re organizing and managing a plan to make extra money, that’s the very definition of an entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter if you’re collecting items from your closet or making soy candles. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking dogs in your neighborhood or providing online sales consulting. If you’re selling a product or service, you’re an entrepreneur.
Why Is That So Important?
It’s important that you realize you’re an entrepreneur because it shifts your mindset. It puts you in control of the process and motivates you to plan and get organized. In the previous chapters each chapter included a section on planning. You were encouraged to consider who your customer is, how much your products or services will cost and how you’ll market and sell them. These simple steps help ensure you achieve your income goals. And they’ll help you make more money.
Imagine heading up to your attic, grabbing all of your items and then setting them on a table in your driveway and putting up a for sale sign. Sure, you might get a few people who drive by, see your sign and are curious. However, at the end of the day you’ll likely have a table full of unsold items and you will have wasted an entire day.
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Yet, if you do a little research to price your items accurately and if you advertise the garage sale in a dozen publications and you consider giving your garage sale a catchy theme you’ll probably sell most of your items and have much more cash in hand.
An entrepreneurial spirit and mindset will help you achieve your income goals.
This chapter is dedicated to providing sound tips and ideas to help you do just that – achieve your quick income goals. It’s divided into five sections:
1. Time Management
2. Marketing Tips And Strategies
3. Develop and Perfect Your Skills
4. Managing The Details
5. Start Small
Time Management Tips and Strategies for Extra Income Success
One of the biggest challenges you’ll come up against almost immediately is the fact that you just don’t have the time to earn extra money. You’re probably working full time and you have responsibilities. Maybe you have a family to care for. Maybe you’re just exhausted when you get home at the end of the day. If that sounds familiar then this section is for you.
-Tip #1 Schedule It
Take a look at your calendar and examine your extra money plan thus far. How much time do you really need to get it all done? For example, if you decide to offer house cleaning services then chances are you can get the service organized in a weekend. You can send announcements to all of your friends and family and you can get the service listed in your local business directory. You can probably create a website for your business too.
One weekend and you’re done. The key to finding time is taking the initiative to schedule it.
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-Tip #2 Make a List
Make a list of all of the things you need to do to earn extra income and then prioritize that list in order of how the tasks need to be accomplished. For example, if you’re selling grandmas antique jewelry then you’ll need to gather it, clean it, and have it appraised.
Then you’ll need to photograph it and list it with an auction site or take it to a jeweler to see what they’ll give you for it. That’s really only a handful of steps that shouldn’t take more than a few days to organize and complete.
Having the list makes it easy to see what you need to do and when you need to do it. It helps you stay organized and on track.
Tip #3 Take Advantage of Your Resources
Do you have friends and family that can help you? Do you have associates that are in a position to answer questions or help you get started? Friends and family might be in the same position you are. They might also need extra money. If you band together you can make more and you may have more fun doing it.
For example, you and a family member could team up to offer a cleaning service. You can split the responsibilities of setting up the business and marketing it. And you can work together to complete cleaning jobs more quickly. You and a couple friends can also gather your belongings and hold a huge garage sale. People love to visit garage sales that are packed with items. The bigger the better.
Tip #4 Know What You Need
Take the time to sit down and figure out exactly how much money you need and when you need it by. It can feel overwhelming if you are working blindly to make more money. When you have a plan and solid income goals it’s much easier to feel in control of the situation. It’s much easier to succeed.
Tip #5 Work In Small Increments
If the idea of doing of the work in one weekend feels overwhelming then consider breaking it up into smaller steps. Let’s go back to the example of selling
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grandma’s jewelry. The steps were: gather it, clean it, and have it appraised, photograph it and list it with an auction site.
Plan the steps over the course of a week or two. Gather the items on Monday. Clean them on Wednesday. Take them to the appraiser on Friday. Photograph them on Saturday and list the items on Sunday. Voila – done! All you need to do now is wait for someone to buy the items then you ship them and you’ve earned extra cash.
Marketing Tips and Strategies
Marketing your new products or services is one area that many people simply overlook. However, it’s absolutely essential for success. Imagine trying to make money from a garage sale if no one knows about it. Imagine trying to make money selling soap if no one knows about it! Imagine trying to clean houses if no one knows you clean houses.
Marketing isn’t sales. It isn’t being pushy or convincing people to buy something they don’t need. It is simply telling people about what you have to offer. If you’re hosting a garage sale then marketing is posting ads, flyer, and hanging up signs.
If you’re making and selling soap then marketing is advertising, telling people about your soap on social networking sites and it may be creating a website to showcase your products.
If you’re cleaning houses then marketing is asking friends and family to spread the word. It’s announcing your service on Facebook and possibly posting an a flyer in your office building or neighborhood coffee shop.. Marketing is sharing. It’s different than selling and it is essential for your income success.
Tip #1 Create a Plan
Examine who your customers are and where they hang out. For example, if you’re offering a dog sitting or dog walking service then your customers may hang out at the pet store and the veterinarian. If you’re selling organic soap then your customers may hang out at the natural food store, the yoga studio or the farmer’s market.
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Once you have an idea of who your customers are and where they hang out, you can then create a plan to market to them. Remember, marketing is simply telling others about your product or service. You can advertise, hang up flyers, use social networking, get listed with your local business directory, send emails, make phone calls and ask friends and family to spread the word.
Tip #2 Marketing Doesn’t Have to Cost a Penny
Marketing doesn’t have to cost you any money at all. Hanging up flyers, posting on social networking sites and even listing your business in the local business directories is all free. It’s also free to send an email and to ask friends and family to spread the word. A word of Caution: While there are several ways to market for free that do not cost money, it does cost time and as the saying goes, time is money. To avoid spending too much time=money on marketing that does not work. Track your results. You will then know what is worth your time.
Tip #3 Try One Thing
One of the issues with marketing is that you may not know what is working and what isn’t. If you have time, consider focusing on one marketing tactic at a time. Meaning if you don’t need the money ASAP, and you have a little time to earn it, try one marketing tactic to see if it works.
For example, you might use social networking to build awareness. If you get a lot of customers from social networking you know that it works well and you may not need to use any other tactics. Focusing on one tactic helps you maximize that tactic and make the most of it.
It also gives you the time to focus on earning money. If you’re using five different marketing tactics then you may spend much of your time marketing instead of earning money.
Here are a few more marketing ideas:
Develop simple marketing materials. Think business cards and maybe one flyer. You can make them yourself on your own computer to save money or you can hire a freelancer and even use Fiverr. For printing, I use a company called Got Print. They are extremely affordable, High Quality and fast. At the very least, get business cards. You’ll find them helpful to leave at various businesses or to
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give out to prospective customers. Your customers need to know how to reach
you and business cards conveniently and cheaply provide that information.
Use the internet. If you’re willing to travel to perform your skills for others, your service can be provided on line or your finished products can be easily shipped, you must have a web presence. You stand to put your face, product and skills in front of millions of potential customers when you use the internet.
Establish a presence in your community. If you want to earn money through your skill, make yourself known in your local community. Appear at street festivals. Set up a table at the local health fair. Whenever your community gets together, be there. Your best place to find loyal customers is in your local community.
Join the Chamber of Commerce or Meetup Groups. Although you might not be sure you want to take this step, you’ll be surprised at how many other small business owners you meet. Chamber members are incredibly supportive of one another and often even call each other to do business. Plus, they refer customers to one another.
Depending on the type of hobby business you start, joining the Chamber of Commerce will help you make money from your craft.
Display at trade shows. If you want to make some cash from your skill, take every opportunity to get your face and product out there where it can be seen. Trade shows and Craft Fairs make this possible. When you take part in local trade shows, you might be able to share displays with other local small businesses. Doing so means you will also share display costs.
Network. For any small business to be lucrative and successful, it’s necessary to network. Getting to know as many other people in the same business or related ones widens your own financial opportunities.
Use your contact with one business owner to pave the way to establish other connections. Show your social side to market your hobby business to increase your income.
Make media contacts. Send out letters to local radio and television shows that you’re interested in being interviewed to discuss your hobby and/or products. Keep in mind that such media usually want topics to be discussed and will not be interested in simply helping you sell your goods and services.
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However, approach media representatives with the idea of educating the public about your hobby and sharing your expertise. Media representatives will usually give your business a “plug” at the beginning or end of the program you present.
Get to know other small businesses. You’ve probably deduced by now the importance of knowing what other small businesses are sprouting and flourishing in your community. Ask to display your wares or at least your business cards and flyers at their businesses. Be willing to display their cards as well whenever you’re setting up to market and sell your own stuff.
Stay in touch. No matter where you’re displaying goods or advertising services, have a sign-up sheet for prospective customers to list their names, addresses and e-mail addresses.
To simplify further, just ask for names and e-mails if you plan to avoid making contact using the U.S. Mail. If you have a diversity of products and services, make a column on the sign-up sheet for customers to note their specific interests in your products.
Then, follow up by mailings or e-mails to periodically “remind” them of your services or products.
Take part in local business conventions and seminars of all types. Any time you can display what you’re selling, you might make a contact. And remember, that any costs you incur to put up a display table can be claimed on your income tax as an expense.
Develop and Perfect Your Skills
Because you want to excel at your skill in order to make more money, you’ll hopefully be willing to focus on developing your skills further. Taking responsibility to increase your expertise is an important element in the process.
Explore the wealth of information that’s out there about your chosen interest. Read, watch videos, join a group, and discuss the interest with other aficionados of the skill. Make it your number one goal to develop all the skills required to do your hobby flawlessly.
Read about your interest. For nearly every interest, you’ll find reading material to educate and introduce you to new elements and facets of the activity.
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Watch videos online. Since anything and everything can be found on the internet, look for videos of people practicing and discussing your hobby of choice. Soak up as much information as you can about what you love to do.
Join an interest group. If you’re not already a member of a group that shares interest and time in your hobby, join one now. You’ll be exposed to the work of others. You’ll begin to establish relationships with others who do the same work. You might even gain additional knowledge from other group members about how they’ve made money.
Talk to others who share your skill. In the event a group isn’t available for you to join, find a mentor who has practiced the skill for years. Perhaps you’ll meet someone who you think has better skill and knowledge than anyone else.
Become the resident expert. Although reading was mentioned earlier, if you want to truly perfect your skills, get your hands on all reading material related to your hobby.
Make the decision to strive to know everything there is to know about your special activity. Establish a goal to become a “walking encyclopedia” for your chosen craft.
Present at specialty seminars. In your hometown and the surrounding areas, you might find opportunities to present to people eager to learn more about your hobby. Even if you don’t get paid to present at first, it’s still a wise decision financially.
If the invite is local, it won’t cost you anything to get to the place to present. Once you’re there, you’re going to meet many people interested in your hobby. This means you can cultivate new customers. (See “Market Your Skills” section).
Teach others. If given the chance, instruct others about how to do your craft. In so doing, you’ll develop your reputation as an expert in the field.
Hone your skills by engaging in the above activities. Your hard work will pay off in dollars.
Two ingredients that make marketing easier are passion and purpose. When you have those, the sky is the limit with what you can accomplish.
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Managing the Details
Finally, it comes down to the very last but not least important step in your quick income generation plan. How are you going to manage and track the details?
#1 Income and Expenses
Use a spreadsheet or software program to track everything like the ones mentioned earlier in Chapter 2. Start off right so you don’t have to backtrack and try to fill in the blanks. Consider creating a separate bank account to track income and expenses so it’s easy come tax time. A simple spreadsheet can also help you know when you’ve reached your income goals.
#2 Sales and Fulfillment
How will you sell your product or service and how will you fulfill orders? In many cases you may be using an external website or service. For example, if you’re selling homemade spaghetti sauce you might sell on Foodzie. They’ll help you track orders and income with their ebooking features.
However, if you don’t sell with an existing service how will you track the information? How will you know when an order has been fulfilled or a service has been provided? Again, spreadsheets are useful tools. You can also find software to help you track sales and fulfillment.
#3 Marketing Efforts
Consider creating some sort of system so you know what marketing efforts work and what marketing efforts don’t work. Spend your time focusing on what works and let go of what doesn’t. An easy way to track this information is to simply ask your customers and clients, “how did you hear about us?”
#4 Equipment and Setting Up Your Business
What do you need to get started? Create a list of equipment and supplies. If you’re working from home, for example, you’re offering virtual administration services, then you’ll need a computer and an internet connection. If you’re selling soap then you’ll need the materials to make soap and to package it in an attractive way.
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Also consider the tax and liability implications. As a sole proprietor you are solely responsible for all aspects of your business. That includes if anything goes wrong. For example, if you’re a house cleaner and you ruin a client’s carpet they can come after you personally for damages. If you set up your business as an LLC, Limited Liability Corporation you are personally protected from many issues. Research the options and consider speaking to an attorney and/or an accountant. Setting up your business doesn’t take more than a few minutes and you may be quite happy you took those steps in the long run.
Also, if you’re offering services or selling certain products you may need to look into insurance and certification laws in your area. For example, if you’re offering massage, do you need to be certified in your state? Do you need insurance?
If you’re making cupcakes in your kitchen and selling them at the farmer’s market do you need insurance and approval from the health commission? Spend a few minutes researching the laws in your area. Set up your business correctly from the beginning to avoid potential hassles down the road.
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As you begin to prepare yourself to earn money with your specialty, the following points will be helpful.
Recognize you’re starting a small business. Converting a skill into a money-maker is the same as beginning a small business.
Limit spending. Whenever you start a small business, it’s important to keep the lid on upfront expenditures. Since the whole idea is to bring in cash, you’ll want to refrain from getting too elaborate with spending in the initial stages of your business.
Examine your tools and knowledge base. Think about whether you can start your business with the tools and knowledge you already have. Of course, this would be the best and lowest cost method to earn money from your specialty or interest.
Focus on doing what you do well. Spend some time performing and/or making the items that you do really well. Make an effort to stay focused on what you know and what you do best when you’re first turning your hobby into an income stream. Your confidence will soar as you see the demand for what you do is growing.
Give it a year. After you see how your business fares in the first year or so, examine whether it would be financially feasible to expand your repertoire.
If consumer demand for your service, skill or products grows over the year and people have asked for a wider range of services, skills or products, you’ll be more confident about investing your dollars to broaden your horizons and make more money.
Start small with your business by recognizing it’s an actual small business, limiting spending and taking a look at the tools and knowledge you already have. Then, concentrate on what you know and do well and allow your hobby business one year before making any major investments into it.
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You are a fantastic person with opportunities to earn extra money all around you. Explore your skills, interests, and resources. What do you have? What do you know? What do you enjoy and what do you do well? From that foundation, create a plan to make the money you need.
Explore your options, find the best strategy for your particular extra income model and surge forward confidently. Who knows, maybe your need for extra income will flourish into a full time business that fills you with satisfaction and pride. At the very least you will learn that you do have what it takes to make the money you need when you need it.
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