Money Making Opportunities
Have you ever thought that you could actually make a living by helping people?
Maybe you are unemployed or have been made redundant from your job; perhaps you are semi-retired, or even fully retired, and finding it difficult to make ends meet with just your savings and super to live on.
And even worse - you are still physically and mentally able but feel like you have been tossed onto the scrap heap; no longer needed by anyone, or useful for anything.
For a once busy, occupied person, these feelings can quickly create a downwards spiral of depression and low self worth. In other words, not only do they make you feel useless and unworthy but, coupled with the fact that you are no longer in a financial position to enjoy many of the activities you once took for granted, it can be a real downer.
In this situation, without a job to go to, many say they feel like a useless accessory, and that is enough to knock a person’s confidence and cause great unhappiness.
In a nutshell - Not only are you jobless (lost and superfluous) but you are also short on cash (pulling the belt in until it hurts).
So what can be done to reverse this unhappy situation?
In many cases of low feelings of self-worth (unless the problem is clinical and needs medical attention) the simple solution is to become involved in some kind of productive activity. This should quickly begin to restore your previous equilibrium and provide a renewed interest in life; and with regards to the reduction in cash flow, a new life could be waiting just around the corner once the life-balance is back in place. It's a lot easier to look forward with enthusiasm and positivity when we feel useful - it's probably the best drug there is - and it's free.
STEP ONE: Get interested in something; join a club, find a hobby, go for long walks in the fresh air, do some charity volunteering, help a neighbor Whatever it takes to get you off the couch and lift your head from between your knees, do it.
Once you do, reason will quickly reassert itself and you can start thinking more clearly about the solutions to your problems. In fact, there is no better way to help yourself than by helping others.
STEP TWO: Finding ways to earn some extra cash. Natural talent is always a good place to start and if you don't think you have a talent, think again. EVERYONE has something that they do well (better than most) and whatever it is; it is never minor or insignificant or `not as good as that person's.'
`That person’ may be an excellent seamstress or a clever wood-worker, but even they probably feel hopeless when faced with doing things that you do well. Nobody is good at everything so embrace the fact of your own natural talent and start making it work for you.
Take a pen and paper and jot down all the things you are able to do, no matter how insignificant, uninteresting or lacking in importance that you might consider them.
Now let's get to it:
Are you a great home-maker? Do people admire the presentation of your home? Word quickly gets around - a friend is putting their home on the market and wants it presented in the best possible way. You offer to do it for them - the house sells quickly with lots of comments about the beautiful presentation – the grapevine goes to work and before you know it you are providing this service for others, strangers even, and charging a fee.
Do you have an eye for hanging wallpaper with matching patterns (a headache for most of us, even some experts)? I have heard it said how stressful it can be. But you might find it relaxing and, surprise, surprise, there are people out there who would love you to hang their wallpaper. Just stick it on the grapevine and wait for the calls.
Do you have green fingers? Everyone loves a beautiful healthy garden but we are not all landscape magicians. Tidying and planting people’s gardens and making them look gorgeous could be just the thing you are here to do.
What about your prowess in the kitchen? Do you enjoy making your own jams, sauces and chutneys; pickling and bottling fruit and veges? Weekend Farmers Markets are a great place to sell your wares and, for the usually small cost of having a stall, the sales (priced correctly) can be a very good money earner.
Today is the age of the home-made and home-baked. People love that their purchases have been made in someone’s little cottage industry in a labor of love with real ingredients and no preservatives or colorants and whatever else is pumped into the store-bought products. Today we like fresh and `au naturale' and are prepared to pay for it.
In the area where you live, certain services are constantly required by businesses and the general public. These services can include deliveries; shopping for the house-bound; cleaning up back yards; disposing of rubbish; cleaning windows; mowing lawns and trimming edges; gardening; planting and landscaping; painting fences; home handyman jobs for the elderly and not so mobile; car boot sales; garage sales; writing articles and letters for people; walking people’s dogs while they are at work and so on and on and on.
All of these and many more have the potential to earn you money. So how do you get started putting a small business together?
Let’s put it in some sort of order.
1) You first need a clear idea of where you want to go, how you are going to get there, and what results you want to achieve.
2) Develop a marketing plan. Nothing too complicated, just the basics will do for now. Your plan should include how you propose to get known, i.e. letter drops around your area; flyers to put on car windows; notice boards in the local shops and supermarkets; word of mouth - tell family and friends to tell others; drop flyers in mail boxes; have a portable sign made up and take it to place outside every job; advertise in the local newspaper; have a magnetic sign made up to go on your vehicle or, more expensively, have the vehicle sign-written. Once you sit down and start thinking about your business you will find the ideas flowing in no time i.e. one thought leads to another and so on. Get some business cards made up; if you have a publishing program on your computer you might even like to create them yourself, which will be a lot cheaper.
3) Your formula for success. This should always include providing exceptional service to your customers. Being on time for an appointment and starting a job when you say you will, are critically important to the success of any endeavor People respect and appreciate reliability and good time-keeping. Get a reputation for it and you will go a long way further than those who don’t.
4) Start out as you mean to go on. Look professional - if you are a painter, put on clean white overalls and use shoes or boots; never jandals or thongs. The image really does count and people appreciate the fact that you have come to their home to do a job looking like a professional. Tidy dress gives the customer confidence and usually reflects itself in the work produced. If you are a great cook and are setting yourself up to do private dinner parties, again you need to look the part; so wear a clean apron and cover your hair with a chef’s hat. Presentation and professionalism start with you and roll over into the work that you produce; make this your rule and your customer will probably recommend you and hire your services again.
5) Know your costs. Work out a suitable hourly rate and never make the mistake of under or over-charging. Be realistic about the rate you need to charge for your service. It’s a simple formula - too low and you will lose money, or at least devalue your time, effort, and productive output; too high and you won’t get the work.
Word quickly gets around either way; so do your sums and charge a fair and reasonable rate and everyone wins.
TIP 1: Never try to fiddle the Inland Revenue Services. If you are in business, start right and things will generally continue well so pay your taxes and have peace-of-mind that nothing is going to come back to bite you.
TIP 2: Save at least 10% for new tools or other materials required for your business and be careful where you buy. Start off with the basic tools; don’t overspend; get yourself into a safe place financially and then indulge in that expensive quality tool that you would love to have.
TIP 3: Open accounts with suppliers to get maximum discounts. If you don’t like end-of-the-month bills, open cash accounts and pay as you go – you should still get the discounts and the supplier will probably love you for it as it’s cash-flow for them.
We all need money to make our world go smoothly round and round. However, be careful not to rush into doing something because it looks easy. The whole idea is to find something you are personally suited to; something you have a knack or a talent for and that you enjoy. Don’t make the mistake so many make by trying to push your square peg into a round hole. It’s not going to work – or at least not for long. You will be miserable and will quickly grow to hate it.
Result analysis: Disinterested worker = poor quality work = unhappy customer = hard to get paid.
It is important that we enjoy what we do; life is too short – so find what you are good at and build on that. The result will always be a better one.
For more ideas, see my eBook on Amazon: How to Find a Hobby and Make Money