Friday, March 24, 2006

Hobbies into cash (Part Two)

It was ages ago now that I wrote Hobbies Part One, it's way over due but better late than never.

Make some notes

You've spent all week thinking about your hobbies and which one you want to turn into a little extra cash for the holiday comming up in the summer. You've decided what to do (doesn't matter whether it's cooking, drawing or writing etc, the principles are the same) and want to take the next step. Well firstly you need to ask yourself a few quick questions:
  1. Have you got all the equipment you need?
  2. Is what you are offering of a good enough standard to sell?
  3. Have you got all the products needed?
  4. Have you got somewhere to sell/do the service?
  5. Did you answer NO to any of the above?

If you answered no to any of those questions you need to be asking yourself a few more questions before you start.

  1. How much will everything you need cost initially?
  2. How much will your products costs each time?
  3. How much will it cost for somewhere to sell?
  4. How much will you be charging?
  5. How many customers will you need to break even?

Ofcourse this is just a brief summary, you need to spend a bit of time thinking and making notes about these sort of things. You don't want to buy all your equipment and then work out it is going to take you until after your dream holiday!

Find some customers

You've looked at the facts and you have decided it is going to be worth your while, now you need some customers/clients. I'm not going to go into masses of details in these methods, there will be loads of articles on marketing etc to come throughout my blogging life. Here are a few places you should look into first:
  • Friends and Family - always the first place to look. Will usually always be some people within your network of friends and family that will want your products/services.
  • Friends of friends - Ask your friends and family to spread the word, no better marketing method than viral marketing. Ask them to ask at work.
  • Leaflets - Most people now own a home PC, open up word and get a few leaflets printed out, take them to work, drop them in neighbor's houses.

These methods are all really basic things that you can do to get a few customers. Remember the aim of this is to earn a bit of extra cash. Having said that, if I venture into a new business I will always test the water first by starting this way.

The final part will be going through actually carrying out the service and making sure your customers are happy and come back!

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