Everyone is feeling the pinch these days, and it doesn't look like the recession is going anywhere for a while. So whether you've been laid off, your hours have been cut, or you're just looking for ideas to supplement your income, check out these 3 creative ways you can make a little extra cash:
Become Your Own Boss
Sometimes getting laid off is a blessing in disguise. Maybe your heart was never really in the job you had before anyways. Think about what really gets you going and what you are passionate about. Then make it happen!
Pick an Expertise.
The first step is to decide exactly what you want to do, starting with why you want to do it. That will dictate your hours, your earning goals and the environment you need to thrive.
- Write a Business Plan.
A business plan should explain not only where your business is now, but also where you plan to take it. Check out the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Planner at sba.gov for help with writing your plan.
- Make It Official. When picking a name ask yourself three questions: Is it easy to remember? Does it give an idea of what you do? Is it already being used? Do a trademark search on United States Patent and Trademark Office’s site (uspto.gov).
- Fund It.
Even before you make any money, open a bank account and get a credit card. Your business earns a credit score just like you do.
- Insure It
After you’ve poured money into your business, it’s important to protect your investment—starting with yourself.
Entrepreneurs can’t afford to be modest. Join organizations that offer the most maneuvering for your money, and create profiles on professional networking sites. Your local chamber of commerce is also a fount of opportunities.
- Sell It.
Getting your service or product out to the public starts with figuring out who that public is—and how to reach them. Check competitors’ price lists and reconcile those numbers with what you need to turn a profit.
- Grow It.
You may not be rich (yet), but you’re independent and happy—the way you were always meant to be! But when should you quit your day job? Most businesses are run part-time until they’re profitable enough to support the owner’s lifestyle.
Get Involved with Direct Sales
Some of our favorite Direct sales companies include Silpada, Avon and Wellness Moms. This is a great way to supplement your income and you can determine for yourself how involved you get. Here are some things to look into before you commit to a company:
- Have Passion for the Product. Join a company that makes you feel confident sharing their product. The more passion and confidence you have in your product, the easier it is to sell.
- Initial Investment. Evaluate the cost of beginning your own business, how quickly you can expect to recoup your initial investment, and what the company offers to continue to support you as your business grows.
- Fair and Competitive Compensation. Ask questions regarding the direct profit, override commissions and pay structure of the company’s compensation plan.
- Great Customer Service. Your customers are your current and future business, so it is important that the company you choose is customer focused. The better your customers are taken care of the better your business will be.
- Training and Support. Ensure that the company you join is dedicated to helping you achieve the success you are looking for.
Maybe you aren't a great sales woman, but you've got a killer wardrobe overflowing with designer duds and hot heels. Evaluate your closet, and separate any clothes you haven't worn in the last 2 years. No matter how much you thought you loved these items, if its gone unworn for 2 years, chances are you're not really ever going to wear it! And remember, you can sell just about anything on Ebay, from clothes to coffee makers. Here are some helpful tips before you get your online auction on:
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your images are beautiful and show off the best aspects of what you are selling.
- Words are important too, though. Spend some time on your item description and be as specific as possible.
- Research similar products. This will help you determine what the demand is for what your selling and should figure in to your pricing decisions.
- Be flexible when it comes to payment. Money is money after all, no matter how it comes to you. EXCEPT when it comes to personal checks.
- School yourself on shipping costs. Look into expense and reliability of different shipping options and insure your items if they are very valuable.
- Keep it professional. Even though you are selling through a website, be mindful of your interactions with buyers, positive feedback is very important!