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 fast 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 two chapters each chapter has 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.
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 four sections:
1. Time Management
2. Marketing Tips And Strategies
3. Passion and Purpose
4. Managing The Details
Time Management Tips and Strategies for Fast 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 fast cash 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 webpage for your business too.
One weekend and you’re done. The key to finding time is taking the initiative to schedule it.
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 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 posting an ad in your local paper. 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.
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.
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.
Two ingredients that make marketing easier are passion and purpose. When you have those, the sky is the limit with what you can accomplish.
Passion and Purpose
In the very beginning of this report we talked about identifying things that you enjoy, are skilled at, or knowledgeable in to determine your quick income plan or idea. When you enjoy what you’re doing it is much easier to get and stay motivated. It’s also easier to attract potential customers to you.
Imagine if you needed someone to walk your dog. You might ask around to see if your associates know of anyone who would want the job. People that love dogs will naturally pop into their mind. And if you’re interviewing candidates you can bet you’re going to choose the person who radiates enthusiasm and affection for dogs over the person who is just doing the job for extra money.
We’re attracted to passion. We want to be near those people and we want to do business with them. When you are enthusiastic about the product or service you’re offering, you’ll have more clients and customers.
Tip #1 Make that Darned List!
If you haven’t already, go back and make a list of things you love to do. Don’t worry about how you’ll turn them into income. You can figure that out later. Instead, focus on things that you enjoy talking about, reading about, doing, and sharing.
Tip #2 Remember Your Childhood
Adults often forget what they enjoy. They’re so locked into the day to day need for food, shelter, and money that they forget about joy. If you’re struggling to find things that you’re interested in or passionate about, think back to what you enjoyed as a child.
Maybe you loved ice skating. You could become a part time ice skating instructor. Maybe you loved to make model cars. You could make them now and sell them for a profit. The secret to your future may lie in your past.
Tip #3 Remember Your Purpose
Your purpose is easy, right? Your purpose is to make extra money quickly so you can get out of debt, buy that item you need, pay your bills, or take that trip. Remember your purpose as you begin planning your business. Make sure you keep it in mind when you’re marketing, when you’re creating your product or when you’re dealing with customers.
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re doing something you love. It’s easy to spend more money than you have on a big business idea. There’s time to grow your business. Right now, you need cash fast, right? Keep it in mind as you plan and implement your income strategy.
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. You can find free bookkeeping programs online. 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 reporting 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.
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.
Wrapping it Up
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.
To your success!