side business http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11270/all en-US The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081820163_Large.jpg" alt="Learning to budget on a freelance income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If the <a href="https://www.upwork.com/press/2014/09/03/53-million-americans-now-freelance-new-study-finds-2/">53 million freelancing Americans</a> agree on one thing, it's that their lifestyle gives an unbeatable level of flexibility, and can be an extremely lucrative working model. If there was a second thing the global freelance community might agree on, however, I would bet that it's the fact that managing your money as a freelancer can be a nightmare.</p> <p>With income varying month by month, budgeting can be tricky &mdash; but having a solid budget is all the more important because of the normal fluctuations of income most freelance workers experience. So how do you go about setting a budget as a freelancer? The following steps can guide you.</p> <h2>Step One: Determine What You're Spending</h2> <p>Before you can start creating a budget, you need to get a picture of how your spending looks today. Set a challenge for yourself to record all your expenses over the course of a month. This could be using pen and paper, collecting receipts, and then adding them all up later, or using one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">great spending tracker apps</a>.</p> <p>Once you have some measurable data about your spending patterns, group different expenses together, and add in the known costs that did not occur during your test month. If you pay annual insurance premiums, or other annual bills, for example, divide the total by 12, and add that figure to your monthly calculation.</p> <p>As an example, you may put together the following categories:</p> <ul> <ul> <li><strong>Housing</strong> &mdash; rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance</li> <li><strong>Debt</strong> &mdash; credit or store cards, student loans</li> <li><strong>Transport and commuting</strong> &mdash; public transit ticket costs, or car loan, petrol, parking and servicing costs, as well as any insurance you pay</li> <li><strong>Taxes</strong> (As a freelancer this is especially important!)</li> <li><strong><strong>Savings</strong></strong></li> <li><strong>Personal expenses</strong> &mdash; food, phone bills, vacations, clothes, gifts, parties, and regular health costs</li> <li><strong>Fun</strong> &mdash; all entertainment</li> </ul> </ul> <p>The categories you choose will vary according to your lifestyle, but by grouping them like this, you have an overview &mdash; which is helpful if you later decide you need to trim the budget a little.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Baseline Budget</h2> <p>Your goal now is to create a <em>survival </em>budget, and an <em>ideal </em>budget. The survival version is your baseline, and should not include any unnecessary costs. This is your worst case scenario information about how much you need to spend, even if there is a problem and you're out of work for a while.</p> <p>The ideal version can be much more relaxed &mdash; covering your preferred spending levels and any discretionary spending on hobbies and entertainment.</p> <p>Scrutinize your recorded spending by category. Remove any optional costs, and add the categories together for your baseline monthly budget. Once you have done this, you can put the fun stuff back into your budget &mdash; along with your preferred levels of saving, and any discretionary spending, like donations to charities. You should now have a monthly total for your minimum and ideal levels of spending.</p> <h2>Step Three: Optimize Where Possible</h2> <p>Now is the time to look at your monthly income. As a freelancer, this might vary significantly month-to-month, so taking your annual income and dividing it by 12 for an average can make the process easier. If you are more risk averse, or have little or no financial cushion at the moment, then you may choose to take your lowest month's income as your model instead of an average.</p> <p>How does your monthly income match up with your projected baseline and ideal budget? This exercise should give you a view of how realistic your figures are, but if your income falls below your survival budget, then you need to think about how you can make the numbers match.</p> <p>Are there other items you can remove from your budget, or can you reduce regular costs such as utilities or insurance premiums? Alternatively, can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">bring in some extra income</a> on top of your usual workload to help balance the books?</p> <h2>Step Four: Pay Yourself</h2> <p>Set yourself a trial budget, factoring in both your expected income and your necessary expenses. If it looks like you can be quite comfortable on the income you expect on a monthly basis, then go with your ideal budget. But if you're concerned, then try the baseline budget for a while to see how it works out.</p> <p>Whichever spending level you go for, pay yourself a paycheck to help you smooth out the ups and downs. You could do this quite literally, by billing clients to one account and transferring only a fixed amount to your main spending account on a monthly basis.</p> <p>Your aim is to even out your spending, so any additional income you make in a lucrative month can be saved, and added to an emergency fund or used as a financial cushion for periods when income falls.</p> <h2>Step Five: Make a Long-Term Plan</h2> <p>If you're able to earn enough to support your chosen lifestyle, then over time you will be able to create a financial buffer and build savings. If you use any extra income mindfully, rather than allowing your spending to creep up without noticing it if your earnings increase, then you can repeat the budgeting exercise as your personal circumstances and needs change.</p> <p>More of us are now working in a freelance model, and studies suggest that anything from 40%&ndash;50% of workers will be working freelance by 2020. With freedom-loving Millennials quickly becoming the largest segment of the working population, this is hardly surprising. But with the struggles faced by freelancers trying to budget effectively, the Gen Y trailblazers already reshaping the future of work now need to turn their attentions to planning their finances.</p> <p><em>How do you manage your freelance budget? Share your tips in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle">5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Your Side Hustle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-festive-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-the-holidays">16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Extra Income extra money freelance freelancing side business side hustle side job Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Claire Millard 1693788 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Ready to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ready-to-turn-your-hobby-into-a-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-ready-to-turn-your-hobby-into-a-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hobby-83402322.jpg" alt="knitting" title="knitting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a hobby you enjoy? This can be anything from painting to building furniture to playing video games. In other words, anything you do in your spare time to have fun. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies?ref=seealso">Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a>)</p> <p>While some people are content with keeping their hobby a hobby, others get the bright idea of turning theirs into a side gig or business. They begin to wonder if there's a way to take their favorite activity and turn it into a money-making machine.</p> <p>Before you make this big decision, it is imperative to consider the pros and cons. If you take the leap without thinking twice, you may find that you have killed your hobby and are now in over your head. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-ways-to-make-extra-money?ref=seealso">The Worst Ways to Make Extra Money</a>)</p> <h2>Can You Handle the Pressure of Turning Your Hobby Into a Business?</h2> <p>A hobby is supposed to be fun. A hobby is something you turn to when you are looking to relax and escape the stress of your everyday life. The second you turn this into a side gig, everything is going to change. Now, there is a lot of pressure on you to perform.</p> <p>Let's look at the example of somebody who enjoys painting. When this is a hobby, you don't have any pressure to make the piece &quot;marketable.&quot; You don't have to concern yourself with what others may think. In other words, you are painting because it is something you love.</p> <p>Once you turn this into a business, however, everything changes.</p> <ul> <li>Do you have a plan for selling the piece?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Can you work fast enough to make it worth your while?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What will you do if a customer is unsatisfied?</li> </ul> <p>As you can see, there are many questions you need to answer. As a hobby, your only concern was the actual painting. Once it is a side gig, everything else is a concern.</p> <h2>Do You Have Enough Time?</h2> <p>A hobby doesn't require you to work a certain amount of hours. You don't answer to anybody but yourself. If you decide to take a day or week (or longer) away from your favorite activity, it really doesn't matter.</p> <p>When you have a side business, there is no walking away, especially if you have customers who rely on you or orders you have to fulfill.</p> <p>The big question is this: Do you have enough time in your day to handle your full-time job, personal life, and the side gig? If you bite off more than you can chew, you could find yourself strapped for time. You'll be making a few extra dollars each month, but you may find it coming at a cost, such as less time with your family or your other work suffering as a result. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance?ref=seealso">The Secret to Work Life Balance</a>)</p> <h2>Are You Prepared for the Risk?</h2> <p>Starting a business, regardless of the size or industry, is a big risk. This is particularly true if it will cost you a lot of money to get up and running.</p> <p>There is no denying the fact that a bigger risk comes with a bigger potential reward, but you must decide early on if you are willing to put yourself on the line. Are you OK with losing money if your move from hobby to business fails? Are you OK ith wasting a lot of time should things not work out?</p> <h2>Questions to Answer</h2> <p>At this point, you may be so scared about turning your hobby into a side gig that you never let this cross your mind again. But remember, it's not all bad. There are many people who've taken something they love and turned it into something that earns them a lot (or a little) money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas?ref=seealso">10 Great Home-Based Side Businesses)</a></p> <p>By answering these questions, you may find it much easier to decide what to do next.</p> <ul> <li>Do you enjoy your hobby so much that you wouldn't mind if it turned into a money-making business?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Would you shy away from your hobby in the future should your business flop?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are you the type of person who can deal with the pressure of owning their own business?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have the time to start a side business?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Will your side gig pose too much of a risk?</li> </ul> <p>Now that you understand when you shouldn't make your hobby a side gig, you can decide which steps to take next. Tread softly as this is a decision that will impact your life on many different levels.</p> <p><em>Have you turned a hobby into a side business? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ready-to-turn-your-hobby-into-a-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cool-jobs-for-fashion-lovers">18 Cool Jobs for Fashion Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money">8 Ways to Turn Your Stress Into Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bodily-fluids-you-can-exchange-for-cash">5 Bodily Fluids You Can Exchange for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income business extra income hobby hobby business side business Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:36:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1136716 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Great Home-Based Side-Business Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-business-woman-ggnoads.jpg" alt="Woman using laptop" title="Business woman using laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>The following guest post by <a href="http://www.bykimberlypalmer.com/"><strong>Kimberly Palmer</strong></a> is based on her new book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Economy-You-Entrepreneur-Recession-Proof/dp/0814432735/">The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life</a>,&quot; which comes out this week.</em></p> <p>Most work-from-home schemes are scams, or pretty close to it. Anyone who asks you to invest $500 (or more) in inventory before you&#39;ve made a single sale does not have your best interests in mind. Any company that pays you $5 per online review that you write will not make you rich. And any online vendor that asks you to handle credit card processing is probably downright breaking the law.</p> <p>If you want to earn money from your home, here&#39;s a better idea: Launch a home-based business based on your own skills, creativity, and passions. You will not only increase your income, but you will also discover the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from creating a product or service that other people find useful.</p> <p>I&#39;m biased towards this approach because it&#39;s exactly what I did. When I found myself wanting to earn some extra money on top of my full-time job, I launched an <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/kspalmer">Etsy shop of money planners</a>, based around meeting various goals, from preparing for a baby to organizing finances for the year. Sales were slow at first, but once I caught the eye of some bloggers, the customers came. I started earning close to $200 a month from my shop &mdash; not enough to pay my mortgage, but just enough to prove to myself that I have something valuable to offer, and to know that I could ramp it up if I ever needed or wanted to.</p> <p>If you&#39;re considering launching your own home-based side-business, consider these 10 popular options, based on my interviews with entrepreneurs and career experts as well as data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale.com, Freelancer.com, and <a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a>. They give you the chance to share your own skills with the world, while also bringing in some extra cash:</p> <h2>1. Website Designer</h2> <p>If you have the ability to create functional and beautiful websites, then you probably already know it&#39;s a potentially lucrative skill, and also one that can be easily done from home. That&#39;s why it&#39;s the number one ranked home-based side-business on the list. Freelancer.com has singled out website design as one of the fastest growing jobs, with over 10,000 jobs in the field posted each quarter on the site. PayScale.com reports that part-time, freelance graphic web designers earn a median rate of around $30 an hour.</p> <h2>2. Marketing Consultant</h2> <p>If you enjoy reaching out to bloggers, social media friends, and reporters to help get word out about other people&#39;s projects and businesses, then you can earn a good living from it &ndash; around $50 an hour, according to PayScale.com. Since the work is done primarily by phone and email, you can also do it from the comfort of home.</p> <h2>3. Social Media Consultant</h2> <p>If you love playing around on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media sites, then this one might be for you. Lots of solopreneurs as well as companies are looking to hire freelance social media consultants, as evidenced by the growing number of postings on Freelancer.com and other websites. Create a profile for yourself and start picking up clients.</p> <h2>4. Writer</h2> <p>Writers include bloggers, authors of technical guides, publishers of ebooks, and everything in between. Technical writers are among the best paid in the bunch, with copyeditors and proofreaders falling further down the pay scale. Still, all types of writers can pretty much work from anywhere, including their kitchen table, and at any time.</p> <h2>5. Baker</h2> <p>This glamorized profession, thanks to TLC&#39;s DC Cupcakes and other baking-related shows, can also be a lucrative one. You can earn more if you find a way to stand out and put your own unique twist on the baked goods, as well as by layering in blogging, teaching, and perhaps even a related online store. Make sure you prepare for the start-up costs, though, which could include state-specific licenses.</p> <h2>6. Voice Actor</h2> <p>Voice actors are in hot demand, thanks largely to small business owners who want to create multimedia websites. You can get started on sites such as Upwork or <a href="http://tracking.fiverr.com/aff_c?offer_id=1441&aff_id=4437">Fiverr</a>, and you might already have all the supplies you need, like a microphone and headset. Upwork lists voice acting as one of the fastest growing fields, and it&#39;s one you can do from almost any (quiet) room.</p> <h2>7. Career Coach</h2> <p>If you find friends already ask you for tips on navigating the workplace and job market, then you might want to consider taking your free advice to a professional level. Career coaches typically work one-on-one with clients and they can do so over the phone, email, or video chat sessions. They also help with improving resumes and cover letters, tasks that are also easily accomplished from home. You don&#39;t need any special certification to get started, but it&#39;s an option.</p> <h2>8. Artist</h2> <p>Fine artists can earn a living by selling their work on an e-commerce site like Etsy, Zazzle, or RedBubble. Finding paying customers isn&#39;t always easy, but by spreading the word about your creations over social media and blogging networks, you can build towards a steady stream of income. Since art is typically a luxury purchase, the field tends to fluctuate with the economy.</p> <h2>9. Online Community Builder</h2> <p>This relatively new field involves connecting people online, typically through new websites or on social media. Examples include DailyMuse.com and dcurbanmom.com. Web design skills help, as do social media fluency &mdash; along with a great idea for a niche community hungry for a new way to connect online.</p> <h2>10. Tutor</h2> <p>Tutoring clients often want to stop by your house after school and in the evenings, which can make this the perfect gig for work-at-home parents with school-age children of their own. Tutors usually have education degrees and additional certifications or licenses, although for those working privately for families it&#39;s not required. They typically pick up local clients through word-of-mouth, and might specialize in specific areas such as college essay editing or college admissions coaching.</p> <p>By launching any of these home-based businesses, you&#39;ll end up improving the lives of your customers &ndash; and your own.</p> <p>Kimberly Palmer is the author of the new book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Economy-You-Entrepreneur-Recession-Proof/dp/0814432735/">The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life</a>,&quot; and senior money editor for <em>U.S. News &amp; World Report, </em>where she writes the popular Alpha Consumer blog. In addition, she is the creator of <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/kspalmer">Palmer&#39;s Planners</a>, her own line of digital financial guides and money organizers for major life events and goals. You can connect with her at <a href="http://www.bykimberlypalmer.com/">bykimberlypalmer.com</a>, where you can also download worksheets to help you build your own home-based business.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Economy-You-Entrepreneur-Recession-Proof/dp/0814432735/"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/economy-of-you-by-kim-palme.jpg" /></a></div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kimberly-palmer">Kimberly Palmer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-money-selling-to-the-educational-and-homeschool-markets">5 Ways to Make Money Selling to the Educational and Homeschool Markets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-starting-a-small-business-for-the-tax-deductions-worth-it">Is Starting a Small Business for the Tax Deductions Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-camp-as-a-side-business">Summer Camp as a Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-building-a-financial-safety-net-from-the-economy-of-you">3 Steps to Building a Financial Safety Net From “The Economy of You”</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income home business side business side income Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:36:09 +0000 Kimberly Palmer 1104833 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Generate New Leads for Your Side Business http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-generate-new-leads-for-your-side-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-generate-new-leads-for-your-side-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1153780587_9f2ed46a9b.jpg" alt="people shaking hands" title="people shaking hands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Coming home from a day job and starting work on a side business is a lot more common today than it was in the past. Salaries and commission structures unfortunately have not increased proportionately to the cost of living in various areas of the country and many people have resorted to starting a side business to earn extra income for themselves and their families. You may be one of them.</p> <p>About a year ago, a buddy and I <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/how-i-started-a-side-business-for-extra-income/">started doing freelance Internet marketing work</a> for a few small businesses run by friends and family members. It didn't take long for the venture to turn into a legitimate side business with over a dozen clients and steady alternative income. The best part about it was that we didn't put any money into our own marketing plan. We were able to get the word out and promote our business by using <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/25-online-resources-for-freelancers-and-small-businesses/">free online tools for small businesses</a> and proving to potential clients what we were capable of doing.</p> <p>If you want to start earning good side income, it doesn't make sense to invest money in traditional marketing efforts right away. Be creative and make yourself as accessible as possible. To help you, here are 7 cheap or free ways you can use to easily market your side business and generate new leads.</p> <h3>1. Market to your close network of friends and family</h3> <p>Like it or not, your friends and family are your best source of referrals when you're first starting out. For example, if you're starting a landscaping business, cut your friends and family a deal to mow their lawns, then ask them to introduce you to other neighbors you can pitch your services to. Just try not to be annoying by hounding your friends and family about becoming clients or referring you. Instead, simply talk about the things you're doing to grow the business during regular conversation and you will naturally remind them to refer you to their friends.</p> <h3>2. Run a killer promotion on your Facebook page</h3> <p>I'm not going to write another boring piece telling you to start a Facebook page and that clients will automatically flock to you because of it. I'll assume you've already thought about starting a Facebook page. Now I'll discuss how to actually make it effective.</p> <p>Facebook pages are worthless unless you make them interesting, give people a reason to interact on it, and give worthwhile stuff away. For instance, you can tell your existing fans that you'll give away something related to your industry or donate X amount of money to their favorite charity if they perform some sort of action (i.e., become fans, participate in a poll, leave feedback, etc). Furthermore, you can prompt your fans to create content by running a fan-submitted photo or video contest.</p> <p>This kind of stuff will build a lot of fans in a short amount of time and create much-needed buzz around your Facebook page. The more people that are contributing to your page and interacting with you, the better chance you have of them turning into future clients or customers.</p> <h3>3. Make friends on Twitter</h3> <p>When using Twitter, try not to look like a text billboard with your tweets. Be conversational, connect with other experts in your industry, and be informative. Display your passion and knowledge for your service or product. Join Twitter chats and follow the rule to only send out one marketing-related tweet for every four conversational tweets. Again, don't think it&rsquo;s enough to just be on Twitter; that's pointless. Be strategic with it. Follow and interact with the people you think could turn into potential clients or help you get better connected in your community.</p> <h3>4. Make yourself visible in the community</h3> <p>Join the <a href="http://www.rotary.org/">Rotary club</a>, get involved with local politics, and attend local Tweet-Ups and/or any industry-related seminars or workshops. While there, make sure you talk to at least three people for more than five minutes. I promise you'll get a lot out of it even if seems like a lot of work. <a href="http://www.meetup.com/">Meetup.com</a> is a great place to find local events related to your industry.</p> <h3>5. Teach a free seminar/webinar</h3> <p>Teaching is a fantastic way to attract leads for potential clients. Providing an educational seminar or webinar for free and showing off your knowledge of the subject matter is a great way to attract potential clients and build trust before you even meet them. Webinars are a little tough to pull off professionally without paying for a service like GoToMeeting, but the cost is fairly nominal considering the potential return. When holding a seminar, look to a local non-profit organization or a church to donate an hour or two for you to use one of their facilities to hold the seminar. You can also ask for a small donation from attendees that will go directly to the organization that lets you use their facility.</p> <h3>6. Do free work</h3> <p>There is a fine line between doing free work to build your portfolio and show off your work and not allowing people to assume that you'll always work for free. If you're a graphic designer, for example, you can design a business card for a company for free and show them some examples of redesigned logos and other print materials that they can purchase. This will soften them up to the fact that you did something for free, and if they like your mock-ups of the new logo and other materials, it could entice them to become a long-term client. You can also choose to only do free work for charities and let the word-of-mouth marketing begin when your work is displayed to many different people.</p> <h3>7. Be an educator on LinkedIn</h3> <p>If you have a profile on LinkedIn, don't just let it sit there. Join industry specific groups and submit links to any content that you create online, such as blog posts. You can also answer questions in the Q&amp;A section to show off your expertise. This applies to other sites in addition to LinkedIn as well. Join and actively participate on industry forums and utilize Q&amp;A sites like Yahoo Answers. Starting a blog and writing insightful posts that get people's attention can also do wonders for your business.</p> <p>Have you picked up on some of the common themes here? Give, give, and give more. The more you give, the more you'll get. Don't fall into the trap of always giving away your work without charge, but don't be afraid to do so in the beginning while you're building a client list to get the word-of-mouth marketing ball rolling.</p> <p>Use social media and the power of the Internet, but don't assume that having an online presence automatically equals sales and new leads. You must educate yourself and have a strategy. Build trust by educating others and show them that you know what the heck you're talking about. With a good mix of luck and consistent, hard work, you'll have a side business that could turn into a full-time business someday.</p> <p>Have you worked on a side business before? What additional tips do you have for ways to generate new leads for relatively cheap?</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest article by Erik Folgate, the lead editor for the Money Crashers <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/"><span>personal finance blog</span></a>. Take a look at the Money Crashers site and <a href="http://feeds.moneycrashers.com/MoneyCrashersCom">subscribe to their RSS feed </a>for more insightful personal finance and small business articles like this one.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/five-ways-to-start-your-own-business-while-working-another-job/">5 Ways To Start Your Own Side Business While Working Another Job</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/5-great-career-fields-for-the-future/">Best Careers for the Next Ten Years</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/smartypig-review-savings-account/">SmartyPig Review</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/erik-folgate">Erik Folgate</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-generate-new-leads-for-your-side-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-camp-as-a-side-business">Summer Camp as a Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-for-retirement-and-other-long-term-goals-on-a-variable-income">Saving for Retirement (and Other Long-Term Goals) on a Variable Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-retirement-plans-for-the-self-employed">A Simple Guide to Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship referrals side business Tue, 15 Jun 2010 15:00:47 +0000 Erik Folgate 127718 at http://www.wisebread.com Summer Camp as a Side Business http://www.wisebread.com/summer-camp-as-a-side-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/summer-camp-as-a-side-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lego camp.jpg" alt="kids with Lego robots at summer camp" title="kids with Lego robots at summer camp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My tween son went to a&nbsp;Lego&nbsp;camp this summer so that he could learn robotics, something I wasn&rsquo;t sure I could teach him since his technical skills typically surpass mine. My initial fascination was with the computer programming aspect of the camp. Then, I became intrigued with the idea of running a summer camp as a side business.&nbsp;So, I spoke with seasoned camp directors about how they turned summer weeks into extra income.&nbsp;Here's a road map for&nbsp;a summer camp business.</p> <h3>Passion usually sparks the (summer camp) fire</h3> <p>Most of the independently run camps that I learned about were formed because of the camp director's&nbsp;passion, though some were started as a way to fill a market niche.&nbsp; Dedication to serving kids and their families seems just as intense whether the camp is the fruit of a long-held dream or a deeply-researched business plan. Types of camps offered include:</p> <ul> <li>Academic Enrichment</li> <li><a href="http://www.maineartscamp.com/">Arts &amp;&nbsp;Technology&nbsp;</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.tayloredathletes.com/">Basketball</a></li> <li>Cheerleading</li> <li><a href="http://www.eastmeetswestlax.com/ ">Lacrosse</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.inventivebuilder.com/index.html ">Lego Buildng</a> (not affiliated with Lego but involving construction of Lego sets)</li> <li><a href="http://www.caglewood.org/default.aspx#2 ">Outdoor experiences </a></li> <li><a href="http://recreationcampoc.com/">Traditional camp </a>(crafts, games, music, drama)</li> <li><a href="http://www.casadelinda.com/classes.htm">Visual Art</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ixwindsranch.org/ ">Western Ranch&nbsp;</a></li> </ul> <h3>Marketing: word-of-mouth rules</h3> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Word-of-mouth referrals seem to be the best (and least expensive) way of attracting campers. Referrals may come from campers and their families, or those who work with potential campers, such as teachers, coaches, and counselors associated with youth organizations. Most camps have websites but some rely more on search engine traffic and web campaigns than others. Marketing techniques:</div> <ul> <li>Word-of-mouth referrals</li> <li>Websites</li> <li>Flyers and banners at kids&rsquo; schools, partner facilities, and local businesses</li> <li>Listings in summer camp directories in newspapers and websites</li> <li>Direct mail and email campaigns</li> <li>Newspaper ads</li> <li>Google ads</li> <li>Television ads</li> <li>Social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook</li> <li>Summer camp referral services such as <a href="http://www.campfinders.com/">Camp Finders</a>&nbsp;</li> <li>Craigslist</li> </ul> <h3>Hire and train staff who love what <i>you do</i></h3> <p>Camp directors will often tap into their networks to find staff suitable for working with children and qualified to provide supervision and instruction in specific areas (in addition to background checks). For example:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Courtney Reid-Hammock of Camp Trinity Children Programs hires&nbsp;teachers for her academic&nbsp;camp</li> <li>Drew Searl of <a href="http://www.eastmeetswestlax.com">East Meets West Lacrosse</a>&nbsp;hires professional players and coaches for his lacrosse camp</li> <li>James Taylor of <a href="http://www.tayloredathletes.com/">Taylored Athletes</a>&nbsp;hires current or former professional players who have earned college degrees for his basketball camp</li> <li><a href="http://neeleyneal.com/about/">Neeley Neal</a>&nbsp;of <a href="http://sidelinestar.com/">Sideline Star</a>&nbsp;hires <a href="http://www.aacca.org/">AACCA</a> (American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators) certified professionals for her cheerleading camp</li> </ul> <p>Staff training&nbsp;ranges from half-day talks&nbsp;on camp basics for day camps to multi-day&nbsp;sessions for staffers at residential (overnight) camps, such as that held by <a href="http://www.maineartscamp.com/">Maine Arts&nbsp;Camp</a>&nbsp;including&nbsp;instruction from&nbsp;medical professionals.&nbsp;Topics might include&nbsp;camp policies, camp songs, responses to medical emergencies, and dealing with behavioral problems.</p> <h3>Find space wherever you can</h3> <p>An open field can work for some day camps (such as cheerleading or lacrosse) while residential camps&nbsp;require more extensive facilities such as cabins or dormitory-style housing, classrooms, and cafeterias. Ideas for locations:</p> <ul> <li>public parks and recreation facilities</li> <li>privately owned studios (gymnastics, dance, karate, etc.)</li> <li>places of worship</li> <li>college and university facilities</li> <li>your own place (property owners Glynn and Jo-An Turman hold <a href="http://www.ixwindsranch.org/">Camp Gid D Up</a> at their&nbsp;ranch)</li> </ul> <h3>Match camp with campers</h3> <p>Most camps don't have rules about who can attend (with the exception of age requirements) but are clear about their offerings and whether a camp is suitable for potential campers.&nbsp;Common ways of making sure that camp will be fun and appropriate for campers:</p> <ul> <li>in-depth descriptions of camp activities on brochures and websites</li> <li>candid&nbsp;discussions with&nbsp;prospective parents who often call to get information on camp</li> <li>camper applications with personal and medical histories (<a href="http://www.caglewood.org/">Camp Caglewood</a>, which serves children and adults with special needs, has a thorough application process to make sure camp&nbsp;is enjoyable and enriching, and&nbsp;adapts&nbsp;its&nbsp;programs&nbsp;to&nbsp;the specific medical, social, and/or physical needs of campers)</li> </ul> <p>Safety and risk management ideas:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>establish and maintain an appropriate camper:counselor ratio</li> <li>set,&nbsp;communicate, and adhere&nbsp;to&nbsp;rules and policies</li> <li>get campers to sign agreements covering behavior and safety issues</li> <li>have&nbsp;parents&nbsp;sign&nbsp;releases or waivers (including photo releases)</li> <li>access&nbsp;the expertise of insurance agents, who can advise on risk management measures</li> <li>carry event insurance and liability coverage</li> <li>have medical staff onsite or contract with a physician for dedicated services during camp weeks</li> <li>limit camp hours so that campers will not need to have medication during sessions</li> <li>have campers bring their own snacks and/or lunches to help avoid allergy problems</li> </ul> <h3>Deal with concerns of parents</h3> <p>Candy Cohn, assistant director&nbsp;of a <a href="http://www.maineartscamp.com/faq.aspx">residential&nbsp;camp</a>&nbsp;told me typical concerns of parents are whether their kids will be able to make friends and get along with other campers. Many parents also feel uncomfortable with not having on-demand access to their kids, who aren't allowed to have cell phones. To help kids and parents make the transition from home to camp, Candy and others advise:</p> <ul> <li>keep camp small enough to provide personal attention to campers</li> <li>get information on specific concerns of parents and address those concerns directly</li> <li>encourage parents to allow their children to develop independence</li> <li>be available for kids who may need mentoring or special attention</li> </ul> <h3>Make money&nbsp;(or give back to the community)</h3> <p>To set camper fees, consider industry standards for pricing and count all expenses, such as:</p> <ul> <li>facility rentals</li> <li>instructor fees</li> <li>advertising</li> <li>camp-related equipment and supplies</li> <li>administrative supplies</li> <li>food</li> <li>insurance</li> <li>takeaway items&nbsp;such as camp t-shirts</li> </ul> <p>Payment policies include 50% or payment-in-full at time of registration with&nbsp;balances due at the time&nbsp;of camp. Some camps&nbsp;offer discounts for&nbsp;early registration, referrals, and siblings.&nbsp;</p> <p>A few of the camps I've mentioned are 501(c)(3) non-profits (<a href="http://www.caglewood.org/">Camp Caglewood </a>and <a href="http://recreationcampoc.com/">ReCreation Camp </a>provides outdoor and traditional camp experiences&nbsp;for adults and children with special needs; <a href="http://www.einpresswire.com/article/39199--camp-gid-d-up-rides-again-hosting-another-free-camp-for-inner-city-and-at-risk-foster-youth">Camp Gid D Up </a>serves inner city and at-risk children) but operate using business principles; they cover costs through donations, sponsorships, or&nbsp;camper fees.</p> <h3>Get&nbsp;started with camp</h3> <p>Experience as a youth&nbsp;instructor, coach, and volunteer is a great way to get the planning and teaching skills needed to run a camp. Though some directors have careers in sales, technology, marketing, and entertainment, many are teachers or business owners who provide year-round instruction, either full-time or part-time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Linda Calvert Jacobson, an artist and&nbsp;owner&nbsp;of <a href="http://www.casadelinda.com/">Casa de Linda Art Studio</a>&nbsp;taught art to adults and children for many years before starting her summer camp. She gives tips on organizing day-to-day activities:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>establish age groups for sessions</li> <li>develop general outline of daily activities</li> <li>select a camp theme</li> <li>develop project ideas through extensive research and professional knowledge</li> <li>create timelines for major projects and activities so that campers will have a completed project by the end of each camp session</li> <li>have smaller, back-up projects and activities to keep campers busy and having fun</li> </ul> <p>At the end of camp week, Linda holds a brief ceremony in which she presents certificates to campers&nbsp;and takes group photos; she has also started hosting an end-of-summer art show and ice cream social, encouraging campers to bring favorite art pieces and inviting families and friends. Similarly, campers at the Lego&nbsp;camp&nbsp;each presented one project and&nbsp;received a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remember-where-you-parked-your-car-and-more-35-practical-uses-of-a-digital-camera">personalized CD&nbsp;of&nbsp;digital photos</a>&nbsp;illustrating the camp week.</p> <p>If you're thinking about using your skills to teach others&nbsp;but don't want to take on the responsibilities of running a camp, consider holding a session in partnership with a local school,&nbsp;church, or&nbsp;parks and recreation facility.&nbsp;For example,&nbsp;teachers designed and led&nbsp;classes&nbsp;at&nbsp;a summer enrichment program organized by <a href="http://www.st-ireneschool.org/index.php">St. Irene Catholic School</a>; school board member Laura McGowan told me that both the school and teachers were able to generate extra income in a difficult economy.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-camp-as-a-side-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ebay-s-non-paying-bidders">EBay’s Non-Paying Bidders</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">6 Signs It&#039;s Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-money-for-nothing-your-checks-for-free">Get your money for nothing, your checks for free.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Extra Income Making Extra Cash running a summer camp side business supplemental income Thu, 03 Sep 2009 13:00:02 +0000 Julie Rains 3554 at http://www.wisebread.com