Making your dreams come true might be as simple as building your own business where you live.
When jobs are scarce and you haven’t many options left, one option that many overlook is starting a cottage industry, or running your own business. Some successful businesses I’ve seen in the Lamar area are super simple, and only bring in a few extra dollars a week, and some are high dollar industries that bring in a lot of business, and profits.
“The thing is, when you run your own business, you set the bar as high as you’d like. Earn more, or earn less, the money is up to you, as is the time you spend working at your own business.” Long time entrepreneur, Allen F. says about his time in business, “I found a strong bond between the amount of time I spent marketing my business, doing the work of my business, and the income I produced. Once I was able to hire the ‘workers’ and spend my time marketing, production increased and my time spent doing the marketing, meeting people, and making a reputation for myself paid off.”
Not only can you create a job for yourself by starting your own business, but you can create jobs for others with a new business.
Will your community support another business?
One spring as school was letting out for the year, I realized having a summer job meant building my own business. I had searched for a job and there were simply none to be found, or at least, none hiring me. At first, I struggled to find something I could do, and then through a total accident, I met a man who needed someone to sod his lawn. My parents had sodded their lawn the summer before and I’d learned how to put down the sod as well as run an underground sprinkler system, and had access to the materials. So, I made some calls.
Within about five hours one afternoon, I had five lawns to sod, and five sprinkler systems to run. I didn’t have to buy tools, I borrowed Dad’s, so running a business became a viable option. Summers in my area are HOT, so I spent the early morning hours when it was just light, but still cool setting up sprinkler systems, running sod, and landscaping, then I spent the afternoon hours talking to prospective customers, setting up jobs and scheduling work. Evenings were spent watering new lawns, and checking out the sprinkler systems where I’d run sod. By the end of the first week, I had jobs for the next two months, and four employees paid by the job. At the end of the second week, I bought my own equipment, because I was running two complete teams.
As for longevity of the business, two members of the teams I hired that summer still operate lawn care businesses. The rest have moved on to other business interests, most owning their own businesses.
To find out if services such as lawn care are needed, ask around. Talk to local businesses, talk to local greenhouses, and ask your neighbors if they’d hire someone to mow their lawn, or sod, or manage their yard care. For other services, look around and see what is available and ask.
There are many options for small town service based businesses, but a few I’ve found to be most profitable, fast are listed below:
- Dance classes, either in a studio, in your basement, or in a local public room. I know several who have taught dance classes in the local community building, renting a room for the evening, maybe twice a week. Two classes a week, with 10 – 20 students can bring in between $200 and $800 a week. That’s charging a very reasonable $10 – $20 per student. Any good cassette, or CD player can keep your music running.
- Personal trainers can go to a client’s home, or use a public fee based gym for training. Perhaps an outdoor boot camp is more your style, what about a local park. Bring your running shoes and run laps around the local stadium in off hours, or walk a trail with a crowd. Some older people would like to walk the trails, but are afraid to walk alone… Perhaps a group rate for walking three days a week? Keep up the motivation with peppy music or a megaphone you can use to talk to them if they’re a larger crowd.
- Set up a trash to treasure shop where you take in other people’s unwanted stuff and sell on consignment. Keep good records, and tag everything, then pay up after the sale, or buy for less, sell for more. Some stuff might be worth fixing, updating, and improving prior to selling for more money in your pocket.
- Build a website and market trash and treasures over the internet. A reasonably easy to manage website is fairly inexpensive to set up and maintain, and you can use a simple ‘blog-it’ method to sell whatever you’d like to sell.
- $7 Dollar Business Model is a great way to sell your expertise online, without spending all your time ‘talking on the phone’ to tell people how to do something. Create how to packets, and sell them.
- Become a consultant and share your expertise. Set up a website, write plenty of content to share, then invite people to contact you for more information, at a fee. Offer to set up and schedule action oriented speaking engagements where you help improve their business, train their department heads, or update their marketing efforts with onsite training. You set your price, based on the industry standards.
- Host and cater dinner parties at reasonable prices. How many of your working neighbors would appreciate coming home to a ready made home cooked meal once or twice a week? It’s better than take out, and your pricing can be commiserate with the meal prepared. Include sumptuous desserts – they’ll call you back.
These are just a few good ideas that you might use to inspire better ideas, or different ideas. Come up with a few of your own and ask around, I’m betting you can find something fun to do that would improve your community, grow your income, and keep you off the government dole. Keep records of your income and expenses. Not only do you want to know how much you’re making, but IRS will want you to pay taxes on your profitable/taxable income.
Did I mention that accounting is an excellent home based business to get into if you have the skill set?
“Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city!”
I’ve only given you a basic concept of building a business of your own, when you need a job and none appear to be available. There are many benefits of creating your own job, not the least of which is having total control over your life and work.
Creating your own job can be totally empowering, ceasing control of your life, managing your time and experience, and taking an active role in what happens to you, economically and professionally. Once you become your own boss, start setting and achieving your own goals, you’ll have a bigger, broader view of the world and your purpose.
It’s exciting to own your own business and set your own goals.
There is all kinds of innovative how to manuals, educational materials, and helpers available online for setting up your own business.
There are consultants who do nothing other than help small business owners set up the paperwork, create their goals, and assess abilities required to be successful in your business.
Let’s have coffee and talk about your options.
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