Felicia (who gave me permission to share her story) has a full-time job, but she is also an amazing baker. She is constantly baking for friends, family and co-workers, so I encouraged her to start charging for her baked goods. Initially, she resisted but eventually she came around. After months of coming up with plans, slowly starting to get her website built and such, I encouraged her to just start already! (If you have a product or service, take notes.)
1. Spread the word. Send out an email to all of the people that you know (who could possibly be interested) letting them know about your new product (or service) offering. Felicia sent one out to those whom she normally baked items for (for free!) to let them know that she was starting a new side business where she would be offering one particular dessert a month. Her initial goal was to get 20 orders. She ended up receiving 22 apple pie orders in October. If your family and friends are on other social channels, be sure to share on those too (i.e. Facebook).
2. Start with one item. I’m a big fan of starting small. Depending on what you’re baking, it takes a wide variety of ingredients that have the potential to cut into your profit. As such, starting out with one thing will bring you to profit quicker. By sticking to apple pies, Felicia was profitable in her first month.
3. Price at a premium. If you have a quality product or service, then don’t be afraid of pricing accordingly. There are different pricing strategy options, but you have to go with the one that you feel is right for you. (I wouldn’t “let” Felicia charge less than $20 for her apple pies. Even at that price, they were a “steal”!)
4. Don’t take on more work than you can handle. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to your customers. If your product or service is great, then word is going to spread. It’s your responsibility as a business owner (part or full time) to not take on more than you can handle well. For example, Felicia sets caps on how many orders she will take a month. The added benefit of doing this is that it causes potential customers to be more urgent about getting their orders in! (She has already met her cap for November – 40 pumpkin/sweet potato pies and it’s just November 4th!)
I hope that you found this helpful. I’m certain that if you brainstorm, you can come up with several business ideas based on your skill set. What do people constantly ask you about or ask you to do for them? Answering that question is how I came up with the idea for this website and coaching service for work at home moms. It’s simply the thing that I get asked the most about besides parenting sons in NYC!
If you are having a hard time figuring out the answer, then be certain to read one of the books that I recommended in Time to Start. Also, ask the people who are closest to you/know you the best. My husband, mother AND hairdresser have all been telling me that I should be a coach for several years. I’m glad that I finally STARTED (officially) and I’m pretty certain that you will be happy when you start your business too. (Websites, business structures, insurance, accounting and the like are all important too. We will cover those topics on this site, but the most important thing to do is START.)
If you need help with starting (or growing) your business, work with me. If you can’t afford to do so at the moment, then that is fine. You will find plenty of free resources on this site to help. I will also be doing a monthly reader spotlight where I will help a reader come up with a time-sensitive action plan to start or grow their business for free. If you would like to be considered for this feature, please fill out the following form:
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