If you’re one of those people that is full of great money-making ideas, you are probably looking for cost-effective ways to make them come to fruition. Entrepreneurs are creative people who can get incredibly passionate and inspired when they have a good idea. Sadly, not all ideas can be acted upon, and we often have so many other things going on in life, we are not able to take them to fruition. Ultimately, the ideas get pushed to the back of our mind, and other ideas pop up to take our attention.
But what if life dealt you a different hand? If you were able to take time out from the drudgery of working nine to five for someone else, would you finally bring one of your own business ideas to life? Having an idea is one thing, but very few budding entrepreneurs are ever in a position to do anything about it. What sets a successful entrepreneur apart from the rest of us wannabes is the time and cash to do something with their good idea. They had it, and you don’t.
If you could take a week off work and use that to work your backside off setting up a new idea, would you? We all need our holidays to rest and recharge from the hard work we’ve been putting in for someone else. It is also the short window of opportunity to catch up with family, friends and jobs around the house. If you could allocate a week to your big-money idea what would you do with it?
When we haven’t got the money to invest in our idea and get started in business, it can be hard to know how to make the moves to get a little closer to that point. With few or even zero sales to its credit, an idea can be exceptionally good but make us no money. How can we make a living from it? Earning a wage from an idea is probably a long way off at this stage, but if you can begin to find people who may be interested in what you are selling, that would be a great start. If you have no resources and no time, don’t give up the day job.
There is no need to register as a business at this stage. If your idea turns into a product that is actually selling, you might want to consider it. If you foresee no dealings with other businesses that would require you to be a formal company, acting as a sole trader will save you a fortune. You can keep all the money you make to do with as you wish. If you earn enough from the venture, you may need to pay income tax. Declare your earnings as a self-employed person.
Here are ways you can start off small:
Define your product or service – see if you can write down what it is in just one sentence that other people will instantly understand and be able to visualise. It’s no good saying you are going to make scarves. You need to say why, who for, and what they will do for the customer. For example, say ‘I will produce and sell direct online my own colorful, wool scarves for kids to wear in the winter.’ You’ve defined your market and customer base. Now you know what you have to do to achieve the objective.
Source your product – if you are a great knitter and you are producing scarves, you may need to think about sourcing cheaper wool should you start making sales. You need to time your production and use that to determine a good price for your product. Check the retail cost of similar products being sold to the same target market. If you can make a profit then great, if not, let your idea go.
Tell people what you do – You may want to use your FaceBook account to let your friends know what you are selling. You can also start using Twitter. These are free services that can be effective, and help spread the word. What would make them more effective would be to have a website that provides more details about your offering. Create a bespoke website with Site Zulu or another free supplier to get an idea about how you want your website to look. There are very quick and easy templates for websites available out there. There is no point in committing to grand sites and services if you haven’t yet made a sale.
Good website services will provide you with easy to access statistics about your site. Once you have created all your content, you can keep an eye on the hits to see if people are reading what you have to say. Paying for an online shop may not be necessary at first. You can set up a simple email enquiry or ordering service instead, and use a service like PayPal if you make a sale. This doesn’t mean you’re not professional or a serious business person. It means you are living within your means and not getting yourself into unnecessary debt before your product or service has become successful.
Prepare to work hard – Once you have told people about your product or service, and you have created an online presence, you will need to keep working at it rather than sitting by. If you are still working for someone to pay the bills, you probably only have the evenings and weekends free to maintain your website and handle any orders. If your product is tangible, rather than a service, you may be busy manufacturing. You may also want to explore local opportunities to sell your items, like markets, community events and independent shops.
It will never be easy to get your idea off the page and into profit. Any entrepreneur will tell you there is always an element of luck involved, such as being in the right place at the right time. If you are determined with this idea or any other, keep at it, and hopefully it will come to fruition.