So you want to be an entrepreneur? You don’t like bosses or you’re newly retired but too restless to just sit at home waiting for your kids to visit, or you need the extra cash. The only problem is you have no idea which business to pursue.
More and more retired folk are leaving retirement and dusting off their entrepreneurial skills in a bid to alleviate boredom or augment their meagre pension fund, which means we have hosts of skilled individuals who want to re-enter the economy but without any idea of which business will get them the most money, the quickest.
Plus with the exorbitant cost of living rising every day, many people are turning to side jobs to earn extra income. Don’t want to waitress? Then try some of these ideas out for size.
Here are a few ideas I have on businesses that are profitable and don’t require too much previous experience are the following:
Beauty from home
Are you sociable and well groomed? There are a number of beauty schools out there that offer short beauty courses specifically catering to people who want to make money from home.
Bronze Academy in Durbanville, Cape Town offers a 3 month course covering topics like eyelash extensions, manicures and pedicures, facials and nail extensions all for R18 000 after which time you will be fully qualified to work from home.
Crafts and candle-making
Are you creative and love working with your hands? Then take a course in candle or soap making.
Then buy candle wax, moulds and accessories from Candle Deli after which you’ll be ready to start selling at craft markets or online.
Once you’ve got the sales coming in you can create your own website and sell direct to customers.
Are you a bookkeeper? A copyrighter? Love golf?
Then make extra money on the side by working evenings and weekends. Just make sure you don’t break any contracts with your existing employer.
What you need to know before you get started
A few key considerations to take into account before you get started:
1. Costs of production
If the cost to make or sell your item exceeds the money you will ever make from it, then don’t do it, try something else. You have to make a decent enough margin to cover the cost of renting a stall at the flea market or cost to hire a seamstress or cost of training. If your margins are tiny then you’re going to have to sell a heck of a lot to make any money.
The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is the sales, where are you going to find customers. Optimise your network of contacts buy making sure your neighbours and friends know about your services. Offer them discounts and just get them in the door for the first time to try it out. A glass of red or white wine won’t hurt either.
Create a Facebook page with photos of the items you’re selling, once you’ve sold a few you can justify the expense of a proper WordPress site, if it’s well designed it will rank in Google and bring in most of your clients from there.
Attend networking events and use social media to make sure there’s a constant stream of valuable contact and communication with your customers.
4. Business plan
Take the time to write out a one or two page business plan to make sure you’ve thought everything through properly, it will be worth the time and might save you a lot of time and money.
Don’t give up, being an entrepreneur is tough but it is always better than working for a boss. Good luck!