With the news papers and TV sending waves of bad news at us from every angle and employers cutting hours and even sometimes jobs, now is a great time to dust off that hobby or craft project that you did in the past just to pass the time of day and turn it into a Cash Cow. Well maybe not a cow but certainly have it generate income to supplement or even take the load off what was your day job and have a little fun for a change as well.
Back in the day of the boom having your own business was thought to be the ability to create an enterprise that employed several other people and that generated large dollars and allowed the owner to be foot loose and fancy free. While that is still possible, many people now want the simple security of knowing that they absolutely have a place to show up and earn their daily sustenance and that they can go there in a relaxed manner and enjoy the day, relatively stress free. There is no boss to answer to and the quality control supervisor is yours truly!
There are many complicated ways to get to this place and they could cover several volumes so for now we are going to take an overview and address the 7 fundamental steps that will take you from crafting as a hobby to creating your product or service as a business that provides cash and support for you and your family!
1. GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT
When it was a hobby it was OK to be haphazard about how you went about doing things after all it was just for "fun". Well it is still for fun but now it can feed you as well. Get focused, create first of all a product and secondly a vision of how you want this to look and then make a commitment to treat it like a job. You know that you would not be paid to not come to work so when it comes to your craft you will not be paid to not produce. Get clear that it is a business and treat your commitment to it as such. Once you have made the commitment you will be surprised at how much help and support comes seemingly out of nowhere to help you accomplish your goal.
2. IDENTIFY A NICHE (Who is your Customer)
Decide who your ideal client is, create with them in mind, find their need as it relates to your product and make what you have suit what you feel they need. Listen to friends acquaintances and the general conversation in cafe's, on the street and in stores , even at parties and family gatherings to get the pulse of what people want. Your biggest ally to learning about the needs of the public is to be a "fly on the wall" and listen and watch, they will talk about their wishes and desires, take note and then find a way to meet the need.
3. CREATE A MARKETING PLAN
Once you have identified your who your clients are and what they want, creating a marketing plan is easy. Figure out where your clients are. Where do they go? Make sure you and the service or product that you have created just for them is where ever they are. Learn how to reach them where they are and make their life easier and more fun with what you are able to do for them.
4. WORK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT IN YOUR HAND
While it may seem like the thing to do is to buy a lot of material and supplies to get your hobby from craft to cash, I strongly advise that you work with the materials that you have on hand mostly. If you sink yourself into debt by buying a lot of inventory and supplies you will stress over whether or not it sells. Your attention will be on serving yourself rather than serving the customer. Also you need to test the market to determine what is the best product and price point that will bring you the most return and your customers the most value.
5. ACTIVELY PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS
Treat your business like you would like to see other businesses run, You remember your pet peeves when you go to other businesses for service. How frustrated you felt when you couldn't get a question answered or find the thing you wanted. Think like a customer and make sure you are meeting all of the needs that you can anticipate and precieve. There are ways to let people know that you and your product exist that are low or no cost. Some suggestions include:
-Speak at networks that reach your identified customer base.
-Advertise on and offline in places that your target group is likely to frequent.
-Use the unlimited free options available to you such as articles online and off, social media and free directories
-Activate your existing database by sending your latest catalogues and offers to past co-workers and friends let them know about your new project.
Remember now is an ideal time to create affordable and useful product. During the "Recession" people want to save money, support each other, and create meaning in the craziness of it all. Help them meet all the needs and by the time this is over you will have a loyal following, a booming business and a very lucrative "hobby"
6. IT"S ALL ABOUT THEM
Your customer is not interested in 'your business' or even what it does. At this time what they want is something that will make their lives easier , thriftier, more appreciated or whatever that brings joy and relief to them. Make sure that you are meeting their needs and your needs will automatically be met.
7. EVALUATE WHAT DOES AND DOESN'T WORK
Keep track of your customers as they develop. Take email addresses, phone numbers and follow up on contacting them and creating lasting relationships with them and they will return to you again and again because you are putting them first.
Sit back and relax knowing that you are in charge of your livelihood and that as such you are that much closer to being a self sustaining individual, steps removed from the ups and downs of the economy and the general news reports.
Alaia Leighland is a Personal Futurist and an inspired entrepreneur. Visit her website http://www.AlaiaLeighland.com for information about counseling, coaching, Spiritual Business, and trainings for professional and personal development. You will find story solutions through advanced communication skills. Instead of learning "manifesting by numbers" you will be taken on a step by step journey to emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, understanding others, and managing self) to create the life of your dreams whether you are a junior in high school ready to step into the world for the first time, a 50- something wondering what to do with your golden years or anywhere in between and ready to live your dream.
Are you struggling with finding meaning and joy in your daily expression and would you like to learn about proven and effective steps to successful navigating your life/career path? Get your 1 on 1 session with Alaia. Take the 1st step to clarity!
The sky is not the limit...It's a GOAL... Reach!!!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alaia_Leighland
Copyright 2011 eduFire, LLC. All Rights Reserved.