Here’s The Problem With Your Service Business…

Most mums starting out in business don’t have a lot of money to invest and they need to get cash coming in quickly. That makes service businesses like holistic therapies, virtual assistance, web design, writing,  childminding and bookkeeping popular choices.

These business have other advantages too, you can run them all from home and you can do as many hours as you want.

The snag with these businesses is that you’re exchanging your time for money. Lets say you’re working 20 hours a week. Up to half of that will be taken up by admin and marketing, leaving you not much more than 10 hours of time you can charge your clients for. You can’t earn any more because you don’t have any more hours.

The way around this is to find a way of earning without exchanging time for money. Here are two examples:

– Are there products that your clients buy or would like to buy? If you sign up for a direct selling scheme, you can sell a range of products without having to buy lots of stock. The direct selling company will provide things like brochures and order forms so all you need to do is buy a starter pack. You can sell anything from eco products to cosmetics to utilities! Check out  the direct selling section of Business Plus Baby for more info.

– Helen Pritchard is a holistic therapist and baby massage tutor. She was limited to working with people face-to-face, but she created baby massage DVDs and video downloads so she can sell them around the world. You can read more in I started a business with a baby: Helen Pritchard of New Stork Times.

Can you think of a second income stream that you could add to your business?

If you’re just starting out and feel like taking on anything else will make your head explode, then don’t worry about extra income streams just yet! It’s worth keeping the idea in the back of your mind just in case you do spot a good opportunity in the next few months, though.

Would you like to know more? My Earn What You Deserve as a Mumpreneur E-Course is full of practical steps you can take to make more money from your business. Sign up for more info and you’ll be able to download my e-book: Price It Right: Five simple steps to choose a price for your product or service.

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Why selling your time by the hour is a bad idea (and what to do about it)

If you’re selling your time by the hour, you may find you’re working really hard but not earning as much as you want. Why? Well, if you’re working part time around children you may only have twenty hours a week to work. Once you’ve lost up to half of that time doing your admin and marketing you may only have ten hours left. You need to be charging a lot per hour to make much money from ten hours a week.

And even if you do charge a high hourly rate there will always be a limit to how much you can earn because there are only 24 hours in a day.

A big advantages of this type of business are that you can get paid faster than other businesses – you don’t need to manufacture anything – and you don’t need to buy or store stock, so it’s a great way to get a business off the ground. But to grow your business (and your bank balance) you’ll need to think of other ways of increasing your income.

How about setting up another income stream that doesn’t involve selling time? If you’re a complementary therapist, you could sign up with a direct selling company and sell health, beauty or environmental products, for example. It won’t cost you much to get started, you don’t need to buy much stock and the direct selling company will provide you with things like brochures, order forms and posters.

Can’t find what you want in direct selling? There are lots of creative mums out there, look around for one who makes a product that your clients would love.

Or how about selling an e-book or on your website? You don’t even need to write it yourself, you could become an affiliate for someone else’s product. Being affiliate means that you tell clients, or even friends and family, about a product and you get commission for every sale you make. Look at products you already use and like, then take a look at the seller or manufacturer’s website for how to  ‘become an affilliate’ (it’s sometimes called a ‘reseller’ or ‘rep’ instead).

If you’d like to know about more ways you could boost your income as a mumpreneur, take a look at my e-course Earn What You Deserve as a Mumpreneur.

Photo credit: Katerha