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

Earning Extra Money in the Run up to Christmas

I'm delighted to introduce my first ever guest blogger, Gemma Johnson, who co-founded www.babeecard.com. Many mums who are starting their own business find they need another income stream to keep them going in the first few months. Here are some great ideas for topping up your income in the run up to Christmas.

As Christmas approaches, we could all do with a little extra money. Here are some swift and simple ways to boost the family budget over the next few months.

Sell Something There are lots of opportunities to earn extra income through direct selling. To find the best direct selling business, do a little research. Ask friends what they are planning to buy for Christmas. Find out what other direct selling companies are operating in your local area. Last year at my daughter’s school everyone was having Body Shop parties and it got to the point where there was almost no-one who hadn’t been asked to host. Pick something that is different AND make sure that what the company offers is in the right price range for the people you will be targeting.

Earning Online If you have a computer there are lots of simple ways to make your money go further and earn cash back, commission or affiliate fees. Start by signing up for a cashback site or two, so when you do your Christmas shopping you get a few percentage of what you spent back in your account. You can sign up for affiliate schemes where you promote a link and get a small amount every time one of your friends or contacts shops through that link. If you’re a BaBeeCard member, for example, you earn £5 credit for everyone you get to sign up.

Look for a Job In the run up to Christmas lots of businesses need extra help. Spend an afternoon going round your local shopping centre and asking about whether they will be hiring extra staff before Christmas. Wear something reasonably smart: you don’t need to wear your interview suit, but look like you are smart and ready to work. Ask to speak to the manager if possible. You may be asked to supply a CV if they have vacancies, or you could be given a form to take away and fill in.  If they will be looking for staff in coming weeks, make a note of when and where they will advertise vacancies. And if you have a CV, revise it with an emphasis on skills that you have which would be useful in a busy store in the run up to Christmas.

Remember, whatever way you choose to earn some extra money, persistence pays off. If you don’t get the first job you apply for, keep trying. If you go for direct selling, look beyond your friends for party hosts and target groups and offices too. And if you opt for an affiliate scheme, spread the word to as many people as possible to maximise your earnings.

Gemma Johnson

Co-founder of www.babeecard.com Winner of Mumpreneur of the year 2009 sponsored by WBMN

BaBeeCard Winner of Best Gift Card Award 2009 by Prepaid365.com