Money Addax

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Daycare Business?

Starting any business is require costs upfront. From getting the materials to start your business to advertising, you will need to factor in this money when starting a new venture. Even businesses where you can work from home require costs to start.

When considering starting a new business, it is important to consider what the start-up costs are. Even for businesses that can be done from home. One of these businesses is running a daycare, which requires a lot of money to make sure that you can watch the kids safely. 

Any business that requires working with kids, like a daycare, will require payment in a lot of different ways. You will need to make sure that you can afford the licensing, a place to watch the kids, and the equipment to run a daycare. All of these costs add up and you will want to be sure that you account for all of them when starting your new business.

Licensing

When starting a daycare it is important to remember that you will be watching other people’s children. That means that the parents will want to know that you can take care of their children. States require having licenses that prove you are capable of watching children. These licenses will also make sure that you are held accountable for anything that goes wrong. 

These licenses come with fees attached to them. These fees depend on what kind of daycare you plan on running. If you plan on watching younger children or infants, that will mean more fees. Before starting your business you will need to know what you feel comfortable doing and what licenses you can afford.

You will also need health and safety licenses. These licenses are required to start a daycare and you will need to maintain them in order to continue to run your daycare business. These expenses will add up so you want to be sure that you take them into account in your budgeting.

These licenses are also dependent on where you will run your business. If you run from home you will have to pay for different licenses and fees than if you run away from a home. Both options have a number of fees so there is not a cheaper option to start a daycare.  

These license fees can add up quickly. It is important to know what the requirements and fees are for your state and plan accordingly. The parents that you will work with will want all of these licenses in order. You want to remember who these licenses are for. You want to ensure that you can prove that you can take care of other people’s children.  

Home Safety

No matter where you plan on working from, you will need to make sure that it is ready to have children in for long amounts of time. If you’re running a daycare from home that may mean remodeling parts of your home. If you operate away from the home, that may mean paying for upkeep costs and rental fees.

If you have kids you may think that your home is ready to have other kids. You will still need to make sure that your home meets the standards for running a daycare. This may involve some remodeling to make sure that you meet these standards. The safety of your home needs to be top-notch. You will also need to maintain your home for any new safety standards that will come up.

If you plan on running your business away from your home, you will have to pay for the location in different ways. This will involve either the outright purchase of the location and the subsequent remodel to make it up to safety standards. You may also have to pay rent on this location. Safety upkeep will also be required in these locations. 

No matter where you plan on running your daycare business, it is important to know what you have to do in order to make it safe and know how to maintain the upkeep. These costs can add up over time, especially when you don’t know what to expect from the start.

Equipment

While you may not expect a lot of equipment when starting a daycare, it is a very important aspect to remember when starting the business. You will need to make sure that you have health and safety equipment that is up to date. The kids also need toys to play with. Keeping up on these costs can be expensive.

When starting a daycare business, you need to make sure you can take care of any number of medical problems. You need to make sure that you know what to do for any emergency. This involves having some medical equipment on hand. It doesn’t have to be a hospital-level of care, but you do need to plan for taking care of cuts and bruises.

You will also need to plan for any other potentially dangerous situation. This can include having up to date fire-extinguishers for any fires and up to date smoke detectors and other alarms. These items can be expensive to purchase upfront and cost money to maintain.

When working with children it is important to able to entertain them. This means you will have to buy toys. It doesn’t have to be expensive but you do want to have a variety so every child can find something fun to do. You will also want to buy educational items, including books and educational toys. This will tell the parents that you have their child’s best interest in mind.

Starting a new daycare can be more expensive than many people may think. You have to account for licenses, upkeep on the place where you watch the kids, and equipment to run the daycare safely. When paying for these different items it is important to remember that you want to show the parents that you know how to take care of their kids.   

How to Set Up an Online Personal Training Business

            As more of our lives move online, you will want to move to keep up with the growing market. More people are interested in doing what they can online to be more cost and time-efficient. Even jobs that were once considered to be in person only jobs are moving online.

One of these jobs is being a personal trainer. This is typically considered a job that you have to do in person, likely at a gym. But with growing technology and personal innovation, even this job can be done online.

Before getting started as an online personal trainer, you will need to consider a few factors. You will need to decide what kind of clients you will work with, get your training videos ready, and determine your price. All of these are important to consider when starting your new business.

Clients

Any business needs to decide what kind of clients they want to work with. This will determine what kind of business you want to run and how you will work with your clients. Working as a personal trainer is no different.

You need to decide if you want to work with casual clients who don’t have a lot of time to work out, or if you want to work with aspiring bodybuilders. Maybe you even want to get more specific and work with specific sports players at a specific point in their career. You will want to make sure that you are able to work with this clientele and be able to fill a need that exists.

You will also need to find ways to reach your clients, social media is a quick way to this. With some well-placed hashtags and a strong personal brand, clients will be able to find you quickly. Having a strong social media presence will also help you show what you specialize in. 

You will also want to determine how far you want your reach to go. If you plan on being localized or work with people in different locations. If you plan on staying local then you need to take advantage of local advertising. If you plan on working with people all over, you will need to take advantage of online advertising. 

Figuring out what kind of clients you want to work with will help you narrow your focus. You will want to be able to target those specific clients and be able to reach out to them. Once you have determined the clients you will work with and how to reach them, you will need to figure out how to work them.

How to Train

It is important to figure out how you will work with your clients since you will not be meeting with them face to face. You will need to ensure that you’re working with people that you can help the best and find ways to help them meet their goals when the two of you live in different locations.

Once you have decided what your niche will be, you will need to find a way to help your clients when starting with them. You will need to set up a seamless process to make sure that you are a good fit. One way to do this is to set up a survey or questionnaire about the client’s goals. This way you both can make sure that everyone benefits from this relationship.

This survey or questionnaire will also help you establish a baseline with this client. Once you know where they are in their work and what they want their next few steps to look like, it will be easier to work on a plan with them. It will also be easier to track their progress when you know what they want to accomplish.

In order to work with your clients properly, you need to find software to use that will allow you to make videos and do live streams with your clients. You want the option to do both since there will be times that you won’t be able to meet with your clients for various reasons but you will still want to be able to keep in contact with them and make sure they are doing well.

It is possible to use videos made by other people or companies, but it is a good idea to also make your own videos. This way you can personalize them or add pieces to help your clients specifically. Once you know what your clients want to work towards and how you can help them do that, it will be easier to work with them online. 

Price

Determining the price that you will be working with can be one of the trickiest parts of starting your own business. It can be hard to determine your price and ask others to see that. You will need to determine what you’re worth and the lowest price you’re willing to work for and what will be best for your clients.

You have to consider what you have to offer and your previous experiences. If you have worked as a personal trainer before, you will need to think about what you charged before. If you have lots of experience in working as a personal trainer then it would make sense to charge more for the experience. Or if you have a lot of experience in the field you specialize in. 

When determining the price you will offer you need to consider a lot of different factors. You need to take into account the type of clients that you want to work with and the experience that you bring to the table. All of these have to be considered when setting the price that you will work for.

Once you have determined the clients you want to work with, how to work with them, and how much to charge you will be on your way to starting your business as a personal trainer. You will be able to expand your business and grow with your clients.                 

How to Start a Dressmaking Business

            If you’re good at sewing you may have already considered starting your own dressmaking business. With fewer people doing their own sewing, this business can bring in a lot of clients who want personalized clothes. Since you do it for fun all the time, it is easy to assume that you can start a business as well.

For people who want to work and be able to work from home, starting a dressmaking business is a great solution. You can set your hours and work on projects that you want to work on. It can also be a great way to expand your skills.  

Just like with any other business, you will need to make sure that you are ready for what starting a business entails. You will need to research what dressmakers are already doing, establish your skills, and make sure that you are able to work from home.

Market Research

Before starting your new business, you will want to research what the dressmaking business looks like. You will want to see what services they offer and at what price. This will also be a good time to research what clients you want to work and what services you plan to offer.

When researching dressmaking businesses, you will want to see what services are popular and what are the most common services available. This way you can see if you can fill in a gap and offer services that are not as common. You will also want to see what price ranges most companies offer.

You will also want to spend this time determining what kind of clients you want to work with. A lot will factor into this decision including what services you can offer and at what prices. You will have to research what people expect within certain price ranges. This can be a great way to find if there are any gaps in the current market and if you can fill those gaps. 

When you have determined your client base, you will also need to find a way to reach them. There are many ways to advertise to people, including social media and internet advertising. Social media is a great way because you can reach a lot of people with a consistent presence and show your skills in one place.

Once you know what the market looks like, you will know how you will fit into the current dressmaking market and determine if you can fill in any gaps. You will also know what clients you want to work with and how much to charge. Now you will want to be sure that you can deliver on the services.

Skills

As an aspiring dressmaker, you likely have been sewing for years and are familiar with a number of techniques. You will still want to be sure that your clients know about what you can do and keep learning new skills.

You will want to make sure that your skills are strong and keep practicing. One way to this is to take sewing classes. This way you can practice techniques, learn different ways to complete certain skills, and learn new skills and techniques. Some of these classes come with certificates, this way you can have proof that you have learned certain skills.

Working with a variety of different fabrics and styles is also a good way to show your different skills. You want to show that you can work with a lot of different types of fabrics of different thicknesses and delicacies. 

Another way to practice and show your skills is to work on your own patterns. This way you can really show what you’re capable of doing and what you offer to others. You can also sell these patterns if you want to.

By practicing different techniques and styles, both on your own and in classes, you can broaden your skills and advertise new skills for clients. It will also show that you are always learning new skills and are willing to try new things. 

Work From Home

By setting up your own dressmaking business, you will likely work from home at first. Dressmaking can be a great business to do from home. If you’re a lifelong sewer then you will already have all the materials and equipment that you need. There are still some things you want to make sure are done before getting started.

First, you want to make sure that you do any paperwork to start a business from home. This can involve getting licensed for a home business or getting a permit to work from home. It may also be required that you increase your homeowner’s insurance so that your business is covered as well.

When you work from home you want to be sure that you have all the proper equipment and materials. Some clothes that you will make may require different types of equipment that you don’t have and you will want to make sure that you have enough fabric for all the projects you will be working on.

You will also want to set up a place to work. It can be easy when you work from home to think that you can work everywhere, but that can make it easy to slip into bad habits. When you have a set place to work it makes it easier to know when you’re working. It can also be helpful to have set times when you work if you’re able to arrange that.

Working from home is not always as easy as we think it will be when you plan it out. But with some planning and arranging, it is doable. When you set up an office and make sure you have everything that you need, working from home can be a great way to run a business.

Starting a dressmaking business is a great way to work from home. Once you know the market and what skills you have and can improve on, it can be a great way to make money while making cute clothes.        

How to Start a Wig Business Online

            If you have an affinity for hair or wigs, it is tempting to think about starting a wig business. Since many businesses are moving online it also makes sense to start your new business online as well. Before starting this business, there are a few things you will need to consider.

            Many people who start wig businesses choose to start them online because it is cheaper to start selling wigs, as well as other items, online. It has cheaper startup costs and is easier to decide how to sell your product. It is also easy to expand your business when it grows.

Starting a business of any kind takes a lot of research to see what the market already has and how popular those services are. You will also need to determine what kind of wigs you’ll provide and get those materials ready. It is also important that you pick a name and register it. Once you have all of these items ready, you are ready to start selling wigs.

Market Research

            Before starting any business it is important to do market research. This will enable you to see what services are already out there, what specific services do they provide, and how popular they are. When research wig services you will want to check all of these to make your that your business is successful.

            Some of the aspects you will want to research in the wig business is what wig businesses are the most popular. It will also be important to research what makes them popular. Is it high-quality products? Or is it because of their quick delivery options? You will want to know what you need to do to stand out.

It is also important to research brick-and-mortar stores, even if you only plan to have your business online. You will need to know what these stores do as well in order to know why they’re popular. You can also research where they get their wigs from and determine if having the option to sell your wigs in a store is an option.

 This is also a chance to see if there are any gaps in the business that you can fill. If you notice that none of the businesses that you research are fulfilling a specific need, this can be your chance to change that. 

There are many ways that you can sell wigs. Doing this research will help you narrow down how you want to market your wigs and what will help them stand out from the competition or to fill in a gap of service.

Product Speciality

Once you know more about what is already being offered by the market, you will need to determine what kind of wigs you’ll sell and how you will sell them. This is when the focus of what you want to do with your business is in focus.

If you want to make fun, unrealistic wigs or realistic, professional wigs, this is when you will decide how to make your product and how you will sell them. You will need to order the products you need for your wigs and decide how to make them. You will have to decide if you want to make wigs out of synthetic products or human hair.

Once you know what product you plan on using, you will need to determine how you want to sell your product. You can sell individually, to affiliates, or through a distributor or through a combination of those methods. You will need to determine what works best for what you have to currently offer and what you want to grow into.

While it is important to set a standard now for how you want your new business to operate, it is also important to remember that it is not set in stone. You can change how your business operates if you decide to. You will want a clear goal in mind to begin.

Licensing

            The next thing you will want to have in place is your name and registration. Places will not work with you until you have a company name and your company is registered as a business through The Department of Revenue. This step may be the most tedious but it is a very important one.

            When you register your company name, you will want it to be catchy and memorable. It should also convey what your company is about. When you register the domain you should also have some backup names ready just in case your first choice is taken. Once you have chosen your name you will also need to register a site domain.

You will likely want to choose a place to host your website. Once you have the domain name registered, it is time to build your website. This can be something you do yourself or you can hire someone to build it. It will be crucial that you maintain the website no matter who builds it first. 

            When your name is registered, you can register your business with The Department of Revenue and get a federal tax identification number. Many wholesale and drop shipment companies won’t work with other companies that don’t have this number. Having a business license will also make your company seem legitimate to customers and they will be more willing to buy from you.

            Once all of these things are in place, you will have your new business in place. You are ready to start making and selling wigs as an official company. Customers will see you as a legitimate business and other companies will be willing to work with your business. 

            It is important that you complete all of these steps in order to successfully start a business. You will want to know what the market looks like, determine what you will do to stand out, and get all the paperwork in order. Once you have the foundation for your business started, you can begin expanding as your business needs to.

Using 401k to Invest in Business

When starting a business it’s important to look at all the options that you have to invest. Many people may start with limited funds to start their own business and may also find it difficult to get a loan. The available loans may also come with high-interest when you pay it back, making taking out a loan seem less appealing. 

If you are making a career move and have already started a 401k, or have a 401k for other reasons, it is possible to use your 401k to invest in your business. It doesn’t necessarily have to require a big payout either, like taking money out of a 401k early typically entails.

The process to use your 401k to invest in your business is not a complicated one. It entails creating a new 401k and moving the contents of one 401k to another. The process can take a while to set up and process, but the procedure to do so is not complicated.

While using your own money may seem like less of a risk than borrowing money, especially if you are struggling to get a loan. There are still risks by investing in your business with your 401k and those risks need to be considered before doing so. It is important to weigh all of your options before investing in new businesses. 

How to Use a 401k to Invest in a Business

Using a 401k to invest in a business is a simple process. In a few steps, you can transfer your 401k to a new account and use that money to invest in a business. The first step is to establish a C corporation. A C corporation is necessary for the legal work involved in the process that is not available in other business accounts.

Once your new account is established, you will need to explicitly provide for the acquisition and holding of qualified employee securities. This works as stock in the business. After this step, you can roll the existing 401k into the new account.

Once your business account has the money it needs, you will need to treat your new business as an asset you can invest in. This can be done at once or over some time. You can put in as much money as you want within certain limits. Typically you can only put half of the amount in your 401k in your business. 

Once you have put money into your business from the 401k, your money is now in the corporation, and your 401k has become a shareholder. The cash you have in the account can be used for any business expense, large or small.

Many different banks work with small business owners to help them find ways to invest in their businesses. Using one of these companies will help you start and complete the process to move your 401k to a business account.

The Benefits

There are benefits to investing in your business using your 401k account to invest in your business. It is considered a low-risk way to invest in your new business. It’s your money and there’s no need to find loans. It can also give you more control over how much money you invest.

One of the most difficult aspects of starting a new business is finding the funds to start it. Many potential business owners have said that finding the capital to start a business is the hardest part. By using money that you already have, this eliminates one stressor of starting a business.

Using this money is also tax and penalty-free. If you lose the money you invest, there are no taxes that need to be paid back. This money also does not need to be paid back with interest to a lender since it is your money.

If you have the funds you can also invest more money as you need to, instead of taking out another loan. The money you put back into your account goes right back to you. You can also use more money to invest in the business if you need to without taking out more loans.

Using a 401k to invest in your business can seem like a straightforward way to start your business. It allows you more control over the money you put into the business and lets you use the money you already have to invest in a business. Some concerns need to be weighed though.

The Cons

As with investing in any business, there are risks attached. Though this is considered a low-risk form of investment, it still comes with risks. You need to make sure you have enough in your 401k that makes investing it worth the risks.

The most important thing to remember is that the 401k serves as your retirement money. Once you spend it, that is potential money for retirement is gone. Many people consider retirement money to untouchable for many reasons and the security in having that money available is a top one. 

The best option is to make sure that you have enough money in your 401k to invest some of it and still have money left for retirement. You will be limited in how much money you can take from your account to half the amount. Even without this restriction, it is still a good idea to save some money in your 401k.

You will also need to keep in mind that many new businesses do not make it past the year mark. This means that you will need to weigh the risks of the money you invest in your new business potentially not being paid back. It is a risk, but with the right research and investments, it can be a calculated risk.

Using your 401k to invest in your business does come with some risks. It is important to consider all the benefits and risks when considering how to get the capital to start a business. There are more options available than taking out a potentially high-interest loan if you have the money to do so.

millennials

Side Hustles for Millennials

Many millennials are just beginning their careers, saddled with student loans and other debt, and starting families. It’s no wonder that side hustles are so popular among this demographic.

If you are one of the many looking for a way to make extra cash to pay down debt or get ahead, look no further!

Check out our list of great side hustle options for millennials.

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Sell stuff

This is the most basic example of a business, and it’s been around since money has been a thing. It’s a pretty simple: make, grow, or buy something, then sell it.

Farmers’ markets are a great sales venue for just about everything—from crocheted dish rags to heirloom tomatoes to gluten-free muffins. If you make or grow something everyone asks about, try selling it here. Be sure to check any cottage food preparation laws for your state before you proceed.

If your product is handmade, consider Etsy, IndieMade, or Amazon Handmade as selling platforms. These platforms also allow digital products like quilt patterns and printables.

Prefer selling something with a barcode? You can probably sell it on Amazon. Selling items for the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program gives you access to a website that sees 197 million hits a month and hosts almost half of the ecommerce transactions in the U.S. The competition is stiff with millions of sellers and millions of products, but FBA sellers enjoy an average of a 30-50% boost to their sales.

If you prefer more control over your pricing and website design, you can put together an ecommerce site through Magneto, Shopify, BigCartel, SquareSpace, WooCommerce, or a dozen other platforms in just a few hours. You have total control over your business if you set up your own virtual shop, but you are also responsible for fulfillment, customer service data security, and driving traffic to your site.

Flip stuff

The name of this game is “buy low and sell high.” There are entire TV series devoted to flipping everything from junky motorcycles to houses to the abandoned contents of old storage units. But unlike so many things about reality TV shows, you really can make money flipping in real life.

Whether your source your inventory from garage sales, estate sales, auctions, China, or your own closet, the internet is a reseller’s paradise.

Several websites allow you to sell things online for free. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great options here. Take caution and meet in a public place to make transactions if you go this route.

For used or less common items with a niche market, a large, international website like eBay or Poshmark may be a better bet. Amazon also allows you to some used items, like textbooks, electronics, musical instruments, and more.

Not sure what to flip? Start with the stuff in your closet or garage and see what sells. It’s a great way to get started with no money and no risk.

From there, start flipping things you are familiar with, such as supplies for a hobby you like or clothes from a brand you love. If you want to branch into other areas, a quick Google search will supply you all the podcasts, YouTube videos, and online flipping tutorials you could watch in a lifetime.

Share Stuff

In today’s sharing economy, you doubtlessly have something someone else wants and is willing to pay for. A myriad of new, up-and-coming apps allow you to profit from sharing almost anything.

Here’s a list of sharing platforms (and what you rent out with each one) to get you started:

  • AirBnB and VRBO – your house, apartment, teepee, yurt, room, or other dwelling
  • Spinlister – skis, snowboards, bikes, surfboards, and other sports equipment
  • Fon – access to your WiFi
  • JustPark – parking at your house
  • GetAround – your car when you aren’t using it
  • BoatBound – your boat

Provide a service

Service-based businesses are great side hustles and often require little or no start-up capital or specialized knowledge.

If you live in a major metropolitan area, you can sign up with Postmates or TaskRabbit to complete delivery tasks. Pay starts at 5$ per delivery, plus tips.

Do you love dogs? You can sign up with Rover as a dog walker and hang out with some furry companions, exercise, and get paid all at the same time! If you have the space, you can also dogsit or have a doggy daycare in your home.

Citizenshipper is another great service platform for animal lovers. The website allows you to sign up to deliver large items that would be difficult or expensive to ship. You can deliver anything from boats to couches, but most of the deliveries are for pets moving long distances from one home to another.

If you are more into old-school service businesses, there are plenty of options for those, too. Auto detailing, lawn mowing, babysitting, and house cleaning are easy side hustles that you can start this weekend. They require little cash up front, and once you have a few satisfied customers, your reputation will spread via word of mouth very quickly.

Create Stuff

Those with artistic talents can sell their work on DeviantArt or RedBubble. DeviantArt allows you to sell prints, premium content, or commissions on their site, while RedBubble creates items with your art printed on them (think phone cases, laptop stickers, T-shirts, etc.).

Although it will not make you money overnight, creating a blog is a classic side hustle for millennials. With some creativity and a few affiliate links, you can make a good side income blogging. A blog is also a great platform for selling physical and digital products (provided they are related to your blog topic, of course).

Ever wanted to publish your own novel? Or comic book? Or guide on how to build a canoe? Digital publishing platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing, Kobo, Lulu, CreateSpace, and others have lowered the barrier of entry for aspiring authors. In self-publishing you are the one chiefly responsible for publicizing your book, but you can automate the distribution by selling on these platforms or on your own website.

Freelance

Do you have expertise from your day job that lends itself to a freelance business? Double-check that you don’t create a conflict of interest at work, then look at all the skills you can offer as a freelancer:

  • Web development
  • Graphic design
  • Copywriting
  • Grant writing
  • Editing
  • Translation
  • Bookkeeping
  • Social media management
  • Virtual assisting
  • Paralegal work
  • Data entry
  • Resume writing

There are a number of websites that play matchmaker between the freelancer and potential clients, including Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, and CloudPeeps. It’s free to sign up, and you can get access to clients across the globe looking for your exact services. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your professional and personal networks to offer your skills as well.

Teach Stuff

Courses from piano lessons to French class are moving online. You can take or teach an online course on anything—kabbalistic tarot, soapmaking, or how to apply eyelash extensions. You can create your own course on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Lynda, Skillshare, and more.

The cost of these courses varies widely. The more experienced and credentialed you are in your field, the more you will be able to charge for the course.

Another option is to work as a teacher for an existing tutoring platform. VIPKid, SayABC, Qkid, Magic Ears, and others allow English speakers to earn extra cash teaching online English courses to Chinese kids. Be warned—as a teacher, you work on Chinese time, so the hours can be very early or late.

If you are busy during 4 p.m. Shanghai time, there are stateside tutoring gigs too. The demand for tutors for every subject and grade level is increasing. Aside from normal schoolwork, students also seek specialized help for ACT/SAT preparation.

You can do in-person or online tutoring, whichever works best for you. Look for tutoring gigs on any of these websites:

Fix Stuff

As long as things break, the world will need people to fix them. This is why fixing things makes such a great side gig.

Fixing broken electronics can be a profitable side hustle. This can be as simple as repairing a cracked mobile phone screen or as complex as customizing computers. With electronics, you have the option to sell your fix-it services or buy the broken device, fix it, and flip it.

Thirty-two percent of Americans have been postponing a home improvement job for a year or more. If you have skills and drills, you can make a very profitable side hustle doing home repairs. Advertise your services on Craigslist or Facebook groups for free, or get listed on AngiesList or Porch.com if you are serious about growing your handyman business.

Having garments professionally altered or tailored can be very pricey, so if you have sewing skills, you have the makings of a great source of extra income. Wedding gowns, formal dresses, and business suits provide a constant stream of garments needing alterations. To get your name out there, consider teaming up with a dry cleaning establishment or wedding dress store for referrals.

How to Create a Marketing Plan

How to Create a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan can be just as important as a business plan for your new business. There are 5 main components of any good marketing Plan. By following these steps in detail, you will be able to successfully create a marketing plan.

To write a good marketing plan, make sure you focus on each of these steps, as each step of the process is equally important.

Marketing plans are all about the customer.

Step 1: Current State of your Business

This is where you want to get into the details of where you are currently at with your company. Are you launching a new business? Are you trying to give new life to a stale business?

Be honest about the current state of affairs, as hiding any problems will only hinder your success. This is the step where you need to perform a situational analysis that is essentially a SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Have you identified those four key categories of your business? If not, now is the time to do so.

To accurately know where you are at currently with your business, you need to perform this SWOT analysis. This will help you learn what your weaknesses are, so you can improve them, and learn to market your business better.

Step 2: Focus in on your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience might be the most important step of any good business or marketing plan.

Analyzing your target audience is paramount to the success of your business. If you try to sell ice cream in Wisconsin in January you might be far less successful than selling it at Disney World in July. Don’t sell women’s dresses in a men’s store. Sure, you might sell a handful of them, but your business would be more successful focusing on the audience in your store, and what men typically buy.

The more narrowly you can define your target audience, the easier it will be to market. Do not be afraid to narrowly focus your bracket. Just because you are focusing on a select market, does not mean you will not also devote some marketing to secondary target audiences.

Step 3: Set your marketing goals

Any good vision or plan starts out with a good goal. What is it you are trying to achieve with your marketing? Set tangible goals.

Define how much money you want to make. Set specifics. You want to strive to be both optimistic and realistic. While you should set goals that are a little bit of a reach, don’t set goals that are an impossible reach. Find a middle ground, but definitely use numbers and facts in your goal. For example, “I want to sell 20 pairs of shoes this month” is a better goal than saying “I want to sell a lot of shoes this month.”

By having tangible goals, you will be able to look back and know if you met them or not. How can you measure “a lot”? You can’t, but you can measure “20.”

Step 4: Do your research

Now that you have set your marketing goals, research them to make sure they are realistic. Also, research what your competitors regularly accomplish, as this will help give you an idea of what is realistic for your business.

Research your marketing tactics as well. What is the best way to market your product? Does your target audience respond well to email newsletters? Billboards? What types of ads do you need to use for your product, and how can you find ways to interact personally with your target audience to market your product?

The type of marketing you choose is also very important to the success of your marketing campaign and the cash flow of your business.

Step 5: Decide on how much you can spend on Marketing

A successful business model really comes down to cash flow. It’s about profit. Therefore, how much can you spend on marketing and still ensure your business is profitable?

You’ll want to analyze market trends. For every dollar you spend, how much money are you getting back with new customers buying your product? You will not have an infinite budget to spend on marketing. There is a balance to find between how much to spend on marketing in proportion to how much income your business is earning.

If you find yourself spending too much money on marketing, you can go back to step 4 and adjust your marketing tactic. Maybe find a cheaper way to market your product until your cash flow is streaming in at a higher rate.

Bonus Step: Assess your Competitors

You should take some time and effort to analyze your competitors. It’s possible that you can run a targeted marketing campaign aimed directly at your competitors. You might be able to attract some of their customers to your product instead.

Creating a Marketing Plan

A good marketing plan is going to use 5 key concepts and accurately spell out facts and figures to support your target audience. Hone in these 5 principles, and you will soon have a sound marketing plan drafted. Use this marketing plan to spell out what tools you’ll use to achieve your sales goals.

The steps you want to be sure to include in your marketing plan are: define the current state of your company, focus on your target audience, establish your marketing goals, research the goals you have set, and determine how much money you can spend on marketing.

Spend some time also analyzing your competitors, as it’s always a good business practice to know how to be one step ahead of the competition.

A Few Ideas How To Make Money Online

A Few Ideas How To Make Money Online

Whether you are trying to pivot from a COVID-19 layoff or just looking to make some extra cash, there are hundreds of ways to make money online.

This list doesn’t cover all of the many opportunities there are on the world wide web, but here are a few of our favorites.

Resell stuff

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In the late 1990s and early 2000s, thousands of people took to the internet to use eBay as their new online garage sale site.

Since then, the landscape of websites for reselling used items has exploded. Whether you are looking to sell your own stuff that you no longer want or buying other used items for resale, there’s an app for that.

While this list is far from comprehensive (and continually changing with new apps and websites coming online all the time), here are a few options to get you started:

eBay: great for its international audience, vintage items, and rare collectibles
Mercari: name-brand clothing and electronics
Poshmark: upscale clothing brands and home goods
Facebook Marketplace: good for finding local items
OfferUp: everything from cars to furniture to musical instruments
thredUP: women’s and children’s used clothing

Sell new stuff

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Selling new products is the most fundamental business model in existence. If you go this route, start small with a product that is familiar to you (preferably one you use yourself) and has a proven demand.

You can start your business with your own website or set up shop in a parent website like Amazon or Etsy.

Each option has its advantages. Using your own ecommerce website will let you keep all your profits, but YOU are responsible for driving traffic and converting to sales. Big websites have huge, international audiences, but they keep a slice of your earnings to cover their costs.

The avenue that fits your business best will greatly depend on your product and niche.

Teach stuff

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Education (in almost all its many forms) is moving more and more into the internet. If you have a skill or expertise that others would like to learn, you can likely make money online as a teacher.

You can create a course on platforms such as Udemy, Teachable, or Thinkific. Classes can cover everything from baking bread to filing your taxes.

If you don’t want to create the curriculum yourself, consider becoming an online tutor or teacher for an established company. Online English teacher is a hot job title right now since you can set your own hours and do it as a side hustle whenever you want.

The demand for tutors of all subjects is increasing as well. With the advent of the internet, your students don’t even have to be in your area; you can conduct tutoring sessions online. College test prep (ACT, SAT, GMAT, etc.) is another great area for making money as an online teacher.

Share stuff

Share stuff

What better way to make money online than to rent out stuff you already have?

The sharing economy is alive and well, and is only slated to increase in the future. Whatever you have in your house/driveway/garage, a neighbor or friend will probably need it at some point and would be willing to rent it from you.

Have extra parking space? Rent it out on JustPark and Parqex. Lease extra space in your home, garage, or attic with Spacii. Take care of your neighbor’s dogs in your extra kennel space with DogVacay or Rover.

Big toys like boats, bikes and skiis can be rented with apps like Spinlister and BoatBound. You can even “rent” money with Lending Club’s peer-to-peer lending app.

Take a good look around and see what assets you have lying around your home that could make you some cash online.

Write stuff

Write stuff

As long as search engines favor websites with new content, there will be a demand for writing online.

A popular way to make money on the internet is to start your own blog. Once you gain a loyal audience and decent traffic, blogging can make you money while you sleep. While you can make upwards of six figures with a successful blog, it takes a lot of time to build one.

If you are looking for a faster way to make some dough from your writing, try freelancing for other websites. Bloggers and businesses are constantly trying to update their sites with new content, and they often hire help on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru. Put together a portfolio of some of your previous work and your resume, and search the posts for clients looking for your writing expertise.

What are your favorite ways to make money online? Share your experience with us in the comments!

How to Make Money as A College Student

How to Make Money as A College Student

Many college students wonder how they are going to make money while they are a full -time student in college. With not a lot of free time, between college classes and homework, what jobs are available to squeeze into an already tight schedule? The jobs that have made the list, are ones that are easily accessible, with many offering flexible schedules. Let’s take a look.

On Campus Jobs

Many colleges offer jobs on-campus for students who need to work while they are in school. This can be a great option if you would like to stay on campus and not venture out to look for jobs that may require transportation.

Teacher Assistant

Many teachers on campus utilize students to help with their daily tasks to run a class. These students may be required to teach classes, meet with students during office hours, answer questions. They could also be helping professors with grading student work, data entry, and research. Many of these students are at the graduate level, and may only be money that is placed towards tuition.

Resident Assistant

This individual is someone who coordinates activities in resident halls, acts as a mentor to other students with academic or institutional questions, enforce residence policies, etc. This position does require that you be an upstanding student who can follow the rules and regulations set forth by the college. Other examples of what this title could entail: community walks, determining the need for maintenance, maintain household records, assign rooms, and much more.

Book Store/Library

The campus book store and library could be another great option if you would like to work on campus. Your duties could include running a cash register, answer students’ questions about which textbooks they need to buy, point students in the right direction, check out books, and much more.

Off Campus Jobs

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Many students decide that on campus jobs are either not for them, are extremely competitive to get into. So, they take their search outside of the campus. Here are some jobs that are a great way for college students to make money.

Server/Bartender/Hostess

This restaurant industry is probably one of the easiest jobs for a college student to make money, while still being in school. It is a job where you don’t necessarily need experience to start, most are more than willing to train their staff from the very beginning. Bartending can be harder to get into, but if you gain a certification, or you can simply work your way up to this position. Any front-end positions in the service industry are going to be sought after by college students simply due to the flexibility and easy money. You could work a four-hour shift and walk away with a significant amount of money.

Walking Dogs

Walking dogs is another extremely flexible job in the sense that you can pick up these walks when you want. Many dog walking companies have easily accessible apps that show you when someone is looking for a dog walker. If it is in the location you are looking for, and the time you are available, you simply click on it and reserve the walk. It will normally say exactly how much the dog owner is willing to pay for that specific walk, and they are also able to tip you for the service.

Driving

With apps such as Uber and Lyft you can use your own car to make money. They do have requirements when it comes to your car and background, but once approved you can truly set your own schedule. It gives you the opportunity to go live when you want, and when a ride pops up, you can say if you want it or not. Most people who take this car ride services tip for being transported to their destination, so you can make a substantial amount of money depending on how often you work.

Babysitting

Babysitting has been a very common means for college students to make money. Many parents are in need of someone who can watch their children while they are at work, and will pay well to do so. Each family will have their own requirements as to what they want you to help with, but this is a great way to have a consistent job, with a consistent schedule. Even if this isn’t what you are looking for, many families will ask for one-time only babysitting, when they would like to have something such as a date night.

House Sit

Instead of watching a child, there are many individuals who will pay for someone to house sit while they are out of town. This could be anything from checking up on the house daily to ensure nothing is wrong, or stay at their place while they are away.

Pet Sitter

Another great option is watching someone’s pet. While someone is out of town, you will be responsible for ensuring their pet is taken care of. Giving them food, taking them on walks, etc.

Sell Things You No Longer Need/Want

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There are so many things that many of us do not need. What better way to make money than to sell some of these items that are just taking up space? A great example of this would be your used textbooks. Instead of holding on to them, sell them and make some money back. They can be extremely expensive and will offer someone else the opportunity to get a used textbook at a cheaper price than one brand new. If you aren’t using something, why not make money off of it.

As a college student, there are a lot of creative ways you can make money. Some of these ways described could be the only thing you need to rely on to make money, others you might have to do a few of them to get the cash that you are really looking for. Either way, there are many options out there for college students who would like to make money while going to school.

How to Start a Home Business

How to Start a Home Business

More start-ups than ever before are realizing the benefits and unique opportunities that come along with starting a home-based business. Compared to traditional businesses, home businesses provide much more flexibility and a much smaller financial burden.

This combination is ideal for self-funded businesses with little initial capital, working parents that need a flexible schedule, versatile millennials that are testing out their options, and creative hustlers who follow multiple paths simultaneously. These are a few of the most common reasons to start a home business, but there are plenty of others.

Individuals who start a home business can spend more time working and less time stuck in traffic, and they have the flexibility to change the size of the company without consulting a lease or landlord. On top of saving on overhead costs when you work out of your home, you can also deduct a portion of your expenses on your next tax return. You’ll have the freedom to create your own business hours and to test out different ideas as you see fit.

The benefits of starting and running a home business are vast and appealing. If you’re looking to follow this path, here’s the advice we have on how to start a home business of your own:

Narrow down your business idea

You might have all of the details scribbled in a notebook on your nightstand (in which case, you can skip over this step) or you might be in the very early stages of the process (in which case, this one’s for you). Many people know that they want to start a home business before they know what the business will be. If that sounds like you, don’t worry, we’re here to help.

You can start with an honest self-assessment of your talents and skills to see if any of them naturally translate into a solid business idea. Make a list of all of the talents that you (and your team, if you have one) can use in your business. Creativity, effective communication, persistence, and a good eye for details are a few good examples.

Next, make a list of the skills that you may be able to use. You may have excellent organizational skills, a knack for putting things into words, or remarkable design skills. As a home business owner, you’ll often have to learn new skills along the way, but it helps to know what you’re starting with and what may create a natural and profitable pathway.

Your existing talents and skills will come together to create the foundation for your new home business. Compare your lists and look for places where they intersect. For example, if you’re great at keeping things organized, you’re detail-oriented, and you have above average mathematical skills, your ideal home business may be as a bookkeeper or a tax consultant/preparer.

You may find at first that your talents and skills intersect to create a business that you’re not interested in, and that’s okay. Keep searching until you find something else that will work in your favor. If you don’t find anything else, consider looking into training, classes, or workshops in business areas that you’re really interested in. It’s never too late to develop a new skill.

Make sure your business can succeed from a home base

You may find that you’ve come up with a thrilling business idea, but it’s not ideal for this particular setting. You’ll have to consider the location of your home, legal restrictions, state-based licensing requirements, your personality, and the needs of other individuals in your home. After all, you won’t want to run a home business that requires clients coming in and out at all hours of the day if you also have a newborn at home or a dog that barks at every noise.

The best businesses that can be run from home will be ones that allow you to be productive in a home office rather than rented space, and consist of a few-person or one-person team so your home doesn’t get crowded. If most of the work can be done in your home office and most client contact can be done over the phone or through email, that will make the process much smoother.

Create your business plan

Now that you’ve found your winning home business idea, it’s time to come up with a plan that will help get you there. The first step in this category will be determining what your profit might be. It’s great to do something you love and are passionate about, but most people don’t start a home business with the hopes of it not being profitable.

Your talent and skills might come together to create an excellent idea, but if there aren’t people who will pay for the service or product that you’re offering, it’s more of a hobby than a business. Do your research to answer the following: how much will people pay for this? And is that enough for me to make a sufficient income after costs are covered?

Remember when you’re doing this math that you have to factor in costs for things like salaries, shipping, utilities, and supplies if you’re selling physical products. Subtract these costs from what you’ll charge for each product or service and you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll be able to make in this business. Many businesses take some time to start generating profit, but that’s one of the biggest benefits of starting a home business rather than a traditional one: your costs will be lower, overhead more affordable, and your office can be in your living room if it needs to be.

Your monthly minimum income requirements will be the basis of your business plan. When it’s all said and done, your business plan will give you a better idea of how successful your business may be. You’ll want to include a summary of your business idea, research you’ve done on the market you’re targeting and competing companies, and details describing your ideal client or customer. You’ll also want to determine a marketing and sales strategy and strategies for operations, including who will handle which tasks (if you’ve already brought on additional employees).

If all goes well, your business plan will make sense, be profitable and reasonable, and get you excited for the process. But if the numbers don’t work out in your favor, don’t be afraid to start back at step one and explore another business idea. Trial and error in the business world can be enough to bankrupt any business, especially a new one. Make sure your idea is viable before you move forward, so you can achieve the highest level of success and ramp up rather than start over later on.