As summer settles in, temperatures rise and the heat becomes unbearable. Also on the rise are your expenses: electricity bills, as you tend to turn the air conditioner on more often; commuting budgets, as the heat may make you lazy to take public transportation; water bills, as you take more showers to wash away the effects of sticky humidity; and more. Then of course, there’s the mandatory out-of-town trip!
But where can you get the extra cash to fund that much-awaited getaway, on top of the excess spending that comes as part and parcel of summer? It may be too stressful to get a second job, and besides, companies won’t be inclined to hire short-term employees who just want to earn an extra few thousand or so. But you definitely don’t want to pass up on a beach outing with the girls or a trip to Baguio to cool off with your family.
If you’re in this predicament, here are five sidelines you might want to try:
Direct selling is a good sideline all throughout the year. Minimal start-up capital is needed, and you can do this in your spare time, how little there may be of it. All you have to do to be a reseller is to contact the direct selling company or a dealer and submit their requirements, such as a proof of billing. When your application gets processed and approved, you can start selling away. Also, these companies provide free seminars about the products and how to market them; a little bit of training will definitely go a long way in helping you make sales.
BUY AND SELL
A different season doesn’t only mean a change in climate, but also a new set of trends fashion-wise. Browse through the pages of your favorite magazine and test your eye for predicting upcoming fads that you can use to determine your buy-and-sell inventory. If all else fails, go for safe choices such as swimsuits, sheer cover-ups, and cotton tops.
Do your research and look for suppliers who sell high quality items at the lowest possible price then sell at bazaars or tiangges. It is important that you choose the best bazaars for your product and one where your market matches the targeted audience of the organizers. Make sure the event is well-advertised and has an easily accessible venue. Selling online is also an option: check out this Entrepreneur article on how to create your shop on Multiply.
For those who don’t have money to shell out for investing in a brand new product, organize a garage sale instead. Scour your closet or bodega for things you no longer use. Put a price tag or a sticker on the items you’re selling, and lay them out in front of your house. Keep in mind that people will try to haggle, so predetermine the lowest possible price for each item (and write it down where customers can’t see) so you retain control over the transaction.
If you have a special skill that you can offer as a service, try to market this to prospective clients. You can do freelance work during your free time and have the customer pay you a professional fee. You won’t need any money to start with, but you should have the proper training and the talent to get the job done.
If you decide to freelance, prepare a portfolio containing your best works. This is a must for art and illustration, graphic design, photography, and writing; for jobs such as event coordination, a properly formatted resume may suffice, but your reference list will be key. Next, you must put yourself out there and look for clients. According to this Entrepreneur article, you must use your networking skills and not hesitate to market yourself and what you do best to those who might be interested in paying you for your talent. And this could be anyone—a person you just met might know a friend who is in dire need of a graphic designer.
Try generating money from your hobby, whether it’s knitting, scrapbooking, or bead making. This is for those who love arts and crafts and have been doing them for some time. Start selling your creations to your close friends and co-workers—you may want to try the two-step marketing trick of giving the simpler and smaller pieces as gifts (tagged with your card), and letting them buy the larger, more complex ones. This will help build your customer base. More sales can be generated through selling online or by looking for a reseller. If you’re going to try selling summer accessories, make sure they’re waterproof and do not tarnish. Even if people aren’t going to the beach, they'll want to make sure the items they buy will last a long time.
Starting a sideline is not difficult, and many of these can be run from home or on the Internet, but you will definitely need time management skills and patience. Your focus should still be on your primary job and not the other way around. Always remember to sell quality items at a reasonable price and offer services no one else can match. In no time, you may be out at some fancy resort having a summer escapade you’ll never forget. And who knows? You may one day have the opportunity to turn your sideline into your primary source of income.
(Photo source: sxc.hu)