Have you ever justified the price of something by telling yourself you will Make and sell with it? I know I have. The thing is, it doesn't have to be that difficult. You've done the hard bit by learning the skills needed to Make stuff, you have the tools and now it's time to bring in a little extra each month...or test the waters for your dream of Making full time a little closer (we all have that dream, right?)
So what is a Side Hustle? - It's a new revenue stream that you have created yourself, usually alongside another job. This could be selling cakes to friends and family, selling T shirts on Ebay or offering personalised gifts on Etsy.
We'll let you into a secret, Makers isn't the only thing our Founders do, they also run a successful personalisation business. They source, manufacture and sell bespoke merchandise for sport teams and it is growing, very fast!
Many people sell their creations on Etsy, Ebay and other sites and earn their full income from this. Maybe you're thinking of starting small and just covering the costs of your Making tools? We've come up with some top tips to kick start your Side Hustle and hope they help get you going!
SIDE HUSTLE - TOP TIPS
Work out how much you have to invest!
It's easy to get carried away making logos, stickers, gorgeous wrapping paper...remember what the purpose of this is, to bring IN money! So if you only have £50 to start with, that will need to go on postage and buying materials to Make with. Stuff you already have isn't free, you paid for it, take that into account.
What should you sell?
Review what other people are selling: if you see of a lot of it out there, on one hand that means it is popular, but on the other hand, it might mean it's already hard to offer for less. Start small, you don't have to offer everything in every colour, shape and size. Work out what your USP (Unique Selling Point) is and push that. If it's Making cards are there gaps in the market? Are there names that are hard to come by so you can Make personalised and to order? If you're Making quilts what about offering to Make them from fabrics that mean something to the customer, old baby clothes or blankets?
Where to sell?
Word of mouth should never be underestimated! Use your friends and family, ask them to put the word out for you and post pictures of what you Make and any reviews you get on social media. If you start selling just to people you know, you might not even need to venture into the world of online for some time.
A few years ago Dawn, one of our founders, started embroidering her daughter's horse's name on the blanket they took with them to the stables and put the horse's name on her daughter's T shirt...within a week she had orders coming in from everyone at the stables. Could they have one for their horse? Could everyone have a hoodie with the logo of the stables on for when they compete? Before she knew it she was writing down orders for other stables and her daughter was having to help her keep up! If you can find an audience and something they want, you can sell anywhere!
What to charge?
I see this question a lot in ScanNCut groups, 'someone ordered this, what should I charge?' Your time and skill is worth something - if you have ever made a quilt you will know that you could never sell them for the same price as you get them in a shop - it might take you 50hrs to Make, and let's say someone wants to buy it for £50, well that means your time is worth £1ph and the materials are free? Not fair, nor a good Side Hustle!
Let's start with covering the costs of the materials: if you are selling cards, add up the cost of all the elements and then add in Make time.
Mothers Day Card
2 x 12x12 sheets of cardstock £1
1 x sheet of patterned paper 20p
Materials and postage = £3.40
1hr Design & Make time @ £9ph (National Living Wage is £8.72ph)
You're not going to get a lot of orders for £15.80 per card! So your time needs to be used wisely. If you start with 3 different designs and they only take you 10mins to Make that suddenly means your design time is divided by 3 and your Make time too as you know exactly what you are doing. Down to £5.27 now. Then we can separate out the postage. Your messaging is now; Card £3.27 + £2 P&P.
Might all seem obvious but you really can't go into this spending 3hrs on one card and expect to bring in a lot of money.
Most of us would go into this for the love of it and to turn our passion into a money making option, but Make sure you do your sums for every project.
The Next Big Thing...
The Next Big Thing will rarely be a copy of the last Big Thing! If you can find YOUR product, or your Unique Selling Point; marketing and word of mouth will be much easier. If you offer the same as other people you either have to be THE BEST quality or THE BEST price to even get seen.
Start small, start passionately, but mostly....start!
Accounts and keeping it legal
If the turnover (not profit) from your side hustle brings in more than £1000 a year, you will have to register for self-assessment tax and let HRMC know. Under £1000 and you won't be taxed on it.
When you first start, it Makes sense to open a new bank account and do everything separately from your other spending - this creates a clear audit trail and ensures you know exactly what you are earning and spending!
When you register it will be either as a Limited company or as a Sole trader. The main difference here is that as a sole trader all liability is on you. For more info check out https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business
Also if what you do as a side hustle competes with the company you work for as your main job this could be a breach of contract, so read your documents and check if you are unsure!