(Guest post by Ashley B. – as part of our Side Hustle Series)
I recently decided that I need additional income of about $1,000 a month. I wanted to start a business that had the 5 following qualities:
- Low start up costs
- I go to my customer (rather than my customer come to me)
- Could run it out of my home
- Could make $1,000 a month fairly quickly
- Reasonable to eventually make $100,000 in profit per year
So I started cleaning houses.
My start-up costs were minimal. I got a few extra cleaning supplies, maybe $50 worth. I also bought 500 postcard type flyers and business cards from Vista Print for $35. I went ahead and got liability insurance and a bond. This was kinda optional since a lot of housekeepers don’t carry it, but not only does it protect me and my clients, it also helps me stand out from the crowd. Insurance and the bond cost me $280 to start, and then $90 a month. So total start up costs were about $350.
I wanted to go to my customers for several reasons. If you are having your customers come to you, let’s say you sell a product, then you need to be available to your customers at predetermined times. For example, say I wanted to sell homemade candy. I might decide to get a booth at the local flea market. I have to be physically present at the flea market from noon to 4:00 every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’m not guaranteed to sell any candy, but I still have to be there. Also, what if it rains that day, or there is road construction, or another, way better, candy booth opens up next door to me? I’m screwed. Whereas, if you go to your customer you only have to be physically present at the time of the actual sale. I only have to work when I’m actually making money. Not having a physical place of business also leads me to my next needed quality, running my business out of my home.
Everyone wants to work from home. I don’t need to tell you why I love it. But the drawback is being isolated from the rest of the world. Never leaving the house makes me insane, so being able to go to my customer solves that problem. Of course, having a home office helps keep costs to a minimum, and therefore profits to a maximum.
I need to make $1,000 a month to meet my goals. To do this I need to work 11 or 12 hours per week. Totally reasonable, even my lazy butt can work 2-3 hours per day. Plus housecleaning is a great calorie burn, on days I work I can skip the gym.
My ultimate goal for this business is to eventually make $100,000 per year. Doable? Yeah, I think so. If I charge $25 an hour and have costs of $15 an hour (payroll and overhead), then I would have $10 an hour profit. Which means I would have to work 10,000 hours per year. This works out to 192 hours per week, or 5 full time employees. Of course, those are very rough numbers. When/ if we get there we would have to see where we stand. Maybe it works out to have to have 8 full time employees. Or 10. But still… I think it’s doable. It’s not totally out of the question.
Guest post by Ashley B – a stay at home mom who scrubs toilets on the side. It sure can be dirty work, but the extra cash helps her family reach their financial goals :)
Want to share YOUR hustle with us? Give me a shout.
(Photo by D’Arcy Norman)