{Business Tips} How Loose Change, Online Gigs and Yard Sales Can Help Your Business

If you have an Etsy shop or any other type of business, you know that you have to have some kind of money to cover your on-going expenses, such as Etsy shop fees, supplies, shipping materials, etc. Every business needs to have some sort of cash flow. You also need to get your name out there to ensure you get a stead stream of customers.

Do a Google search for or pick up book on “starting a business” or “raising money for my business” and you will usually get the same advice when it comes to ways of getting  money to start or fund your business.  Let’s take a look at what the usual advice is:

  • Ask friends and family – not a bad idea unless they are just as broke as you are.
  • Put it on your credit cards – the worst advice anyone out there could give you, especially in this economy.
  • Get a loan – may work for some but what about the thousands of people with poor credit, no jobs, and no income who are trying to start a business? No bank will give them a loan.
  • Use your own money – there is an underlying assumption that you have some kind of stash in the bank that you’ve been hoarding or that you have a 401K with enough money that you would just borrow from yourself.  My advice is to leave your 401K or IRA alone – don’t touch it. Starting a business is risky and there is no guarantee you’ll be able to replace the money – then you may face not being able to retire while you can still walk.
  • Get a second mortgage or home equity loan – yet another bad idea in this economy.
  • Apply for a Grant – not a bad idea, but not with out challenges.  You will have to find a grant that fits  your project or business and you may need to recruit the help of a grant writer or take a class on grant writing. If you need the money NOW, this may not be an option for you.
  • Borrow from your life insurance – don’t even get me started on this one, because if you have a cash value life insurance policy – let me tell you that you already cheated yourself and you have the wrong type of life insurance, as do 76% of Americans. Borrowing from your life insurance policy means you have to pay it back at a rate of 6% – 8% AND if you don’t pay it back and kick the bucket in the process your family looses that money.
  • Find an Angel Investor or take on venture capital – most won’t touch you if without a business plan, solid financials and the ability to show that you have already invested a ton of your own money before approaching them. There are some additional drawbacks I won’t mention now.

It seems that everywhere you look, you get the same advice.  These could be ways of raising money but they won’t get you clients at the same time. I’m all for double duty – I want to raise money and get my name out there at the same time.  WE ARE ETSIANS! Which means that we tend to think out of the box and come up with creative solutions to most problems, including funding {at least that’s an how I think Etsians are in my own mind}.


I’ve come up with my top 5 creative ways to raise money for your business and get your name out to the masses.  Some of the ideas I’m about to share do require a bit of  creativity and elbow grease but, you may find that they are better than your run of the mill advice for funding your business. Here they go:

  1. Get Creative and start a KickStarter Project -  Kickstarter has become one of my favorite sites. It’s where a large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement. We all have creative ideas, pick one and develop it into a kick-butt project, not only can you raise money for your project, you’ll also gain great exposure.
  2. Write and Publish an eBook – We all have great skills, why not put it in ink? Write an eBook and offer it up for sale.  eBooks are like a big business card.  If you offer great content at a very low price, you can easily raise money and get your name out there.
  3. Find Online Gigs – Check out Amazon Mechanical Turk where vendors list small tasks that computers just can’t do.  Gigs on this site usually a few minutes to less than an hour of your time. Complete a task and get your Amazon account credited.  Once you accumulate $10 you can withdraw. Gigs vary from $0.01 to $20.
  4. Collect Your Change – I hate doing laundry but the pay off is usually pretty good.  On any given laundry day I will gather up to $20 in change dropping out of pants and shirts. My penny jars will usually bank about $50 to $100.  Searching through my couches and my car, I can usually score about $5 to $10 in change. You’d be surprised at how much that “small change” is worth. This won’t get your name out to the masses but will help you in the $$$ area.
  5. Have a Yard Sales – Summer is finally here and it’s time to destash and sell your stuff.  Yard sales are  a great way to to clean house and earn some quick cash. While you’re at it, why not have a table with items you sell in your shop as well, tagged with your business card. No sense on having a Yard Sale and not getting some new business in the process.

So there you have it.  I hope you’ve been inspired. We’d love to hear your creative ways of raising money and getting your name out, so please share them as a comment to this post.

 

This post was written by

Myra @ HerbanLuxe – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

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About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

Comments

  1. Awesome tips Myra!
    Love the links and ideas for creating a nest egg for your business. This has been a real challenge for me and MagpieTree at times and can seem like an unending process. Thanks for doing the legwork and offering up some really great sources!
    Lots of Hugs

  2. Myra you never cease to enlighten me with some awesome tidbit of inspiration and/or education! This is going right into the folder of stuff to hang onto and re-read as soon as we get to our new home. Certainly will come in handy when I know no one in the area! Thanks :-)

  3. Hello Myra,
    Thanks so much for sharing this business advise. I am always on the look out of creative ideas to market my handmade products. I know that your “Have a Yard Sale” tip does work; I hold a yard sale about 2 to 3 times a year and setup a table (with a sign in the yard says…Handmade Soap) with my handmade soap and natural skincare products. The sales are crazy good just last month I made over 650.00 dollars in 2 days selling from 8am-1pm. Now people in the neighborhood stop by my yard sales just to buy my handmade soap. Also I have gained so many new customers and got my name out around town locally. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Smiles, Paula

    • Awesome Paula! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I love a good yard sale and I’ve become a customer of many people based on their personal yard sales.

  4. Fabulous article – once again! Thank you for the reminders. I think these tips also apply to those of us who have been in business for a long time.

    • It most definitely does. I started doing gigs on Amazon Mechanical Turk just out of curiosity and it’s definitely legit and some gigs take minutes. I’ve been planning a kickstarter project, just trying to fine tune the details.