Your Money

With Cherryl Hanson-Simpson

Thursday, June 12, 2014

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Many people feel intimidated by the thought of having to do something outside of their regular job to create more cash to pay bills or save more for the future. However, like any other money skill, you can learn the simple steps that are required to generate income independent of your employer.

Preparing a comprehensive budget is the first step in the process of increasing your earnings, as you need to have a realistic target of how much money is required to meet your needs. You can download a budget at which will allow you to input all your bills and income sources.

After using your budget to calculate the exact amount of your shortfall of income over expenses, you need to break down that monthly amount into a weekly or daily figure that will be easier for you to work with. Therefore, if your monthly deficit is $24,000, your daily income need would be about $800.

Establish targets

Once you have identified the specific amount that you need to make, your next step is to think about how many units of sale would be required to satisfy your need. So if you want to earn $800 every day, you may need to sell eight items for $100 profit, or have four clients who provide you with $200 net income.

It's important to consider this concept of units of sale before you even think about what you can actually do to earn money. Many people who try to create extra cash never plan for their income requirement and end up doing activities which cannot realistically generate the money they need.

When you are trying to achieve any goal, it's vital to set yourself specific targets, as this will help you to create a practical action plan and remain focused on what you need to do to be successful. This step will also help you to effectively price the service or product that you will supply to meet your target.

Create value for others

Your next move is to consider what you can do to serve other people and create value for them. If you have a job, you supply one employer with your time and expertise in order to get paid. To earn more, you need to see what else you can do to increase the number of customers you serve.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you compete with your employer and carry out a 'roast' in your spare time. You should never do anything that will jeopardise your main source of income! Think about your other talents that you can exploit, or consider opportunities to earn that may be available in the marketplace.

To persuade people to pay money for a product or service, you should first consider what their needs or problems might be, and then provide them with options that can satisfy their needs and solve their problems. Don't offer people random things that you want to sell; present them with what they want.

Identify needs and problems

Consumer needs may not necessarily be related to the basic requirements for water, air or food, as needs can be created for conveniences. Think of how people are now addicted to mobile phones and you will realise that technology and fashion provide many items or services that you can sell.

When you are customer-focused, it will be easier for you to identify their various problems that you could solve and make money. Wherever you see people complaining, think about how you could find a product or service that could alleviate their concerns and generate income for yourself.

Become introspective and think about your hidden talents that could be used to make money, or hobbies that could be turned into cash. You may already be doing these things for free; you could now package and offer them for sale to satisfy people's needs and solve their problems.

Be innovative with your options

Here are some examples of meeting needs and problems. While there is more usage of the Internet, there are many people who still have no access to a computer. You could rent out your laptop on the weekends, or offer computer classes to older persons to satisfy this need in your community.

One problem for many Jamaicans is the perception that the lack of security makes them susceptible to violence. If you have some knowledge about
self-defence, you could offer classes in self-preservation and attack techniques, or provide personal protection items such
as whistles or cameras.

If you're already employed, don't let your part-time income source conflict with your ability to perform at work. Try to meet your targets by looking for places such as a school, workplace, community or church where you can sell to many people at one time, without overexerting yourself in the process.

Keep it simple

Remember that you are not setting up an official business; you are just looking for ways to earn some extra money and meet your expenses. Therefore, you can afford to make your offerings inexpensive and more attractive to other persons who may also be strapped for cash.

The key to generating independent income is to open your eyes to the world of opportunities that are out there. Don't be afraid to try something new or to approach persons with your offerings; you may never know how taking this step might dramatically improve your financial life!




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