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Anyone else struggling with self-employment?




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#1 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 08:33 AM

Not easy, is it?

At least not here in the UK, but I'd assume it doesn't vary tremendously elsewhere.

I find my biggest hurdles are one or more of these three:

- Promotion
- Competition
- Red tape

So for example, if I want to sell in the town centre, the main problem is red tape. If I want to sell on eBay, the main problem is competition, and if I want to sell on my own online store or as a service traveling to people's houses, then the main problem is promotion!

What do you guys think about all this stuff? :)

Thanks very much!


Hoppi
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#2 eggon

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Posted November 05 2013 - 08:39 AM

What are you trying to sell?
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#3 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 08:46 AM

What are you trying to sell?


erm, I just wanted a general discussion about self-employment really.

But I like to sell things like fair trade clothing, herbal remedies, natural and legal highs, sometimes technology is ok... stuff like that.

I like things that are positive for people and/or for the planet.
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#4 jo_k_er_man

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Posted November 05 2013 - 08:51 AM

I think it's safe to say most self employment starts out supplemental... Well before it becomes something that can support your lifestyle... This is obviously not the case for every self employed person though... And with an attitude of "it'll never work... It's too tough... Etc" you may as well just stop with your self employment idea since you've clearly given up already. That's why you make the peanuts while the business you work for reaps the benefits... Because they deal with the red tape and other bullshit needed to run a business.

Fish meat is practically a vegetable...


#5 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 08:55 AM

I think it's safe to say most self employment starts out supplemental... Well before it becomes something that can support your lifestyle... This is obviously not the case for every self employed person though... And with an attitude of "it'll never work... It's too tough... Etc" you may as well just stop with your self employment idea since you've clearly given up already. That's why you make the peanuts while the business you work for reaps the benefits... Because they deal with the red tape and other bullshit needed to run a business.


I agree about the last comment.

However I haven't given up - I just find it worthwhile to pinpoint what the problems I'm having are, so I can tackle them accurately.

It's a sort of "know your enemy" scenario :)

#6 eggon

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Posted November 05 2013 - 09:10 AM

No offence, but it sounds like the problems you are having are basically everything involved in running a business. Legal, marketing, price/competition. If you provide some specifics about what you're trying to do, you may get some responses, but I think that your OP is too vague for anyone to be able to offer you any tangible advice.

#7 jo_k_er_man

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Posted November 05 2013 - 09:13 AM

Maybe read one of those "For Dummies" books on running a business

Fish meat is practically a vegetable...


#8 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 10:01 AM

I really didn't want advice or condescension, I just wanted a chat with other people trying to start businesses.


EDIT -- From now on I'll only be replying to posts that seem reasonable, in keeping with the threads purpose, and vaguely polite/friendly :)

#9 eggon

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Posted November 05 2013 - 10:16 AM

I don't think myself or joker were being condescending, just offering realistic advice. You list a bunch of problems you're having and then ask what people think, so it reads as if you're looking for advice.

#10 *MAMA*

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Posted November 05 2013 - 10:26 AM

I quit my job and started my own business back in April of this year. I've been very successful, and actually have to turn people away. I do home daycare, which there is always a high demand for. I suppose your success will ultimately depends on if what you're selling is something people are interested in buying. Also, word of mouth will be your best form of advisement while being self employed. Be the best at what you do, and the rest will fall into place.
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#11 NoxiousGas

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Posted November 05 2013 - 11:49 AM

It is nice going to the mail and finding a few hundred $$$ waiting there every few days. Just deposited $500 this morning from a couple days ago and just got another $365 today, with more coming in tomorrow. :D

Our business is tied to the school year and runs for a couple months at a shot, as such income goes up and down. Some months may bring in thousands, and we have had months were we brought in hundreds and a couple with 0 income.
But all in all it is nice working for yourself and no pre-employment piss test. :2thumbsup:
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#12 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 02:28 PM

I quit my job and started my own business back in April of this year. I've been very successful, and actually have to turn people away. I do home daycare, which there is always a high demand for. I suppose your success will ultimately depends on if what you're selling is something people are interested in buying. Also, word of mouth will be your best form of advisement while being self employed. Be the best at what you do, and the rest will fall into place.


Hm, cool :)

I'm glad it worked so well for you! And you're right about ensuring that people are actually interested in what you're selling!

Do you enjoy your business? :)

It is nice going to the mail and finding a few hundred $$$ waiting there every few days. Just deposited $500 this morning from a couple days ago and just got another $365 today, with more coming in tomorrow. :D

Our business is tied to the school year and runs for a couple months at a shot, as such income goes up and down. Some months may bring in thousands, and we have had months were we brought in hundreds and a couple with 0 income.
But all in all it is nice working for yourself and no pre-employment piss test. :2thumbsup:


Wow cool... what do you do?

#13 *MAMA*

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Posted November 05 2013 - 03:38 PM

Hm, cool :)

I'm glad it worked so well for you! And you're right about ensuring that people are actually interested in what you're selling!

Do you enjoy your business? :)


I love it! It's not always rainbows and butterflies, but I play with legos and build forts for a living. Can't beat that. ;)

#14 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 04:14 PM

I love it! It's not always rainbows and butterflies, but I play with legos and build forts for a living. Can't beat that. ;)


hm, actually that's quite true lol

#15 youfreeme

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Posted November 05 2013 - 04:54 PM

I quit my job and started my own business back in April of this year. I've been very successful, and actually have to turn people away. I do home daycare, which there is always a high demand for. I suppose your success will ultimately depends on if what you're selling is something people are interested in buying. Also, word of mouth will be your best form of advisement while being self employed. Be the best at what you do, and the rest will fall into place.


I am wondering.

Was it hard to get started in this business? Do you have a college degree? What type of credentials do parents ask for (I feel like parents today are so hyper-competitive! They want their kids to learn Chinese in day care). Also, what sort of profit do you make, after expenses are accounted for (if you don't mind my asking).

Also, how many children you care for on a given day?

#16 *MAMA*

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Posted November 05 2013 - 05:34 PM

I am wondering.

Was it hard to get started in this business? Do you have a college degree? What type of credentials do parents ask for (I feel like parents today are so hyper-competitive! They want their kids to learn Chinese in day care). Also, what sort of profit do you make, after expenses are accounted for (if you don't mind my asking).

Also, how many children you care for on a given day?


It wasn't hard for me at all. I have an associate's degree from back when I was an x-ray med tech. I was actually in pharmacy for 7 years before deciding to start this. Above everything else, parents have told me they just want someone they feel comfortable leaving their kids with. I also do lots of activities, very little tv, and I make mostly organic healthy meals and snack from scratch. I also keep an immaculate house. I charge a flat rate of $500 a month for around the clock, m-f ( which is suuuuper cheap for childcare). Weekends are $40 per child, perday. I spend roughly $150 a month for food, milk, and things for activities.

I have a total of 7 kids enrolled, but I never have more than 4 or 5 at a time.

Some days it's really hard. There will be times when they're all in an awful mood, and it's hard to get through the day. Most days, it's amazing though. Most of them call me mama, and cry when they leave.
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#17 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 05:40 PM

It wasn't hard for me at all. I have an associate's degree from back when I was an x-ray med tech. I was actually in pharmacy for 7 years before deciding to start this. Above everything else, parents have told me they just want someone they feel comfortable leaving their kids with. I also do lots of activities, very little tv, and I make mostly organic healthy meals and snack from scratch. I also keep an immaculate house. I charge a flat rate of $500 a month for around the clock, m-f ( which is suuuuper cheap for childcare). Weekends are $40 per child, perday. I spend roughly $150 a month for food, milk, and things for activities.

I have a total of 7 kids enrolled, but I never have more than 4 or 5 at a time.

Some days it's really hard. There will be times when they're all in an awful mood, and it's hard to get through the day. Most days, it's amazing though. Most of them call me mama, abd cry when they leave.


aw :)

#18 Mike Suicide

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Posted November 05 2013 - 06:15 PM

It wasn't hard for me at all. I have an associate's degree from back when I was an x-ray med tech. I was actually in pharmacy for 7 years before deciding to start this. Above everything else, parents have told me they just want someone they feel comfortable leaving their kids with. I also do lots of activities, very little tv, and I make mostly organic healthy meals and snack from scratch. I also keep an immaculate house. I charge a flat rate of $500 a month for around the clock, m-f ( which is suuuuper cheap for childcare). Weekends are $40 per child, perday. I spend roughly $150 a month for food, milk, and things for activities.

I have a total of 7 kids enrolled, but I never have more than 4 or 5 at a time.

Some days it's really hard. There will be times when they're all in an awful mood, and it's hard to get through the day. Most days, it's amazing though. Most of them call me mama, and cry when they leave.


That really cool Mama but it sounds like you're around kids 24/7...I bet when you party.....you PARTY.

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#19 *MAMA*

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Posted November 05 2013 - 06:21 PM

That really cool Mama but it sounds like you're around kids 24/7...I bet when you party.....you PARTY.


Besides derby, I rarely go out, but yeah... when I do, I go ALL out lol.

#20 NoxiousGas

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Posted November 05 2013 - 07:25 PM

Wow cool... what do you do?


We develop and teach science programs for elementary school kids.

I charge a flat rate of $500 a month for around the clock, m-f ( which is suuuuper cheap for childcare). Weekends are $40 per child, perday. I spend roughly $150 a month for food, milk, and things for activities.


:eek:
I have seen people who charge half that much per week, and that's not for round the clock, just basically from 6 am-6pm.

You should charge more, if you don't, it could come back to bite you in the ass later.

Did you have to do a background screening, cpr/first aid certified and get state child care provider certification?
In Ca. you HAVE to be state certified or you can get into LOTS of trouble.
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#21 *MAMA*

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Posted November 05 2013 - 07:38 PM

:eek:
I have seen people who charge half that much per week, and that's not for round the clock, just basically from 6 am-6pm.

You should charge more, if you don't, it could come back to bite you in the ass later.

Did you have to do a background screening, cpr/first aid certified and get state child care provider certification?
In Ca. you HAVE to be state certified or you can get into LOTS of trouble.


Around here, that's only about $100 less than your average daycare center. Cost of living in general is way way lower in Wyoming than it is in Cali. I'm CPR certified, state certified, and I know first aid. I honestly don't remember if they did a background screening, but I would assume so.

#22 Hoppipolla

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Posted November 05 2013 - 09:09 PM

We develop and teach science programs for elementary school kids.


Hm, sounds cool :)

You go to the schools and teach them yourselves? or?

Around here, that's only about $100 less than your average daycare center. Cost of living in general is way way lower in Wyoming than it is in Cali. I'm CPR certified, state certified, and I know first aid. I honestly don't remember if they did a background screening, but I would assume so.


Always a million rules and regulations. I don't mind them all as such as I know why they're there, but they usually make you and your wallet/purse jump through hoops to get them and that's just wrong :(

#23 usedtobehoney

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Posted December 08 2013 - 05:11 PM

It's just about learning those things you HAVE to know and prioritizing. You have to pay attention to what others in your field are doing, but only to a certain extent. You have to know when to invest, when to study/learn and when to execute. It takes a while to get to a place of balance with most businesses. Like years.

Promotion is a big one, I think to have a business there has to be extreme need or you or someone you hire HAS to be good at marketing. Since you and I are in the same field/niche, I'm willing to support your fair-trade stuff. (hoppipolla)
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#24 Wizardofodd

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Posted December 08 2013 - 05:57 PM

erm, I just wanted a general discussion about self-employment really.

But I like to sell things like fair trade clothing, herbal remedies, natural and legal highs, sometimes technology is ok... stuff like that.

I like things that are positive for people and/or for the planet.


I started my own business over 15 years ago and have been at it full time ever since. It sounds to me like you need to do two things to start with....narrow your focus a bit and find what really sells well and for the best profit. A long time ago, I was starting this business and I had all sorts of other products and ideas I wanted to get into. A very experienced businessman told me "You can make money selling hot dogs from a vending stand. It doesn't mean it's a good idea to waste your time doing it though. You know what you're good at. Focus on that one thing for now." It was great advice.

The other thing is this....most successful business people only look at what is stopping them in the sense of how they will overcome it. You can't just say this is stopping me here and that is stopping me there and expect to be successful. You have to be innovative and think outside the box. Find your niche. Find a way to be the best at one thing and exploit that. When I started my business, I gave up a very good job and gambled everything I owned. Many people said "What if it doesn't work?" I would just respond with "What if it does?" That doesn't mean that you act foolishly. It means that you act boldly...with ambition, proper planning and follow-through, belief in yourself and your business model and the ability to take emotion away from business. You have to be honest with yourself if you want to make it. Lying to yourself or making excuses only pollutes the equation that you need to solve in order to succeed.

I hope this has been helpful. I succeeded by making sure we were/are the best at what we do for any price and positioning us so the big companies can't compete with us on price and the small companies don't have the training and expertise to do what we do. They want nothing to do with what we do. So I found us a successful niche and used it. Good luck. I'm happy to talk business with you or anyone else anytime.

#25 trip105

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Posted June 10 2014 - 12:13 PM

Not easy at all. I am in the field of compressed air. Yep, there is an air compressor involved with just about everything. Auto body, auto repair, scuba, breathing air systems for fire departments, plastic industry, printing, manufacturing, and the list goes on. The problem is that I am a small business and there are too many big businesses out there that are steamrolling over me. I am too cripples up to work for anyone else, and disability turned me down quite a few times, so I have no other choice but to work for myself. Life's a bitch.

#26 Sallysmart

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Posted June 10 2014 - 12:48 PM

Best thing to do is look at ideas where what you do can't later be replaced by a micro chip. Then look for what people want.
I had a highway store and camp grounds with three mobiles and two apartments on the land and a pool. Was lots of work but I did it all by my self and it wasn't that hard to start up. Had to register with the government, (GST) and set the name to my store and stuff like that and buy out the previous owner of his stock, what I wanted anyway.
With my business now I just happened to have all I needed as far as tickets and experience and started contracting. I used to be horny for education. Took anything that popped up on weekends and evenings so I could work and learn same time.
What you need to do is look into yourself and find what interests you and if it's a seller then go for it. Might be a hobby of making home made jewelry, so let's say peeps like it and you sell it online or get serious and buy a space to sell it in.
There is a place here that sells awesome bracelets, dunno their story but they sell sterling silver charms as singles and allow a person to build their own bracelet after eventually a ton of money is spent. Thing is peeps will buy one charm, go back later and buy another and it's kind of a repeat thing till they have spent a lot of money on this bracelet, maybe a few hundred or more.
I didn't know charm bracelets were that much in demand but the company does well. They are like beads and they look cool, I might go in and start one some day but one bead can be 45 to 95 bucks or more if you get away from the sterling silver and get into their gold ones.
The food industry is getting to be a tough one, they have too many laws and inspection agencies and paper work because of the risks we run now of food illnesses. I always wanted a real old style tea shop but to make stuff like scones and soups that would be served in there it would be ten fold the paper work it was several years ago. Dumped that idea.

Just call me Sally, I am not that smart, ;)


#27 Poneelovesyou

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Posted September 30 2014 - 02:46 PM

Oh the joys of entrepeneuership! Yeah, shit sucks. Don't count on a new business for immediate income. I started my company, realized real fast that I wasnt going to make any money for a loooong time. Now I have a sugar daddy/biz mentor that supports me until my business takes off. It's a good deal really. Sometimes the difference between the survivors and the ones chewed up by the sharks, is your willingness to do crazy shit to get by...I didnt want a real job to get in the way of me focusing on my company. Keep on trucking. It takes ridiculous ammounts of perserverance...



#28 sandybrooke

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Posted August 05 2015 - 05:19 PM

I've been self employed for 4 years now. I was in the construction industry for 35 yrs. Started as a laborer, then heavy equipment operator, then foreman to estimator. The office environment made me nuts. I landed a job as a consultant (inspector) for an engineering company.  $50,000.00  for 6 months work gross. Net about $38,000

Wife & I own a nice house in a affluent area & I may do this till I retire. My costs are my pickup truck & laptop. 



#29 scratcho

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Posted August 06 2015 - 08:54 AM

I heard a statement on a news show (maybe 60 minutes?)that 45% of jobs presently done by humans would be done by robots in the future.
I don't remember the time frame mentioned, but it wasn't THAT far down the line. Before I learned my trade, I worked in the Ford plant in Milpitas, California installing dashboards in Mustangs. I'm sure a monkey could have been trained to do the job--wasn't difficult. But--it paid well. Now anyone that even casually watches the boob tube has seen that all those welding jobs that I and others did--are now done by robots.

I would say--pick something that is not subject to robotic takeover. Although what CAN be done by them in the future will probably surprise us.

Jobs in the medical field, construction, landscaping and many others will always need human hands to do. Self employment is the way to go for the freedom, if nothing else.

And checking out the ultimate need for what one does is good to know. In my case, I noticed that EVERY BUILDING IN THE WORLD has some type of roofing to protect what is the biggest investment most will ever make. And they will ALL wear out--over and over again! Too hard for most, but it's an option if one can actually work hard and love it.

#30 bourne1978

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Posted August 09 2015 - 06:55 AM

I plan on doing door to door terra card readings for $5 just to see how much I can generate doing it.