I’ve been working from home since I got fired from my job in 2011.
No warning, didn’t see it coming, totally against the law and hush money not to take action against them for doing it because they knew what they didn’t want me to take them to the Fair Work Commission for Unlawful Termination.
But… in hindsight, it was the start of something much better and I have never looked back.
Over the next 4 years, I put blood, sweat and tears into an organic cotton baby clothes business only to sell it last year (2015)
My intuition was saying it was time to bail.
Some might think that was a failure, but I choose to look at it as valuable time I spent working out what I didn’t want to do and being guided into the direction I had manifested.
At the time, it was hard to put a reason down as to why I wanted out, it was more of just a feeling.
Now, with reflection, that reason is glaringly obvious.
It was waaaaay too much work.
That probably sounds bad right?
Businesses take work.
I realised I wanted to work smarter, not harder. Earn more, work less. I didn’t want to be up to 12am at night packing orders or spending hours working our where lost packages had got to because Australia Post couldn’t pull its shit together.
My time input v profit output was not in sync and I was getting cranky.
I sorta didn’t think about that when starting it, 4 years ago. I still 100% believe traditional product based businesses can be a great option but they are not the most lucrative option. They are a labour of love in my mind and that is totally cool if that is what you want but for me, I underestimated the amount of work and money required upfront to jump start and scale my business and this is the ultimate reason why decided I was no longer in the for the long haul.
Now, it wasn’t time wasted by any means.
I sold it for a lot of money because I had grown valuable assets to provide with the business.
And, what I learned guided me to where I am now. I feel I have really hit the sweet spot of running an online business and I am totally absorbed with helping others starting their dream business which is so rewarding.
Because I changed income modules I now have a mum / work / life balance.
That balance thing ‘they’ say is unattainable, I have actually attained.
I work when I want, where I want and I out earn my old salary…. by a lot.
If you want to start a business, or maybe you have one already but have you actually thought about what type of income module your business is going to have and have you broken down the A-Z of steps to sell your product?
Have you jumped in thinking that selling products was the only option?
Because, there are actually, a lot of other options.
I would even go as far to say there are a lot of easier options as well.
Have you considered if your earning capacity will be directly linked to the hours you put in? Or could you set up a business that ran without ongoing or increasing labour and time and energy so you could spend time with the children, friends, or travelling instead?
It is totally possible, I am living proof.
So, let’s look at the most common road people go down when they start a business:
1. Source or Manufacture a Physical Product (the old way to earn an income)
Let’s look at that for a sec, in a nutshell this is the process:
1. Research viability of potential products
2. Design product and variations of that product
3. Source manufacturer, materials, pricing etc
4. Pay money up front to start production, approve samples and make changes
5. Approve final production and pay remaining amount to the manufacturer
6. Import or get products delivered to your house, pay for duty, gst and delivery costs
7. Sort out inventory
8. House products at warehouse (or somewhere else)
9. Start the selling/advertising/promoting process
10. Re-order stock and repeat steps 1 – 8
11. Attend to customer service enquiries/issues/etc.
Phew, it is a lot right? And, between each point is sandwiched a million other little details.
Step 9 is a whole new massive sequence in its own right.
The standard markup on your products will be around 100%.
So if your end price is $10 you want to be selling it for $20.
Once sold, you take $10 to reinvest into a replacement product and you are left with $10. Less your funds that are needed for promoting/advertising and running the business.
A final consideration is whether you are purchasing from an Australian supplier or paying USD. If USD you’ll be weathering further profit cuts with the dire exchange rates.
Once this all became clear in my head I started to think… Oh gosh, I’ve spent a few years growing this beautiful business but the profit just did not equal the masses of time I was investing into the business.
Let’s compare it with one of the newer ways…
2. Create Digital Products (a newer way to earn an income)
Does passive income sound like a scam or corny?
For sure, the term ‘make money while you sleep’ has gotten a bad rap because of its overuse in sleazy sales pitches but, this is the road a part of my business is travelling on now for a few reasons.
A product that creates passive income is infinitely a consumable product, but without 80 – 90% of the labour required.
It’s unlikely there will be any need for customer interaction and certainly no need for designing, shipping, inventory, warehousing or any of warehousing *shudder*.
Labour and time-consuming duties will be gone.
Create your product once and yes that can take a lot of work, but then the true beauty happens.
Sell it over and over again with no more time or cost input to recreate the product.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan are great reads to wrap your head around this idea.
More businesses are moving towards the downloadable digital goods concept because people love to have a product they can immediately download rather than wait for it to be dispatched.
This module provides instant gratification when your customers purchase your product and eliminates a lot of time and labour in having to fulfill orders.
Digital downloads work great for everything from e-books, templates, photographs, party invitations, patterns, wall art and any other type of downloadable file.
The beauty about digital downloadable products is you buy them once and sell multiple times over. The whole sequence can be highly automated which subtracts the amount of labour you need to put into each sale.
No reordering of the same product needed, no time required to pick and pack, no booking couriers.
This time can be reinvested into growing your audience and promotions instead.
So, I am not saying the latter two options aren’t hard work. It is all hard work.
But as busy Mums our time is limited so we want to be using our time wisely and getting maximum results.
The key difference between option 1 and 2 is the latter affords our time to be reinvested back into working ‘on’ the business, not being stuck working ‘in’ the business and time spent strategically is the secret sauce to a growing business.
So, are you ready to create an amazing business that allows you to work when you want and how you want?