There’s a lot of talk about economic downturns, student loans, and unemployment. It’s getting harder to earn a comfortable living and stay above water. But in some ways, this can be an opportunity. Old jobs are dying away, but thanks to technology and the internet, new kinds of employment arise every day. From teenaged influencers to DIY enthusiasts, people everywhere are turning their hobbies into cash.
It sometimes follows a certain pattern. You get yourself a website or an online store. Depending on your niche, you can even find tailored shopping websites. Once you’ve secured a website and equipped it with eCommerce tools, you push your brand organically on social media, with a little digital advertising thrown in. And the beauty of hobby-based businesses is scale and scope.
Up or down …
You could grow it as big as you want, starting with self-funding or crowd-funding and proceeding to venture capital or even going public. Or you could restrict sales to your locality, cutting costs and making enough to buy a few nice things.
Home-baked cookies, for example, are different from commercial cookies in several ways. Your scale is probably smaller, because you’re keeping your home-baking character. And because it has no commercial preservatives or additives, your shelf life is lower. This limits your shipping ability. You can’t put them in the mail – they’ll go bad. And you don’t have factory volumes, so you don’t want the expense of courier services. You’re possibly running everything by yourself, or with close family, baking in the morning and delivering in the afternoon. Your website serves as a catalog for recipes and orders. Which is good, because it allows you to remain within your comfort levels and grow gradually, when you’re ready.
Even on a small scale, credit card processing can help. If you sign up as a Level 4 merchant (fewer than 20,000 card transactions a year), you can cut down your processing fees. For the best deal, review several payment processors to see who offers the best rates. Awards and verified customers are important too. Accepting credit card payments is essential for your home-based business if your customers order off your web-store, because it’s the safest, quickest, most convenient way for online shoppers to pay.
E-sales increase your income because you have time to plan your schedule, especially at busy times of year, like Christmas or Valentine’s Day or whenever your business is busiest. You’ll also notice a lot of your customers are last-minute shoppers who forgot someone’s birthday, or need an urgent dinner gift for their host. Credit cards let them pay in seconds, which is a blessing for impulse buyers … and for you!
For more information on increasing sales with credit card processing for home-based businesses, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.