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What business could earn me about £10K/yr?

(23 Posts)
Fatsia Thu 15-Aug-13 06:09:25

I work f/t in the caring professions and love my job. However, I can see that as the years go by, it's going to become harder to sustain - on many levels - and so I'm already beginning to think about setting up a small business, part-time, that is doable even as I get a lot older, into my 60s and 70s. There are specific reasons why I'm going to need an income well into my later years.

I am brainstorming ideas and wondered if I could tap into the wisdom of MN and see what you think? I am - or rather was, before f/t work and parenting - fairly good at arts-related stuff (used to get cartoons and pen and ink drawings published in small magazines) but haven't done anything like that for years. Also, I expect now that everything is done on computer - not hand-drawn anymore - and can you actually make any money out of art-related stuff?

I also used to get occasional things published that I wrote but again, in the very competitive market of journalism, doubt I could make around £10k a yr from writing?

So I need some blunt and honest feedback from those who have set up a small business and a bit of lateral thinking too. Any ideas?

CoTananat Thu 15-Aug-13 07:13:36

I make money out of art related stuff but yes, I also code. But there is a market for hand drawn - there's actually a reasonable premium on it as some skills are falling out of the market. If you have contacts in the industry - publishing - you can get commissions. Get a very good scanner and scan in at 600DPI. There are lots of simple tutorials on how to do this.

Get a deviantArt account and start looking around at the freelance illustrators to get an idea of the market. Don't use the crowdsourcing/docklands sites like peopleperhour or elance because you cannot compete on price with people in countries where the living costs are lower. It's a mugs game.

You can make smarter money by selling the same thing over and over. I don't know your start up cash levels, but something like dropshipping might work for you. The margins are very thin but the work is mostly automated if you get an account with somewhere like Shopify (disclosure: I am a Shopify partner; other ecommerce packages are available!) and use a fulfillment company.

You could sell t-shirts, frex. If you're any good at lettering, highly ornate script message tees are selling well now.

Fatsia Thu 15-Aug-13 20:08:07

Thanks CoTananat. That's a good start. What is dropshipping BTW? Do you mean that sopies of artwork can be sold again and again, as opposed to the originals, if adeptly scanned?

Anyone else got any ideas of something I could start up p/t that might eventually bring in a turnover of around £10K? I know if you've already got a good idea and are doing it yourself, you won't want to let other people in on it but if anyone can think of something similar but different or is happy to share, that'd be great.

TheDoctrineOfJetlag Thu 15-Aug-13 22:36:57

Can you carry on working in a locum or part time capacity in your current profession?

Fatsia Fri 16-Aug-13 06:08:49

TheDoctrineOfJetlag, the whole idea of starting a small business is to be able to stop relying 100% on income from a caring profession. I need to find something that isn't about people, really, after a lifetime in the field and really want another income stream that is completely different.

Ideally, I'd like something I can do either in the early hours of the morning or after work and all the childcare and domestic tasks, early evening - something that preferably involves 'things' and not people, as my entire life in every part of it, involves supporting people, in various ways.

I do love my job but I can see the years rolling ahead and not being able to sustain the emotional intensity. That's why I'm looking for something detached from anything to do with my current work.

Any ideas anyone?

TheDoctrineOfJetlag Fri 16-Aug-13 07:21:11

Ah, fair enough. Would you be able to, say, producing cartoons or drawings from photos of people? Is this something you could link with your work -eg drawings of grandchildren from photos provided by their parents - assuming you work in care homes. Would the homes let you put up posters to advertise?

Fatsia Sun 18-Aug-13 06:24:59

Don't work in care homes and not able to link my current work to a new business, for ethical reasons. I'm not fixed on art as a business option - it was only because, in the past, I've done a bit if this kind of thing.

An acquaintance purportedly makes around £30K a year just through some kind of website including advertising. I've no idea what that is or how that works. Has anyone come across this at all?

Any further 'lateral thinking' that might provide me with a business on the side, whilst also sustaining a f/t job plus DCs?

TheDoctrineOfJetlag Sun 18-Aug-13 07:25:11

There's another thread here about websites

I think to make money through advertising and affiliate marketing, people must be coming to your site for the content eg you have a popular blog about art/parenting/sport or whatever.

SimLondon Sun 18-Aug-13 23:12:03

Quilting -turning babygro's into patchwork quilts. Eg mums send you 20/30 outgrown babygros and you turn them into a patchquilt. It's not difficult (there's a quilting for dummies( and there arent very many people doing it.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 18-Aug-13 23:13:54

writing mills and boon

morethanpotatoprints Sun 18-Aug-13 23:20:28

Hello OP.

I would advise looking at your interests and then doing a taster short course at a college.
I know and have heard of many people who have small businesses or are self employed after doing just this.
There are florists, painters and decorators, accountant, business/finance advisors. All just starting with a taster, getting the bug and continuing. Obviously they had an interest to begin with, but nothing more.
Failing this you could do a start your own business course and learn about the business side first.
Good luck OP, but remember its hard work and for this reason you need a sort of passion for what you are doing.
What are your hobbies/interests? Oh, a friend of mine has just retired from teaching (in her 50's) and works as a freelance record searcher/genealogist, her passion grin

Fatsia Thu 22-Aug-13 19:28:51

Thanks for some more ideas. I really need something I can do in the very limited amount of time I get between working f/t and parenting DCs and so although I'd like to use my existing artistic talents (although it's been years and years since I did any!), my main aim is to find something manageable but that could realistically get me an income of about £10K+ a yr.

I'm not sure that arts/crafts type businesses can earn you that kind of money if you can only 'fit them in' between f/t work aswell? I need somethine where the product is relatively easy to produce but the mark-up is really good....

I definitely want/need something that is non-people focused, as that's my job and I need something v different. Still interested to hear from othersw ho've set up something that they only do p/t but that can earn that kind of income per annum.....something you can do even if you're very tired, even if it's 4am/5am before the start of a full working day....

TheDoctrineOfPositivityYes Thu 22-Aug-13 20:17:54

Hmm. I expect some eBay traders make that. It's around £45 per day based on 224 working days pa, isn't it?

I'm not sure there's an easy answer to making an extra £10k a year in a few hours a week. My understanding from the OP was that you wanted to start something now that could build to £10k per year when you retire from care work - ie you would have more time to spend on it then - but it seems that's not the case?

Fatsia Fri 23-Aug-13 06:21:55

Doctrine, thanks for your input again. I'm really wanting to have something now that would bring in around £10K a year, alongside what I already do. It's not actually care work per se - more, a 'caring profession'.

For various reasons, I'm not going to have a pension from my job(except the basic state pension) and so I can't ever really 'retire' but can't see myself sustaining the working hours I already do in my current job. I'm therefore looking for something I can do even when getting quite elderly and that will keep me independent.

I'm also facing a cut in income this year of around £10K and so am looking for something now to supplement this, rather than having to increase further the current hours I work.

I've never used ebay and am slightly averse to trying this but that could just be because I'm unfamiliar with how things work these days with online trading.

I'd love to make a high-end market, bespoke product that was in and of itself enjoyable to make but that earned me a decent amount per item/product.

TheDoctrineOfPositivityYes Fri 23-Aug-13 09:16:13

Ok, back to my first idea - how long would it take you, do you think, to draw a cartoon of a child from a photo? That might be the sort of thing you can sell through a site like etsy as well as on your own site.

The trouble with handmade stuff is that labour costs are so high compared to "high street" pricing. But I'd consider spending a reasonable amount on a drawing of my kids from a photo for my nan, say.

If you can do quick cartoons, you might be able to do it at school fairs, for example.

footyfan Fri 23-Aug-13 09:35:25

Have you looked at the personalised gifts on There are some sellers on eBay as well.

Could you draw some lovely pictures that people could hang in a nursery - have these printed - and then personalise them by hand (with name / date of birth etc). You could do cards as well.

Not sure how much this would make - but it definitely sounds like you've got the skills for it - and you could do it at any time and with minimal costs.

CockyFox Fri 23-Aug-13 09:48:39

I don't think it is possible to earn that much alongside working.
I thought about selling the jewellery I make but it just wasn't worth it places like Etsy and Folksy are overrun.
I think the only thing that would bring in money is buying wholesale and selling on at a reasonable mark up.

Curlyfrizzball Fri 23-Aug-13 15:27:41

Draw and sell clipart? Because it's then downloaded digitally, you don't have to package and send the item, and, once it's up for people to buy, you don't really have to do anything except a bit of marketing and waiting for it to sell. Not sure how much money you'd be able to make though.

KayAloe Tue 03-Sep-13 10:04:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Lizzabadger Thu 12-Sep-13 18:06:24

I am in a similar position.

Do you have a spare room you can rent out (maybe when DC are older)? This makes me about £6K a yr before tax and expenses.

I know you want to move away from it but can you do small amounts of expert witness/private/consultancy/teaching work in your caring profession field? I get a few K from this a year too.

Selling second-hand stuff on Amazon is not too scary but unlikely to net big bucks.

Supplying local cafes with home-made chutneys/jams/cakes/quiches? (I haven't done this).

Market stall selling food/crafts? (No experience of this either)

Lizzabadger Thu 12-Sep-13 18:11:33

Babysitting/dog-walking/ironing service?

Decluttering service?

dietgal Sun 15-Sep-13 12:31:00

I am same and have tried several ways of making extra income to work around my other comitments. I have started something I would never Imagine doing MLMA for a New Company from North America pre launched in UK. Its health and fitness but different from anything I have ever seen. If you can get passionate about there products (I am now as started as a customer) I was then approached about there business basically doing what I was already doing, telling everyone about them, but get paid for it. If sounds like your cup of tea let me know. There is a definite income to be made just depends on how much time you can put in. I have only been promoting for 2 weeks so will update after 2nd month as hoping to be making at least £1000 a month, its not as much as others are aiming for and can be made but that will keep me happy. Good Luck

Stepawayfromthezebras Sat 28-Sep-13 13:14:06

You might be able to earn this kind of money by selling prints on Etsy.

Making money from crafts is very hard unless you have a line that you can crank out easily, people don't understand, and don't want to pay for, the time it takes to make things and market them so lots of artists and crafters end up making far less than minimum wage

In the past I've dreamed of selling my own jewellery but came to the realisation it couldn't be profitable. I now sell jewellery on ebay and Amazon that I buy in wholesale. I've been doing this for nearly a year now alongside my FT job and profits (before tax) are just over £1000/month. It's taken a while and I've made some expensive mistakes along the way but I'm getting there smile

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