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Business founders/entrepreneurs

Does anyone actually make a living from their own business?

124 replies

Moomoola · 07/06/2022 22:29

I’ve a background in print and design, I’d like to sell my own gifts etc, like everyone else in Britain. Dp is very disparaging, but surely it can be done? I’d ideally like to take home £20 k a year, which seems enormous amounts. It just seems if I’m going to work 37 hrs a week for someone else, for this or less, I could do that for me? Of course I need to perused Dp and myself it’s possible. Obv some people make a mint ( most everyone on you tube it seems ) and some people won’t. So guess I’m asking for reassurance ( or not) and some tips , mainly on mindset as I seem to be too nervous of failing and Dp will be disappointed/ pissed off. Ta!

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Readtheroom · 07/06/2022 22:32

I think it would take a really long time before you could make a living from a business + profits. And even then I don't think it would be a living at first once you've payed everything off it would be more like being subsidised.

ThisisMax · 07/06/2022 22:34

Take home of 20k based on what margin? What are your product volumes? Customer break even points?
You need to do minimum sales of 60k to hit 20k takehome.

HollowTalk · 07/06/2022 23:06

Turnover is completely different to profit. Even a turnover of £20,000 seems huge for the kind of work you describe. What is your unique selling point?

Moomoola · 07/06/2022 23:07

Woh, thanks both. Looks like I’m dreaming.I obv need to work out my costs. Roughly I’d need to sell 500 items a month to get 60, 000. Production is no problem, as in I know how I’d produce them. But that seems like an awful lot of product. But people do do it,! Better get on the social media whirl.

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Circleblue · 07/06/2022 23:07

I do - I sell a set price service. Just got off my arse, retrained (3 year degree) and set up my one woman band operation. Was easy.

Oldfilmsareshit · 07/06/2022 23:08

I think Jeff Bezos is doing quite well

Moomoola · 07/06/2022 23:09

Easy! Wow, 3 year degree isn’t easy I wouldn’t have thought. Well done !

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speakout · 08/06/2022 20:24

Of course it is possible- and many do.
Some make a great deal of money, some not so much, and for others things go down the drain.
All sorts of scenarios exist.
I make and sell craft items, quite a niche market, I make a very healthy living.
My turnover is just shy of the VAT threshhold.

Cleanbedlinen12 · 08/06/2022 22:03

Woh, that is encouraging. And amazing, well done.

Botoxbotox · 08/06/2022 22:08

You'd need to research the market, is it saturated, will you have repeat business etc.
Is it a bit of a nice to have that you're selling, we're facing a huge financial fuck up at the moment, will people have spare money to throw at your product?

Moomoola · 08/06/2022 22:18

Thanks botoxbotox. Yes, the fuck up massively concerns me. I guess the only option is to try it as a side hustle, and use it as an excuse to up my digital skills. Got to be better than staring at the telly!

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Badger1970 · 08/06/2022 22:30

DH and I run a joint business. At best right now, our profit is around 10% of our turnover. We work 6 days a week, often bring work home and if we're lucky we get 2 weeks leave a year. We're short staffed, can't find skilled replacements, and are so far behind in our work schedule I've not slept for 3 nights panicking.

It's far far harder than working for someone else. You never switch off. Yes we may have a good income but jesus wept, it's hard earned.

Botoxbotox · 08/06/2022 22:36

@Moomoola absolutely go for it as a side hustle. Providing you aren't jeopardising your financial security with a huge outlay then bollox to what your dp thinks, do it for you!

Kite22 · 08/06/2022 22:43

Of course they do.
Look up Ben Francis for a recent story.

But, as pps have said - you need to research your market, and you need to have business skills beyond making the stuff you want to sell, as well as some knowledge of the business you are setting up - legal aspects, liabilities, employment law, taxes, etc etc etc.

Blinkingbatshit · 08/06/2022 22:44

I have a relation who makes (most of) & sells products from her own website and via ‘gift’ fairs - she’s bringing in 40k (after tax). Her products are priced from £20 -£200…. So there are success stories out there..

polkadotpup · 08/06/2022 22:49

@Circleblue what do you do if you don't mind saying?

whereamu · 08/06/2022 22:52

What platform do you plan to sell them on and how much do you have/need to start up?

HyggeTyggeShitShop · 08/06/2022 22:57

Don't underestimate how hard it is running a business. It's not just designing the products. You have to decide how to sell them, setting up and maintaining social media channels and website, keeping your accounts, insurance, pricing, making sure you know your legal obligations, providing great customer service, keeping your designs fresh, and all the really really hard work that goes into reaching customers. Plus it's a hugely saturated market, do you have a USP and is it one that people will buy into? And after all that, there's no guarantee the people you reach will buy it anyway. Social media is a massive part of selling online, how do you feel about social media? Making reels and taking great product photos etc?

I'm hovering around the point of closing down my artistic side hustle because it's just such constant hard work and so far I've made a loss despite all my best efforts. Do it on the side and don't put more in than you can afford to lose. Take it slow so you can learn what you need to know in your own time.

Sarah13xx · 08/06/2022 23:06

I think I make an absolute killing (over 1k a week) with my Etsy shop. That’s not taking into account tax and the cost of buying new stock for the following week though so I haven’t actually worked out the figures for what I earn. All I know is I like it 1000x more than I like my job. People are sooo negative when they hear of anyone going self employed. I saw a status on Facebook yesterday il share on here about it!

if I had a background in print I’d do the vinyl labels, iron on labels for kids clothing (people will buy anything with names just now). The key is Instagram is what you’re working to. People buy things based on what they can show off on Instagram!

Sarah13xx · 08/06/2022 23:06

You graduate Uni £35k in debt, people clap and cheer for you 👏

You get married and spend between £5k-£50k for ONE day, people will clap and cheer for you 👏

You take a £200k+ loan from the bank to buy your first house, people will clap and cheer for you 👏

You take a £30k+ loan for a decent car (a depreciating asset) with an interest rate, people will clap and cheer for you 👏

That's roughly £365,000 total spent debt throughout the years and somehow they are feeling good about it because people are congratulating them for it.

Now, go and tell those same people you spent a few thousand pounds to start your own business......🤔

“Are you sure?”
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“Can you get your money back?”
“What if people laugh at you?”
“I know a place that’s hiring.”
“It’s going to be hard to get people to support you.”

Some of these same people won’t even share or like your post. They won’t help you promote your business. They would rather spend their money with somebody else. They will bring you everything negative about what it is that you’re doing or have done…

Picture a bucket full of crabs with no lid. The moment a crab tries to get out, the other crabs will literally rip its legs off.

For the rest of this year, pay attention to who you’re surrounding yourself with and who’s putting into your life!!!!!

Shout out to all the bold entrepreneurs out there that said I’ve got this!

It's tough but you're getting off your butt to do something about it.

This is YOUR year! 🙌🏼 Copy & Paste


4intheCorner · 08/06/2022 23:28

I have an engraving and printing business and last year turnover was almost £50k, profit was £24k. That was working roughly full time, and FULL, full time in the run up to Christmas.

Sadly this year my sales have nosedived. It's very tough at the moment with rising material costs, lack of consumer confidence, economic crisis, etc.

Etsy is by far my biggest income stream. However, competition is tough as sellers have quadrupled since 2020, you really do have to have a unique product to stand out. If you can design your own original prints and not rely on commercial designs, that will be an advantage.

You can no longer rely on social media. I know lots of people who are over the aesthetic of Instagram and are moving over to Tiktok. Tiktok has seen rapid growth for small businesses, but still not easy. Whether you use Instagram or Tiktok, video content is the way forward.

So, yes it can be done. It takes time, a lot of bloody effort, originality, finding your niche, and of course hard work.

Kerrangutan · 08/06/2022 23:44

Loads and loads of people do, of course Grin but your chances of success will vary depending on a whole host of things, and one of them is barrier to entry.

I'm one of those people who've always done things on the side. Some have been more successful than others. None of them have been things that literally almost anybody could do after spending an hour or two in hobbycraft.

Like I used to knit for friends and family and they'd say "why don't you sell this? You'd definitely make money!" and while I'm sure I would, I made a hell of a lot more selling wool and knitting needles online for 1/20th of the time sink. It wasn't glamorous and it wasn't Instagram worthy (unless I tried really fucking hard for very little profit) BUT it was a business.

There's nothing wrong with doing the whole Etsy thing and making some pin money. You might also have real talent / drive / luck etc and grow it into a successful business. If quitting the dayjob is more of a vague "that'd be nice one day" type thing then go for it and see what happens - it doesn't have to be your one and only shot. My current business started like that with no real plan and took off, reaching quit your dayjob money within the first 6 months.

But if leaving your job is a priority then I would spend a bit more time thinking about what kind of business you need to have, or how you'd go about scaling this idea, to actually generate the turnover and profit you need. A giftshop on Etsy selling prints is unlikely to do that without a truly great niche and some serious diversification.


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HyggeTyggeShitShop · 09/06/2022 07:37

Be aware that if you go down the etsy route you must put time into understanding SEO because that's the only way to get seen. If you earn too much then they force you to pay for additional offsite ads. I had a look the other day and they now take up to almost 25% in fees so that needs to be accounted for in your pricing. Will people pay the amount you need to charge in order to make a profit taking into account 25% extra on top? There are other smaller marketplaces but they don't have the reach that etsy do.

DelilahBucket · 09/06/2022 09:30

I earn a living from my business, but it isn't great at the moment. I have ten years experience behind me, I can ride this period out, but most can't.
If you need to sell 500 products a month to earn that amount, I will tell you now, you will not get to that stage anytime soon. It took me four years to earn anywhere near a full time income while working part time alongside my business. I have a range of around 1600 products, and currently I am only just selling 500 a month, and I sell very popular items. People just don't have spare cash at the moment to spend on none essentials.
All that said, I partner up with print designers, so perhaps you could just sell your designs to other businesses and then you aren't shelling out for getting products printed.

Hoppinggreen · 09/06/2022 09:32

Well if you don’t it’s basically a hobby isn’t it?

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