Thursday, 1 December 2011

Use Your Skills

What are you good at? Are you academic or sporty? Arty or intellectual? Choose the skill or subject you are best at and most enjoy. Your business start up idea- to share your knowledge or talent with others. To succeed at this you need to be a people person, great at communication and able to share your enthusiasm with others.

Types of business include:
Tutoring- This may be academic or musical, charging per lesson or for a course. You can be at any level, but should have some form of qualification. Just target those at the level beneath you, so if you have a masters tutor graduates, if you are in your final year teach first years. You will have a lot of valuable experience. Make sure you are up to date with current teaching in your subject and any syllabus requirements. Create a great range of professional and easy to use teaching materials that you can use in your sessions and give to clients. Chart their progress so they can see how your service is benefiting them. If working with children you may need a criminal records check. Share your academic achievements with potential clients.

Coach- Teach people your favourite sport. You may need to hire a court or pitch but by teaching a group of people and starting courses so people bulk buy for example ‘Beginners 6 week tennis course’ you can cover costs and easily forecast income. Be patient and make these lessons interesting, people take part in sport for fun and to meet new people. Plan lessons in advance, focusing on one aspect of the sport each lesson so people can pick it up step-by-step and incorporate fun games. Maybe play a ‘real’ game just for the last 20 minutes after they have picked up the new skill. Take care of people’s safety and fitness levels, target your lesson at those with the lowest fitness. It may be wise to undertake a health and safety course and get a coaching certificate in your chosen sport.

Consultant-Fashion Stylist/Interior Design etc- Have people ever commented on your impeccable style? Use this to advise others. Attract customers by creating an attractive and interesting portfolio. Make it professional and get clients to write you references. Nothing to go in your portfolio? Redecorate your house or someone in your family. Restyle a couple of friends! Make it fun, but try to stick to a theme or trends so potential customers can see if they like your style.

Artist- Share your artwork with the world! Sell it at local art fairs, online, approach shops, start a facebook page, hang it in local venues with promotional material, join an arts trail. There are plenty of ways to get your artwork seen. Be prepared for rejections artwork is highly individualistic, but if one shop knocks you back another will love your stuff. This is about volume, keep approaching people and you will get accepted. Create a style, let people know the story behind your work, and let them know if you will take commissions!

Author- Do you love to write? Create a beautiful story or share information on a topic that interests you. You can write about anything, have passion for your subject or story and share that with your readers. Practice your writing constantly, write on all the subjects you can think of, this will increase your creativity and help you develop a ‘voice’ or style of writing. From here you just need focus, set a daily word limit and meet it every day until your book is finished. Once your book is complete then you can edit it, the most important thing is to get the full book out on paper this is where most people fail, they just don’t finish it! Once you have completed your manuscript you have to decide between approaching a publisher, keep going and submit it to a number of publishers and be prepared to overcome rejection! Or the increasingly popular option of self-publishing, remember you will have to create your own marketing campaign and this is where your people skills and ability to network will come to the fore.

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