How to Make Money Using your DIY Skills

You have the DIY basics and your skills keep getting better and better at making stuff so why not think about using your skill to make some money?






In a country like ours, where entrepreneurial skills are essential if you want to make something of yourself, having some basic skills in any field are a great way to use these to make some money on the side or even to start your own business. The more skills you have - the more advanced your projects can be and having a good knowledge of everything DIY will stand you in good stead.



What Do you Need to Start a Business?

When you decide to go for it, take the time to consider your skills. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you don't know how to do something. Start with a basic plan to design something small, that is unique or features South African design that will appeal to the masses. In this country, we are lucky to have plenty of scope for entrepreneurs who can meet supply and demand on a wide range of furniture and accessories. Being a third world country sometimes has its advantages in that our access to many international designs, furniture and accessories is limited and when people want something unique, they might have to fork out a small fortune to import it or look at how they can make it themselves - giving you a marketable opportunity to offer a unique service.




Put together a business plan, one that will allow you to work until you reach a point where the income received from your hobby exceeds that of your monthly salary.



• Business Plan

A well-thought-through business plan requires that you put forward a comprehensive presentation say, for example, you need to obtain funds from a banking institution or SME-funding organisation. It will provide all the information needed on the type of operation you want, the target market including a detailed analysis of this market. You will also want to anticipate your estimated monthly income and expenditure even though you are only starting small. Look at the pricing of locally manufactured or imported goods to determine the best selling price that will yield a reasnable profit margin.



Is the business going to be a sole operation or will you take on a partner or staff? Will you need money up-front for starting capital? And if you have done your research, you should be able to competently present a projection of future earnings to back up the re-payment of any loans.







There are plenty of online resources that can assist with the information required in a business plan, as well as provide you with even more information.





• Assess Your Skills

For this article, we are focusing on DIY or woodworking skills that you have built upon over the years. Skills that you have honed for certain projects say, for example, you are good at woodcarving, small woodworking projects or even making furniture. Then there is the DIY aspect that covers making decor accessories such as custom mirror and picture frames, or art that your customers will like. Assess your skills and utilise these towards making something that will have a sustaining market.






• Fund your Business

Every business needs to start somewhere, whether you need to buy office equipment and supplies, project materials, tools, or anything else you will need to get up and running. If you have already been doing projects at home for yourself, family and friends, you probably already have the tools and basic supplies you need. If this is the case, you can start straight away on planned projects without any upfront capital or loans.





Set up your Company - Part-Time

The idea behind setting up part-time is to allow yourself time to establish a client list or suppliers who will want your product. This will be covered in the Business Plan, as will any ideas for marketing and promotion. These days, many entrepreneurs are making use of Facebook and social media platforms to sell their goods to local markets and doing it this way allows you a free platform to support your business. Any way that you can bring down operating costs will work in your favour.





Having a job while setting up your company is always a good idea, especially if you don't already have customers interested in your products and/or services. You will need to give up your spare time until you get established but at least you will also have income.



The Bottom Line

Anyone can be an entrepreneur if they have the drive and commitment to see it through. You may not even succeed the first time around, but with dogged determination, you try and try again until you get it right. South Africa is a country that believes that local is lekker and making something for which there is a demand is an eco-friendly and sustainable option than imported goods or items. There is nothing better than supporting our local economy and growing your own business until you are self-sufficient.





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