Is Offline Business Easier When Young?

Alfred George Taylor Business Inspiration

After writing Online Business, or Offline, or both?, I started to think what I would do if I needed work now, but didn’t have my online business.

I thought back to my youth, and remembered how I earned enough income to enjoy school years. It seemed so easy at the time. Probably because, when you’re younger, there is a tendency to just get on with things. Now, everyone has different skills, but if you spend a little time looking at your skill set, you will likely find ways to make money.

I’ll describe some of the things I did, and also talk about ways to extend those jobs to build an online business.

Babysitter Business

This is one of the easiest ways to make money, if you can spare the time. The hours tend to be evening weekends, but I often worked through the week. As the job basically entails sitting and doing very little, it is an ideal opportunity to do other things, such as creating a website.

In this case, a babysitter website might not help a local babysitter business, but you could write about something else you enjoy. Or maybe you have some unique babysitting ideas that would give you a decent income. There is certainly a strong US market for babysitter services, so perhaps you can think of ways to claim some of the $millions up for grabs?

For a local babysitting service, I believe personal networking is best. Parents tend to network through schools and local community groups. Once you get a client or two, they will often help you find more. You can help the promotion along by using Facebook, but a website is not likely to bring you much business by itself.

Gardening Business

As my Dad was ill during most of my childhood, and Mum had to work to keep us fed, I used to tend our small garden. There were always neighbors around to give me tips and hints. This was pre Internet, but I was an avid reader at the local library. Through friends and family, word got round that I was available, and I enjoyed earning cash in the open air.

This would make a great website for a local business. With hints and tips, a local gardening website could be a real asset for a gardening business. You could attract new customers with:

  • Gardening advice to match local weather conditions
  • Local sources for plants and gardening supplies
  • Local gardening events

Different growing conditions make a global gardening website difficult, but it depends on your ambition. Certainly the combination of an informative, beautiful website, with locally focused social networking should give you the edge over your competition.

Bookkeeping Business

Alfred George Taylor Business InspirationI was lucky enough, during my teenage years, to be taught bookkeeping by my Dad. This eventually led to my accounting career, which in turn led to my IT career. It was a great job that gave me income in my teens, and led to many business opportunities through my life.

In the UK, it was a time when a national sales tax called Value Added Tax (VAT), was introduced. This put enormous pressure on many small businesses, who had to work it out themselves, or pay expensive qualified accountants. Guided by my Dad, I did all the tedious record keeping and form filling for friends and relatives in business. Tedious for the client perhaps, but something I learned a lot from, and took pride in.

That was a great way to make money locally, as there are always business owners that need help with the admin. It would also be a great subject for a website. Very basic keyword research tells me it is a high earning subject with good demand, and good breadth of keywords. How would you make an income? That’s for another time, but it starts with searching for bookkeeping, bookkeeper, bookkeeping services, and your ideas for doing something better.

Dog Walking Business

Audrey Taylor Née Hesselwood PhotoAs I’ve introduced my Dad, I can’t leave Mum out. Now, Mum never went into business, and never wanted to, but this photograph inspired me to think about a dog walking business.

Coincidentally, as soon as I mentioned it, she told me of her friend who did the very same thing. When she lost her faithful companion, she felt she was too old to replace him. She missed the canine company, until she spotted an advert for a dog walker in the local shop window. Now, she is happily strolling the local moorland with ‘her’ dogs. Getting exercise, a little spare cash, and without the worry of full time pet care.

I don’t believe Mum or her friend would want a website. They probably do not think part-time dog-walking is really a business in the making. But it is.

What are your ideas for turning simple tasks that everyone needs into your own offline business? Share your experiences, opinions, and questions in Shrewdies Make a Website Group, or Shrewdies Website Help Chatroom.

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