by Diane Kingsbury
Whether you are looking to make extra money, start a new hobby, meet new people, share the love of a product you already use or a homemade product you’ve created – working your own business can fill all those needs and possibly some you didn’t know you had!
My personal experience comes from my direct sales journey over the last 11 years while also working my full-time job.
A lot of things I have learned can be applied to either a full or part time business and may also apply to a handcrafted business as well.
How to Find the Ideal Side Hustle for You
1. What Is Your Passion?
The first ingredient to success is to find your passion.... whether it is making and sharing your handmade jams, jellies, hand creams, clothing, wreaths, quilts etc., or if you are reselling items that have made an impact in your life like, kitchen products, cleaning products, makeup, hair accessories, books, seasonings, etc.
If you are not passionate about what you are sharing, it may not be worth your time and effort to market it! Customers will see right through a forced excitement.
If you are not crafty and direct selling is more your speed, you need to see what is out there!
2. What products do you use and love?
Think about what you already use that has made a difference in your life. Is it green cleaning products that you use in your own home? A mascara or skincare product that you love? Books that you read to your children? Clothing that you love to wear? Seasonings, cooking utensils or storage containers that you use in your kitchen and around the house? Hair accessories that work well in your hair? Candles or wax melts you use in your home? Easy nail care products?
3. Searching the Internet
There is usually something that you are already using that you could research to see if they offer a business opportunity.
If not, a simple Google search of direct sales companies could provide you with some ideas. But in either case, make sure to do your research and learn the business plan and what is required of you before joining any company.
4. Asking Other Business Owners
If you know someone who has their own business, reach out to them for some guidance.
3 Keys to Side Hustle Success
Whether you are reselling or handcrafting, there is much more to being successful than just having a great product and throwing it out on social media or on a table at a craft fair.
1. Connecting On a Personal Level
Engaging with your customers in a personal way will make a huge difference. If you can share how it has made a difference in your life or share the story of who inspired you to start making your handcrafted item – making it personal makes a difference.
In my first direct sales business, I sold amazing kitchen products that already had a name on the market and most people had heard of them and loved them.
Since I loved to cook, I thought it would be the perfect fit! But even having that in my back pocket, I still had to learn the engagement process.
As an example, I had purchased the company name decal for my car and within the first week of putting it on, I stopped at a toll booth and the person saw my decal and said ‘Oh, I LOVE xyz company’ and I was so unprepared that my response was ‘yes, isn’t it great?’ and I drove off!
That defeated the whole purpose of why it was on my car!! So that day I learned that, especially if I am going to blatantly market my business on my vehicle or anywhere else, I needed to be prepared and engage with people’s excitement and questions!
2. Working How You Like to Work
Another thing to consider is if you want to be out and about in person, interacting with your customers at craft & vendor fairs, farmers markets and other in-person events... or if you will be working your business over social media.
Think about how you are inspired when you see an item marketed on social media, or what catches your attention at a craft fair.... then remember that inspiration and think about how you could use it to market your business!
Although social media marketing is not my expertise, I know lots of people who do it smartly and are very successful at it.
You could also do a combination of both, which also works well.
With my current hair accessory business, most of my initial contacts are made at in-person events and then continue through customer care follow up and other sources (that would be a whole other blog post!!)
Once the in-person connection is made, we can then continue our interaction through social media, email, etc. until we see each other in person again.
Just remember that every business has a different dynamic that will work for you and your style.
3. Learn, Improve, and Change As You Go
A good example to that point is that my first business ultimately was not the right fit for me. It took me 7 years to figure that out because I was stubborn and did not want to be a quitter!
However, I do not consider those 7 years wasted time at all.... I learned all the tools and skills that were necessary to be successful through the amazing comradery of my fellow teammates and leaders in that company!
Ultimately, I am using everything I learned from that experience in my current successful business.
Your first business may be the perfect fit and you may be wildly successful, but if it does not turn out that way, do not feel like a failure and take what you learned and grow from that.
If you are willing to put in the work and invest your time, there is no reason you should not be successful! Be sure to make your business your own and be passionate, sincere and unique to make your customers remember you!
about the author...
Diane has been an Independent Stylist with Lilla Rose Hair accessories since 2019, but her direct sales roots date back to 2010 when she first joined the ‘side hustle’ world with Pampered Chef.
The 7 years she spent learning and growing through her Pampered Chef business prepared her for what has turned out to be her ‘forever home’ with Lilla Rose.
Diane also works full time as an Administrative Assistant at a very busy police department. She once heard that if you are striving to succeed and think that your plate is full – that you just need to get a bigger plate!!! So here she is with her bigger plate making enough room to share her passion of all the things that bring her joy and inspire her!!
Connect with Diane through her Lilla Rose web site: https://www.lillarose.biz/dishairtribe, or her Facebook Group: Diane's Hair Tribe