February 19, 2018

Get Off Your Bike, And Onto The Money! How To Make A Living From Upcycling


Do you find yourself struggling with your finances, or do you have problems getting a loan due to your credit score? Lots of people look for another job so they can earn some money on the side; some people do freelance work, or some people opt to work in a shop late at night, which isn’t an appealing prospect. But the one trend making the rounds right now, and has been for a while, is upcycling. Choosing the approach of upcycling as a career option is something that’s being done a lot now. If you are looking for a way to earn some money, and you have an interest in crafts, then upcycling might be an option for you. But, let’s delve into the finer points.

What To Upcycle

Picking the items all depends on your own skills. Lots of people take basic items, such as photo frames, and dress them up, or clean them, and sell them on for a profit. It depends on your own particular interests. But, lots of people choose furniture as their main option, primarily because it’s very profitable area. The piece of furniture is going to cost far more than a simple picture frame. Now, before you think that you don’t have the skills to upcycle furniture, there are courses you can do. The great thing about going online now is that you can find ways to do almost anything, through simple YouTube videos, or actually going on a proper course that you could book. Once you have acquired the necessary skills you need to make your business profitable, you can go ahead with purchasing the items you want to upcycle. Some people spend their days going through vintage markets, but if you’ve got a keen eye, you can use the standard buy and sell classifieds, like losangeles-ads.com to get you going. These classifieds are gold mines for all sorts of items that people don’t want. You could find something that never even crossed your mind before. One piece of advice, if you really want to get something for cheap, look at the pages where people are desperate to sell right away, and don’t ever neglect the “free stuff” section! You could haggle and get something for a bit cheaper than it was originally on for. Once you’ve got a solid idea of what items you want to sell, it’s time to begin the upcycling process.

Ideas For Upcycling

This is where your imagination knows no bounds! It’s important to remember that your style might not be to everyone’s taste, and for some people who venture into upcycling, it’s not about putting something new on the item, but it’s about bringing back what made that item special in the first place. If you’ve got an old dresser that is battered and beaten up, it wouldn’t be fair to make it rainbow colored! You’re better off spending time on the item of furniture, making its beauty apparent again. Another option is to take something old and put a new spin on it, giving it a new use. A very good example is using mason jars as lanterns, using jars as a way to keep candles, and with unique and quirky designs, it’s a very simple item that it is highly desired in many people’s homes now. The vintage angle is so popular that you could make almost anything vintage, a small footrest could become a quirky table, door knockers could go onto interior cupboards, and a bench could become a table. Use your imagination!

Selling The Items

This is where you need to put your business head on. Selling these items in an overcrowded marketplace is going to be the challenge. But, everyone has to go through this. You might think it’s easy to sell your items through online stores like eBay, but will you be getting the best bang for your buck? It’s important for you to get the calculator out and to work out how much time you spent on a specific item, so you can make the best possible profit. What might be a good option is to build up a collection of items to sell, and take them to a marketplace and set up a stall. You can show prospective customers what you are capable of, and they can get up close and personal and get to know you. You never know, you might have repeat customers. The other option is to go and do it exclusively online. You can either do it through sites like Etsy, or you could set up your own website. But with setting up your own website, it means you have to think about every aspect of how you communicate your products. This means not just using a basic website design platform like wix.com but you are better off paying someone to do a website for you on it so that it looks impeccable. And you need it to highlight your products. In addition to this, you need to go down the usual marketing channels. This means social media, videos, pictures, and anything else you can think of! A video is a very good marketing tool in upcycling because you can show everyone your process from beginning to end. People will be impressed, especially if you’ve made something from nothing. On top of this, people might come to you specifically for your upcycling skills, so you’ve got another skill to promote.

The Business Stuff

Nobody likes to think about this, but the business stuff is so very important. You need to get yourself organized, especially if it’s got to the point where you are in demand. If people are coming to you and asking you to upcycle their furniture, you need to be sure that you are doing everything above board. If someone approaches you and wants you to redo their couch, they are putting a lot of trust in you. You need to repay this trust, by making sure that everything is done professionally. This can mean setting up a contract between you and a customer, a guarantee that you will complete the work within a certain timescale. And this can be an alien concept if you’ve never done anything like this before. But there are plenty of resources online, businessknowhow.com gives you some handy hints on drafting a customer contract. The legalities of running a business are something you need to be on top of, or at least have people in your vicinity that are in the know. Lots of people choose to set up a business for themselves, but some end up going bankrupt or not getting any custom, and if you read any business articles online, they all talk about the importance of trust, but also professionalism. Make sure you have these two in spades, and this will draw people towards you.

Maintaining The Momentum

This is where it can get tough, especially if you’ve got family members, and people depending on you to make a living for them. Maintaining the momentum of an upcycling business, especially when you are working out of your home, is a major challenge. And if you’re doing it by yourself, you’ve got so many different hats to wear, from accountant to marketer, to upcycling the furniture itself, and sometimes this will be the last thing on your mind! Maintaining the momentum is vital for you to earn a living. But it’s all about getting into the swing of things, and making sure that you’ve got a balance between your work life and your home life. This is very difficult to achieve when you are doing both under the one roof, and the temptation with upcycling furniture (which is a long process) is you could end up so focused on one item of furniture, that it consumes a massive chunk of your week. While you feel this is essential to get your business off the ground at the very start, once everything is up and running, do you really need to do this? It’s much better for you to maintain a work-life balance for the sake of everyone around you. At the very start, where you are making endless trips to vintage markets, scouring the internet for bargains, all the while trying to maintain a normal life, it can get overwhelming, and then once you get some sales, or you have a customer, the pressure is truly on. It can feel like there is no let up, and this is the reality for the first 6 to 12 months at least! Maintaining this momentum is never easy, but there is an end in sight if you put your hard work into it.

Upcycling, in all of its forms, is so trendy, that if you’re looking for an alternative way to make a living, this is a wonderfully creative and fulfilling method. Of course, buying something for cheap, dressing it up and selling it on is the dream, because you can make a vast profit, but this is only one piece of the pie. Put your business hat on and learn a few simple tricks of the trade, and it will make the whole experience of upcycling as a livelihood, incredibly worthwhile.

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