Start a hobby
Before you even think about what you want to do start saving up
. If you start a hobby that cost a lot of money, and are already half way to your cash goal, things get that much easier.
Figure out what you want to do
. Try to get your self out there, go to your local workshop, talk with other hobbyist or just try new things.
Now that you know what you want to do ask yourself Am I ready to spend a lot of time on this a lot of money and do I enjoy what I am about to do
. If the answer is no to any of these questions, then find something else to do
This may sound like a no brainer but not a lot of people do it
. Read the instruction manual Or at least the safety warnings. You may learn something that you would never otherwise know..
Start your hobby
. Start your hobby And keep dedicated to it, try to allocate X amount of time every day, or week or month to spend on it.
When you finish your first project show off
. Brag about it and make sure the world sees it.
Think of a hobby that might interest you
. It might be an interest that you always wished you had time to explore, but never had the time or money required to pursue your interest.Ask yourself these questions: What I could do all day if I had the chance?, Why do I love doing this thing?, Is it worth spending my time on this activity?, and Would I enjoy it?.
Look at the walls in your post office and think about collecting stamps and what you might need to do to start and maintain a stamp collection
. Think of other items you might like to collect, for example, coins, dolls, or chocolate wrappers. You will need to consider how you will get your collectibles, where you will put them and whether you will display them. And remember to think about swaps with family!
Discover art for a hobby
. Have you ever gone to a museum, looked at the paintings on the walls, and wondered if you could do the same thing? How about trying painting for yourself in oils, acrylics or watercolors? Or maybe try drawing with charcoal or colored pencils. One particularly wonderful way to get involved in your community and make art at the same time is to participate in painting a mural. This will last for a long time and everyone in your community will see it and smile.Art does have a long learning curve, do not measure your progress against other peoples drawings. Measure it against your own past drawings, date everything, take classes or borrow and buy instruction books and do all the projects. Tracing, measuring methods like using a grid and using photographs as references are not cheating. There is no cheating in art, unless its breaking the rules of a specific contest.
Write novels and short stories
. Every year an online novel writing group, gets together to turn the worlds loneliest art form into something like the Boston Marathon. If you ever wanted to write a book, go ahead and give it a try. Thats the biggest but there are other online writing challenges and writing groups you can get along with. Many areas also have offline writing groups. Print on Demand technology has made self publishing a volume of your poetry, your novel or your stories reasonably priced for a hobbyist. Like art, theres a learning curve to getting good enough at this for more than your immediate friends and family to like it, but time will improve every hobby and only you know the story you want to tell.
Enjoy sport as a hobby
. Watch soccer, basketball, golf, athletics or tennis tournaments on television or at your local sports ground. Do you feel that a sport is something that you would love to learn? Think about what it would cost, and the time it would take to learn and play. Do you have the funds available for this type of hobby? Would you have the patience it would take to really learn to play or train for any of these sports? Would you rather play a team sport or an individual sport? Maybe there are friends or family members who already have equipment and uniforms you can have, as well as tips for how to begin your chosen sport. Ask them about their experiences and listen to their suggestions.
Maybe electronics is the hobby for you
. But electronics as hobby is not single and solid; it has many different interesting branches. Amateur radio, audio, microcontrollers, robotics, and the restoration of various vintage equipment are a few examples. But it's up to you which of these branches to choose or combine several if you wish!
Take up an outdoor activity
. Maybe you are an outdoors person, someone who would enjoy outdoor hobbies, such as fishing, hiking, flying remote controlled model airplanes or kites in the park, water skiing, camping or cycling. Think about how much you like different kinds of weather and getting close to nature. If this sounds like something you would really enjoy doing, then investigate how you could start learning one or more of these activities. Often these outdoors activities will have a club you can join, or you could get your friends together and try an outdoors activity as a group.
Take up an indoor activity
. Maybe you are more of an indoors person. Perhaps you did enjoy knitting, sewing, doing puzzles and jigsaws, painting, making ceramics etc. Browse around a craft store and find various craft ideas and supplies. Ask friends and family if they have craft supplies and patterns that they are not using. Other places to look for ideas include games stores, toy stores, hobby stores, your local library or activity center and school.
Combine indoor and outdoor activities
. Of course, theres nothing that says you can not be both an indoors and an outdoors person Maybe in summer you love to cycle and in winter you love to make matchstick castles. Think about which seasons you would like to enjoy your hobby in.
Take up woodworking
. Look through the Internet at various woodworking hobbies. Things such as toys, desk top items, furniture, games etc. are all ideas to make out of wood. If you have a work room in a garage, perhaps you would like to buy a project kit like a miniature doll house and build and decorate it all yourself. You might even enjoy making the miniature furniture yourself instead of buying it ready made.
. Miniature trains, racing cars, toy soldiers, gaming pieces etc. are an intriguing hobby that will include painting, construction work, craft and more. Making miniatures suits someone with an eye for detail and a lot of patience. This hobby can be as elaborate or as simple as you like, many of the best miniatures are made from things you find around the house and use your imagination to turn into something else.
Try browsing through mugup info
. here are a lot of articles to read, and some are very interesting.
Starting Your Hobby Farm
. After setting goals, choosing animals and crops, and making a first-year plan, its time to take action. How can you achieve your first goal? If you want to start a hobby farm, your first step may be finding and purchasing an existing farm. If you already live on your soon to be hobby farm, your first step may be to build a chicken coop for the chickens you decided to start with, or perhaps just get an existing barn set up for goats.
Talk to Your Neighbors
. If you are going to hobby farm where you already live, try to seek out farmers who are already doing what you want to do. Ask them about their experiences.
Set Your Budget
. Decide how much farm you want to buy. Make sure that if you are buying in a depressed, very rural location, you will not end up under water or with a farm so out of proportion to area values that you will have a hard time reselling if needed.
Tailor your search to what you need and what you can afford
. Do not think that you need dozens and dozens of acres. Take the time to map out exactly how much land you need .
Wait For What You Really Want
. Do not be afraid to look for the right farm for you for a while. Months, maybe a year or more, depending on the area where you are looking.Do not settle for second best. Buying a hobby farm is a big investment and not one that is easily reversed. Make sure that the property you are buying meets all your requirements.
Monitor and Reassess
. As you move through each goal in your hobby farm plan, you may decide to reevaluate. Be open and stay flexible life is full of surprises For example, you may find that raising chickens for meat is more work than you anticipated, and that getting goats may have to wait a while longer than you thought. Thats okay Farming successfully is all about being flexible and open to adjusting your plan, while still staying true to your overarching reasons for farming and your big-picture goals.
Who wants what I make How much will they pay for it
. This is basically you asking your friends if they are willing to pay X amount for what you make. Then go to someone you do not know and offer it to them for that price and see what kind of reaction you get. You can also go to Survey Monkey and create a quick survey for your friends online to answer whether they would pay a certain amount for a certain kind of product or service. This will help with your pricing model.
Am in the right place and time to be offering this
. Marketing depends on what you are willing to invest. Once you have made this decision, you will need to track it to see what kind of return you get from advertising on Facebook or online with Google. You may wish to take some time to research these options as they are not just a plug-and-play type of deal. It takes some expertise to know how to make online marketing work. There
Am I willing to make this a full time business And can it truly support my lifestyle
. If its really a hobby, then just use Etsy and slowly build it through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And do not forget to do some short videos that you can put on YouTube. Theres a strategy behind that too thats not very hard to learn. There are a ton of people offering courses on it online just make sure you have a webcam or a flip cam and share some of your real-time experiences. You'll be surprised at how many pay attention to it.
. If you are taking your hobby into the world of e-commerce then it should be fairly simple since you are doing the work. If you want to make it a full fledged business, you are probably talking about licensing your designs, which is a whole other ball of wax. Id say start with the above and work your way into something that is comfortable for you.
Wait until you have researched the initial cost and the long term expense and time needed before jumping into a hobby
. Make sure you can afford it, and have the time to spare. As you begin, start small. For instance, you can do a lot of astronomy with the naked eye. If you have learned and continued with that, the next step should be purchasing a good set of binoculars. Invest in the fancy telescope only when you are sure you are committed.
Get a coach
. For example if you always wanted to be competitive in swimming find a swim coach. You are never too old to start.
Get started on your hobby
. Once you have decided which hobby best suits you in every way and you have bought or borrowed the equipment, clothing, tools and anything else you need, it is time to get it happening. Expect to start slowly at first, while learning, so have patience. You might even find a club to join and meet others with similar interests. This is a great way to make friends and to exchange ideas.
Display your hobby or compete
. Once you become very good at your chosen hobby, you might like to enter competitions to test your skills or to display your work. Think of sports competitions, fairs or shows for craft and artwork, club meetings for show and tell or perhaps even a school or college event is a good chance to show off your skills.
Go to the book store
. Look in the magazine section and see if there is anything you find interesting. If there is, for example you like Newsweek, maybe a job in politics.
. Your hobby should not be at the expense of your study or your work.Donot get too hooked on the hobby or you might go broke or lose relationships with the ones you love. Remember spending time with loved ones can make very special memories for you and for them.Always get the best instructions on how to make things or do them. If it is sport, be very careful to warm up properly and do not attempt to do anything difficult unless you have had proper training. If it is making something, read the instructions carefully and be patient. If you are handling anything dangerous, either seek assistance from someone else like a parent, colleague or professional or follow the instructions exactly.Regardless of what your hobby is, study safety rules related to it and obey them strictly.When you get good at your hobby, seriously weigh the choice of going professional.Never steal supplies for your hobby for one; it is illegal and you do not want to make a negative image around your hobby.Do not start a hobby that would be expensive to start and maintain if you have to use money budgeted for family expenses or a college fund for you or your children.It may stop being fun or relaxing when you need to meet deadlines and keep consistent professional quality. If you do go professional, look for a new hobby thats unrelated to take its place as something you relieve stress with and have no expectations of anything but enjoyment with.Don't make it so complicated or dull. This will discourage you and decrease the chance of doing it over and over so try to fill it with life. For example, you can dance on music instead of dancing freely without a rhythm.Do it with a group of people. This will make it more fun and you would enjoy it as a group more as you will not feel lonely and depressed.If you would prefer to do it alone you can but do not make it so boring.
Learn a Martial art
. I love this idea from Walt. It is a great form of exercise and anything that can help you stay safe at night is a good thing.
. Not doing anything at all for long periods while deeply contemplating life or nothing at all is probably the ultimate frugal pastime!Over to you
. Whether its so you know more about a religion you do not follow, or to know more about the one you do. And if you are not interested at all the more knowledge you have the better.
. Get rid of your possessions that own you and get happy
. You probably dont need to go to this extreme even if you
Build a bunker to protect you from the apocalypse
. This and other DIY tasks around the home can be really rewarding and add value to your house.
Learn to do magic
. Its good for entertaining children and is quite time consuming to get right. All the tricks can be learned from the web for free.
. Especially if you are got an instrument lying around that never gets used. Put it to work and make some noise.
Complete a list
. Work through a list, for example try to watch all of the top 250 imdb movies or all of the Oscar nominated movies in a particular year.
. Scare birds out of the scrub so hunters can shoot them. You will normally be rewarded with a free feed and some birds to take home.
Give up a vice
. Quit smoking, or try to go without. I gave up alcohol for January. Try giving up a habit that isnot helpful or is expensive.
. The degree of difficulty and risk is fairly high here. Please make sure you are not breaking any laws if you try this. You might find some free food though.
. This is a big one for me. I love to make graphs and charts to track my progress towards a goal. I have one for my running, reading and all of my various financial goals. Its really motivating, and a good, cheap hobby to have.
. There are even organised competitions to see how many species of bird you can find over the course of a day.
. The king of frugal hobbies. Reading can educate you about the world or grip you with an amazing tale. You probably have a library near you that is full of good books available for free. From literature to biographies, poetry to blogs there is something for everyone.A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one. George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
. Humans have occupied themselves by writing since 3200 BC you only need a computer or a pen and paper and you are away. Whether you like writing angry letters to the editor or want to work on writing the next War and Peace, you are not going to spend much money in the process .
. Painting, sketching, doodling or being creative with a pencil. Drawing is one of the cheapest ways to pass the time.
Learn a language
. There are heaps of wonderful free resources available online to help you learn a language. You can listen to podcasts on the way to work or work through a structured course. Soon enough you will be speaking French .
. Learn a language, listen to your favourite comedian, listen to a great documentary or catch up on the latest news. Podcasts are an awesome source of information and are (by and large) free.
. Learn how to do anything. Do an open university course. Read Wikipedia. Learning about the world is fun and will make you a better person.
Start a blog
. If I can do it, you can too. Its a great way to lay down challenges for yourself and provide yourself with accountability. Telling the internet about a goal you have is a great way to stay on track. Wordpress is the most popular option for blogging software if you want to go down the self hosted path, and for good reason.I use bluehost to host this blog. They have plans starting from $6 a month which is a true bargain. I havenot had a single issue with them at all They are rock solid and great value.If you make the decision to register with bluehost, please consider using one of the links on this site if you sign up through me, it will help support my blog and I will love you forever. It will not cost you any more to sign up through this site either.
. If reading is the best cheap intellectual pastime then running is the exercise equivalent. You can do it almost anywhere and you only need decent footware. There is always something to improve on, races to enter and PBs to beat. (Update: Read my blog post about why you should start running here)
. Not necessarily cheap if you can only do it at a swimming centre with expensive membership. However, if you are near the sea or a swimming bath that doesnt cost anything to use then swimming is a great way to get fit.
. If you have a bike then you can use it to get fit as well as to get around. Dont make the mistake of thinking you need a ridiculously expensive bike to exercise on you dont.
. If you are near the ocean try to buy a cheap second hand board. According to those that do it, its hilariously fun. The board willnt cost you much and should last you many years. Like cycling, try not to fall into the upgrading trap you dont need a new wet suit every season or a new board just because you are sick of your old one.
. All the gear you need can be bought for under $100. Its also amazing fun. You can make a spear out of an old broom handle and a bike innertube you might even catch dinner.
. Be careful you are not breaking the law but exploring your city, its tunnels, oddities and bridges can be exhilarating. Take a look at this crazy guy for an example of what Im talking about:Online
Surfing the internet
. You probably dont need any help with this, but in case you do, here are some great ways to find new things to look at online:Reddit,Something Awful Forums,Watch endless free videos on YouTube,Read forums about something you likeand if you are really stuck.
Keep abreast of news and current affairs
. The world is bigger than your city or country. Find out about whats going on in Egypt or Syria, or learn about the political candidates in your election so you can make a better choice. The BBC is a good place to start.
. A great way to make some money on the side if you can make attractive websites or have the patience to learn how this hobby can make you decent pocket money. If you
Play free games online
. Visit Kongregate.com and say goodbye to your free time.
. Like the idea of buying cheap items on eBay and selling them for profit? Learn about how to here.
Play online poker
. You can play for free at most of the big sites. However, be warned, its addictive and you can lose serious amounts of money without realizing it. Poker is a game of skill as well as luck, and money can be made if you are good enough. Still, its a tough way to make a dollar.
Become a Wikipedia editor
. Help one of the most amazing internet resources stay awesome
. Expand your horizons. There are millions of documentaries on YouTube alone. If you like the odd things in life, check out Vices documentary channel.
Sign up to Freecycle
. Another great online community based around swapping things in your local area.
Learn how to program
. Learning how to program efficiently can be fun but also a valuable and marketable skill. If you are already good, check out eLance and freelancer to make some money on the side.
. If you can do it from the shore or on a mates boat, its cheap, fun and a great way to pass the day with your friends.
. I cant speak highly enough of gardening. It gets you outside, gives you practically free vegetables that are ten times anything you will get in a shop and rewards patience. Its great. If you want somewhere to start, learn how to build an enclosed garden, or a simple raised bed using recycled materials. SproutRobot will tell you what and when to plant based on your zipcode, and even send you the seeds.
. Think gardening cant be an extreme sport? It cant get your heart pumping? You are probably right but guerrilla gardening is still pretty cool. The idea is to plant vegetables in public spaces in your community so that people can see how easy and fun it is to become less reliant on the supermarket.
. Hiking, mountaineering or exploring the natural environment near you.
. Get a group of like minded people together and set off to a beautiful beach, an isolated lake or a native forest. Fun will be had, guaranteed.
Urban fruit picking
. The ying to guerrilla gardenings yang. Find fruit in your community that is going to waste but make sure you dont steal anyones produce! The idea is to find fruit trees in public spaces that arent maintained. See here for more. Also here.
Find free food in the country side
. Learn what to look for, how to find mushrooms that are good to eat and source all sorts of berries you can turn into beer. This is a good place to start. The top ten foods to forage are here.
. You need to know what you are doing here to stay safe. Team up with someone whos done it before. Be prepared to find an amazing world you did never know was there. Not for the claustrophobic.
. Find free places to stay overseas.
. Find cheap places to stay overseas and in your area.
Travel the world by house sitting
. There are heaps of good house sitting websites where you can find places to stay in the short to medium term in return for looking after someones house.
. Live in a van Frugal, free and fun. Not for everyone, but if you are young and want to travel on the cheap, this could be for you.
Become a caretaker
. Similar to house sitting although normally in remote areas and involves working for a salary.
. Making investing a hobby will go a long way in setting yourself up financially. It really doesnt have to be a dry subject, and is crucial to gaining financial independence.
. I might be a huge nerd, but I love budgeting. I will quite happily sit at home on a Sunday doing my sums. Its what generates the numbers that lets me have pretty graphs like this one:
. This isnt really a big thing in Australia, but a lot of people in the US seem to be really into it. Worth a look to see if it can save you some money.
Become a landlord
. Extremely time consuming, but the financial rewards are obvious. This should be done as part of a balanced portfolio I dont really like the idea of having all your net worth in real estate, but each to their own. Being a landlord is a time consuming and an active form of investment, but if done properly it should return a tidy profit.
Run a stall at a local market
. Not a bad way to spend a day on the weekend. However, you should treat it like running a business.
Get a part time job
. Getting a second job that is more in line with you interests is a good stepping stone to early retirement or financial independence.
Hosting board game nights
. Rather than go out to watch a movie for $20, invite your friends back to your house, grab some home brew and play Settlers of Catan, Monopoly or Risk.
Charting your family history
. This can take many years to do properly, and even then, it isnt always possible depending on your background. It would make an amazing present to a grandmother or relative when its complete. There really isnt any limit on how far back you can attempt to go.
Get to know someone
. Make a friend who is lonely or isolated. It could be a neighbour, or a relative who is in a home. It will make their day every time you go.
Listen to music
. This could be in the intellectual category too. Music is great and thanks to the internet and services like Spotify, it costs next to nothing.
Play with your children
. This is pretty obvious but children love playing and their needs arent great. Lets play in a box or kick a rock, Its all good fun and should mean not spending a cent.
. There are thousands of games to play with the humble deck of cards. They are cheap and last for a long time.
Host a regular dinner party
. If your friends like cooking try to arrange a regular dinner party once a month where each group shares the cooking. Its fun and cheap compared to a restaurant.
. The ultimate game that will improve your mental dexterity. You could spend your whole life getting better at this game.
Play a low entry cost sport
. Athletics, soccer, swimming, orienteering, touch rugby, disk golf or gymnastics. The list goes on. Its social, good for you and frugal.
Host a quiz night
. This could be combined with another board games night or a way to raise some money for a charity. Everyone likes a quiz.
. On a normal income, you cant retire early without knowing how to cook for yourself. Learn how to cook the basics like bread and pasta and then branch out into simple, frugal meals like curries, soups and chili. If you base your meals around staples such as rice, potato and pasta, you will save a packet.How to cook good food on the cheap
Run a side business
. Turn a hobby into an income stream. Run an online shop, build websites, run a blog, do freelance writing or sell your photographs.
. Play hackey sack, juggle or learn to stand on your hands.
. I have never done it myself, but it sounds like the sort of hobby that can keep you very busy.
. Sewing, knitting, dress making. Then sell it on Etsy.
. Rebuild old cars, old furniture or anything you can find at thrift-shops that needs a bit of TLC. Make it as good as new to use in your house in place of buying more expensive items, or sell them on for a profit.
. You can brew beer, wine or cider very easily at home. The ultimate resource for how to brew beer is How to Brew by John Palmer. Note: this is an affiliate link
. Learn how to live as self-sufficiently as possible. Taking care of animals and a full sized vegetable garden is almost a full time job, but it
Learn to sing
. Voice the cheapest musical instrument available.
Learn to cut your hair
. If you have a short haircut you really should cut your own hair. It will save you thousands of dollars over the years and is really easy.
. If you have a vegetable garden, then you will end up having periods where you have way too much of a particular vegetable. The solution is to make preserves, chutneys and relishes and to can your produce to make it last.
. This is guaranteed to keep you busy. Having chickens probably will not save you any money, but its a fun hobby. They are good companions and give you eggs and meat for your troubles.
. This is an awesome hobby to have. If you dont have any basic carpentry skills you should learn them because they will save you money. Learning how to fix and restore your possessions is a huge bonus. Im going to be building a deck next summer and will be relying heavily on carpentry to get it done.
Volunteer your time
. To a lot of charities, this is more valuable than your money
Follow a sports team
. Getting involved in local sport by watching, helping, coaching, volunteering and playing can be very rewarding.
Mentor an at risk child
. Many children today grow up without good role models. There are a number of charity groups that facilitate mentoring sessions. Its bound to be difficult but would be very rewarding to both parties. Its something Im planning on doing when I retire.
Lobby the government
. Sitting around whinging about the state of politics is great, but doing something about it is even better. Make a difference by getting involved.
Start a community garden
. If you are in the UK you should check out the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. There are local equivalents all over the world.
Found a charity group
. If you are passionate about a local issue or cause, get involved and start a group to raise money.
. If you are not up for starting a charity you can get involved by raising some money a trivia night or an auction are always fun.
Join the board of a community group
. This can have the selfish benefit of being great for your CV. It can also lead to bigger roles on company boards if you
. One of the best ways you can spend your time. Saving lives.
Go to free community events
. Check local government websites and community boards for cheap events in your area.
Improve the environment
. It might not be the most fun in the world, but you did be doing good. Try picking up a piece of rubbish every day.
Evaluate your joy factor
. Could transforming a favorite leisure activity into a business be too much of a good thing? Some people find that when they make something they love a full time endeavor, they lose the joy they had for it. Do some soul-searching to determine how much you truly love your sideline and whether you d continue to take pleasure in it after turning it into a commercial enterprise.
Evaluate the market
. Say you enjoy cake decorating, and your family and friends always praise you for your work. Are there people who would be willing to pay you for your craftsmanship? And has your talent risen to the level of other players in the marketplace? Be honest with yourself. Remember, family and friends tend to always say nice things. If the answer is yes, then ask yourself how you'll stand out from the competition. Perhaps you could fill a special niche or undercut competitors fees.
Create a marketing plan
. If you dont have funds to spend on marketing, there are excellent resources that cost next to nothing, save for your time input. For example, you could create a Facebook fan-page and offer incentives to your followers. You could also stay in communication with repeat and potential customers via an e-newsletter.
Build a Web presence
. Every small business needs a Web presence today. It is the modern day equivalent of being listed in the phone book. However, a credible website doesnt have to be flashy or expensive. There are many low-cost Web design and hosting tools online that are easy to use. Alternatively, you could create a blog or social-media profile to represent your business, or you could list it in an online business directory. Another option is to set up a store within an online marketplace like eBay.com or Etsy.com. Some start ups have also found success selling products on Craigslist. See A Web Presence Without a Website.
Decide on your distribution strategy
. How are you going to sell your product or service? Where are you going to be located? Some hobby type businesses sell only through community fairs, flea markets and on the Internet. Others choose to sell via consignment opportunities. If you plan to work from home, you need to make sure home-based businesses are permitted in your area. Check with your neighborhood association as well as your municipality about what's required, whether thats a license, permit or special approval.
Choose a name
. Your business name is the beginning of your new brand, so choose it wisely. Make sure its easy to remember and spell, and indicates something about the nature of your business. Also, check if the website address for the name you have selected is available. You dont wan to confuse customers by using a name with a different Web address.
Make it real
. Start treating your hobby like a genuine business instead of just a pastime. Set up a bookkeeping system to log your income and company expenses. Open a business checking account and credit card. And consult with a legal or tax professional about whether you should create a separate legal entity for your start-up, such as a corporation or limited liability company.
Do the math
. Estimate your start-up capital, the amount of money you will need to get up and running, and your working capital, the amount you'll need to stay afloat until you become profitable. This way you will know what you can afford to spend your money on at first and what can wait until later, helping you to avoid running out of funds too soon. Meanwhile, try paying off as much personal debt as you can. Its tough to make two car payments, make a mortgage on an over leveraged house, pay off student loans, and chase a dream at the same time, says Rusty Meador, who early in 2009 turned his passion for woodworking into Beach & Barn, a home-restoration company in Wilmington, N.C. Being debt-free makes starting a business more fun and less stressful, he adds.
. Know the true value of your product, and be willing to set aside your own wants. Keep your hobby-self in check, or you will end up with a closet full of unsalable stuff.Sometimes collectors counter offer and want Hembrough to pay more for their toy. He will often pass on the purchase because he knows what toy collectors are willing to pay for that particular item in that condition. He might be dying to own that toy, but he stays focused on the profit and loss realities.
Cultivate supplier relationships
. Opt for building a strong relationship over making the biggest profit. Hembrough isnt out to rip off toy collectors, as hes hoping to come back and visit them again to make more purchases. He approaches each collector with respect, and always asks each time, Are you willing to sell me this? before he names a price.
Stay on top of marketing
. Getting you message out is just as important as having good products. When Hembrough takes a risk and makes a big purchase, like a Star Wars pedal car from the 1980s, he calls his assistant from the road to get her started making marketing calls immediately. With a higher-ticket item, it'll take more marketing to find a willing buyer, so he gets right to it.
Watch the cash flow
. In the collectible business, its important to make sure you dont tie up too much money in inventory, or soon you dont have grocery money. Many of Hembrough's toy purchases are under $20, but the Star Wars speeder was a $750 purchase all the more reason to find a buyer quickly to get that cash liquid again to cover bills.
Stick with what you know
. Toy collecting is a huge arena with many areas of specialty. Hembrough smartly sticks with what he knows best and has cultivated a customer base for classic TV and movie-related toys, primarily from the 1980s.