Thursday, December 4, 2008

Need A Gig? Wrap My Gifts!

It's that time of the year when panic sets in -- gifts have to be purchased, wrapped and distributed. Most of us wait until a few days before Christmas or Hanukkah before we start wrapping presents. Where's the tape? Do we have enough paper? Where's the flipping gift tags?!

Each year, I watch my friends wrap their gifts at the last minute. And it looks like it. I've received gifts wrapped in newspaper, brown paper bags, and even no wrapping at all. Great wrapping is half of the fun -- it should delight the eye and inspire curiosity in the receiver. (And maybe invoke jealousy from everyone else.)

If you have an eye for wrapping, put those skills to work NOW. Get the flyers up in the local Panera, post your ad on Craigslist and email everyone you know - YOU are now a Wrap Artist!

Here's a few links that will give you inspiration for beautiful wrapping: Here, here, and here. There are plenty more resources on the internet.

How would I do it? Here's some ideas:

  • Supply everything that your customer needs; your wrapping paper services should include good quality paper, lovely ribbons, bows and a gift tag.
  • Wrap up several dummy boxes to let your customers see the quality of your work. Snap pics and put on your iPhone so that you can show clients. Name each wrapping style so that customers can tell you which gifts are to be wrapped in which papers.
  • Create a simple spreadsheet with your customer's name and contact info. Columns should include the gift, who it's going to, the type of paper selected and any notes. This should be signed off by you and the client so that when your client receives the gifts back he/she knows which goes to whom. It's also a way to keep inventory so that nothing gets lost.
  • For a small additional fee, offer pick up and delivery of the gifts.
  • Charge another fee if gifts are to be mailed and mail for the client.
  • Keep your spreadsheet with the contact info so that you can send out "Thank You" cards and solicit them for work next season.

Your ideas?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Importance of Persistance & Consistancy

If there's one thing I've learned about success, it's that talent only counts for a small percentage of success. There are a handful of truly gifted and talented artists, business people and humanitarians whom most of us can name. It's wonderful to aspire to that level and hone your skills to be the best in your field.

However, there are a LOT more mediocre celebrities, artists, advice columnists and philanthropers who get a lot more attention that the aforementioned group. Why? Because this group has a non-stop drive. These are people who, no matter what the circumstances are, continue to sally forth through the sludge and difficult times. I'm not just talking about people who seek the limelight; I'm describing the unfettered spirit who, no matter how many rejection letters they receive, no matter how many times they're told "no", continue to reassess and move forward.

I personally know dozens of performers. The ones who are the most successful are not the most talented. They are the ones who have doggedly persued their dreams.

When making your resolutions for 2009, put "Accept No Failure" as one of your mantras. It might make the difference.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Need A Gig? Try A Closet At A Time - Personal Organizer

My friend, Donna, and I were kicking around some ideas a few months ago. Somehow the topic turned to our homes and how neat we keep our houses. But the longer we talked, we both had the same confession -- we each have at least one closet in the house that is a disaster area.

Donna said she would have no problem coming to my house and cleaning that closet if I would do the same for her. I thought, why not pay Donna to just clean that closet? Give her an hourly rate, have her drag everything out of the closet, clean it out, and put all of the coats back in an orderly fashion? Then she could go through all of the junk that's on the floor (boxes of extra glasses for when I entertain, wrapping paper, poker supplies, etc) and find new places for them. Or, at least get some nice organizational boxes to put them in?

If you wanted to expand the business, offer to clean and organize that junk drawer that every home has. It would probably only take me an hour to do it, but if someone else came in, cleaned it out and had a bunch of drawer organizers to offer to sell me, I'd probably be happy to purchase them just to get that drawer done. (OK, I have 2 junk drawers in my kitchen. Shoot me.)

Need a name for your business? How about "A Closet At a Time"? Offer to clean for $20-$35/hour, bring supplies to clean/wash/dust the walls. Offer to upsell nice hangers for coats (I bought several from IKEA at a great price). Include a small complimentary satchel hanging on a hook or hanger with your company's name and contact info.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome to Gig Advice

I’ve been an entrepreneur ever since 10th grade when I was renting out “Snoopy Viewers” to classmates during study hall. Since then, I’ve created dozens of side businesses to feed my creative and financial needs. I get excited about new ideas and the start-up business practice. However, being a typical Aries, after I get something off the ground and have taken it as far as I want it to go, I walk away.

Recently, I started a couple of cool projects in town (more to be revealed in upcoming posts). Once my interest in those projects had run their course, instead of just letting them die on the vine, I was able to hand them off to a couple of guys who were able to develop them further. Today, both side hustles have turned into fulfilling money-making adventures for these guys - and in one case, because of the marketing this guy does, it’s been a cash-cow and has built up his reputation in his industry.

That’s what this blog is about: me sharing ideas for businesses that I would love to start. I just don’t have the time to do them all. Each week I will try to present a new business idea along with thoughts about what I would do if I ran it. If I inspire you to try a new business venture - terrific. (If you become profitable, remember where inspiration struck!) I’ll also post articles about finding business assistance, what mistakes not to make, how to find inspiration to keep going and much more.

So, whether you’re here to find your own side hustle to make a few bucks, or just looking for something to do. Welcome to Gig Advice.