Okay, my first thread...
I need some money, not much. I know I cannot work or rather regular work doesn't suit me. I'm not particularly skilled in anything and that makes things even more difficult.
I have no social connections and so asking for cash-in-hand work is likely out of the question. I'm only receiving JSA and would have to starve without it. A few months ago my rent had increased and my computer broke down and so took measures to account for these, and the result is not much money left. I'm in a better position than most since I only eat one male a day on most days, and do intermitten fasting, and that saves some money.
So I was thinking about dog walking because I like dogs and I could charge £3 per hour and make a few quid. A lot of people have dogs in Wigan, but I see a lot of dogs getting walked too.
My first hurdle is getting the word out. I need a business card but I am told that they can get expensive.
Nothing is certain in life so I've given up seeking certainty. Everything is a wild stab in the dark, like throwing a dice and seeing if you'll get a six.
But why am I asking you this? Why do I need external validation? I am not sure. Perhaps there is a part of me that still clings to the illusion that people can help?
No I don't do mobile phones. Everything has to be email.
I only eat one male a day on most days...that is a typo btw.
As people have said, Vistaprint do cheap business cards - they do offers every now & then.
Dog walking - this is almost entirely done via facebook these days - find your local area facebook pages and see what people are offering. You will need insurance. Are you any good with dogs?
There are other local, low start-up cost businesses like washing cars down your road - not much fun in this weather but it's easy to do, only requires buckets etc.
Window cleaning is much harder - balancing on ladders while working is hard on the legs.
Casual gardening is easy too - but disposing of the debris is hassle these days.
Offering something simple like weeding or painting sheds & fences is easy too.
Putting new felt on a shed roof is straight forward too.
There's lots of small jobs that people will pay cash for - you might want to make your business cards a bit more versatile listing lots of services that you can offer. Most are outside, heavy or dirty so nicer to do when the weather warms up a bit.
Will putting yourself 'out there' risk your benefits?
I forgot about insurance. I'm okay with dogs. I owned a dog once. I don't have DIY skills or anything like that. I like the idea of expanding my services though. Will it risk my benefits? Yes most likely, but what other option is there?
If you're fit, what about asking a local small builder if he needs any labour? They normally pay cash with no questions but will work you hard for your money.
Is it worth doing some quick practical college courses to gain some skills?
There's also Men's Shed https://menssheds.org.uk/ These are retired old boys who repair and make things for charity - I'm sure they would be pleased to teach you to do practical things like making planters out of recycled pallets or fixing electricals etc. - they get your labour while you get some skills which you can use to make money.
Labouring is great for fast cash! I wouldn’t do it for less than £150 per day. That’s about going rate in the south
If you want cash, you'll probably be looking at £75-100. A tradesman will work for £200 (I had 2 guys dig some foundations for me & fill them with concrete for £250 last year)
You're also in competition with foreign workers who may undercut you.
If you get known for your graft & reliability, you may get £100-120.
This is a fabulous idea Contramanchild, I considered it for myself once. I have done dog sitting, which was great, and dog walking can certainly lead to that, if you wanted it to.
Oh, and just before I go any further, dog walking is rarely less than £10 per hour.
There are many steps you can take to achieve this outcome. I would suggest that before you go any further, you write down, in as much detail as possible, what it would be like if you were dog walking now. What would your life look like? What would you be doing? Do you form a bond with the dogs? In what ways do you enjoy it?
Write down how often you do it, how many days a week etc. How you feel when you’re doing it. What the owners say to you when you take their dog home, all happy and exercised. Really go to town on this. Have fun with it. Take your time.
If you want it as simply a means to giving you some extra money so you can explore your skills and talents ~ because you have them, we all do ~ then be careful to leave plenty of space in your week for that.
If, however, you fancy you might like this as a more stable and long term form of income etc, go into detail about this. What would be your ideal situation? Be sure to write everything in the present tense. This is important for so many reasons that I won’t go into here.
When you are thoroughly clear on what you want, you can begin to write out the steps you could take to get you there. You might never take any of these steps. The main purpose of this part of the journey, is to communicate to your subconscious mind that it’s possible.
When you are ready to take your first action step, which could be sourcing business cards, take your time. Take each step at a time and take your time.
I recently got, free of charge, a logo designed for me and loads of high quality really professional business cards. I attended a really great one day event in the community for people starting or thinking of starting a business and each of us was given this free gift if we wanted it. If you lived in the area where the event took place (I didn’t) you were also given a £500 grant to use in whatever way you saw fit, to get your business up and running. So take your time, scout around.
Start writing something about yourself. For example, your qualities of honesty, conscientiousness etc and why you enjoy being outside on long walks with dogs.
Most things grow by word of mouth so you’re just looking for a foot in the door to start with. You could go to all the local vets and introduce yourself, have a chat and ask them if they would display your business cards or a poster. Also, if there’s a pet rescue place you could volunteer there for a couple of hours a week as a dog walker and they may also recommend you to customers when they come for a dog.
If you would like some face to face support with this, there are people out there who can help, it’s just a matter of finding them and a good place to start could be a citizens advice centre, who can also give you advice on what you are legally allowed to earn etc - you don’t have to follow their advice. You don’t have to do it alone if you don’t want to.
First of all get excited about it. Get the end goal firmly fixed in your mind and decide you will achieve this goal, despite any set backs or hurdles you may come across. Decide to keep going ‘until’ you have reached your aim, and you will get there, you can’t not.
Be careful of charging too low a fee. Most people are suspicious of this and think your service is only worth the low price, and it isn’t, but people don’t know that. You won’t keep customers by charging a low fee. You keep them through doing a good job and it’s keeping customers you’re after. Give them options. A special price if they book 10 sessions, for example. And is there anything you can do differently to others? For example, maybe get in touch with a local dog obedience school and offer that as a service as well, that you can take them to dog obedience classes.
But whatever you do, take your time and have fun, enjoy each step of the way and remember we can only take one step at a time and one step leads to the next and the next and so on and so forth until one day you surprise yourself by getting there ️
If we set out on a journey, we can only get there by knowing where we’re going, so the first and most important step is knowing where you’re going. If your current goal doesn’t excite you, you can even go deeper, for example, why do I want some extra money? What benefits will it bring to my life? What would I be doing now if I had some extra money? Etc etc
I do one meal a day and intermittent fasting as well. It’s not an established routine yet but to say I only switched my diet in March last year and I’ve had issues with food and eating all my life, I’m super pleased with my progress and one of my goals for this year is to be high, if not fully raw, by the end of this year. It’s still in the experimental phase but I’m loving it and I’m learning so much more than just how to eat in the optimum way for me. It’s teaching me self discipline and the art of making choices and so much more and I do believe that intermittent fasting is necessary, at least from time to time, for everybody. I love it.
I haven’t read the other posts yet so sorry if I’m repeating what’s already been said.
Excellent advice. Thanks. I will take it on-board.
In my area tradesmen work for £250 per day upwards. Some are way more.
I live in Oxfordshire though - average house price around here is astronomical. So £250 per day is actually just average.
I guess what I’m try to say is - don’t undersell yourself ContraManchild