Small Business Start Up Tips: Teach What You Know to Bring In Cash

by Dawn Fotopulos on April 9, 2012

Two weeks ago, my computer crashed while I was in the hinterlands. I needed a really great tech person on the hop. Mike McNemar was just what the doctor ordered. He calls himself the “SI Computer Guy”.

He’s Microsoft Certified, has worked for some big names in technology and decided he and his wife wanted a great quality of life for their children and moved to Long Island to provide it.

Here’s Mike’s challenge:

Most people only call him when there’s an emergency. His revenue streams are unpredictable. He might have very busy months (April-August) or some dead months (December- February).

In the summer months, he works twelve hour days. In the winter months, he’s twiddling his thumbs. When he’s busy, he can bill a lot of hours so his monthly cash flow is great. In the slow months, cash flow is on life-support. What can he do?

Here’s the advice we gave him that might help you too.

  • First, you need predictable revenue streams. Everyone does. If there is a segment of the market that can afford to pay on a retainer basis, find them and get to know them.
  • Mike admitted there are plenty of professionals who have offices in their summer homes or children who need tech support. It would be worth it to them to have Mike’s support on a monthly, predictable basis.
  • These people also have places in New York City that need tech support. Mike can offer those services through a remote help desk.
  • Next, Mike can do diagnostics from his home and save time commuting to the client. It also gives him access to bigger geographic areas. He’s not limited to customers on the little island where he lives.  He can become the remote help desk for small businesses and busy professionals, and charge on a monthly basis for that.
  • Last,  Mike can do is offer classes for people just learning the computer. Is it big money? Not on a per person basis, but if you get ten people in a room each paying $30-$50 for a two hour session, that’s $150-$250 per hour for Mike.

No bad in the slow season, right?If Mike holds one class a week for four weeks, that could generate $1,000-$2000 per month in the very slow season. It’s also very efficient.

The winter months are the PERFECT time to teach what you know. Everyone is indoors looking for ways to engage and learn new things.

Mike also has a great personality (he’s the youth pastor at his church). He’d be a perfect teacher for techno-phobes like me! By the way, my four-year-old computer is now running like a top.

For $150, Mike saved me thousands. That’s what I call a great return on investment!

What do you know that others would love to learn?

Do you know how to sew?

Can you explain the tangled mess called “social media”?

Do you know carpentry?

Do you know how to fix a leaky faucet?

Do you know photography?

Don’t be surprised if others want to learn your skill and are willing to pay you for it!

We’ll show you the steps to do this. Stay tuned….

 

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