A little extra cash always comes in handy especially when you’re planning to buy a home, and boosting your income doesn’t have to mean working a second job. Take a look at how one clever Aussie turned her passion into profits.
To say Cheryl is a good cook is an understatement – there’s nothing she loves more than spending time in the kitchen baking for friends and family. But when her husband took a sprouting choko from the fridge and planted it in the garden, she had no idea he was sowing the seeds of a successful side income.
Not only did the plant thrive, it produced masses of chokos – 90 kilograms annually! Rather than waste her fresh produce, Cheryl starting using the vegetable to make pickles. She soon realised she was onto a winner when friends and work colleagues raved about the flavour.
However, even the most dedicated friends can only consume so many jars of pickles, and faced with her burgeoning crop, Cheryl decided to turn pickles into pennies by taking her product to a wider market.
A business opportunity to relish
Cheryl started out by researching the requirements to sell food products commercially. “First, I needed to find a jar supplier – if you’re selling to the public, you can’t use secondhand jars,” she explains. “Next, I had to design and print labels featuring my ‘Princess Cherly’s Choko Pickles’ logo as well as listing nutritional information – a legal requirement in Australia.”
The final stage of turning her hobby into hard cash was to market the pickles.
“I visited a variety of food outlets across the district, leaving a free sample jar at each store,” explains Cheryl. It was a simple but successful marketing strategy, and it wasn’t long before Cheryl had several distributors each demanding a steady stream of pickles.
Good time management is a key ingredient
Fast forward four years, and the challenge for Cheryl is dividing her time between her regular day job, part-time study and hours in the kitchen spent poring over a hot pot of pickles.
“It’s really important to be organised,” notes Cheryl. “For anyone thinking of turning a hobby into income, you need to decide early on how much time you can devote to it while still being able to meet demand for your product or service. I allocate one evening a week to preparing the chokos, and then cook and pack the pickles the following morning.”
Having nailed the time management challenge, the success of Cheryl’s hobby has been personally and financially rewarding. “It’s allowed us to enjoy some special luxuries,” she says. “The pickles have paid for everything from a gown for my daughter’s school formal to a family holiday.” All that from a humble choko vine and a dash of entrepreneurial flair.
A world of opportunities
Okay, you may not be a champion of chokos but chances are you have a hobby that could offer a side income to help your finances. A report by the NBN found 1 in 4 Australians are already earning a side income doing something they enjoy.
If you’re a keen photographer, think about selling your works on sites like Flickr. If you’re into arts and crafts consider selling your wares on Etsy or Pinterest. Fitness buffs could look into becoming a personal trainer – it’s an industry that’s enjoying strong growth. Even the simplest of pleasures like putting pen to paper could see you earn a bit on the side through blogging.
There’s a wealth of opportunities to make money from a personal interest, it’s all about finding what works for you.
Speak to your Aussie Broker to find out how a second income could help you secure a home loan.