Monday, January 11, 2010

Enterprise Nation - Make a profit in a week

The weekly column from Enterprise Nation is back. This week, Emma Jones looks at how to make a profit in the first week of setting up your business.
This feature will not apply to all businesses but let’s take the example of someone providing goods and services to consumers (a craft business) and someone offering professional services (a book-keeper.) This is how they each become profitable by week end.

Example 1: The craft business

Make item with cost of raw materials being £5.50
Photograph item with family camera, ensuring professional/high quality presentation


Upload profile and photo to 3 craft sites which levy a small charge (or free) for listing and exercise a sales commission. Sites such as: – listing fee of 20 cents per item and 3.5% sales commission – listing fee of 20p per item and 3% sales commission - listing fee of 20p per item and 2.5% sales commission


Promote product via Twitter and Facebook. Include a link to the shop so people can click and buy.
Send an email to friends and family (personal, as opposed to group email) to announce the product and, again, with a link

Upload pictures of your product to Flickr so the large audience there can see it too.
If you have a webcam, make a short recording of you making products and upload to YouTube
Call local stores and boutiques to ask if they would consider selling your stock

You’ve attracted interest and made a sale! Sales price is £25.99

Cost of making sale:
Raw materials: £5.50
Listing fee: 20p
Sales commission: 78p
Marketing & promotion: zero cost but your time
Profit for the week: £19.51

Example 2: The book keeper


Start a blog using free blogging platforms such as or – with helpful posts on book-keeping technique, this will help you be seen as an expert in your field
Promote blog via Twitter
Produce business cards. A pack of 50 cards can be bought for £12.99 from

Attend local networking event
Post in online business forums with helpful book-keeping advice

Approach small business sites with an article for them to upload that will interest & assist readers (include a link back to your blog so people can make contact)

Call local accountancy practice to ask if they require outsourced book-keeping

Secure first client! Contract to carry out book-keeping for local home business at rate of £50 per month.

Cost of making sale:
Business cards: £12.99
Promotion and networking: zero cost but your time
Profit in first month: £37.01

Doing the sums
The beauty of both these examples is that all this promotion and sales generating activity can be done by ‘Working 5 to 9’ ie it’s possible to keep hold of the day job and build your business (and profit) by working nights and weekends. The secret is in keeping costs low (by being home based and making the most of free social media tools) and focusing on making that first sale. In which case, it’s perfectly possible to realise profit in just five days. What’s stopping you? Get that business started!

Emma Jones is Founder of Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’ Her next book ‘Working 5 to 9 – how to start a business in your spare time’ will be published in May 2010


Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists.Click here for more details.

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