How To Supplement Your Income In A Challenging Economy?
this article first appeared in MiBrand Magazine issue 2 vol 1
I am in an average job earning RM 3,000 a month. How can I survive in this economy with all prices so high? As I cannot afford to see you how can you advice a person like me to get more income for my family?
Appreciate your question as I would be more than happy to share our views and opinions with almost anyone willing to listen. But seriously if there are questions that you feel that I would be able to help with, I am more than willing to help.
Now coming back to your question, the first step is to understand your state of mind. I totally understand your current predicament and your worry over your current income woes against the ridiculous rise of goods and services.
However, the one thing that we all have to do is actually get our mindset in place. There are two kinds of people in the world 1) THE COMPLAINERS and 2) THE DOERS.
Now if complaining actually served a purpose these people would be multimillionaires by now. However, they are getting worse and still in the same rut as nothing good can ever come out of this. The faster we learn this the better for all of us!
Then there are the Doers. They look at the situation at hand and may hate it. However, they look into ways to work around it as in life that’s the only way to survive. Economic and Financial conditions will always change and most of the time for the worse.
If you let it bog you down you will fall into FEAR and that will ruin you and your income in the long run. But you are the accountant of your life!!! You need to anticipate what is the ideal income you require to make ends meet?
And proceed to generate that said income to fulfill what your financial needs are!!! Then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT and you will become a doer.
When I was 8 years old, I loved comics and started collecting them. Unfortunately, even then the economy was going through a bad spell then and pocket money could not finance my passions anymore.
By the time I was 12 or 13 years old, comics were becoming a trend in Malaysia and the selling price had risen to RM2.40 –RM 2.60. At that time, a lot of my friends were willing to buy them, but the availability was limited. So I went to see the distributor and negotiated a deal where I buy in bulk and they give me a “special” price.
The Boss laughed at me at first, but seeing how serious I was, he said okay. We struck a deal where my price per comic was only RM1.60, provided I placed a minimum order of 30 pieces and more only. I realized now that he was actually guiding me in establishing my entrepreneurial skills.
I took up the offer, went to school and offered everyone at my school RM 2.60 (Market price) a comic book and delivered to school at no extra charge. I had orders of over 100 pieces a week. This is what in entrepreneurial terms is called finding a need and filling it up.
This not only helped me expand my entire collection but I had upped my pocket money to couple a hundred a month. Which was a lot in the mid 1980’s for a 13 year old. This was how I started my business and have been using the same theory ever since.
The point of the story is, if I had gone on complaining about how my pocket money could not buy my comic books I would have been mad at my parents, my friends, the economy etc. As a kid as we all have been there. I had to do something about it and now so do you my friend!!!
WHAT CAN WE DO? Many people always have the mentality that if I need to supplement my income I need to do tedious work like sell burgers or nasi lemak or take on part time jobs as cashiers, sales people or look to multilevel marketing concepts. Now I am not saying these are bad in anyway.
But it comes back to you and your personality trait that makes the difference. You cannot sell if you are an introvert, exactly as you cannot wait around at any job if you are an extrovert.
Therefore let’s look at some possibilities that you can work out on your own accord without spending too much money! Let’s assume you are an extrovert, you could venture into the following businesses. Let’s begin with the basis of where you live first of all.
Here I am just going to give you two options landed or apartment:
(LANDED) GARDEN MAINTENANCE
Take it from me I hate doing this and have problems with finding good Gardner’s. In every neighbourhood there are Contract Grass Cutters who moonlight on the weekends. Subcontract them on a daily basis of say RM100 a day from 8am to 6pm.
Now send out flyers to all your neighbors that you will handle Garden Cleaning and Maintenance for RM 60.00 per visit (1 Hour) or RM 200.00 per month where you cut grass and trip their plants to look neat. Now, you have 10 hours per grass cutter.
Assume you only utilize 50% of the said hours RM 60 x 5 hours you have made RM 300.00 with a costs of RM 100.00. Now your job is to increase the hours of business and with expanding hours sub contract more grass cutters. CONGRATULATIONS now you are a Business Person!
(APARTMENT) CLEANING SERVICES
Every household needs this service, but not everybody can afford the rate of a minimum 4 hour at a RM 60.00 – 80.00 price. Talk to some of these agencies and hire their maid(s) depending on how many you need for 8-12 hours.
Now send out flyers to all your neighbors that you will handle Cleaning services for RM 30.00 per visit (1 Hour). Now you have 8 hours per maid. By charging RM 30 x 8 hours you have made RM 240.00 with a costs of RM 120.00.
Now your job is to increase the hours of business and with expanding hours sub contract more maids. CONGRATULATIONS now you too are a Business Person!
Therefore let’s look at some possibilities that you can work out on your own accord without spending too much money!! Let’s assume now you are an introvert, you could venture into the following business. Let’s begin with the basis of where you live first of all.
Here I am just going to give you 1 option for either landed or apartment:
From what I see, the demand for tuitions are growing tremendously. I know of some of my friends who are Senior Bankers who have taken VSS schemes and have set up their own Tuition centers and are doing extremely well. Let’s start with you!!! Invest in a subject or two that you know well. Go buy the
Let’s start with you!!! Invest in a subject or two that you know well. Go buy the workbooks and go on the internet and understand the subject matter well in hand. Start giving preview classes to your kids, relatives, friends and their friends.
Create easier study systems for that particular subject(s) then your name will spread in the market. Now start up with how big is your dining table. If it can accommodate 6 then your hour begins with 6 students.
Now set aside how many hours a week you can spare …assume its 2 hours a day then you have 14 hours per week. At a rate of RM 30.00 a student per week gives you an income of RM 420.00 per week that is RM 1,680 extra per month. Not bad for a supplementary income wouldn’t you say!!!
I could give you other ideas but then I would need to charge for them!!! What you have raised here in your question is a very valid point not only for you, but for a lot of people out there.
In fact even we at SKB have several affiliate positions where we help those who want to a supplementary income in terms of Analysis, Marketing, Advertising, Management, etc as we too understand it’s difficult to make ends meet in this challenging economy.
I sincerely hope that I have been helpful in answering your question. I further hope that I have been able to help you look into some business ideas to supplement your income. I wish you all the best and hope you do supplement your income for the betterment of you and your family
Writer: S. Khugan is the Group Managing Director, the SKB Group of Companies that focuses in ccorporate, financial consultancy and operates 4 subsidiaries, namely mergers & acquisitions, corporate financing, project facilitation and due diligence.