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HomeBusinessBusiness OpportunitiesWays To Make Money From: Your Kitchen Table

Ways To Make Money From: Your Kitchen Table

Your Kitchen Table

DO YOU HAVE a kitchen table? Then you’ve already got space to start a profitable and enjoyable home business!

Whether you are stuck at home and want to make some extra money, whether you want to develop a home-based business that makes use of your skills and interests, or whether you just want to try something that is new and different, then these projects could be worth a try:

  1. Leatherworking

An enjoyable and potentially profitable activity, by taking some leather cut-offs and simple tools such as a craft knife and a punch you can design and make all sorts of useful and interesting leather items like belts, watch straps, purses, wallets and dog leads.

Specialist suppliers can provide everything you need, and even provide you with professional patterns to work to. Car boot sales, market stalls and craft fairs are ideal places to sell your leather products.

  1. Book-keeping service

If you are organized and have a head of figures then why not give freelance book-keeping a try? Ideally you will have previous experience and / or qualifications, although if you need to learn more than evening classes are available in most areas.

Your potential market is most likely to be small companies who haven’t yet invested in computerized systems. The service you offer should include things like preparing yearly accounts for businesses, preparing VAT, SC60 and 714 returns, and organizing PAYE payments.

Advertise your service in local newspaper business publications and leave business cards with the proprietors and managing directors of business you visit.

  1. Candle making

Making candles is an ideal business for kitchen since you will have the necessary heat and water on hand. It is also suitable because your work area will need to be kept clean.

All you need, including wax, wicks, moulds, professional colorings and perfumes, is available from specialist suppliers. You can make simple plan or twisted candles, or go in for more intricate special designs.

When working with hot wax remember the fire risk, and keep children away.

  1. Sandwich Service

IN your kitchen you’ll probably already have most of what you need to make sandwiches and maybe lots of other tasty lunchtime snacks too.

The easiest way to run this business is to concentrate on sandwich making and get other outlets (such as shops, petrol filling stations, pubs and cafes) to do the selling for you.

Visit any suitable establishments with a view to supplying them with your sandwiches, ideally getting them to place a regular order. The most likely scenario is that the establishment would earn a commission on every sandwich sold, with the rest you going to you.

Alternatively, or in addition, if you have transport and a phone you could offer a delivery service. Have some menus and prices printed up with your telephone number on, and deliver them to businesses in your area, that way people at work can place orders by phone, with you making the delivery at the required time. An answerphone is useful for taking orders when you are out on delivery.

  1. Picture framing service

An easy and popular business to operate, picture framing needs a large, flat surface so the kitchen table is ideal. You can get all supplies you need – tools frame, glass, backboards, and so on – at craft shops.

Advertise your service in the local papers or window cards.

Another good idea is to approach local framing shops and ask them if you can take on any of their framing work, particularly in busy periods such as at Christmas.

  1. Making and selling handmade greetings cards

Handmade greetings cards are an exclusive new idea, providing people with a sophisticated alternative to standard factory-made cards. You can design and create your own special cards using a variety of items such as dried flowers, scraps of fabric and so on.

Craft and gift shops and the better quality card shops are very likely to stock your goods, particularly if you have a whole range of attractive cards for sale (lots of these shops already sell handmade cards – take a look and see).

A good handmade card can sell for $3 or more, making this business more profitable than you might think.

  1. Home printing business

A small home printing business can be established for a very small cost using a letterpress printing machine.

These machine work the old-fashioned way, using lead type, unlike more modern offset machines. They may be slower, but the quality of the print is better and ideal for prestige items such as business cards, dance tickets and wedding and party invitations.

Used letterpress printing machines can be bought quite cheaply from the small ads in ‘Exchange & Mart Magazine. Alternatively, if you have a computer with word processing / desktop publishing software, plus a printer, then all kinds of print items can be produced quickly and cheaply. Examples of things that clients may require are leaflets, reports, dissertations and logues, manuals, articles, reports, dissertations and letters. Produce good quality ads, leaflets and / or posters to advertise your service that will give potential customers some idea of what you can produce.

  1. Making promotional items

Things like pens, key fobs and diaries are often sold or given away by companies as promotional items, and they can easily be produced at home.

These products are produced using a method called hot foil printing, which is a simple and clean process. The machines aren’t cheap to buy, but once you have one order under your belt you should discover a regular demand from companies in your area. For more details of hot foil printing machinery and supplies contact: Blockmaster, 56 Benwell Road, London N7 7BA; Tel: 0171 607 6661.

  1. Photo glazing

Using special photo glazing machine it is actually quite easy to glaze any photograph you like onto a plate. These make ideal special gifts for a birthday or anniversary and also make excellent souvenirs to sell in the gift shops homes castles and museums.

You’ll need to invest in a machine but if you can obtain regular orders from a gift shop it could turn into a very profitable little cottage industry. For details of machines contact: Lalco Ltd., 4 Elsing Street, Stoke on Trent; Tel: 01782 844858.

  1. Jewellery making

All you’ll need is a clear flat, well it area and you can very soon be designing and making your own jewellery. Specialist suppliers sell all the mounts, semiprecious gems and other accessories you’ll need to make earnings, brooches, necklaces and rings.

Once you have created a selection of design then you can turn to selling. Market stalls, boot sales and craft fairs are very good places to sell jewellery. Also, ask clothes shops, hairdressers and gift shops to sell them for you on a sale or return basis.

Supplies are available from: Manchester Minerals, Freepost, Stockport, and Cheshire SK4 4YA.

  1. Engraving service

The engraving of trophies, cups, tankards, medals and watches looks difficult but it quite easy to learn. You can also engrave on glass and produce beautiful decorative items such as plates, goblets and so on.

To get started you’ll need an engraving kit, sold in most craft shops. Be sure to practice your skills on cheap items before getting down to work on treasured items such as trophies.

Offering you service to all your local football, rugby, golf and tennis clubs should bring in a steady stream of work, and you can also advertise your service more widely, in local newspapers for example, to get work from people wanting things engraved for weddings, birthdays and so on.

  1. Making chess sets

This is an ideal business if you’re interested in chess, although you don’t need to know a thing about it to make the sets.

Chess pieces can be made in various ways. Most commonly they are carved from wood or plastic or moulded using clay, plastic or plaster, but you can choose the materials and methods that best fit your skills, supplies, your market, and your pocket.

All the instructions and equipment you’ll need are available from specialist suppliers including: Cottage Industries, PO Box 204, Northampton. NN3 9QZ.

  1. Jewellery cleaning service

If you like working with your hands then this service might suit you. Simply offer a service cleaning watches, rings, brooches and necklaces of all that day-to-day grime that they inevitably collect. Only simple tools and equipment are needed and you can obtain all you need from a jewellery / lapidary supplier.

Ask your local jewelers if they have any work you could take on. One tip – make sure you are insured before taking home other people’s jewellery in case you damage or lose it, or it is stolen.

  1. Making number plates

Replacement and customized number plates are fairly easy to make up from these standard components – Perspex plates, reflective backings and adhesive letters. All it calls for it careful assembly work and flat surface, for which your kitchen tables is ideal. Most motor trade wholesalers can supply the equipment and parts.

One option is to offer a service supplying ‘customised’ versions of people’s current number plates (using a different style of lettering for example), although perhaps the best idea is to fix up a regular contract with your local garages.

Considering the amount of new cars that need number plates, plus the broken plates that have to be replaced on used cars, you should kept very busy indeed.

  1. Dried flower arrangements

Flowers are still ultimate gift for a partner, friend or family member and an attractive flower arrangement can brighten up the dullest of rooms. These are the reasons why selling and arranging dried flowers can make a profitable business.

Of course, dried flowers have a big advantage over freshly picked flowers in that they last for years and can also be mounted to make a stunning decoration. For a cheap source of supply pick your own flowers and ask your local florist if you can have their wilting blooms for free. To dry them out, place them in a warm cupboard (an airing cupboard is ideal) or you could press them and sell them that way, or use the pressings to make pot pourri. When dry, arrange the flowers in small baskets and sell them at boot sales, markets, and craft fairs and to local craft and gift shops.

If you have the skill then have a go at constructing your own arrangements, selling them as a whole arrangement. Or, offer a flower arranging service whereby you construct special flower arrangements for each customer, perhaps even creating them to fit in with their own home’s décor. You should be able to charge very highly for this.

  1. Repairing small appliances

If you’ve ever tried to find someone to fix small appliances such as vacuum cleaners, toasters, kettles and so on, you’ll know that there’s a definite shortage of these services. If you’re handy this could be the ideal small business for you.

This is a business where safety is all important so, unless you are already skilled in this area, it is a good idea to take a course in appliance repair. Many local collages offer part time or evening classes. A course which covers the repair and servicing of vacuum cleaners is offered by Abbey Electrical Services, 7 Edwinstowe Road, Lytham FY8 4BQ.

  1. Making miniature cottages

If you like model making then this could be a great way of actually making money from your interest.

Miniature cottages made from clay or wood make much-loved gifts. You could create a range of similar gifts, either getting gift and craft fairs, or (if you can find a suitable way of packaging them) selling them by mail order. Packages are on offer from Cottage Industries, PO Box 204, Northampton NN3 9QZ.

  1. Making and repairing clocks

With standard parts or kits you can make a wide range of clocks to your own designs, from modest time pieces up to grandfather-type clocks. These make beautiful, original products to sell on stalls, at craft fairs, or through shops.

Once you’re started in this business you could also offer a clock repair service. One supplier you might find handy is C&L Clocks, Kingshill Industrial Estate, Bude, Cornwall EX23 8QN; Tel: 01288 353351.

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