Guest Post by Gregg Owens
It’s everyone's dream, to turn their passion or side hobby into a revenue stream that replaces their work income. Sometimes the answer is closer than you think.
Have you ever considered using your domestic food dehydrator to produce a side income for you and your family?
On a recent trip to Australia, I met a family who is doing just that. After years of their friends and relatives telling Julie and Rob that they had the “best fruit leather ever” they produced a small batch and went to try it out on the public at a local Farmer's Market.
That first market was so successful for them that they sold out within 2 hours (the market was meant to go for 6 hours). The next weekend they doubled their batch but sold out again in just 2 hours, the word of their delicious treats was spreading.
I met them six months into their ‘side business journey’, and they had since expanded their operation so that they no longer sell out. They are having so much success that their weekend farmers market income is fast matching their employment earnings (Julie works in Administration and Rob is a high school teacher).
It has been an incredible journey for their family, and I was lucky enough to have a chat with them and they gave me their best tips for success for others who would like to also turn their hobby into a paid income.
1) Match Supply with Demand
Before you produce a single treat, ask a few friends and people in the community what they would like to buy. Julie and Rob were lucky; their first run was Banana Chips, Dried Apricots and Dried Mango Strips. The sell out was a fluke.
In the subsequent weeks they ‘experimented’ with Dried Spices that just did not sell. They assumed others would want to buy these, but the demand was not there.
The lesson: Make sure there is a high demand for your product before you choose to produce on scale.
2) Give Out Samples
For Julie and Rob, they credit a big part of their success to giving out free samples so that people can try first. They estimate that about 40% of people buy product straight away, and another 20% in the next weeks after these 'testers'.
This is an incredible return on investment!
The lesson: Not everyone is going to be familiar with food that has been dehydrated so this is an amazing way of turning them into paying customers.
3) Once Established, Diversify
Julie and Rob quickly realized that people liked their treats because it is a healthy alternative for snacks. They reached out to local businesses and offices where people worked and offered their snacks as a subscription service for their workers.
Now, they have a reliable income per month they can use to grow their business.
4) Keep Things Very Simple in the Beginning
Don’t Invest in Things that Don’t Matter. So many people make the mistake of spending money on things that don’t matter at the start. You don’t need business cards, flashy packaging or a big banner with your name on it.
If your product is good it will sell itself - those things can come later.
5) Just Give it a Try!
You won’t know if you don’t try. Rob and Julie told me that since they didn’t have thousands of dollars on the line, they could easily commit to giving it a go. You should too. The worst that could happen is you don’t sell your produce (you can eat it over the coming months), OR the other alternative is you suddenly have an alternate income stream that can put you ahead in life.
If you need some tips or advice on which dehydrator is the best on the market, I have put together a handy resource for The Best Food Dehydrator for 2017.
If you would like to eat a more healthy diet full of Plant-Based alternatives, check out our website called Your Vegan Kitchen here.
Copyright© December, 2016
Thanks, Gregg, for such an informative post!