Hi everyone! The following post was provided to us today courtesy of Cassandre over at Eat Pray Love & Hustle blog. Please join me in welcoming Cassandre to Color Me Frugal today!
Before I started a cleaning business on Craigslist, I thought the site was mainly used for people looking for booty calls. One month after getting started on my Craigslist business, what I learned was that yes, the site is used a lot for booty calls, but it’s also the best way I’ve found to make extra money each month. In my opinion, selling a service through Craigslist is one of the best ways to boost your income and help pay down debt.
5 Reasons to Start a Craigslist Business
1. It’s simple to start
In May 2015 I decided to start a side hustle that I could launch in a day. That was my time limit. I had tried launching businesses in the past. I would take months preparing the perfect plan, building and testing prototypes, doing surveys, doing market research, only to get discouraged and quit after investing so much time into projects. I was sick of failing to launch and I made the decision on May 18th to change all that. My sister and I talked about my idea for 1 hour. We wrote an ad for our cleaning business in 15 minutes and that very night I got two inquiries. The very next day, I had secured two clients. With zero investment and no experience at all, I did what I hadn’t been able to do with all my other “businesses” -make a sale.
There are only three steps to getting started with a Craigslist business:
- Think of a service you’d like to offer. You don’t even need to be great at it. People are expecting a deal, not necessarily perfection (they don’t want to pay the price for perfection).
- Write copy for an ad
That’s it. Everything else is unnecessary. Especially at first.
2. You can validate your idea almost immediately
This is somewhat tied to the first point. It’s simple to start. But most importantly, a Craigslist business gives you immediate feedback. Whereas securing a part-time job, finding ways to cut down on expenses, or even starting a business without Craigslist, may take time to take off, a Craigslist business lets you know right away if you’re on the right track. This makes it easy to make adjustments to your plan or change it to something that works. I actually think posting in several categories and seeing the one that gets the most sales is a good tactic. I posted in three categories (selling wedding dresses, selling wedding photography services, and selling cleaning services) before settling on the most profitable categories.
Craigslist is a marketplace full of eager buyers. People generally don’t go on Craigslist to window shop, and many people can appreciate that you’re a local business. If you have an interesting offering, this will lead to immediate sales.
3. Starting as a Craigslist business helps with debt repayment
I’ve found that the best way to put a dent in your debt is to make more money. While cutting down on expenses is great, you can really supercharge how fast you bring down your debt by putting more money towards your repayments.
I like to think of it this way- earning extra money to put towards debt repayment is proactive, whereas cutting down on expenses is reactive. It’s like playing for a team that has excellent offense and defense. Both are necessary to be great.
Starting a Craigslist business is an effective way to add dollars to your income fast and it’s virtually risk free (especially when you start with zero investment, which I suggest you do).
4. You have complete control of your time
When you sell a service as a Craigslist business, you have complete control over the time frame of your business. You can choose to post when you’re available and remove your posts when you’re busy. For example, if I decide that I’ve got enough clients for my cleaning business to keep me fully occupied at the moment, I can simply remove the ad for a while.
Also unlike other marketplaces, nobody takes a cut off your sales and posting is completely free.
5. It’s easy to differentiate yourself, giving you a competitive advantage
Ok, this might sound bad, and I might just be perpetuating a stereotype, but a lot of stuff on Craigslist is crap. In fact, even many of the people on Craigslist are crap. This is great news for entrepreneurial people with no serious issues. It makes it ridiculously easy to set yourself apart from the crowd. And if you actually produce quality work (which you should), then whoa, look out, you’re sure to get swamped with inquiries about your services.
Give Craigslist a try. At the very least, you’ll lose an hour out of your life that you would otherwise have used to watch Game of Thrones. However, you might be surprised at what you gain. I went from $0 in side income on May 18th to a total of $2230 on July 30th. If I keep going at this rate I’ll be able to pay off $30,000 of student debt in about 3 years (instead of the 10 year payment plan I’m currently on)! That’s definitely worth it in my book!
(Editor’s note: We are incredibly impressed with Cassandre and her drive, hustle, and ingenuity in working to get her student loans paid off ASAP! Hers is the kind of motivational story that we LOVE to read here at Color Me Frugal. Thanks so much for sharing, Cassandre!)
Have you ever sold anything on Craigslist? What was your experience, and how much did you earn from it?
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