Writing About Home Businesses: 2 Tuition



Whatever it is you do best, you owe it to yourself and to others to pass your knowledge on.  And so we find the keen and proficient swimmer taking classes in the local pool the experienced typist teaching his or her skills to others; the proficient pianist catering for the needs of those who would love to have a similar talent in their own hands.

Teacher of whatever subject, whether academic, sporting or leisure interests, will find a ready demand for their services.  The infant school teacher can offer coaching at evenings and weekends to parents who might think their offspring a little slow in learning, or else want to prepare them for school in the first place.  For secondary school teachers the chance of out of normal school hours work might be more likely to present itself in the immediate run to GCSE examinations, or else at re-sit time in the autumn.

Qualified personnel managers tech the basics of successful interview techniques to eager job hunters; cake decorators and microwave specialists invite parties of ‘wannabees’ into their homes for one-our coaching sessions every week; craft workers, artists and writers pass their skills on to others by all manner of means, including private tuition, working in local school and colleges, and giving demonstrations to local clubs and societies.

And further down the line are those who teach their skills and pass their knowledge on by self-publishing their experiences and information in manuals and sometimes correspondences courses which will subsequently be marketed by direct mail or advertisements in appropriate publications.

In this respect the person actually knitting the jumper or whatever is required, might choose to personally design the required garment, or else have it professionally designed by some outside expert.

Consider the fact that a great many intricate designs can easily be produced with little more than the assistance of graph paper or unused football pools coupon, with each small square taken to represent one stitch in the pattern, and it becomes clear that almost all of us can, if we set our minds to it, produce highly original pictures and motifs for ourselves.  One method of doing this is to section an actual picture or photograph into squares of equal size to the grid of the graph paper or pools coupon used, thereafter transferring the colour of the square on the original design to the corresponding square of the pattern one is designing.  From then on, it’s a simple matter of knitting these colours into the body of the garment itself.

Other openings for the experienced knitter might come as outwork from knitwear suppliers, and providing services on a self-employed basis.

Consider for instance.

  • Producing dolls’ clothes
  • Creating seasonal Christmas motif-festooned garments
  • Informing local parents that they may obtain school woolies at a lower cost than local shops are currently asking.  Note too that they will more than likely receive superior quality from you, with perhaps a little personalisation of design included.  Maybe you could incorporate a subtle pattern; perhaps you might include all children’s names labels free of charge.
  • What about a highly original service, producing Victorian-type wedding dresses, with the bride’s choice of design incorporated, and perhaps offering to include panels bearing designs of sentimental value?
  • Producing heirloom christening gowns.
  • Designing and producing a range of clothing for premature and smaller than average new-born babies.

Those experienced at sewing, similarly have much to offer those seeking something just a little bit different from what is available in our local high street stores.  How about a range of frilly, ribbon-bedecked and generally very fussy creations in which to sow off our children?  Such dresses often come with a high street price tag of o50 and over; if you can produce something slightly lower in price, then surely an advertisement in local papers, freesheets, and shop window will bring an endless source of orders your way?

Local craft shops and children’s outfitters are similarly keen to take such items on a sale or return basis.

Again, alternative openings are available to the experienced needle person, many of them basically similar to those for the knitting enthusiast.  Take or instance: a range of christening outfits, premature and smaller baby clothes, fancy dress outfits, wedding and bridesmaid outfits, and what of that perennial favourite as December approaches – dolls’ clothes?

Hand and machine sewing professionals would no doubt benefit from a little literal thinking, taking their minds away from the usual opportunities that spring to mind in the creation of everyday garments and one-off celebratory designs.  Have you thought for instance of commencing a design service, one in which you will measure up clients’ windows, take their individual design and colour scheme requirements into account, and produce curtains entirely personal to them?  Those with  flair for design, whether inherent or acquired by appropriate training, will find themselves occupying status much akin to interior designer than curtain-maker, with fees and profits suitably inflated as a result.

Amongst the many other areas desperate for your work are local ballet and dance schools, amateur dramatics and pantomime companies, jazz bands, and many other organisations heavily reliant on costume for their promotions.  Securing a contract with any of these establishments, or else offering your services to parents and participants, might well find  steady stream of work coming your way.

Knitting, sewing, crochet and embroidery, though they might be those crafts with which many of us are familiar, are most certainly not the only areas in which outwork or opportunities for self-employment exist.

Think for instance of the skilled woodworker who is able to turn out toys, ranging perhaps from simple building blocks to those intricate rocking horses we would all love to acquire for our children but often can’t afford the hefty prices involved.  Someone who can undercut those prices asked by larger and specialist toy firms will almost certainly find a great deal of business coming their way.  That person may also find his or her niche making dolls’ houses, garden furniture, perhaps even bird boxes, rabbit hutches and so on.

Tapestry is one of today’s more popular crafts, perhaps explaining the existence of several highly skilled individuals who will either transform your photos of pets and family into tapestries, or might instead create a pattern from which you might personally create your very own heirloom.  Look into the many publications available for craft workers today, and amongst the many original services available, you’ll find patterns for dolls’ clothing, toy making kits and pattern books, model making kits, quilting packs and templates, embroidery kits, and so on.  You’ll also find specialist services such as those which offer the design, perhaps also the completion of a unique nursery sampler ready to present to proud new parents.

We have talked at great length about actually turning your own hand to making things in order to profit in this highly lucrative field of handicrafts; but what of teaching your skills to others?  How about writing instruction manuals for instance, or else complete correspondence courses for really enthusiastic beginners?

Writing is in itself a very easy task; one simply lists all points of relevance, which when combined will give the reader a working knowledge of the craft concerned, following which the writer produces the document in much the same manner as when writing the very same information in a letter to a friend.  Then he types up the document or has it typed up for him.  A study of suitable places in which to advertise your book is now all that is required.  Books can be photocopied and collated quite inexpensively and efficiently in most local print shops.

Plan your advertisement, studying and perhaps emulating the style of other publishers whose advertisements appear alongside your own; then telephone or write to the publication concerned to place your own advertisement.  When the orders come in, you simply pack your books securely, post them off, and that’s that!

Have you thought of selling your work yourself, perhaps offering a range of toys at car boot fairs, craft or from small rented stalls in already established craft centres and retail outlets?

But it really needn’t all stop there.  You might for instance offer your services as a teacher or instructor of your craft – try the local papers, freesheets, shop windows, even local colleges and adult training centres.

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