As 2012 begins, many of us are looking at our monthly budget and wondering why we don’t make more money than we do. The good news though, is that this year offers new business and career opportunities for all of us! Here are just a few ideas you can try in your career or in your business.
Ask for a Raise
If you work for someone else, make this the year you ask for a raise. Don’t wait to be “given” one. Remember, it never hurts to ask. Make sure you take some time this month to take stock of your accomplishments at work within the last year:
- What was your contribution to the company’s goals?
- How much money did you make for the organization?
- What new projects or clients were you responsible for bringing in?
- What’s your specific strength that you bring to the table that your company can’t live without?
I always encourage people to do a “self-review” before they go into any performance review situation with their boss or supervisor. Always be clear with yourself on what your value was to the organization throughout the year and it will help you make your case for a raise during your annual review. And yes, even if you don’t have a formal evaluation coming up at your job, you can still set a meeting with your boss to discuss your compensation.
Find Another Job
If you can’t make more money in your current job, it may be time to look elsewhere. A lot of companies are preying on the “bad economy” sentiment these days, but the truth is that a LOT of organizations are doing quite well and would love to pay you top dollar for your talent. The people who are getting great jobs today are not the ones who are internalizing the negative chatter about the bad economy, but the ones who are out there showcasing their value to companies who do have job openings. Make sure you:
- Update your resume and post a profile on LinkedIn.
- Attend as many professional networking events as you can and rock a great business card.
- Join an online career network like Brazen Careerist.
Put yourself out there and you may be surprised at what opportunities you’ll find!
Start a Side Hustle
If you don’t necessarily want another job, consider starting a side hustle to earn more money in addition to your 9 to 5. A side hustle is a job that you do on the side in addition to your full-time job. Whether you take on a second job, do hair in your basement, provide consulting services or bake cakes to sell at the farmer’s market on the weekend, a side hustle is when you provide products or services in order to make money on the side. Typically, you would take something you’re good at (or passionate about) and offer it to people who want it. That sweet spot of skill and demand is your side hustle, baby! Many people eventually start making enough money with their side hustle to make it their full-time gig. Read about my story here. And check out the rest of my How to Start a Side Hustle series for more ideas for how you can do this yourself.
Add Another Product or Income Stream
If you already have your own side hustle or small business, consider adding another product or service in addition to the ones you already sell. If you only bake one flavor of cake to sell right now, start baking another flavor to add to your menu. If you only sell website design services through your blog right now, you might want to add logo design as well. In my own business, I added coaching services in 2010. Even though I had already been coaching people for over a year, I had never really advertised or promoted it as a formal part of my services. Now that I do, I’m getting way more coaching clients coming through my door!
Raise Your Rates
If you have a business that focuses on providing services (i.e. coaching, personal training, babysitting, dog walking, etc.), raise your rates this year. People understand that the cost of living isn’t getting any cheaper and if there were any “good” time to raise your rates, the beginning of the year would be it. Let your current clients and customers know about the rate increase in advance so they can make arrangements. If your service is top-notch (which I would hope that it is), your clients won’t mind paying a few extra dollars. And over time, that means more money for you!
If you weren’t totally satisfied with your income last year, hopefully these are some steps you can take to be more fulfilled this year. What are some other ways to bring in more money as the new year settles in?