There are so many people out there skills that venture into business on the back of these skills. Most small businesses are built around a skill or idea of some sort. There is more to a business than skill but it’s a really good place to start. So perhaps you possess a skill and have been wondering how to turn that skill into a business. Or maybe you haven’t thought about it before but this is your first instance entertaining the idea. Whichever it is let’s look at ways to turn skills into businesses.
Freelancing is the first port of call for many who want to turn a skill into a business. It is in many ways the easiest because it involves simply offering the same service you offer your employer or have learned through experience to clients of your own. It is admirable because when organised correctly it does not have the learning curve of most other methods and the benefits (money) falls right into your lap. However, it is not always that simple. If you are employed you need to be aware of what your employment agreement says about moonlighting or offering your services on your own. Then there’s the matter of creating the entire business structure by yourself as opposed to offering service which can be quite a difficult step up for many.
Blogging is another really good way to make money from your skills and turn them into a business. You have more knowledge than most on a particular skill. Knowledge which many people would at least be interested in and at most be willing to pay to learn. There are many avenues through which one can monetise blogging. Two important things to remember here. Firstly, blogging also includes ideas like youtube videos and podcasts. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, blogging is a skill in itself. While it seems for the most part like blogging is just sharing your thoughts on particular subjects blogging as a business is a skillset with its own specific lessons that you must learn to make the most of it.
Coaching involves the passing on of your skills and knowledge to others. This is based on experience and is for areas where experience counts heavy such as sport, public speaking and active vocations. Coaching also suggests an ongoing relationship with clients that separates it from training which we will talk about later. You should be aware of coaching academies for various vocations that have sprung up around us and this is the transformation of skill into a business. Coaches in general are people who know what it takes to get to a certain desirable level in a vocation. So before you count yourself out because you did not reach the particular level remember it’s about your ability to pass on what it takes to get to the level.
Consulting is practised on a short engagement basis. In something like coaching you work hand in hand on a day to day basis to impart your knowledge and assist in development. Consultants are less hands-on and work on a less frequent basis as and when needed. An example is tax consultancy where people with experience in dealing with the tax office use their knowledge and experience to help those currently dealing with the tax office. This is very lucrative. Consultancy in many cases looks like high pay for very little work. That’s the value of experience as consultants rely on their experience to make light work of tasks that would be much more work to those possessing less experience. It is best employed when you have experience in complicated processes.
Training is another great way to turn a skill into a business. You have gone through the process of learning the skill and understand it. You can use this knowledge to train others up in the skill and get paid for it. Training is one of the best ways of turning skill into money because it has an incremental learning curve. Depending on the vocation or skill there are many levels of learning for example beginners, intermediate, experienced and mastery. Training differs from the aforementioned coaching in that it has a foreseeable end. One cannot be a beginner forever and your students should graduate to a higher level at some point. Training works very well with just about anything and building a business around it is not complicated. However, some fields require certification and that means a trainer who is accredited and working with a recognised institution.
Mentors act as guides to those who engage them. Mentors are the voices of experience and are used in conjunction with coaches, consultants and trainers. A mentor looks at the holistic development of the individual in line with the needs of a certain vocation beyond just the imparting of the relevant skill. If you’re offering coaching or training you can (and should) easily offer mentorship for those who want more of a guiding hand. It is more hands-on and is limited by time. Mentorship is usually more intense and because of this, it is very difficult to mentor multiple people. It’s not impossible but you will realise a limitation of time at some point. However, it is certainly worthwhile to turn your skill into a business by offering mentorship.
In the introduction, I mentioned skills learned in the process of employment but this is not always the case. They may be skills you learnt informally, as long as there is a demand for the skill there is an opportunity to turn it into a business.