Don't know where to start my online business

Tarpaulin made for my nephew's first birthday - I made this last year for my nephew. My family said it was outstanding and that I should start a hobby business focused on this.
Philippines
January 29, 2013 2:37am CST
Hi :) You can call me Cindy. I'm an average artist that uses Photoshop as hobby. I uploaded a picture for my nephew's birthday and my family suggested I could use my talent to earn extra money. (Btw, my nephew loves The Lorax so that's the theme, ain't he cute?) I want to establish an online business where I provide Photoshop services to create or edit graphics/pictures and animated graphics. It's really broad if I say "Photoshop services" alone so to make it specific, I think the most common audience interested in this trade will be those in need of tarpaulin/posters for their events/activities. Though I am also available to do other form of art like website backgrounds, photo editing, invitation cards and animated gif. Though I know what I want to do, truth is, I don't know where to start. I have so many questions that I'm not sure about: 1) What do you call this type of establishment that provide making designing/Photoshop services? Note: I don't do printing, I can only design them. 2) What would I use as basis for pricing? It normally takes me 2-5 hrs to finish an art. At work, as asst. finance manager, I earn around a $1.5 per hour(Php65). Should I base it on this? 3) Do I need a business license from the authorities? Where do I get them? I live in the Philippines, Las Pinas city. 4) Should I start my business using a Facebook account, or should I create a website using a free web hosting server for this? I'm not really sure if I will succeed in this because I'm a beginner. I even made a web blog about accounting when I was a student before but I lost the account for being inactive for so long(Nobody visited it so I lost interest). So I'm also scared that this one could flop too :( Sorry for the long discussion, but I hope someone could help _
2 people like this
10 responses
@besweet (7227)
• Greece
29 Jan 13
You can try posting a gig on Fiverr. Make a good presentation of the work that you do, and be very specific about it. You can also make a video or post images of your finished work so that the customers will know what you can do. If you have different talents, you could post different gigs for each one, for example one would be for website backgrounds, another one for photo editing, etc. Once you get a few satisfied customers you might be able to earn good money from this. I used to design business cards with photoshop (I had some ready templates or I was creating them from the beginning). I was getting orders until they did some changes to the website. I think that currently, they promote new gigs more and it is easier to get your first orders. Good luck :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
29 Jan 13
That sounds great :) I like your idea to segregate the different types of things I could do so they won't bulk up into a broad pile of services. I also like your concept of making business cards too. I made invitation cards and ID's before and they seem to be drawn from the same basics. I also have prepared templates for popular occasions and I'd like to share some but right now they're in .psd format so I can't upload.
1 person likes this
@besweet (7227)
• Greece
30 Jan 13
Hi! No unfortunately there isn't an edit option! I had my gigs posted on fiverr, which is free but it has a fixed price for your services which is $5, and a small amount is taken by them from every order. But when you get 10 orders, you level-up and you can add extras to every gig. For example, if you sell a single-sided business card for $5, you can make it double-sided for $10 etc. If you design in psd, make sure that you can convert them to pdf and jpeg formats because most customers ask all of them. I was using only fiverr, and I became a member of a website called freelancer as well. But it's too hard to get a job over there for photoshop design. There are other websites like fiverr but they aren't very popular and I was getting a lot of spam pm's from their users.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
31 Jan 13
I see, so that's how gig works. Though I'm not sure if this is popular to my country but I'll still try it since it seems really convenient. When you made your designs, do you use free downloadable fonts & brushes? Is it legal to use them for commercial purposes? Thank you for sharing me your experience. At first I'm scared to try these sites out since the people posting gigs looks very experienced and competitive. But hopefully I can manage to find my way through this :) By the way, why do some prefer it in pdf format?
1 person likes this
30 Jan 13
i got also an online shop in facebook. i just post my items, then tag it to my friends, they will comment on, and that it goes. its okay at first, but at times past by, it seems that my profit became lower and lower. and now, i dont know also how to start again.
• Philippines
31 Jan 13
Aw, maybe you should still give as much effort to market your shop as much as you did before? If you can, try changing your shop logo or welcome sign to give it a new look.
@echoforever (5192)
• United States
30 Jan 13
I don't see that any one has mentioned this yet so I will. There is a site called Zazzle online. They are basically - you can make your own shop there. You can sell a variety of things from t-shirts to mugs, jewlery and more. Why I suggest it for you is that you can use your own pictures, in fact you have to use your own pictures. You put the pictures on the cups or t-shirts and they price them accordingly, and sell them in your shop. Most of the work is done through zazzle, shipping, creation, printing etc. The catch is you only get 50% of the sales. So its not everything but it is something to start and if you're doing well there you can make quite a bit. Check it out in search.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
31 Jan 13
I really like the site's theme, and they really do have a wide range too even printing on bags, hats and aprons ^_^ I want to have my art work on print, that would be so cool :D I'm just curious though, would you pay for membership and the creation of item or is membership free and the buyer will be the one who'll bear the whole cost?
@jagjit273 (1740)
• India
29 Jan 13
Hi cindy you are already at the best place at net where you can and already have good ideas and suggestions. There are number of ways you can earn online. Just keep on fetching your way. I am sure you will be there one day.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
31 Jan 13
Thank you jagjit for your the encouragement. That's true, people at mylot are the best place to ask for advice and ideas. It's really helpful to find dynamic and optimistic people since you can absorb their positive vibes and so makes me enthusiastic in facing every day challenges.
29 Jan 13
HI Cindy, you got a talent that is a gift for your parttime job, For the q5, I think you don't need to scared, if you did a great job, people will find it. and the Q2, I think you have better to do a rearch about photoshop service in the market.If you are a beginner, I sugest your price would a little lower than the average level of the market, in order to attract the customers. I hope my response could help you. May you succeed!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
29 Jan 13
Hi xiaohong :) I will look around the internet for pricing. And I agree I think I should start off with a lower rate than others that provide the same service. Thank you for the motivation :) And I will do my best to be visible by several forms of promotion. Your response gave me a good dose of confidence boost ^.^
@airasheila (5458)
• Philippines
29 Jan 13
hi there oxyde_gyabo, with regard to your post, having those talent is really an advantage, hence, you can really work at your own pace. only you just need a big break to start with. and for that, perhaps, if you can compile your portfolio then we can think of a way on how to promote it. thus, a good promotion is also a must for a business to get over and succeed. plus having the right attitude, then, you are ready reaping those success.
• Philippines
29 Jan 13
Hi also airasheila, Thanks to most responses I have gathered a lot of ways to promote. Honestly, I can't wait to get started. I have made all these plans in my head and they're so many I can't keep up writing them down xD I'm so excited to get my business open. But first I will compile a portfolio so people can see what they can get. Thank you airasheila for telling me about the portfolio. And thank you also for the encouragement and positive outlooks ^_^ I am beginning to absorb your optimistic attitude and I hope I get a lot of happy juice to keep heart & passion.
• India
29 Jan 13
Good luck. Have a nice day.. Thank you..
1 person likes this
• Philippines
29 Jan 13
Thank you for the support :)
@mariaperalta (19094)
• Mexico
29 Jan 13
good luck on this.. I like that you have a good plan there. Id say get your stuff out there, so people can see it. You can also post photos for us here to comment on.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
29 Jan 13
Yes I do have a photo, sorry if it's small though since mylot has a limit to photo size I sorta slimmed it down. Please feel free to look at my tarpaulin for my nephew, I'd like to hear from you ^___^
29 Jan 13
Hi cindy, well u don't have to wait for the business opportunity doesn't knocks the door twice. if you have idea and money just launch your business because to develop rich u need to launch your business and you need to be your own boss. yes its very very good to launch business online there are lot of opportunities to work online
1 person likes this
• Philippines
29 Jan 13
Hi smartprince :) Seeing that your first response here in mylot is for me, thank you for choosing to respond on my discussion ^_^ And also, welcome to Mylot~ I agree, because of internet, online business is really popular and there are lots of opportunities. As you say, opportunities don't knock twice so 'Carpe Diem' ^_^ I will seize the day. I will do my best to launch my online business as soon as possible. Thank you for the motivation and support. Happy mylotting
1 person likes this
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
29 Jan 13
You are one out of a .. million (?) so if you want people to find you, you need to be very special. You better make a business plan first. What is it you want? Set your goals and invest (on the internet in life) what people are looking for, willing to pay. What makes you so special they like to pay you (since many are able to photoshop themselves). For what price are you willing to work? Since the less money people have or can pay the less possibilities there are for you. See if there are some art-sites where you can start a profile/account. You can also use youtube add some music to it and some social site. Fb might help as well. The more people are visiting you ("friends" you are) the more chance you have to get customers. BTW be realistic, don't invest day and night in something you are not making 1 penny with. Plus remember it Always takes time to start a business and in most cases you have to invest first (sometimes for years).
1 person likes this