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How a 30 Year Old Turned Her $3,400 Tax Refund Into a $12,000-a-Month Side Hustle

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5 min read


This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Shereen Campbell graduated from NYU with a degree in journalism. While in school, she tried to do everything right, like landing great internships year round and working part-time. But when she finished school, she couldn’t find a job in her industry and resorted to taking gigs here and there, until she landed a career as an assistant buyer for a major retailer.

Campbell stayed on the same career track for seven years but wasn’t feeling fulfilled and began searching for purpose in her life. During that time, she studied the mystical arts, astrology, and healing practices. It was then that she realized she wanted to start a business that would allow her to channel her passion and knowledge. 

“I got really interested in the big life questions, like, what are we doing here? What’s our purpose?” Campbell said. 

Related: Learn How to Launch Your Own Side Hustle Now

Although she didn’t have much income to spare for start-up costs, Campbell knew she had a tax refund coming in worth $3,400. She normally spent that extra cash on vacations, shoes or clothes. But this time, she wanted to use it to change her life.

That small decision led her to create My Little Magic Shop, an online shop for magical tools including crystals, herbs, and oils, at the age of 30. Six years later, her side business now generates $12,000 a month in revenue. 

Here’s how she flipped a few thousand dollars into a revenue-generating side-hustle. 

She divided up how she’d spend her tax refund

Campbell went online and started researching what she’d need to start her business. She mapped out what products and services would be essential for the first month, such as web hosting, and then looked for the best rates. This helped her stay within her budget.  

When it came to her website, she found an affordable, user-friendly platform that would allow her to build and host it for $46 a month — no coding skills necessary. She then picked a hosting company that would host her domain name for $12 a month.

Related: How I Bought My First Franchise With a Tax Refund

For merchandise, Campbell started out small and simple, focusing only on seven products that were key for her brand. She was able to purchase her first month’s supply of things such as candles, herbs, and oils for under $1,800. Labels and boxes cost her an additional $1,535.

Anything she didn’t know, she asked friends instead of hiring expert help. She used a spreadsheet to keep track of all expenses and remain within her tax refund amount. 

Campbell then had the supplies shipped to her home, where she was able to put kits together on evenings and weekends. Since it was her passion, she considered it a fun hobby.

She had zero branding costs

With a tight budget, Campbell needed to get resourceful. She had a coworker who was also a friend and web designer who helped her create a logo for her brand.

She then found suppliers who didn’t charge additional fees for adding her logo to the packaging. 

For boxes, she went to Alibaba. She found a seller who was flexible with pricing, and explained to them that she was just starting out and couldn’t afford to purchase large amounts at a discounted rate. Instead, she promised to be a long-term customer if her business was successful. The supplier was supportive and slightly reduced her final cost. For labels, she used Onlinelabels.com.

She kept her day job

Campbell remained at her job so that any revenue from her side hustle could be put back into growing her business. The first year, she stuck to selling the seven initial products on her website. In the second year, she added a subscription-based service where she’d send out a monthly package called “A Little Zen Box” that was filled with products on a theme. 

Roughly 50% to 70% of her revenue is now generated from her subscription-based service. This makes preparing for the following month easier because she has a pretty good idea of how much inventory she’ll need to purchase in advance. 

Campbell plans to leave her day job and focus on her own business full-time once she has saved $60,000 for a safety cushion and her business is generating $20,000 a month.

“I know it’s not a financial thing, but when I get to work on my business, it makes me so happy. I get to interact with people I probably would have never been able to interact with. I get to be creative in terms of the projects that I get to work on,” Campbell told Insider. “It also gives me something to really dream about for the future. I get to think about how amazing it’s going to be somehwere down the line when I get to work on this full-time.”

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Get $50 off Branch Furniture’s Highly Rated Standing Desk

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Plus free shipping, exclusively for Entrepreneur readers.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


Although many of us will be returning to the office fairly soon, living in a post-pandemic world of new norms can also mean having the flexibility to work from home more often than you would have had in years prior. To prepare for this hybrid remote/on-site work culture, commercial-turned-D2C furniture brand Branch is offering $50 off its well-reviewed Standing Desk, along with free shipping, using the exclusive promo code ENTREPRENEUR. Given its $699 list price, that brings your cart total down to $649. 

Scour the web for the best standing desks on the market and you’re guaranteed to find this model listed across a variety of trusted recommendation sites including The Strategist, Apartment Therapy, TechRadar, Good Housekeeping, and Business Insider. And it’s not hard to see why. This standing desk’s minimalist yet sophisticated design gives it a mature look suited for the modern home office. Available with either a woodgrain or white top depending on your aesthetic preference, the Branch Standing Desk’s all-white legs will blend seamlessly into rooms of any color palette, serving as an especially welcome addition to contemporary spaces brimming with natural lighting. 

As well as the ability to hold up to 275 pounds of materials without impacting its lift functionality, the Branch Standing Desk can be raised between 25 and 52 inches. A panel on the front lets you customize the height using a combination of presets and centimeter-level adjustment while a discreet brushed grommet helps to keep cables out of the way in order to maintain a clean-looking workstation. Three-stage columns and leveling feet are in place to support all of this. Perhaps best of all, Branch asserts drink and coffee spills are out of the question, thanks to its Standing Desk’s dual, low-decibel motors, which were created with smooth elevation in mind.

In addition to the Standing Desk by itself, the $50 ENTREPRENEUR coupon code is also applicable to Branch’s Task Package and Ergonomic Package bundles. While the former includes a combination of either the company’s Team Plus Desk or Executive Desk and Task Chair, the latter couples the Team Plus Desk or Executive Desk with an Ergonomic Chair. Whatever your newfound work-from-home needs, Branch has you covered with a deal that could save you the time and money spent shopping around elsewhere.

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Gifts for mom: 4 ideas that you can buy from WhatsApp for this May 10

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Why not give him a different gift and at the same time support Mexican entrepreneurs who make local products?


3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.


This Monday, May 10, we celebrate Mother’s Day in various Latin American countries and, as every year, it is time to think of a gift that can make the celebration different for Mom and remind her how much you love her.

Why not give him a different gift and at the same time support Mexican entrepreneurs who make local products? WhatsApp gave us some recommendations for you to consent to the queen of your house.

1. Choose something for your personal care

Image: MyCoffee Box via Instagram

We have all turned to flowers for Mother’s Day, but this year we will live again on May 10 amid restrictions due to the health emergency due to COVID-19. That is why you can choose to give mom a different gift so that she can pamper herself at home. For example, the Panalli brand offers products made from honey. On their website you can find everything from skin care kits to scented candles. On the other hand, the Mexican brand MyCoffee Box , offers organic coffee scrubs with a touch of honey and grapefruit to renew the skin.

Get to know the catalog of both businesses through WhatsApp Business:

2. Something that is useful and stylish

Image: Tashi Cerámica via Instagram

Crafts Think about the style that Mom uses both to dress and to decorate her house. Cheél is a brand of reusable fabric bags, while Tashi Cerámica offers handicrafts in a wide variety of colors, designs and shapes.

Check their WhatsApp offers here:

3. Surprise her without spending

Image: Depositphotos.com

We know that financial circumstances this year are still complex, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell Mom how much you love her. You can congratulate him with the WhatsApp tools with photos and videos.

To do it you must:

  1. Select the chat
  2. Click on the camera icon
  3. Select a photo from your gallery or take one right now
  4. Once you are comfortable with the image, use the icons at the top of the screen to add emojis or stickers, text, and use the stylus to make free strokes.

Use your imagination and support local businesses to remind the woman who saw you grow up how much you love her and thank her for her effort.


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Tesla vs. Geely: Which Electric Vehicle Manufacturer is a Better Buy?

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4 min read


This story originally appeared on StockNews

The electric vehicle industry is growing at a rapid pace and as such is attracting the entrance of established manufacturers, such as the China-based Geely (GELYY). But are these new entrants in general, and Geely specifically, be able to threaten Tesla’s (TSLA) leadership position?.

One of the hottest industries in which to invest currently is electric vehicles (EVs). As the globe inches towards clean energy production and consumption, companies within the EV space are  poised to grow at an accelerating pace. 

While 2020 was a breakthrough year for EV stocks, several EV companies have underperformed the market this year, allowing investors to buy growth stocks at more attractive valuations.

Here we compare two popular EV stocks. One is a market leader, Tesla (TSLA), and the other is Geely (GELYY), a company that is domiciled in the country with the world’s largest  EV market—China.

Click here to checkout our Electric Vehicle Industry Report for 2021

Let’s see which stock is a better EV buy right now:

Tesla continues to surprise Wall Street

In the first quarter, Tesla sales were up 74% year over year, driven primarily by a  109% increase  in vehicle deliveries. Its net income also surged to record highs on the back of regulatory credits.

In Q1, Tesla increased deliveries of its low-cost Model 3 and Y by an impressive 140% year over year to 182,338 units. However, deliveries of its  higher-priced Model S and X vehicles were down 83%, at 2,030 units,  in Q1 because Tesla put the production of these vehicles on hold and aims to launch newer versions of the models in coming months.

Tesla reported $438 million in  net income, or $0.93 per share, in the first quarter. This  included a $101 million gain associated with its  sale of Bitcoin. It also reported $518 million in sales of regulatory credits. Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of digital assets in the quarter. Absent the  above-referenced sales, Tesla would have reported a $181 million loss in  Q1.

Tesla has pumped in $1.35 billion in capital expenditures and began construction in two new factories in Berlin and Texas. Once these projects are complete the company should benefit from positive free cash flows over time.

Even though  Tesla continues to use   unconventional methods to boost  its bottom-line, it remains one of the best stocks in the EV sector. It is on track to increase its vehicle deliveries by more than  50% year over year in 2021. The company’s management also confirmed it has sufficient liquidity to fund its expansion plans without having to raise additional capital.

Geely stock is down 42% from 52-week highs

An investment holding company, Geely operates as an automobile manufacturer in China. It develops , produces, markets, and sells automobiles and  automobile parts and related components. Geely manufacturers sedans, wagons, and sport utility cars.

Geely is an established  automobile manufacturer that  is now eyeing the  lucrative EV space. Earlier this year, China’s tech giant Baidu disclosed that it will partner with Geely Automobiles to manufacture smart EVs. Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities while Geely will leverage its design and manufacturing expertise.

But while Tesla is growing its top line at an enviable pace, Geely has seen its sales decline to RMB 92 billion in 2020 from RMB 106.59 billion in 2018. Its EBITDA has also fallen, to RMB 11.83 billion in this period from RMB 17.24 billion.  And Geely’s EBITDA margin has fallen to 12.8% in 2020  from 16.2% in 2018.Geely has attributed the sales decline to China’s weak passenger vehicle market. While its sales volume was down 10% year over year in 2019, it fell by another 6% in 2020. This is in-part why its stock is trading 42% below its 52-week high.

The final takeaway

While Tesla is the largest EV manufacturer in the world, Geely is still trying to gain a foothold in this nascent industry. In terms of valuation, Tesla is trading at a far higher multiple than  Geely. For example, Tesla’s trailing price to sales multiple stands at 20.5x, while Geely is valued at less than two times trailing sales.

But Tesla’s robust revenue forecast and expanding profit margins can support this lofty valuation, making it a better investment bet right now.


TSLA shares . Year-to-date, TSLA has declined -5.97%, versus a 12.45% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


About the Author: Aditya Raghunath

Aditya Raghunath is a financial journalist who writes about business, public equities, and personal finance. His work has been published on several digital platforms in the U.S. and Canada, including The Motley Fool, Finscreener, and Market Realist.

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The post Tesla vs. Geely: Which Electric Vehicle Manufacturer is a Better Buy? appeared first on StockNews.com

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