In 2016 we made a decision to travel more and to create more memories rather than to collect new things.
The journey has seen us touring the UK in a Caravan and now several European countries in an Auto-Trail Comanche Motorhome.
The decision to travel meant that Wendy had to leave her job as a pharmacy assistant in Brighton and Steve closed his business providing digital marketing to small businesses around Sussex.
Of course, living in today’s modern World without an income can be very challenging and so we have been working towards creating a way or earning an income and building that up to create a way for us to continue to create the memories we so enjoy.
The internet is an obvious avenue for us to explore and some of Steve’s skills in Digital Marketing and helping small businesses offers an ideal opportunity to utilise the “work from anywhere” lifestyle that the internet provides.
Creating an income on the road
When we started out on our adventures we thought the options for earning a living were pretty limited. The obvious one that we think people like us gravitate to is that of Caravan Site Wardens. It’s a very good fit for many people and suited us very well for a while.
In October 2016, some six months after we started travelling and living full time in our caravan, we started to get jittery about the finances due to the seemingly inexorable outflow of cash from the bank and the lack of the usual income that would replenish the account balance.
What are the options
When you’re not in one place for very long and unlike most businesses you don’t have the chance to build up relationships with the local community, to offer your services to them, or allow them to ‘get to know you”. Without a place to store any physical good or be in a place that potential customers could visit it’s a challenge to know who to build a customer base and a pipeline of potential customers.
However, here are a few options that I’m considering:
- Website Development
- Social Media
- Digital Marketing
- Business Coaching
- Database Development
- Drop Shipping Store
- Write a book
- Affiliate Marketing
- Blogging and Vlogging
So lets have a look at each of these in a little more detail as they relate to my skill set and the ability to generate a good income.
I started developing websites way back in 1994 when Microsoft had just released their “Internet Information Server” or IIS technology. I was working at Nestlé UK, a Microsoft Partner, and we needed to deploy some data driven information screens around the business relating to food production and sales levels.
I’ve maintained a keen interest in all things web technology and have been building websites using various technologies and skills that I’ve learned over the last 25 years or more. I’ve also created and delivers workshops and training sessions for small businesses on how they can create and manage their own websites easily and effectively. Of course this is a pretty good way of creating an income to support our lifestyle and one that would be easy to fulfil and to provide an excellent customer service through.
As ever it’s all about gaining the trust of people who are our potential customers for the website provision. In some part I suppose that this blog is the start f that process of building trust with potential customers and to start to advertise the fact that I could provide your small business with a great website from where ever I might be. The internet provides us with great opportunity and facilities to “meet face to face” virtually over things like Skype etc.
When I offered services commercially, from a static base in Brighton and Hove it was pretty easy to meet up with people and get a real sense of who they were and where they saw their business heading. Getting on board with Social Media is, in my experience, a very difficult thing for small business owners to get their head around and one that does not always show a good return on investment (ROI) in the initial stages. While things are getting set up it’s very difficult to understand that social media is about longer term strategy and being prolific and consistent with your social media posts. I have always been more comfortable with teaching the “when, why and how” of social media marketing rather than getting the work done for smaller clients. This is simply due to the perceived payback in the early stages is just not enough for most small businesses to cope with.
The ROI on a training session or social media marketing course is much more obvious though. When a client leaves a social media course it’s pretty easy for them to define what they got for the money they paid.
in terms of creating an income, my feeling is that offering some bite sized training session at a low cost might be the way to go rather than to offer a “full service” as this would enable me to help more people at a much more affordable cost to them.