Archive for Welcome
Welcome to Making Money Academy, the aim of this website is to help people make a full or part time income from their hobby or passion in life.
So, let me begin by telling you a bit about myself, my business and why I think I am qualified to help you.
My Life With Chickens
And How I turned My Love Of Chickens Into a Full Time Business
A couple of years ago, I would not have thought myself as a natural entrepreneur at all. My business idea came from my hobby – my wife Sharon and I love keeping chickens.
In 1984 we bought our first chickens and we were hooked from then on and now cannot imagine life without them.
In 2002, we took the huge decision to move from our little 3-bed semi where we’d lived for 14 years to a smallholding in rural Lincolnshire, to follow our dream and have a go at living the ‘good life’.
We took six chickens with us, and having more room we began to breed, hatch and rear our own chickens.
People started to call because they had seen the chickens in the front field, and ask if we had any chickens for sale. But back then, we only sold free range eggs to a few close friends.
During the down turn in the economy, keeping chickens started to become very popular. As I had kept chickens for nearly 30 years, I thought perhaps I could turn my hobby into a profitable business.
Sharon resigned from her job to concentrate all her efforts into our new business, which we hoped would provide a small income and the opportunity to do something that we both loved together. We bought some breeding stock of rare and pure breeds and started.
I made a huge sign and put it up by the roadside, and as the chickens became ready they sold as quickly as we could breed them.
We wanted to supply birds that weren’t available locally, and alongside rare and pure breeds we saw the potential in selling hybrid (cross breed) hens that were friendly, good egg layers, long livers, and available all year round.
I found a reputable supplier who delivered the young hens at 16 weeks, ready to sell. They were fully vaccinated with 12 different types to choose from, so we could cater for everyone’s taste. They proved very popular, so with the help of a good friend Colette Mason we built a website showing all the chickens and it generated lots of inquiries.
We started the business part time and in June 2013, I took the plunge and went full-time – generating a turnover of £55,000 in our first year.
I soon realised that “putting all my eggs in one basket” was going to be risky so adopted a “many streams make a river” approach, generating an income from several profitable sources:
Selling equipment online through Ebay, Amazon, my 2 websites and other online opportunities
Selling chickens and equipment from our on-site Farm Shop [which I built]
Writing – I wrote a best-selling book and continue to write articles for others.
I studied my market closely and spotted some quality products that I can import from China and sell in the UK for a good profit margin. I undertook a course to learn every part of importing successfully and will launch in Spring 2015
My biggest achievement has been our happy customers knowing that they have been provided with first class products and have been properly educated in how to look after their chickens and providing them a lifetime of support and advice.
Once again with the help of my friend Colette I wrote and self-published my own book “So You Want To Start Keeping Chickens.” It’s a real beginners guide and took me 7 months to write, but it went to No1 on Amazon and stayed there for 9 months, generating great reader reviews and selling well over 1000 copies.
I also decided to create a Facebook Community for other chicken enthusiasts to share advice and tips. It’s now developed into a really active group, attracting nearly 20,000 fans.
In addition I have now created a chicken owners membership site which is now approaching 2000 members.
I have made a real effort to learn how to promote my business through various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more recently Instagram.
I had no funds to start my business and borrowing from the bank wasn’t an option. I overcame this hurdle by raising the cash needed myself – buying and selling on Ebay, collecting and selling scrap metal, and doing odd jobs for people around the village.
I didn’t have any computer skills and had to learn from scratch [I’m an “older person” too but didn’t let this stop me].
I believe the hard work I have put in up to this point will help take the whole business to a higher profile and also help me take it to the next level. It would show other aspiring entrepreneurs that all you need is a good business idea, a willingness to learn and work hard, and you can create your dream business
I’d also hope that it would encourage older people to take the plunge as being an entrepreneur has no age restrictions, unlike traditional employment.
I am going to build a purpose built much bigger onsite shop to expand our range of products and generate further sales. We are also expanding our range of chickens for 2015 and I have just finished testing our own range of Chicken coops which we will launch soon.
I’m looking to significantly expand our online sales and am very excited about importing goods from China next year.
We’ve been featured in the following media:
BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Boston Standard, Boston Target, Lincolnshire Echo, Lincolnshire Life, Practical Poultry Magazine, Your Chickens Magazine, Country Smallholding Magazine, Country Le Vie Magazine, The Primary Times (teacher & parent magazine), Female First, Male Extra, The Daily Post Wales, This is Lincolnshire, Mums And Dads Magazine, Country File Magazine, Lincolnshire Today)
I am now recognised as an expert in my field and this has led to me being invited to speak at this event before you today.
Lincolnshire is not an area with a lot of traditional employment opportunities. I believe that I have tweaked one of our oldest occupations [farming] by spotting a market opportunity and extending the reach of the business from Lincolnshire to a National level, putting Stickney on the map!
Overall I see Chicken House Poultry be the biggest pet poultry business in Lincolnshire and I intend to start to compete with some of the bigger businesses nationally.
My other passion in life is helping other people and as I have already said my mission here is to help you turn your own hobby, pastime or pasion into cash. I really care about other people and I believe that given the right information and guided down the correct path we all have it in us to succeed, someone once said to me “Mark, you can have anything in life you want all you have to do is find a way to get it”.
I will also be sharing internet and marketing information for online businesses.
I’ll also be sharing some useful resources, advice and internet marketing tips.
So if your up for the challenge please keeping checking back as I will be adding new content on a regular basis, and why not share with your friends so they can benifit to.
Before closing I would just like to say if you have any questions then please DO get in touch via the contact form and I will do my very best to help you.
To Your Success