How to start a side hustles in Malaysia

I have ideas of things to try and businesses to launch, all in the hopes that it is free to kickstart and the money will roll in. Here is the story of how I started 3 mini "businesses" in a span of 2 years and what I have earned and learned.

1.Edutainment learning boxes

This was a bigger one compared to the rest and wasn't easy to work on. The idea was to create experiences that enables learning through play, in a box. It was then basically designing experiences we personally enjoy for younger kids. We started 'mycuriocity', with a treasure-hunt-in-a-box concept, where we craft stories and mysteries with puzzles and brainteasers that will ultimately lead to a treasure for the player/child.

We started off with a limited number of boxes to try out the market demand. However, we were hyped by the sales from friends and family and ramped up production for the next box, which we should not have done. Although we had customers from ads we put up, but our first campaign was mainly supported by friends and family. What we should have done was to blast out ads to strangers and see how many come through.

Business like this will take time as we are not known yet as a brand and we do not have multiple products lined-up for those who have great experience with the first one.

Interestingly, we do notice a growth with every product campaign we put out. There is demand for this, and perhaps we will need to craft more. I personally believe Malaysian parents are more open to play as a method of learning and this edutainment business may be a trend soon.

Overall, after crafting about 4 experiences, and spending about 8K, we are still at a loss, but nearly broke even. Although, what we do have now are physical stocks that need to be sold to break even and start profiting.

Would I keep going at it? Perhaps! The value mycuriocity was trying to pursue was the value of sparking curiosity, and that can be done in many ways. Perhaps it will pivot into a new channel of delivering that same value. We shall see.

2.Christmas cookies

I love butter shortbread and have been baking them for a few years, and usually only during and for Christmas season. After a few years of giving them out for free as gifts and receiving all thumbs-up from my recipients, I decided to sell them this year.

Although labour intensive, it was quite fun to bake for money. LOL One main reason is due to the fact that I can eat anything I fail to sell, or give them away to deserving people.

After calculating out my cost, I profitted about a low-mid 3 figure from selling 78 tubs to 19 people. And I have been told I was underpricing myself.

Would I do it again, and for a higher price, high probability a YES.

3.CNY gift sets

A continuation from the butter shortbread, I have always wanted to upskill myself from an easy cookie stamping to more skill-intensive icing piping and cookie decorating. I also made the mistake (or is it?) of announcing this intention to my friends.

I have then been pushed to upskill myself at nearly breakneck speed to launch a gift set business for CNY.

This was the product:

Unfortunately we underpriced ourselves by a lot. Hence, I was paid a meager RMx an hour for this. But lesson learned, we should charge by the labour hours as well, not just a profit margin from the cost of the product.

This was launched on a whim but it is definitely something to try again as demand for it was very high.