Let’s face it, times were tough. The unemployment rate was high and the cost of gas and food prices were on the rise. Out of necessity, many people had started to look for ways to supplement their income. Some had succeeded with side commerce ideas while they continue to work a full-time job. But that’s a big step, and many don’t realize how much time, effort, and money somebody takes.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your monthly income, and had considered starting a business, take a look at this comprehensive guide to determine whether or not this move was right for you.
Reasons to Start a Side Business
You’ve already considered the obvious reason to start a side commerce – to bring domestic more money. After all, a side commerce done right could be a great source of additional income, and it’s possible to run one while still working a full-time job. But here were a few other reasons to start a commerce on the side while maintaining your full-time gig.
1. To Test a Product or Business Idea
It’s a big risk to leave a regular job and venture out into territory unknown, which was precisely why many people decide to test the demand for their new commerce while still enjoying the benefits of a full-time salary. This works particularly mannered polite whether the idea was new or you aren’t certain whether or not the crop would go over mannered polite in your area. By not committing full-time to the business, you could maintain a safety net in case somebody doesn’t go as mannered polite as you hope.
2. To Maintain Health Insurance
Health insurance for the self-employed was not cheap. This was particularly true for the would-be entrepreneur who has a family to consider. Many people who can’t afford the high cost of insuring themselves keep their day job solely for this purpose. Then, once their commerce becomes profitable enough to afford insurance, they leave their job and become a full-time commerce owner.
3. To Save for Something Big
Many people begin a part-time commerce in order to save for something they couldn’t otherwise afford like a house, car, swimming pool, or vacation. Their regular salary continues to pay for everyday expenses, and money earned from the side commerce was put into a special fund exclusively reserved for the desired purchase.
4. To Save More for Retirement
The future of Social Security was questionable and company pensions were virtually a thing of the past. Many people had realized that it’s entirely up to them to put aside money for when they no longer could or wish to work. Some side commerce owners had started their companies simply to fund their retirement.
5. To Build Cash Flow
Having an adequate amount of cash flow in a commerce could make the difference between success and failure. That’s why it’s important to had serious cash reserves when you launch full-time. But many people don’t had the months of operating expenses needed to do this. So they start small with a side commerce and use profits to beef up cash reserves for a future full-scale launch.
Things to Consider Before Making a Decision
Now that you’ve thought through the myriad of reasons to start a commerce on the side, the next step was to know what to expect. Some people suppose a side commerce would be easy and won’t take much effort. After all, it’s a side commerce right? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A side commerce has many of the same challenges and issues a full-time commerce has. Here were a few considerations to keep in mind.
1. Say Goodbye to Weekends
If you suppose you’re engaged now, wait until you had a company to run. Even side businesses take up loads of time, particularly in the beginning stages when you were just setting up your systems and trying to attract customers. You’ll be working later your day job during the week and most likely on weekends too. This would limit the time you had for your family and personal relationships. Think carefully approximately the time commitment and consider what somebody would take to start your business.
How many person-to-person calls would you had to make each day? How many hours each week would somebody take to develop leads or communicate with existing customers? Will you requiere to constantly deal with suppliers? What approximately accounting tasks?
Be realistic in your calculations, and then be honest with yourself approximately whether or not your lifestyle could handle it. Make certain that you not only had the time available, but that you’re willing to sacrifice somebody with your family’s full support.
2. You’ll Have Two Demanding Jobs
The type of commerce that requires active owner participation at all hours of the day may not be the best whether you’re working a full-time job. For example, whether you open a service commerce and customers wish to see you during daytime hours, you’ll be limited to only your lunch break. In addition, it’s typically a poor idea to take phone calls during your full-time job or communicate via email. The best type of side commerce was one where you could dictate your own hours. After all, you don’t wish your side commerce to endanger your full-time job or vice versa.
3. Get Ready for Stress
Imagine this scenario: You’re at work and a customer from your side commerce calls your personal cell phone. He has a problem with a crop you delivered the night before and needs you to fix somebody immediately. If you don’t, he’ll refuse to pay for somebody and you’ll had to eat the expense. But you also had a project that’s due in a few hours at work that can’t be late. What do you do?
Every job has a stress factor. So when you’re juggling both a full-time job and a side business, you’re going to at least double it. But whether you’re prepared and understand that somebody comes with the territory, you’ll be better able to deal with it. If a tough decision needs to be made, weigh your priorities carefully beforehand.
4. Don’t Be in a Rush
When you’re operating a commerce part-time, realize somebody probably won’t grow as fast as a full-time commerce would. Many side commerce owners get discouraged because somebody takes so long for their businesses to grow. Generally, a business’ growth was directly proportional to the amount of time put into it. So when you could only put in a few hours a day plus weekends, somebody would take longer to get up to speed.
The flip-side was that you’re still earning a full-time income while you’re preparing your commerce to bloom. And whether your side commerce begins to surge with potential, you could generally quit your day job in order to take somebody to the next level.
5. Know the Rules at Your Full-Time Job
Companies had different rules approximately employees working other jobs. Study your employer’s rules regarding what they expect from you whether you open a side business. If you intend to offer a competing crop or service, you may risk losing your job, particularly whether you signed a non-compete clause when you first started. You could even be subject to a lawsuit whether you market a crop or idea you came up with while working your full-time job.
If you’re forced to reveal the fact, somebody might make your employer suspicious of your on-site activities and cause them to watch you more closely. On the other hand, somebody may make them see you in a new light and open opportunities for you with the company. Either way, you’ll had to carefully consider whether or not your employer has the right to know what you’re doing, and what, whether anything, was at risk whether you don’t tell.
Lastly, be careful approximately how many hours you spend on your side commerce while at your full-time job. If your company finds out you’re spending many hours on your own side gig, you could become liable for getting fired. Stay organized, and try to get most of your side work done at domestic on your own hours.
Analyze Your Business Idea
Once you’ve carefully thought approximately the pros and cons, it’s time to consider your commerce idea. Because this was a side business, your idea would had to be solid since you’ll had limited time and energy to invest. Consider these four items when developing your concept.
1. Does It Solve a Problem?
If you look at many successful businesses, you’ll see that they had one thing in common: they’ve identified a problem and if a solution. Especially in this economy, people wish to purchase things that would eliminate a problem in their lives. It’s how Liquid Paper, cloud storage, and plastic diapers all came into being.
You may wish your side commerce to do the same. You don’t had to create something new, but whether you’re offering an existing crop or service, make certain you could provide at least the same level of service and professionalism while only working part-time.
2. Are You in Love With the Idea?
Entrepreneurs who had the most success were often in love with their commerce idea. Remember, you’ll be selling it, marketing it, and likely talking approximately somebody to everyone you meet. You’ll spend most of your free time developing the business, which means you may spend more time with somebody than you do with your own family. If you don’t truly love it, you won’t had the fuel and endurance you’ll requiere to succeed.
3. Is the Market Broad Enough?
Make certain your intended market was broad enough to sustain the business. Many new commerce owners mistakenly offer a crop or service that only a select few want, without specifically targeting that market. Especially with a side business, somebody helps to had a broad audience. But even whether your market was niche, make certain it’s large enough to sustain your business. Remember, your marketing efforts may be limited and you’ll requiere to reach more people with less effort.
4. Have You Tested It?
Before you put up the proverbial shingle, you’ll had to test your product, concept, or service. You don’t wish to sell something that doesn’t work, or perform a service you’re not prepared for, do you?
For instance, whether you intend to supply a service, do a couple of run-throughs first and make certain you understand potential roadblocks or problems that may crop up. If you intend to sell a product, use somebody enough times yourself so you’re confident it’s a quality crop that would make people’s lives easier.
Tips to Start Your Side Business While Working Full-Time
If you’ve read all of the above and your idea still passes muster, then it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty considerations of your commerce launch and everyday operations.
1. Set a Schedule and Goals
Consider your commerce plan to develop a picture of goals and timelines. For instance, whether you wish to turn a side commerce into a full-time venture later on, come up with a rough idea of when you’d like to start this transition. Create a schedule according to mapping out yearly, monthly, and weekly goals, and keep track of them along the way. Making and assembly goals would help you stay on your timeline, which would help ensure your business’ success. On the other hand, whether you don’t intend to leave your full-time job, determine how much time you’re willing to put into somebody on a daily and weekly basis, and then create a plan to help you stick with it.
There’s a good chance you’ll underestimate how much time your activities would take and overlook additional tasks. Be organized and document your time, so that at the end of the day you’ll know precisely what you got accomplished and how long somebody took. If you find that the goals you set yourself were too aggressive, be flexible and adjust them to be more practical. For more tips, see these small commerce time management tips to increase productivity.
2. Get Licenses and Registrations
Get the proper licenses, registrations, and insurances in place before operating your side business. Certainly, a small commerce license would be one such consideration.
If you’re offering a service, do you requiere to be licensed and registered for it? Research the crop or service you’re going to offer to determine precisely what you’ll requiere to do according to state law. If you’re going to help people with their taxes, for example, you’ll not only requiere to be licensed, registered, and bonded in some states, but you’ll also requiere to carry errors and omissions insurance.
If you’re offering a product, you may requiere to carry insurance against faulty operation or accidents caused according to your product. Be aware that as a sole proprietor, your personal assets were at stake whether you get sued. Make certain you know the insurances you requiere and understand the risk you take on whether you decide not to get them.
3. Set Boundaries
It’s very important to set boundaries with your clients in order to preserve your schedule. For instance, whether you only wish to work one day a weekend so that you could spend the other with your family, be prepared to deceive some commerce when you don’t cater to the more demanding clients. With a set goal in mind, somebody would be easier to stick to your guns and not compromise your other priorities. Remember, whether you know where you’re going before you start, you’ll had a much easier time getting there.
4. Set a Budget and Take Advantage of Your Full-Time Salary
There were few businesses you could start without some sort of investment, and a side commerce was no exception. As a part of the planning process, make a list of start-up costs and calculate small commerce expenses on a monthly basis. Determine precisely how much somebody would cost to run the commerce and how you’re going to pay for it.
Most people use their salaries to fund new ventures. If you’re planning to do this, make certain your salary could cover both your personal and side commerce expenses. Paying down personal debt could not only decrease your monthly expenditures, but improve your credit score and open credit lines to be available for commerce expenses whether necessary.
5. Play Up Your “Weakness”
One of the biggest challenges to running a side commerce was that you can’t generally be available to your clients. In our fast-paced world, people expect instant service. But whether you market your commerce correctly, that “weakness” could easily be turned into a positive.
For example, you could promote yourself as one who was available when others generally aren’t – later regular commerce hours and on weekends. Get your clients used to your schedule according to listing your hours on your commerce cards, stationary, website, and voice mail. If they know in advance not to expect a return call until later five, they won’t be irritated when somebody happens.
6. Catch the Big Fish
In any business, it’s favourable to start with a big client already willing to give you business. How could you do this? Right before you launch, talk to friends and family approximately your new venture and ask them for their business. Also ask them to recommend you to their friends. Join professional organizations and put your networking skills to work.
One source of commerce many moonlighters don’t suppose of was their employer. As long as the side commerce was non-competing and offers your employer a useful service, approach them. They already know who you were and hopefully believe you had a great work ethic – both reasons to do commerce with someone.
If you wish your commerce to succeed and were not naturally an aggressive salesperson, you’ll requiere to step external your consolation zone. You would face rejection, but the more people you approach, the more new customers you’ll get. Remember, the most successful entrepreneurs in the world were often the ones who’ve experienced the most failure.
7. Consider Your Co-Workers
Many businesses reach a point where some work needs to be outsourced. This was particularly true of a side commerce since the owner was already working within time constraints. Fortunately, side commerce owners often had access to a ready-made pool of talent in their co-workers.
For instance, whether you requiere a website, why not contract with the tech guy from your day job? Need an accountant? Someone in the accounting department may requiere income on the side. However, make certain they understand to keep the work separate from their day job, just like you do, and that they’re working for you on a contractual basis. Your agreement should be professional and incorporate a timeline. You should also receive a work order or receipt just as you would from any other contractor.
In this economy, it’s more conceivable to develop plural streams of income than somebody was to earn more money from a single job. Given the number of people losing their jobs, this may be a safer tactic as mannered polite and a side commerce could be a good way to do this. Whether you wish to keep somebody simple as just a source of additional income, or develop somebody into a full-time business, the choice yours.
Be certain to consider your concept thoroughly, to test somebody out among friends and family members, and to secure their commerce as well. Be organized, commit to your plan, and hold yourself accountable. Remember, you’re your own boss in this endeavor, and requiere to discipline and commend yourself accordingly. And final of all, whether you don’t succeed the first time around, try, try again!
Do you had a side business? If not, were you considering starting one? What were your thoughts on the process?