Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam
I don't know about you but I started my side hustle while working at my 11 - 7 (Yes 11AM to 7AM) and you know what, There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Well, I liked to call it my own personal seed bank, a steady flow of cash that I know will fund that little startup cost until I can start turning a set goal profit that more than doubles my current salary.
When that happened... Oh, trust me I was long gone from working for anyone else again. (haha)
You know in all honesty between me and you starting a side business while running your current job can be a downright mission. But many people want to, have started or had successfully managed to get a side business up off the ground.
And at the end, every ounce of effort you put in is worth it. This article will reveal to you how to go about starting a side business, going over the realistic side of doing this and some useful tips that won’t allow for you to be put between a rock and a hard place! (I know because I've been there.)
There are many great reasons why starting up a side business can benefit you and it’s not even really necessary to quit your 9 - 5 job, depending on how you structure your time.
These reasons include the value of independence, of following your dreams and passions and of increasing your income. All of these things can be accomplished creatively in your spare time.
You would get to be in charge of the decision making and be able to choose to work on what you enjoy most in life, in the niche or verticle that you love the most and create an income out of that!
Following your passions and aspiring to achieve goals is also immensely rewarding and will boost your confidence in yourself and your abilities. Sometimes it’s hard for us to believe just exactly what we are capable of doing or how ingenious we can be when we get down to it!
Starting Off Is Never Easy – Realistic Hardships To Expect On Your Way
While building a side business has many life-altering benefits, it’s not all a walk in the park and there are some realistic hardships you can anticipate in the beginning, especially if you are working an ordinary job to keep yourself simultaneously sustained and supported.
Just know that you will be pushing yourself to bring your business off the ground while moving about your daily grind, which is naturally going to restrict the amount of time and energy you can devote to your side venture. It’s very important not to overdo it, as you can burn yourself out from overworking.
Yes, the beginning progress may be slow, but if there is no progress taking place, you can’t get anywhere! Take into consideration that your attention span will be divided most of the time too, because of these constraints.
You will have to focus on other obligations and your current job first before you can move over to your exciting new business.
Meanwhile, when you're working on your side venture, you may feel that you are needing to spend more time with your family or on yourself – these are all common frustrations and one learns to become a master with how to spend their time.
Lastly, being an entrepreneur is a steep learning curve and that alone has deterred many beginners who feel overwhelmed at the prospect of it.
Oh... and expect to have to read up more about marketing, sales, target audiences, online advertising and a whole bunch of other business related topics before you begin monetizing your passions. It can be a long but worthwhile journey but stick with me.
Every business niche itself will require further studying and the chances are your fields of interest has more information that you can learn to improve your business.
A lot of your beginning time is going to be spent learning and researching new information. (Take all of this in!)
Some Helpful Guidelines to Contemplate
There are a few useful tips to consider, now that we’ve understood some of the hardships you might face at the beginning of walking this path.
Your side business can be a success and it’s helpful to always be aware of what direction you are heading in, your destinations and your primary goals.
Keep focused on these at all times and keep moving towards them. Your goals put your priorities in perspective and help you to manage your time wisely.
You need to keep your efforts as goal-oriented as possible and try your best not to deviate, working only on the things that are absolutely necessary to get this side project booming.
It may be useful to have a list of "What Not To Do", alongside your "To Do List", to minimize distractions from the main priorities at hand (which should always be in line with the main goals).
Exactly How To Start Up A Creative Side Business
STEP 1 Planning
This is the first step, the one where you need to sit down and think about how you can structure your time in line with your goals and create a schedule for yourself!
Easier said than done right. Often it’s difficult to understand your limits and the amount of work you can achieve until you actually try one or two plans.
(I've been there, I know) Remember, you are going to be tired, because you already work a full work day and then you come home and now have to work on your venture, your family still wants your time and maybe your day job left you with some homework.
Don’t worry, just try again, because you can always pick up where you left off. Watch your energy levels over the week and plan your schedule in ways that work with your natural rhythms to help you put the most time that you can into it.
STEP 2 Know Your Customer!
When you begin, you need to have an idea of what you want to do. If you don’t yet, it can be useful to identify the type of customer you want to serve and what would that client need from you.
Are you wanting to serve businesses or individuals? What needs of a business would you be able to fulfill or what group of individuals will you be able to cater for in society?
By ruling out many possibilities and getting a good idea of your customers, you will be able to fine-tune your business to meet the demands these customers require.
Once you have an idea, you will need to conduct research with your potential clientele and have a few questions answered, namely:
- What problem does the client face that you can provide the solution for?
- What are your customer’s goals or expectations for the solutions to be provided?
- How much is your client willing to pay for solutions and is there already an established market for it?
This will determine if your idea fits your target audience and allow you to proceed to step 3!
STEP 3 Create and Try Out Those Ideas & Strategies
The next question to ask is what products and services your customers will be interested in, based on the information you gathered in step 2.
Once you have an idea of all that you can offer, you will need to start testing out if your ideas will work, i.e. which of your products and services is your target market willing to spend their money on?
There are many courses and information online to help you establish if your ideas are worth pursuing. You can also do research like discussing with members of different Facebook groups about what they are looking for in a product or what they might need help with.
This type of research will help you understand what products will give you the highest returns and what appealed to the customers most out of all the services you are going to offer.
This is very important because you have limited time and resources, you need to execute a business plan that you know will work before you start to invest more into it.
These steps save time!...
STEP 4 Make The Prototype For Your Product/Service
Right so now that you have a very good idea of your market and customers, it’s time to start the exciting part and get your juices flowing! It’s time to make your products or services.
You need to spend less time on making the perfect product and get it out there as fast as possible, (but still, provide the best value) because if it doesn’t work, you will have wasted your time and have to start again.
Creating a more minimal value-packed product or service, to begin with, will allow with flexibility on how you’re going to flesh it out at a later stage. Start with what consumers responded to the most in step 3 and don’t be tempted to make more than you can handle in the beginning!
STEP 5 Sell, Sell, Sell!
Time to get that product/service out there! A starting point is usually with the people you conducted your research with, as you know them better and can sell it to them.
Other places to begin selling would logically be where your target market spends large portions of their time – this can be a targeted Facebook group(s) (like mentioned before) Instagram, an online forum or simply searching around google.
This is where you will need to begin to market what solutions you provide to your target audience, but remember you don't have to be on every single social platform.
Pick which platform your audience is mostly into and be a driving force of knowledge and value.
A beneficial selling strategy to use that I will discuss later on in your business is a sales funnel. Not sure what this is? Don't worry we will cover this later on at a different time. This will allow you to take advantage of sales opportunities which will present themselves for your business online.
It also will show you what areas your sales pitch is lacking in and why customers don’t convert to paying customers. Having a sales goal will also be useful in knowing when to tweak your sales funnel, so you can see why you achieve or underachieve on your sales targets.
STEP 6 Take A Step Back and Evaluate
Now let's say for example you’ve sold some of your products (hopefully!) and can have a look at your progress so far. Have you met your sale goals and what were the main reasons you did or didn’t?
This is where you can analyze all the previous steps taken and see what you can do to improve your progress in the future.
Take note of successes to be repeated and failures to be improved upon. Use this opportunity as well to consider other factors, such as your schedule in relation to providing services and the running of your business.
These observations will help you to evaluate the next steps needed to move forward.
STEP 7 Improve and Expand On Your Ideas
Looking at your strengths and weaknesses thus far, devise a new action plan for yourself to take. Rinse and repeat step 6 and 7 until you have a smooth business foundation going for yourself – this can take some time and is a part of that steep learning curve mentioned earlier.
This could mean re-prioritizing your operation or reaching for new opportunities to reach your goals faster, for example expanding on your marketing strategy and getting more people aware of your business or outsourcing different tasks if the business is becoming too big to manage on your own.
This constant process of performing and improving is what will lead your business to succeed, even if it seems impossible right now – having the right entrepreneurial mentality is key.
STEP 8 Pushing Your Business Beyond
Once you have discovered a business model that seems to be working for you, it will be up to you to make even bigger goals and expand it in the way you want to.
The sky is really the limit here with how to proceed once things are up and running. Perhaps you want to quit your 9 - 5 job or offer your services to a larger audience or include more services.
Decide what pushing your business beyond itself and make some new greater goals to achieve. Often this part of the process (if you make enough to quit your job) means sorting out legal matters, like tax and registration and becoming a fully functional business owner!
Perhaps Now Your Side Business Has a Beginning…
There you have it! The step by step inside information you’ve been looking for on how to start a side business while still maintaining a 9 - 5 job.
The world today is more accommodating to those who want to start up their own ventures, especially with the booming trends emerging from the internet in just the past 5 years, anybody can own their own business and live their dreams.
Yes, it still is riddled with challenges and is by no means an easy task to achieve, but ultimately and reap fully the benefits of being an entrepreneur!
Let me know what is stopping you from actually taking that first step in becoming an entrepreneur by starting that side business.
So if you're looking to change your situation in life like I did just click the button below to learn more about my story and how I was about to change my life. Invest in yourself you deserve it as well!