Quick Guide To Starting A Side Business

I know, you want to start a side business to bring in a little cash and you’re finding it overwhelming, right? I know because I was there only a few years ago and a good friend of mine, Robin, shared with me what I am going to share with you.

This knowledge helped me and my wife pay off our student debts. It let us turn our hobbies into a full-time business and today, it means I can write this blog and let you in on the secret.

So here it is, my brief guide, to starting a side business!

You Need Some Time To Start A Side Hustle

“I don’t have enough time in the day to run a business!”

I said it. You’re saying it now.

It’s just an excuse. Not the truth. You must make time to run a business. You spend hours each week watching TV, playing on the internet, computer games, etc. Those are hours you can work. If you want your life to improve; they’re the hours you’re going to have to work.

Here are some tips to find the time you need to run a side hustle:

  •         Get up earlier or stay up later. Sure, you’ll be a little tired, but this isn’t forever. As you start making more money, you can pay other people to take on other work – like cleaning the house, so you’ll be less tired.
  •         Give up your lunch hour. Seriously, take a sandwich and a carton of drink and work through lunch on your own business. It was an hour you were going to waste, make it productive.
  •         Take vacation days and spend them on your business. That’s double pay for a day’s work! You can’t argue with that.
  •         Arrange short breaks at work to cover any business admin you need to do. Don’t go for a cigarette, do email your customers to tell them stuff’s on its way.
  •         Set and keep to a schedule. Then keep to it. When you make time in your diary for your side business, you’ll find the time for it.

Finally, if all else fails, buy a book on time management. Without time management skills you’re not going to successfully start and run a side business.

Decide On What You’re Going To Do

There are an infinite number of opportunities when it comes to a side hustle, but you need to choose one, at least to start with, and that usually means taking a look at yourself and asking some questions:

  •         What skills do you already have? It is best to play to your strengths. There are some skills you can use quickly but if you have a degree in Nuclear Physics, becoming a dance instructor from scratch is a lot more work than you probably want to do.
  •         What can you find a need for? Businesses, at the base level, meet customer needs. It’s that simple. Find something people need and then sell it to them.
  •         Are there enough people who need it? It’s a good idea to do a little research and make sure that there are a lot of people who need what you want to sell. The more customers you have, the more you can earn but too few? You aren’t going to make anything at all.

You’re going to spend a lot of time working on a business, if you can make it something you enjoy or are interested in, it will make it easier to dedicate that time.

There are plenty of straightforward ways to make a bit of extra money if you don’t want to run a business by the way, for example:

  • Blogging. Starting a blog is cheap and easy and you don’t need to spend a fortune to get one up and running. You can use a service Bluehost to launch and host your blog for a low monthly fee.
  • Rent out a spare room in your home. Airbnb can be a great source of additional income and it helps pay off the mortgage.
  •  Get yourself into Swagbucks. Swagbucks is so easy. Both Susan and I spend a lot of time using it. They pay you to search, they pay you to play games, to do surveys and more. They also pay you $5 just to sign up!
  • Earn with Getaround. Let your car pay for itself! Turn your car into a second paycheck with no driving necessary. You’re paid monthly. Earn $10,000 per year actively sharing your parked car.
  • Start answering surveys. Check out these survey sites.
  •  Invest. Finding a stock broker isn’t hard and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Motif Investing, for example, lets you manage a portfolio for less than $10 a month! You can get an account today.
  • Need more ideas? Check out my post with over 50 ideas for making money in your spare time.

Grow That Business Through Marketing And Learning

Once you’ve decided what kind of business to launch; it’s time to grow that business. Marketing makes customers. Customers make money. Here are some great ways to start marketing without spending a fortune:

  • Local adverts. Print some flyers and some business cards. Hand them out locally. Advertise on local billboards. That’s not expensive.
  • Join community groups or business groups. Your local Chamber of Commerce, your web designer meet up, etc. they’re all places to network.
  • Get a website on the go . Even the most offline business needs a website and it’s not hard to get one made. In fact, at Bluehost, you can make your own with no prior experience and it’s easy.
  • Call people, write to people, visit people. If you know who your customers will be – get out and see them. Some will say “no” but many more will say “yes” when you’re persistent.
  • Ask customers for referrals. If you have customers, ask them to recommend more customers. This is the easiest way to grow.

Talk To And LISTEN TO Your Customers

To stay in growth mode, make sure you set aside time to talk to your customers about their needs and frustrations and LISTEN to them. There’s a time to be defensive about feedback but it’s never with the people who keep your business afloat.

Check In For A Little Work-Life Balance

When a business is a side-hustle, it’s easy to find your whole life becoming nothing but work. That’s no fun and it certainly isn’t going to motivate you to make a ton of money. So, you need to find a work-life balance. Lots of people find this the hardest part of making money. It doesn’t have to be.

Here are some quick tips on that:

  • Don’t be afraid to outsource. Activities you don’t enjoy or that take a lot of time without producing much reward or fun should be outsourced at the earliest opportunity. This doesn’t have to be fancy, hiring next door’s teenager to deliver packages round the neighborhood is outsourcing.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. Everyone sucks at multi-tasking this is a fact. So, don’t do it. Do one thing, do it well and then move onto the next. If you can’t do this. Outsource until you can.
  • When you finish work, finish with work. Don’t start talking about work after you’re done for the day. Give yourself time to enjoy your life. Read a book, spend time with your partner or friends, watch TV, go for a run but switch off the work thing.
  • Develop a schedule and stick to it. This may be the best bit of advice ever, but it can be hard to pull off.

A Few Final Ideas On Running And Starting A Side Business

It’s not easy to succeed at running a business but it is fulfilling. Keep these things in mind and you’ll find it a bit easier though:

  • If you can follow your passion, do. Look you already have a job. The second one shouldn’t feel like work unless it has to. Following your passion is a great way to develop a side hustle that you love.
  • Make sure your side gig fits the rest of your life. It’s a side thing not your main gig. Make sure you build it with enough flexibility that it doesn’t interfere with your main revenue source until you are ready for it to.
  • Get an accountant and a lawyer. Yes, they cost money. Yes, they will pay you back tenfold in a year. You want contracts that stop people from cheating you and to ensure you pay your taxes but only as much as you have to.

These are the tips that Robin passed on to me and that I now pass on to you. Starting a side business isn’t easy but it is worth it.

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