There could never be a more opportune time than now to start a business. Because of our continuous advancing technology, you can literally start a business in one day. But you have to have a plan.
Making that decision to leave your 9-5 job takes courage. I am sure there are many of you that just want to supplement your income.
And that is okay.
There is absolutely no downside to starting a side business. Have you ever thought about side hustling?
So how do you start?
Even though it is just a side business you still need to have a plan. We spoke to Michelle Schroeder-Gardner on our Business Podcast – The Daily Grind Podcast, the founder of makingsenseofcents.com on how she turned her blog into a full-time success story. She now makes ridiculous money per month.
She started a side hustle because she was in debt, she hated her full-time job and she was having a difficult time controlling her spending. So she started a blog. She read a lot of articles and listened to podcasts to motivate her to get better at what she was doing. Her learning curve changed her from having a limited mindset to being more open and to learning new things. Her business grew to the point that allowed her to leave the job she truly disliked. Her advice today – is to stop being normal. Thinking this way holds you back and it leads you to being lazy; in fact, the average person watches 30 hours of television per week. Ouch.
Matt Miller started his side business 13 years ago out of necessity. He started with $100 and purchased his first simple gum ball machine for $36 on eBay. Matt is currently running a franchise operation that has spread across the United States and helps public schools raise money using a vending platform. He also offers a vending program for people wanting to develop a secondary income stream with a limited time commitment.
A side hustle has more advantages than securing a part-time job. You can start to develop your idea on your own time. You have the freedom to work on it when you are not working your full‑time job. You have the time……. if you want it badly enough.
To be successful in any business whether it is a side business or not, you have to have a plan. It is a process.
Here are the steps to help you fully develop your concept:
- Ideas are just an assumption. Start with what you are good at and then define what unique product or service that you want to offer. Get down to why you are doing the business by answering this question: Are you getting into the business to get money or profits or is it your mission to build something that allows you to move out of your full-time business.
- Describe what is happening in your business. What are you doing in the business when you are not doing your F/T job? If you are selling a product, visualize what you are selling, what it looks like, what it does, and how your customer buys it from you.
- Identify your “ideal customer” – can you describe your customer. Do you know what they like? Can your service or product help them? Then build your business around your ideal customer.
- Validate your business idea. Get honest feedback from your potential ideal customer.
- Select what products or services you want to sell. Find a niche. Select potential suppliers
- Create a business plan. This is now an easy process for you because you now have all the elements of a Business Plan. It’s amazing how this document helps you. It is your roadmap. It outlines what you are doing and how you are doing it.
- Complete a financial forecast. You may think this sounds difficult so find someone who can help you. Let me tell you, this document will bring your concept to life in “numbers” and “numbers” are what business is all about.
- Develop a marketing strategy – you have to fight obscurity in the early days of business.
- Never stop learning.
- Trust the process
- Break the business down into incremental pieces and consistently work on it each day.
- Look for mentors or coaches or look for any advice from people who are doing what you want to do.
- Think like a customer. Look at your product and service and ask yourself: “How does it create value to your ideal customer?”
- Whatever you are offering, you need to develop your brand. You brand should resonate with your customers. It should be clear and it should be different. By the way, creating a Website is not your brand.
- Hire people who can do things that you cannot do.
- Have patience and be accountable.