8 Simple Ways of Starting a Business by the Side

Indian businesswoman sitting in lobby area

Most women would love to be their own bosses. Much as they love their jobs, they would like a job or career that offers them the much needed time to spend with family. While they yearn to transition from paid employment to their very own business, they fear losing the security a steady paycheck brings and the uncertainty and volatility of the business terrain. What if the business fails to meet their expectations or fails to bring in income like its meant to?

While the business terrain can be a little tough, you can militate against these risk by starting the right way. One good way to ensure your transition is as smooth as as risk-free as possible is to start your business while still in paid employment. The first 3-5 years of a business are its survival years, which means it either breaks-even or goes under within those years.

The beauty of starting a business by the side is that you still get a steady income from your business grows and you also have something to fall back on in the case of eventuality.

So, with that in mind, you should go ahead to start your side business. Here are eight steps that will simplify your transitioning from paid employment to business:

1. List Your Strengths and Interests

You must have heard the suggestion that you should only start a business you have a strong passion for. To further build on this, part of your strength is also starting a business you have extensive knowledge on, not just the passion, that way, it becomes easier to start.

If you lack the knowledge, it might be best to get yourself trained in your free time before starting, that way, when you do finally start you start strong.

2. Carry Out Adequate Feasibility Study

Its so easy to come up with a business idea, get pretty excited and anxious about it and start the very next day. The danger with this action is that you may very well start a business no one wants.

A feasibility studies helps determine if there’s a market for your business idea and how you can go about reaching them. It saves you a lot of wasted time and resources if the business idea is not feasible.

3. Check with Your Company’s Policies

Some companies policies require employees not to run businesses by the side and there are signed contracts to this effect. You might want to get cleared on that front before starting.

4. Draw Out a Plan

Once you’ve determined your business is viable and you are free to start, the next step is to draw out a plan on how you’ll start and how your marketing will look like.

Your plan should be detailed and address the following issues:

– The particular problems your business seeks to solve.

– What sets you apart from other businesses out there (you should have a unique competitive advantage over your competitors).

– Your marketing plans: the channels for reaching your intended clients.

– Ways you plan on generating revenues.

5. Set Measurable and Realistic Goals

Your business is off the ground and kicking and you are determined to be the next Dangote before the year runs out. While setting goals is admirable, your goals should be measurable and realistic.

Have a plan of what you what to achieve weekly, monthly, or quarterly. You should also celebrate every goal you meet as this will encourage you to plan more.

6. Outsource Your Weakness
No man is an island of knowledge or skills and there will be areas in your business you are less knowledgeable in. It would be best for you to partner with someone or get an employee who will handle these areas, that way things are left running smoothly always.

7. Set Up a Savings Account in Preparation for Quitting

Your business may be well able to stand by itself by the time you are ready to quit, but most of the income might need to be plowed back into it to encourage its growth. Being out of a job, you would need regular finance to maintain a certain degree of your lifestyle. Putting your hands into your company’s till is bad idea and bad for your company.

Each month set aside a particular portion of your salary in a savings account to be used as a cushioned fund for later. You might want to do this for several months and get an attractive nest egg built. What you save should be able to tide you through several months after living your job, if you live a frugal lifestyle.

8. Time to Quit

At this point, your business is making enough to not be in the critical zone anymore. You also have a reasonable amount stored up to cushion your exist. You can now confidently (and yes, with a little swag) approach your boss and tender your resignation.

I should add here that your exit from the company should be as professional as possible. It might not be in your best interest to tell your boss to shove it (even if you desperately want to). You never can tell what the future holds and if he might turn out to be one of your biggest clients, or be your best word of mouth advertiser. Its never best to burn a bridge so badly you forever ruin your chances of using it again.

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