Starting an Online Business While Working Full Time

08/19/2022 13:16:37 +0000
Are you an employee looking to start your own venture? Establishing a side business is a great way to increase your sources of income.
In addition, some experiences will be helpful to you as a professional and for personal growth. However, realizing a balance between your day job and a side gig is no small feat.
Setting up a physical business requires a lot of resources. For instance, let's say you are good at window replacement, furniture assembly, or fixing leaking pipes.
You can use such skills to help people without the skills or time to accomplish such tasks. However, physically demanding skills can sometimes be difficult to do partly because they take a long time, are exhausting, and require your physical presence.
This is where online businesses come in.
Unlike the picture the media paint, you do not have to quit your job to begin working on that gig you have been thinking about. The beauty of online businesses is that you could start out small even if you still don't have a customer base. You can gradually nurture your side gig as you continue relying on your primary job as a source of income.
With the growth of your business, you can continuously upscale it to serve more clients and generate more revenue. Also, you can remain at the same level of sanity as you engage in your primary job.
Where Do I Start?
As you decide on a business venture, factors such as your expertise and passion should be your guide. You will also need to consider how expensive or challenging it might be to launch the venture. Most often than not, starting a business idea is relatively affordable.
You will need to reinvest your earnings in the venture to facilitate its faster growth. For starters, ensure that it is a legal business idea to avoid conflict with local authorities. In addition, it is best to set up your company as a limited liability entity to ensure your personal property is not at risk if the business fails.
The next part is one of the hardest—deciding on the business.
If you have knowledge or experience in a particular field, you can use your certifications or skill sets and become a local consultant. Many businesses are ready to partner with professional consultants to help them overcome challenges like implementing business strategies.
Providing such services is easier in this digital age as more businesses adopt online communication. You can easily schedule calls and even do presentations using various free software such as Zoom and Google Meet.
Nowadays, you can use your talents online. For example, if you are passionate about graphic design, you can offer your services part-time and become among the 10 million United States graphic designers. Currently, sites such as Adobe Post and Canva make graphic design jobs doable for almost anyone.
App or web development and design is another area increasingly gaining popularity among businesses. It's also one of the top-paying online jobs available today. Therefore, if you are great at coding, you can become a consultant, reviewer, or advisor on related projects.
However, talent isn't the only way to get by. You can easily learn these skills at the convenience of your home by taking online courses. Some websites offering these courses include Skillcrush, CareerFoundry, and General Assembly.
Starting an Online Business While Working Full Time
Steps Toward Beginning Your Online Business as You Work Full Time
If you feel ready to start working on your online business, here are the steps to follow.
Inventory Your Abilities, Weaknesses, and Skills
Spend time figuring out your entrepreneurial strengths and lean towards ventures that let you exploit your strengths. What are the skill sets necessary for your intended business? You should have some of the required skills to actualize your business venture. Identifying your strengths allows you to leverage them and gain a competitive edge in your industry.
You will also assess your skill set and figure out which skills you need to gain. This will let you plan on the services you can offer at first and those to come later as you gain more skills.
Question Yourself: How Desperate Are You for It?
Side ventures are time- and energy-demanding. They will pressure your relationships and continuously require you to make hard decisions. Make a list of your commitments and activities and the time you have to allocate to new responsibilities weekly.
Note the engagements you can reduce your involvement in, and ensure they know you are taking a step back to focus on an important project for you. Start by thinking of easy things such as TV time, time spent surfing social media, or on video games. Freeing up a considerable amount of time will result in the faster realization of results.
Identify a Competitive Edge You Possess
A competitive edge is a unique advantage that lets your business realize more margins or sales or gets you a significant market share. Competitive advantage is what makes a business your business. This could be your product offering, cost structure, customer support, distribution network, or a different business aspect.
Validate the Business Idea
A recent comprehensive study by Fortune Magazine assessed 101 failed startups trying to establish the reason for their failure per their founders. The findings were that the leading cause of business failure is the lack of market need for the product.
This sheds light on the necessity of thoroughly validating your idea and receiving truthful feedback from prospective customers before beginning to create, build, and invest.
It is understandable when people imagine they are correct and their ideas are exceptional. However, your product ideas and business concepts are usually not thoroughly thought out, researched, or useful.
Map the Game Plan to the Inauguration Date and Beyond
Setting goals is one thing, but mapping out precisely how to navigate from one point to another is a new challenge. However, after you find a lucrative business idea, you should be exceptionally proactive with the step.
The responsibility of planning your milestones solely lies on your shoulders, though it is impossible to accomplish it all alone. Your problem-solving capability and ability to navigate around the issues helps determine your venture's success level.
Set Up Realistic, Detailed, and Measurable Targets
Failure to set realistic goals and applicable deadlines for your tasks will end up spending more time than you planned for doing nothing significant. In addition, it is challenging to accomplish anything if you have not decided what you want to achieve.
The best practice is establishing your personal daily, weekly, and monthly targets. This helps you adhere to your long- and short-term objectives.
As you get started, your daily targets will be small achievements or to-do lists sort of wins, but with time, you will begin hitting milestones while drawing ever closer to launching the business.
Outsource the Difficult Jobs
This means you should consider outsourcing as many challenging responsibilities as possible in the various aspects of your business startup. However, demanding tasks can take up too much of your time.
For instance, if you plan to set up a simple website, you can use the online drop and drag tools. However, for a complex site, you'll need help as learning all the required skills is simply too great a task. In such a case, it would help to outsource the website development or design.
Realize Critical Mass Before Quitting Your Primary Job
Is your business finally on its feet and making progress? Then, finally, you can quit your day job and focus on its growth. First, however, you need to pause and think this through.
Realizing your first profit margins is a significant step in the right direction, but it is not the green light to quit your job. Aside from those beginning rapid-growth startups that can get investor funding, you will realistically require a viable form of source of income.
It would help if you did not rely on the new venture as the sole source of income. Instead, you need to let it grow until it reaches a critical profits mass that can sustain the cost of business and also pay your bills.
Before quitting, you should consult those already in the venture to understand better what to expect and what the performance trends will be like.
Actively Seek Feedback
Your target is establishing a service or product offering clients added value. Therefore, you must seek outside unbiased feedback to ensure that what you are building will be marketable.
It would be best to do this from the first day. To establish your early feedback group, ensure you target clients you trust to provide honest reviews. You can consider a selection of close entrepreneurial acquaintances, friends, or mentors.
You can then broaden your feedback scope and start to include LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, ProductHunt, Reddit, or GrowthHackers.
Starting an online side hustle is a demanding job while still working, but with proper planning, it's doable. There are many online niches that you can get into. The key is ensuring you are well versed in the industry you are getting into.
Offering skills you already have is a great start. But you can also learn by taking online courses and following experts who are successful in the field. Good luck!
About the Host
Sophie Howard is the founder of Aspiring Entrepreneurs, a community designed to help people develop the skills and confidence to build a business and a life that serves them. Sophie began online in 2013 with an Amazon firm, which she sold for more than $1 million in 2015.

Sophie has lectured on stages all around the world, encouraging and teaching other ambitious entrepreneurs. She has established instructional programs educating thousands of students how to sell online, in addition to releasing over 1000 products.

Sophie has also written a book titled "Aspiring Entrepreneurs: A Guide to Finding Your Best Path to Financial Freedom."
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