The Ultimate Guide to Being Self Employed and Starting a Side Business

Contributed by Ethan Holden

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Having a stable job gives you undeniable security regarding the next day and the next meal. However, more and more people are starting to work outside of a traditional business. Start-ups, freelancing and app development have made the labor market more flexible than ever. Aside from fully fledged entrepreneurs, there are people who start their own business while maintaining a full-time job.

Doing so requires a lot of work and effort from the part of the individual. Tips and tricks are always welcome to alleviate some of the stress placed upon the new employee/entrepreneur so here what helped me start a side business.

1.   The Idea

Just like the start of any other business, you firstly need a great idea, a special product. Testing its success with a small-scale side business before taking out loans to start a bigger enterprise is ideal at this stage. This way, you will be keeping the safety of your job, but also acquiring additional information regarding the market viability of an idea.

In general side businesses that cost very little to start and maintain but which can easily grow and develop with time have the highest chance of succeeding.

2.   Cut Costs

Before charging head on into opening a side business, you need to sit down with pen and paper and jot down the inferred costs and the projected profits of your business. This step helped me save a lot of money and time, as not all ideas are worth a serious investment.

It’s most likely to start a side business without too many funds, so utilize the money you have in a clever way. Keeping track of your every dime with modern features such as the Simmons Bank online banking system allows you to better organize your spending. This way, you will have the freedom to fulfil duties at workplace and focus on the bigger picture for side business at the same time.

3.   The Commitment

After you register a business idea and realize that it is financially profitable to start a side business upon it, you need to start another list. This time, you will be taking into consideration the other important currency of today – time.

Nowadays, investing time into an idea is the same as investing money. Just like money, time has already been dedicated to a series of activities, be it extra work at job, family time or simply weekends meant for relaxation. A side business will take a sizeable share out of all of these and will especially hurt your relationships, so make sure you are committed to the idea, as you may have to sacrifice some things along the way.

4.   Motivation

The commitment to your side business has to be done only once and then it can be used as a personal pinpointed inspirational moment. But finding the motivation to maintain a fulltime job and newly obtained responsibilities regarding your own business is entirely another thing.

As such, it is important to take into account the benefits of doing both. Business-wise, a steady outside income that covers the living expenses is an essential resource. Without the stress of the next day, your creativity can take center stage within the side business.

In turn, as the business grows, it will also start to give you a renewed sense of security, severing the cord of dependency between me and my job. Motivation can be found in a number of places and it is a deeply personal feeling. However, its importance cannot be understated.

5.   Reasonable Goals

Setting goals for my side business was an effective way to induce motivation. Moreover, it was proof of a sound business plan. Knowing my limits and not overextending beyond them kept my business alive and well for a longer period of time, allowing me to learn and obtain essential skills for running a business.

Starting from a creative and marketable idea and ending with reasonable goals, running a side business can be extremely beneficial to everyone. Aside from earning extra income, it develops one as a business person and makes him a better employee. For all these reasons, being self-employed can be a deal that you might want to seriously take into consideration!

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