Six Steps to Launch Your Side Business

Six Steps to Launch Your Side Business

Having a full-time job that you love can be more rewarding than one that pays more. Having a great job may not always align with your financial situation.  Many people are grateful for making enough money to cover monthly expenses but unfortunately don’t make enough to pay off debt or save for an emergency fund. Many people generate more income by starting a side business. Starting a side business, while continuing to work your full-time job, is a great way to explore your interests while earning extra income.

Here’s a quick-start guide to help get your side business up and running:

1. GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER

An initial investment is required to start most businesses no matter how big or small. Startup costs like licenses, marketing materials, and supplies can eat away at any budget. Look at your current financial plan and assess where you can cut back so you don’t go into debt just starting out. Take your lunch to work, make your own coffee at home, or buy groceries in bulk to save money.

2. REALISTICALLY ASSESS YOUR TIME

Look at a typical day and figure out if you have the time to manage a side business. A side business isn’t limited to 9 to 5. You are responsible for the planning, marketing, sales, and accounting for your business. If the money starts flowing in you can eventually hire an accountant or salesperson, but in the beginning it all falls on you. Take into account your work, family, and community obligations and determine how much time you can dedicate to your side business on a daily and weekly basis.

Read more: 5 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Business

3. WRITE A QUICK BUSINESS PLAN

While I’m a huge advocate for writing a detailed business plan, I’d suggest you start with The One-Page Business Plan to identify your strengths and weaknesses. A Business Plan is what I call a living document, meaning that it is always changing. As your business grows, you will need to write a more in-depth business plan which should incorporate any lessons learned.

4. OBTAIN PROPER LICENSES AND PERMITS

You may need to obtain federal and state licenses to make your business official. Check your state guidelines to make sure you’re in compliance. Select your state to find out what’s required.

5. KNOW WHERE TO SELL

There are certain essentials you will need to promote your side business.

  • Website – Get a website for your business.
  • Set up your social media profiles. 
  • Look up local community events like flea markets, church events, and fairs to see if it makes sense to set up a table to sell your goods. If the cost is too much for you, consider partnering with a complementary business to reserve a rental space.
  • Use websites that allow you to sell your goods online:

6. GET YOUR MONEY

Collecting money is the best part of having a side business. Accepting credit card payments has never been easier and more affordable. I highly recommend you set up a business account to collect any funds and keep them separate from your personal funds to avoid trouble with the IRS.

Check out these great tools:

Read More: Small Business Tax and Record Keeping Tips

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