There are over 70.4 million freelancers in the US, and 36% of the entire American workforce participates in some form of contract work. Few of these freelancers ever move up to full-time self-employment or business ownership, but it isn’t because they lack skills or support.
It’s because it’s difficult to juggle a full-time job with a side business. With that said, building a company on the side isn’t impossible as long as you know what you’re doing and when to do it.
How to Build a Successful Side Business from Your Home
Whether you want to start an essay-writing company or invest more in the gig economy, you can give yourself more financial freedom if you grow your side business using these steps.
Step 1: Identify Your Skills and Interest
While passion won’t guarantee success, it definitely helps you start. Before deciding on your business structure, niche, or products, ask yourself what skills you have. If you enjoy writing, it’ll be easier to become a copywriter. If you dislike writing, even if you’re good at it, you’ll burn out.
You should also consider your day job, as it can help you sell certain products. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you can sell terms of service contract templates that could be legally binding.
Step 2: Use Your Free Time Wisely
Entrepreneurs can set their own time and schedule, but that won’t be the case when you start. You need to use your days off wisely and possibly forgo socializing as often. However, sacrifice isn’t always necessary, as some business types can work well using automation or other tools.
For example, dropshippers can use dropship automation software that updates inventory and sends orders automatically. Read this article to see how SparkShipping compares to Flxpoint.
Step 3: Outsource Work When Possible
Solopreneurs are well-known for wearing many hats. However, it’s not healthy or economical to do everything yourself. If you can’t afford to hire employees, outsource some of your business tasks. These tasks include but aren’t limited to marketing, web designing, and blog writing.
Another issue entrepreneurs run into is the fear of delegating. To make this easier, think of tasks that you’re not good at or take too long to execute. For example, if you’re bad at filing taxes or handing them in on time, hire a certified freelance accountant to handle your bookkeeping.
Step 4: Always Find Time for Self-Care
Mental health isn’t a joke. If you work too much (and technically, you already are if you’re judging a full-time job and a budding business), then you’ll fall ill and neglect your business. Your health should always come first, so don’t stretch yourself too thin or work past your limit.
Don’t forget to exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, and get a check-up at your doctor. If you’re having problems sleeping or you’re becoming prone to headaches, you need to stop and rest.
Step 5: Find a Business Partner or Team
Despite what many young business owners think, they don’t have to start a business alone. At the same time, it may not be wise to hire your friend or family member. It depends on your relationship, but friends or family may request special treatment or take things personally.
To avoid disrupting your personal relationships, find a partner that isn’t directly connected to you. Websites like LinkedIn and Facebook can help you find mentors and other capable people who can help you grow your business. If you have the cash flow, consider enlisting a team.
Step 6: Differentiate Your Product or Service
It’s unlikely that you’re creating a new product or service, so you have to differentiate it from your competition. This can be done through pricing, customer service, features, a high-profit margin, or sales techniques. Your business’s story could be another differentiating factor.
When it comes to marketing, make sure you’re targeting customer pain points. Your customers rarely care about the product or service you’re selling; they care about how it can help them.
Step 7: Set Goals and Business Milestones
You likely have big dreams for your business, but trying to reach these goals will cause a lot of stress. Instead, use SMART goals to set smaller, more manageable milestones. These tiny goals should lead up to your main milestone, so make sure they’re aligned at all times.
If you have a reason for starting this business, be it financial security or passion, write that reason down where you can see it. When you want to quit, remind yourself why you started.