Summary: Are you considering starting your own business or are already trying to run a side business? Follow these 5 tips to ensure your success.
With the internet and smartphones opening up so many channels of communication and business opportunity, creating a “side hustle” on top of your full time job has become easier, less of a financial investment, and therefore much more popular. You’ve probably seen friends on your Facebook feed who are involved in MLMs, throwing online “parties” to tell you about a product or creating online fitness groups and workout programs. You might also know someone who is starting a business on their own, whether that is something like freelance creative work or creating their own product.
With all of these new opportunities to create an extra source of income, and often an outlet for creativity or hobbies, it can be hard to know where to begin and what to do to make your business successful. If you’re thinking about starting your own business or you’re in knee deep and could use some help, here are five key tips to having a successful side project.
- Sell yourself. This isn’t about going out there and selling your product, it’s about selling yourself. You’re never going to get your business off the ground if no one knows about it, so you have to learn how to talk about your project, why you’re passionate about it and why they should be too. Create an elevator pitch for your business, which means come up with what you would say if you had 30 seconds in an elevator with someone to explain your project. Actually sit down and write what you would say and then practice it. Every time someone asks you what you’re working on - share that pitch and then adjust as needed. You are your biggest selling point.
- Find Collaborators. No man is an island. You might want to go into business on your own, but collaborating with other entrepreneurs can pay off big time. Consider putting together an event or specific program with someone else whose business meshes with yours. You don’t have to become partners, this is just temporary, but the project will expose each of you to each other’s audiences as well as grow your own skill set as you learn from how they work.
- Work on a project that can help you build “real life” skills. For example, if you’d love to move into a more communications or marketing based role in your company, having a side project where you do all of your own marketing can help you build the skills you need to demonstrate to your current workplace what you know and what you’re capable of. Instead of enlisting the help of others, ask questions, take courses and research how to do these skills yourself so that you can add them to your resume.
- Charge for your time and effort. So many people are uncomfortable around the topic of money, especially when it comes to asking someone to pay you for a service. If you were working as a doctor and helping someone, you’d expect them to pay you, right? So why shouldn’t someone pay you for creating a workout program for them or spending hours of your time being their life or business coach? It’s the same concept. Just because you don’t have a larger corporation or business to make you feel more legitimate doesn’t mean you aren’t just as deserving.
- Treat your business like an experiment. By treating your project as an experiment, it won’t feel as mentally defeating if something doesn’t work out right away or you need to try a different path. When you think of it as an all or nothing success or failure, you’re likely to quit early on. However, when you treat your project as an experiment and something doesn’t go your way, you can see it as a hypothesis being proven wrong for one reason or another. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take it seriously, but this mindset takes the pressure off of you to be perfect and makes the experience more enjoyable and likely more successful in the long run.
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