7 tips to start a profitable side business while you work a full-time job

Last time, we had 20 small business ideas for full-time workers. As every worker would tell you, though, starting a side business on a full-time job could be more than a handful.

Not only does it put so much pressure on your time and resources, it could potentially distract you from your current job and possibly get you fired, leaving you with neither your job nor a fully established business.

That said, it still makes sense on all fronts to set up more streams of income for yourself if you truly want a life of financial security and fulfillment doing the things you love. Besides, depending on one source of income is a very risky proposition in today’s world.

So how exactly do you go about creating a part-time business for yourself while you have a full-time job? I will share 7 tips with you in this post, tips to help you create a profitable side-business for yourself so you can have an extra stream of income for yourself and even be able to quit your job in the near future.

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7 tips to start a small-scale side business on a full-time job

1. Make the commitment

This is the very first, and the most difficult, step to creating a side business – being able to say, “OK! I’m going to do this!” More than that, it is also being able to actually do something about it. Most people want to start another business but they have not made a commitment to start it – the two are clearly different things.

Making a commitment involves taking practical steps to move things along.

When I started this blog, one of the first things I did was to register a domain name. I had not written one article, I had not refined my plans, but I had to take the first steps to show I was committed to doing it.

If I had not taken that practical step, a lot of things like self-doubt could make me drop the idea and keep looking for other things. Because I had committed to it, I had to follow it through.

Take your first steps of commitment.

It could be registering your business name, or registering for training to acquire some skills you need. It could be locking up your television in another room or refusing to renew your cable subscription (I actually did this – it was the only way to keep from distracting myself with television).

Whatever it is you need to do, making the commitment actually moves you further to the next phase of starting your business. It is way more productive than just wanting to do something.

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2. Understand the drawbacks

You need to understand the drawbacks to starting a side business and find ways to work around them.

Starting a side hustle will definitely demand more of your time and because you may not have a lot of time (you have a full-time job), managing your own business could become a challenge. So what do you do?

Time management is very important (Read Jemma Reeve’s article on Managing Your Time Like a Boss). Make a list of your daily activities and decide to rule out items in the list you can do without. You may not realize it but you can save a lot of daily time by cutting out trivial things like social media, chatting on WhatsApp or watching TV.

There are profitable business you can work on in your spare time. I listed 20 of them and there are lots more if you look closely. it could also help to put someone in charge of your business, someone you can trust, like family members or friends.

3. Set your targets

You need to be clear on what you want to get out of your side business. This would determine your level of planning, resource allocation and management.

Some people start a side business so they can have more money to complement their wages. Others start a business so they can build enough financial capacity to quit their jobs and become full-time entrepreneurs. Others start for many different reasons.

Whatever your reason is, be clear about it. Determine what your end goal is. It will help you track your progress.

4. S W O T

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. it is a self-assessment tool in business to list what you have, what you need, and pitfalls to avoid.

Take a pen and analyze your SWOT. What resources do you have? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have the requisite skills handle your new business? What are your hard and soft skills?

When you do this, be honest with yourself especially when it comes to knowing your strengths and weaknesses. You are not making a wish-list – skills/attributes you wish you had. You are making an actual list of things you do have.

If you don’t have good management skills, admit that to yourself. That way you can work around it instead of carrying a false impression and running your business into the ground.

5. Validate your business idea

It’s not enough to have a business idea; you need to make sure your idea will sell.

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Is there a market for your business? Where is the market? If you are setting up an evening bar, for example, you should make sure the people you target can come out in the evening. I have seen neighborhoods where folks retire to their houses before 7 pm. Setting up an evening bar in such neighborhoods could be a waste of your time and money.

Validate your business idea before you commence.

6. Draw a clear line

You need to draw a clear line between your job and your business. Don’t do your business on company time, don’t develop your business using company resources.

Some people are so eager to become their own bosses that, when they start a side hustle, they commit less and less time to their day jobs believing their side business is more important than working for someone else. This is wrong.

Even when your ultimate goal is to become your own boss, you still have an obligation to your current boss and if you falter in that obligation, it does not say much for your integrity.

When you become your own boss, you may need to employ other people to work for you, people who are within their rights and wisdom to start their own business while working for you. You may not believe in karma but if you fail to do your job you could get fired, and you need the salary – that’s why you have the job in the first place.

Starting a side business is difficult but if you are going to do it, do it right.

7. Don’t quit your job yet

Don’t be in a hurry to quit your job. Make sure you have a good rhythm going and everything is working smoothly. Even when they are, you may need to build a strong financial foundation before you can quit your job. Besides, if you are getting paid on both sides, there’s little need to rush eh?

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Living a life of financial freedom could mean you need to sacrifice some of your time and resources today to make it happen tomorrow. Having a job is great but it won’t make you wealthy. So take the step today and create extra sources of income for yourself so you can enjoy tomorrow.

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