In this long-struggling economy, many people are faced with a difficult situation. They have a secure, stable job, but the income just isn’t enough for them to make ends meet, especially in the face of rising utility rates, medical insurance, and college costs for their kids.
Yet they are afraid to leave the job even with an offer of one with better pay, because they know that as the newest hire, they will be the first to go if the employer encounters tough times. They are very much stuck between a rock and a hard place.
With some consideration, many of them come to a clever solution: They will start their own business. This will allow them to retain all the benefits of their established job but also to bring in some extra money during their off hours and days.
For some, this turns out to be a brilliant move. Others struggle. If you are one of the many people who have considered this choice as a way to improve their financial situation, here are some ways to determine if it will work for you.
Can You Handle The Administration?
Probably the single most troublesome area of running a business on the side is the actual nuts and bolts of bookkeeping, inventory management, and so forth. You may be an expert baker, an efficient yard mower, or a world-class photographer, but if you can’t keep the bills paid, the expenses tracked, and the taxes correct, you will fail.
You can also use services like Checkout.com to offer alternative payment options and connect with new customers. Such a solution can increase your online revenue by converting non-card customers into buyers.
Do You Know The Product?
Despite what you might think, the best business opportunity isn’t necessarily the hottest product on the market. Just because high-end cookware or skin care products are the only thing you seem to see on social media doesn’t mean you should sign up with them. Remember that these fad products often fade as quickly as they exploded onto the scene, and with the market so crowded with dealers, your lack of experience will paint you into a corner.
Instead, get into what you know. Most people have a hobby or two that they could parlay into a business. Doing so not only assures you a less-competitive market, it also increases your enjoyment of the work.
Will There Be Employer Conflicts?
The whole reason you are taking on a side business is to avoid quitting your day job, so make sure that your enterprise doesn’t get you fired from your full-time employment.
In spite of your best efforts to insulate the business demands from your work, it can creep in. Clients can call or email you during the day, and the temptation can be to deal with the contact on company time. Try to communicate clearly to your customers that your availability is limited to your free hours, and assure them that you will return calls on breaks or after work.
You may also find that your product or service could be a conflict with your employer. This has cost many a tradesperson a job, when HVAC technicians or plumbers slip off to do side work in the evenings. In time, it will get back around to the employer, who will not appreciate your moonlight competition against them and will probably fire you.
At the heart of capitalism is the ability to take on a business and work to earn your own money. You can have all the benefits of your existing job with a nice boost in your financial situation. That makes it a great strategy for improving your quality of life. Just be thoughtful about the process and don’t let it backfire.