Now that the internet has achieved near ubiquitous usage, there has never been a better time for aspiring entrepreneurs to cultivate businesses in their time off their regular day jobs. Unfortunately, most of these businesses will fail or simply be abandoned. While some of these businesses were doomed regardless of what the proprietor did, many could have been saved by following these simple tips.
Network, Network, Network
The importance of networking to any side business cannot be overstated. No matter the field, personal connections are going to be a fantastic source of clients or partnerships that can help make the difference between a small business failing or succeeding.
An aspiring entrepreneur should be networking through their personal and professional connections, as well as through the internet. Industry conferences are a great place to meet individuals with whom there are shared business interests as well as the opportunity for partnerships. Industry-specific websites and forums are an excellent place to share advice and potentially develop valuable connections that can turn into sales or contracts in the future.
When networking, the most important tip to remember is to keep it casual and always put the value adding aspects of the business at the forefront of the conversation.
Strict Time Management
While growing and managing a side business, it is easy to get burnt out by being available around the clock. Not only that, but entrepreneurs who stretch themselves too thin may be at risk for seeing their day job/main source of income suffer from lack of attention.
Due to these pitfalls, it is recommended that entrepreneurs maintain a strict schedule for the daily efforts they put into their side gig. When this time is set aside is unimportant. Some people work best in the early morning and others in the evening and nighttime. The important part is that every day there are a set number of hours that are put into the side gig, be it through business development, client outreach, or marketing.
There will be times where much more than the usual block of work time is required, but that only means that the entrepreneur’s efforts are seeing tangible benefits.
Utilizing technology efficiently is of paramount importance to a side business, especially if it is a sole proprietorship. Because side businesses must be run during free time, it is necessary to make all hours spent on the business productive and efficient.
Understanding the technology that a side business will rely upon is going to vary depending on the field of the business, there are still best practices that will apply to any industry. Proper email management and a scheduling program is a must. As is understanding the technology used to market a side business. Emerging entrepreneurs can all benefit from learning the basics of web development and website traffic metrics.
Starting a side business is a learning process, and it is important for an entrepreneur to test out which business practices work for them. Regardless of the venture, following these basic principles is an excellent starting point to watching a business succeed.