You are now ready to embrace the way of the #5to9Warrior and build a part-time business aka a side hustle. So let’s go over the 6 steps to building a successful part-time business.
1. Developing your why
The first thing you want to do is determine why you want to build a business on a part-time basis because if you are looking for a cakewalk you might as well stay focused on a job. I would suggest that your reason be bigger than just making more money because there are a lot of easy ways to do that outside of having a business. Building a business is going to be hard and you are going to work longer hours for less pay in the beginning and you are going to need something to keep you motivated during the beginning stages. Ask yourself the real reason why you want to build a business. Are you seeking freedom, fulfillment, time to spend with your family, etc.?
2. Doing your homework
Thanks to the internet you have more access to information than ever before. You can find everything you need to launch a business online nowadays. The purpose of this step is to do research so you can collapse time frames. There isn’t anything new under the sun so all you need to do is find the information that has already been put out by people and/or companies that have already accomplished what you want to do with your business. Take this time to learn about the industry, the market, best practices and pitfalls to avoid. It is very important to understand what you are getting into. Make sure you don’t spend too much time in this step and get paralysis by over analysis. Your goal is to learn just enough to take action.
3. Planning your business
Stephen Covey said it best in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you want to begin with the end in mind. Now that you know what you have to do, it is time to develop a plan to reach your goals. Your plan needs to include both timelines and action steps. For example, decide when are you going to launch and what you need to have accomplished by then. If you could only plan one part of your business, you want to develop a plan for attracting and retaining customers. This is the primary objective of your side hustle and all of your plans in the beginning should be focused on this. You don’t want to spend this time worrying about websites, business cards, letterheads, incorporation, or other auxiliary things like this. All of this will come later. In the beginning you just want to focus on customers. Attaining customers is the difference between having a good business and just having a good idea.
4. Executing your plan
Nike said it best, “Just Do It”. This is the time to make things happen. You have laid your foundation and it is imperative that you take persistent and consistent action. Since you are building your business on a part-time basis, you will have to dedicate a combination of your morning, lunch breaks, evenings and weekends to work on your business. Just like in the planning stage, you want to focus a majority of your time taking action to attract and retain customers.
5. Re-evaluating your action
Some of your best learning experiences will come from action. Now that you have taken action, it is time to re-evaluate where you are and how you can improve. I believe that you should re-evaluate every 3 months. Of course some things need to be evaluated sooner, but 3 months is a good timeline. The reason why I say 3 months is because you don’t want to change things too soon. You want to make sure you have enough data to make a proper evaluation. During this step not only do you want to analyze what you are doing but it is also a good idea to seek outside counsel. This will give you a fresh set of eyes so that you can properly prepare to take your business to the next level.
6. Repeating steps 4 through 6
For your business to take off you are going to have to stay focused on constant improvement. No matter how big or small, your primary goal is to make sure you are better off than you were before. The compounded effects of your improvement will lead to a very fruitful and successful business. So take action, re-evaluate and repeat.
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