An element of when people ask me about how I “fit it all in” is the fact that I have a side business in addition to my full time job. The concept of a side business is becoming more and more common. Almost every mom I know is working a side business of some sort, whether it be hosting an AirBnB, working as a consultant or coach, selling items through an Etsy shop, or more commonly, running a home-based network marketing business like I do. You can start a business doing just about anything, at any level of engagement and any level of income. If you’ve been thinking about it, there is a ton of information available through a simple Google search, but I want to share the top four things I believe you should consider when you get started.
Why do you want a side business?
Why do you want to start a side business? Is it to supplement your current income? Or maybe you’re a stay at home mom and want to bring in some additional money for the family? Have people always told you that you should go into business to sell your creations? Are you hoping to create something that will eventually replace your full time job? Or are you just looking for a passion project that will keep your mind engaged and fill you with purpose?
Knowing WHY you want to start a side business will help you determine the best options when deciding exactly what you want do. If it’s money related you will want to research earning potential for your options, but if it’s to serve others and money isn’t a driving factor then you might choose something else. For me, it is not about the money. I am not looking for a get-rich-quick scheme or fast money for a product I don’t believe in. I didn’t even realize I WAS starting a business when I first got started, I just wanted to share the products I had discovered and help others get results in their health and fitness.
What are you passionate about?
If this is a side business, that means you already have a job. So whatever you choose to do will be on TOP of that. Which means that you need to pick something you are truly passionate about and love doing. You are going to be spending some of your precious currently “free” time to work on this, so it better be something you LOVE.
If you are selling something you make, make sure that going into business to sell your items won’t make you resent the activity that you currently enjoy so much.
If you’re going to be selling something on behalf of a company, make sure you 100% believe in the company and its products. I used to work for a PR company and one of the clients was promoting a product that claimed by rubbing on their special cream and putting on their special neoprene shorts for an hour, your cellulite would magically disappear. It was INCREDIBLY difficult to represent that story when I did not believe in the product. If I chose a side business I didn’t believe in I would feel like a fraud.
How do you like to work?
Are you a people person who loves social gatherings? Are you an introvert who prefers to interact online? Does the thought of talking to someone on the phone make your skin crawl, or is public speaking your favourite thing to do? Many side businesses these days are built entirely online, from the comfort of your own home or your local coffee shop. Some of the most popular network marketing companies include hosting home parties where you go to a customer’s house and present your products to their friends and family.
How much time do you have?
Part of choosing what you will do is the amount of time you have to commit to doing it. Some of the network marketing companies include the home parties I mentioned, but if you never have availability in the evenings, that might not be a good fit. That type of business wouldn’t work for me, because Mr Awesome meets his DJing clients in the evenings when I’m home from work. So my coaching work typically happens first thing in the morning (I get up at 5am) and then a bit more later in the evening once the kids are in bed. That’s what works for our family, but everyone’s schedules and availability are different. For people without kids, or who share custody with an ex, you might have more time available.
On that note, I would make sure you discuss this new venture with your spouse and/or family. If it’s potentially going to take some time away from them at some point, make sure they understand why you’re doing it and what that might look like. Set expectations and then stick to them. Set your “business hours” and honour them. People can be funny about change, and having these conversations upfront will help ensure that you don’t run into resistance down the road. If this is truly something you want to make work, you need as few obstacles as possible. There will absolutely be bumps in the road, but dealing with these ones in advance will definitely help.
Having a side business can be something truly awesome. It can add to your family’s income and opportunities. It can give you a sense of purpose. It can engage your brain on something new and re-ignite your motivation. For me, this side business has the added benefit of keeping me accountable to my own health and fitness.
Like I said, there is a ton of info and articles online to help you figure out what’s right for you. Here are a couple that I found helpful and worth checking out:
Here is a video I shared this morning on my Facebook page about how to figure out what side business might be right for you: