Having multiple streams of income is always a smart move. Company restructures, downsizing, and terminations happen every day, and you need to keep your coins in order. Relying solely on your job to make ends meet is risky business. The Internet has spawned a slew of moneymaking opportunities, but it’s important to understand how you can get ahead without compromising your main source of income. Ask yourself these questions before establishing your side hustle:
Do they want what I’m selling?
Starting a business takes a lot of work. Most entrepreneurs start with a dream that they eagerly put into motion. Your goal is to speak to the main point of your customer or client. If done correctly, offering a service or product to make their lives easier can rake in big bucks. Even with the most impressive branding and website in the world, your message will fall on deaf ears if no one finds what you’re selling useful. Do your research, create a focus group, or conduct a survey to determine your target market and strategy before you empty your savings or exhaust your child’s college fund.
Can I maintain?
A full-time job is already consuming 40 plus hours of your time each week. Can you spare more? Doing what you love to make money sounds easy in theory, but you may quickly determine that burning the midnight oil after a long workday is not for you. Planning your purpose and setting clear goals for your new business not only helps you manage your time, but it ensures success. To attract a loyal customer base, you must be strategic and consistent. Scroll through your IG feed for 10 minutes and you’ll see countless marketing ploys to get people to buy something, check bios, sign up, or join a team. Check back in a few months and a lot of those Internet hustlers have magically disappeared. If you’re passionate enough to monetize your calling, not even lack of sleep or leisure time will scare you away.
Is it a conflict of interest?
They want what you’re selling, and you’ve got the time to place it at their fingertips. So, is your job OK with this? Maybe you didn’t consider this crucial piece of the puzzle. I’d be willing to bet that the toughest entrepreneur would be mortified to discover the business they worked so hard to create was a violation of their company conflict of interest policy. For example, you work for an IT repair company but want to do some freelance work on the side. It may not interrupt your grind if you’re already planning to exit your job, but for the employees wanting to supplement their income, it’s a big buzz kill to know they’re risking termination. Educate yourself on the rules of the game by reviewing your company handbook. Obtain the appropriate approvals, in writing, to avoid any hiccups down the road. If there is no such policy, do you.
A fallback plan is always imperative, but so is peace of mind. Before you take the leap, weigh your options. Get your taxes, time, and tools in order so you can stack your paper.
Ashley Watkins, Career Coach and Nationally Certified Résumé Writer with Write Step Resumes, LLC, provides high-quality résumé writing, interview preparation, and career coaching services to help job seekers get more interviews and salary offers. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or via www.WriteStepResumes.com.
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