How to start a business while maintaining your 9-5

3 Mins read

In today’s world, having a side hustle or multiple streams of income has never been more important. Apart from the financial protection a side job provides, there is the opportunity to pursue one’s passion and hopefully achieve life’s purpose.

But running a successful business is not a walk in the park. Nine times out of ten, you may have to kickstart this journey alone, and this will require an inflow of capital to keep the wheels of your business running. If starting a business is something you would love to do while maintaining your career, then check out these five solid tips below.

  1. Tie your passion to a need: Every business begins with an idea to meet a need or want in your environment. However, it will be advantageous if this idea revolves around your passion or interest. This is because you will need that passion to motivate you when the business gets tough, and oh yes, it will!

Ensure you are in business for more than the money, and there’s a market for your passion. Don’t go selling scented candles when nobody around you is interested in them.

2. Draft your business model: This is an essential starting point for your business. Your business model depends on your unique selling proposition and monetisation strategy.

Your unique selling proposition is the one thing that makes your business better than its competitors. It is that specific advantage that makes your customers choose you. Your USP will influence your marketing strategy, messaging, branding and other marketing decisions.

Your monetization strategy, on the other hand, determines how you decide to make a profit from your business. Will you create a product to sell?

You can look at sample plans of successful businesses in your niche. Don’t copy and paste, please. Try to be creative and seek professional support if you need help. We all need a helping hand.

3. Align your schedule to peak periods: You will want to organize your free time around your most productive hours. Do you feel creative and active during the day or at night?

For instance, if you prefer working during the quiet hours of the night, arrive early at the office to maximise time to work on your assigned tasks. Take power naps during lunch hours and try to get home early as possible to work on chores and rest. Avoid heavy meals so you can wake up at a suitable time to work. Observe what works for you and utilize it to grow your business.

4. Test your product/service: Before you take your business to the market, try launching to a small group of people and get their suggestions. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket until your product or service has passed the stress test and is profitable.

For instance, if you’re starting a pastry business, try making pastries first and selling them to friends before investing in a digital or physical location. Be receptive to feedback and act on it if it can help you improve your product or service.

5. Be willing to fail and learn: Not to be a soothsayer, but there are times that you’d double doubt yourself and might want to give up. This is the time to hold on to your why. What is the “why” that got you into business?

Take out time to review your mistakes. What could you be missing? You might need another pair of eyes to see things differently, and once you see the missing link, learn from it and move on. Your failings do not define you; rather, they are a pointer to the need to approach things differently.

Finally, utilize the resources around you. Read books, watch classes to improve your skills, learn from the mistakes of others, and be open to criticism from people around you. You’d be surprised at the wealth of support and knowledge you can gain from coworkers and friends.

Be humble, be courageous, and keep doing it afraid till you feel fear no more. And always remember that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

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