Do you want to start your business while staying at home? Do you want to have more side jobs to support your family? Here are my tips from my experience of running 3 side jobs.
#1. Think clearly about your goals.
To make money or to win the reputation? Don’t forget to count the reputation into your purpose. Money doesn’t matter all the time.
#2. Have both short-term goals and long term goals.
And that could be changed over time. For instance, at the beginning stage, you may need more money, but later, you may want more reputation. Be open to your goal, but stick to one main goal for a particular stage.
#3. Learn Business Basics.
Selling out lemonade and running a multi-national company shares the same business principles. Read books about business. I know many talents never read but still do pretty well. But the majority do learn something.
There are a lot of free online resources to learn business basics. Below are what I recommend:
- MIT OpenCourseWare: they provide great Entrepreneurship Courses on very detailed subjects with lecture videos, textbooks, assignment guidelines.
- Coursera: many specific courses that fit perfectly into particular niches.
#4. Be careful about the “success” at the beginning.
I know how excited you would be at your first sale. But do calm down to think it through, finding out whether it is a real success or just luck.
I was totally excited at my first sale when I just started one of my online stores a few years ago. I just put the product onto the shelf, and after less than 3 minutes, it was sold out. So I thought that the product line could be a success and I really ordered a lot.. But it turned out to be a disaster for me.
It was only a random buyer who somehow ran into my store and picked up the product. But unfortunately, there were not many customers like him, so it was tough for me to sell the products.
So be careful, analyze the features of the customers, the data of the first sales, and that would lead to a wiser decision.
#5. Don’t be wedded to your past success.
Maybe you are a star at school or even at one business already, keep in mind that circumstances keep changing.
A small change in the product, time, demographic, or even the climate may cause considerable changes in the whole market, and you may need to change your strategies accordingly.
#6. Be ready for the failure.
I know there are plenty of books telling you how vital your self-confidence is. However, when you are ready for any failure, you will be open-minded to accept new ideas and be calm enough to make the right decisions.
#7. Look at something from a different perspective.
You may be new in a particular market, and take your first step as an educational experience. Try to view it from another angle.
Once, one of my friends participated in four different pieces of training to understand more about the market abroad. And it turned out that only one training was useful, and the other three were frauds.
I told her that at least she then understood 3 different kinds of business models (yes fraud is also a business model, and is a very successful one, including all the factors needed in the business world – target consumers, price, competitor analysis, etc).
She took my advice and studied the frauds carefully. And it gave her very good inspiration to think of a creative social media strategy to promote her craft works. Now she is working very well.
#8. Start early.
You will never be able to fully understand the whole market, your business model, and your strategies until you start your business.
Actions boost more knowledge about the business and yourself. The latter is the key in many cases to run a successful business.
I really love the speech by Terri Trespicio “Stop searching for your passion”, check it out here:
#9. Networking. Networking. Networking.
Try to gain some support. Even if you are very alone, extend to get assistance from related communities or your neighborhood. A business can never succeed without networking.
#10. Have fun!
Business is not the only thing you would experience in your whole life. Don’t forget that a satisfied life by your definition is the final goal to start the business and many other things.
Hi, I am Tracy, a Strategist in a leading Internet company, a Consultant, and also a Serial Entrepreneur. I have studied and worked in both the U.S. and Asia. I have 3 successful side jobs, writing novels, running an online store, and being a video blogger. I have provided coaches on planning and time management for over 100 people. I never give up my hobbies (piano, painting, and traveling, etc) and curiosity to explore life. I would like to share what I have learned with you.