When I started this blog back in 2014, I really had no plans to start a business. It was meant to be a creative outlet and a way to build relationships online with those with similar interests and passions. But in the last several years, it has turned into something far greater than I anticipated. Not only did I start to make money from my blog, I expanded by opening an Etsy shop and writing an eBook. It’s truly grown into a business, and one I have big plans for in the future!
Since the time I started blogging, I have had a full-time job – one that I plan to continue working in for a long time to come! Yes, starting a business while working a full-time job is a lot of work. A ton of work. But it’s a task that more and more people are taking on as they try to increase their income through side-hustles. If you’re interested in starting a business while working a full-time job, then this post is for you!
Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
You should know ahead of time that the task you’re getting ready to take on is not an easy one. Starting a business under any circumstances is stressful and a huge time investment, but starting a side business alongside a full-time job means all the stress without having nearly as much time to devote to it.
If you’re serious about your decision to start a side business, know that there are going to be sacrifices. It will likely mean passing up nights out with friends, time spent on other hobbies, and time you may have spent doing something more relaxing such as reading or binge-watching your favorite shows.
While I caution you to take these things into account before you start a side business, I also wouldn’t consider these reasons not to. In the three years since I started this blog, I’ve absolutely found those sacrifices to be worth it!
Do Your Research Ahead of Time
When I first started this blog, I was woefully unprepared for the task of running a business. That totally worked in my case, because it was purely a hobby for a long time, and I didn’t make my first dollar until I had already been at it for a year! But if you’re starting this journey with the intention of starting a real business, you’ll want to do a bit more research up front.
Take some time to consider what kind of business you’re starting, what services you’ll offer, and who your target audience will be. This will make it so much easier to start creating, whether it be a service, a product, or online content. It will also make it easier to make a marketing plan because you’ll know exactly who you’re marketing to, where they hang out online, and what it is they need from you.
Invest in Your Business
One of the great things about building an online business is that the start-up costs are quite low. I spent no money at all when I first started my blog, other than the cost of my own domain. Since then, even as my business has grown, I’ve still been able to keep costs low.
The type of business you’re starting will certainly impact the investment needed up front, but I recommend limiting those costs as much as possible. You might also consider cutting costs in other areas of your life so you have more money available to put toward your business before you start bringing in an income there.
Your costs up front will likely include a domain and hosting service. You also might consider an email marketing platform and social media marketing tools. If you’re creating a physical product, you’ll have even more start-up costs associated.
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Set Goals and Hold Yourself Accountable
I have found goal-setting to be hugely beneficial when it comes to growing my blog and business. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks of writing new blog posts and promoting them on social media, and sometimes you can lose sight of the big picture and other projects you might like to take on.
I like to find balance by having a few big goals that I’m working toward along with my normal blogging routine. Most notably, those big goals have included opening my Etsy shop and writing and launching my eBook.
It can be so easy when your business is a side-hustle to set goals for yourself and then find that you never actually get around to accomplishing them. Find ways to hold yourself accountable to your goals such as writing them down, setting deadlines, and sharing them with others.
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Manage Your Time Wisely
There’s no doubt about it, you’re going to have to get crafty with your time management if you’re going to start a side hustle. If you’re working full-time, that means 40 hours every week that you won’t be spending growing your business.
Your evenings and weekends will suddenly be worth their weight in gold for your business. I like to make the most of that time by making sure I’ve outlined ahead of time what tasks I need to get done. You can also try to take advantage of early mornings and lunch hours (if that’s an option for you) to sneak in a little extra work.
Everyone eventually figures out a system that works best for them, and it’s different for every business owner. I typically spend a couple evenings each week working on blog work, as well as one full day on the weekend if I can manage it (on weekends where I’ve got a lot going on personally I’ll just make up for that lost work by putting in more hours during the workday evenings).
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Network, Network, Network
As I mentioned before, more and more people are choosing to become entrepreneurs while also holding a full-time job. This means you’re in good company and there are tons of like-minded individuals online doing what you’re doing!
Forming relationships with other online bloggers and business owners has been truly invaluable to growing my own business. First of all, it has helped me to grow my business by allowing me to find individuals who are interested in what I’m talking about on my blog. It has also allowed me to make online friends whom I can lean on and who understand the pressures and stressors that go into this world of online business.
Just a quick search on Facebook will allow you to find countless Facebook groups of like-minded entrepreneurs!
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Do you have a side business, or are you planning to start a business while working full-time? Leave a comment and tell me about your business so I can check it out!
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