11 Tips for Starting a Side Business While Working Full-Time

11 Tips for Starting a Side Business While Working Full-Time
Ⓒ Provided by Kinda Frugal

By Jerry Graham, Kinda Frugal

If you want to improve your financial situation, one of the best things you can do is make more money.

A side gig can be your ticket to earning extra money to boost your savings, eliminate debt, and reach your goals faster.

Balancing a full-time job with a side hustle isn’t easy, though. You only have so much time and energy each day.

11 Tips to Help You Start a Successful Side Gig While Working Full Time There are many ways to make money on the side with a full-time job. Here are some side gig tips to help you choose the right side gig, balance your full-time job with the work you do on the side, and thrive.

Read More: 10 Tips to Survive And Thrive In Business Today

1. Choose a Side Gig You Have a Passion For

There will be moments when you wish you had more time to relax or do something fun instead of working all the time. It’s a lot easier to stay motivated and push through those times if you’re doing something you’re passionate about.

For example, if you have a passion for reading, you might offer your services as a freelance proofreader or editor so you can get paid to read books.

Passion is especially important if you’re starting a part-time business you hope will eventually allow you to quit your day job. It will be harder to find success if your side business isn’t something you’re enthusiastic about or interested in.

Of course, it’s not always possible to get paid to follow your passion. Maybe you just need extra money coming in and you don’t care where it comes from. If that’s the case, make sure you…

2. Know Your Why

You need a compelling reason for starting a side gig. You also need clear goals from day one. Whether it’s to get out of debt, grow your savings, help pay for expenses, or build a business to replace your day job, you need to know exactly why you’re spending your free time working.

Working a 40 hour a week job and a side hustle in your off hours can be physically and emotionally taxing. It can put a strain on your relationships. You might have to give up hobbies, interests, and spending your free time doing things you enjoy.

Having to make those sacrifices can wear on you. You’ll miss certain people and certain aspects of your old life. You might feel exhausted, unmotivated, unfocused, or stuck.

That’s why it’s important to always keep in mind why you’re doing what you’re doing. When those negative thoughts and feelings appear, remind yourself how you’ll be much better off if you stick with it.

3. Don’t Feel You Have to Start the Next Big Thing

Most of the articles or blog posts you find online about side gigs focus on entrepreneurship. That’s fantastic, but not everyone wants to start a business or spend their spare time pitching potential clients for freelance work. You might not have the entrepreneur gene or own any in-demand freelance skills and that’s fine.

If all you want is some more money, getting a part-time job is a perfectly valid approach to side hustling. There’s nothing wrong with doing side jobs for extra money like tending bar or working in retail to get ahead. There are also legitimate work from home jobs you could pursue in your off hours. Just make sure that getting a second job is worth it to you in terms of the time, commitment, and pay involved.

If you don’t have the time to start your own thing, there are plenty of service providers offering flexible side hustles where you set your own hours. For example, you can walk dogs with Rover, drive for DoorDash, or drive for a ride-hailing service like Lyft whenever you have time available.

Finding unique side hustles that don’t involve punching a clock or being an independent contractor for someone else is entirely possible. You can also run multiple side hustles at the same time. For example, you can sell stuff you make through Etsy, make money on Poshmark by selling your old clothes, and rent out a room in your home through AirBnB.

Your side gig doesn’t have to be something that can eventually replace your day job income. A side gig can be just a side gig.

Read More: Why You Need a Lean Business Plan for Your Startup

4. Minimize Your Startup Costs

If you’re taking on a second job with an established business as your side gig, your startup costs are probably zero or close to it. But what if you want to launch a product or service or take on freelance projects?

Do you need an elaborate website, new headshots, or business cards? Should you plan on making a big initial investment? Probably not.

There are plenty of side hustles with low startup costs. There are many you can launch for less than $100.

If you have an idea for a business, the important thing is to just start. You get paid for what you deliver, not for how cool the logo you spent a bundle on looks.

With platforms like Upwork, Ebay, and Fiverr you can be online and ready to sell in a weekend with no out-of-pocket costs. You can create a website on Wix or Weebly for free.

To promote your new venture on a shoestring, start by tapping into your contacts. Your friends, family, and former colleagues want you to succeed. You might generate customers, referrals, and word-of-mouth buzz through your existing network without spending a dime.

A minimal budget is all it takes to get your side gig off the ground. Starting small and growing is better than plowing money you can’t afford to lose into a business that never sees a profit.

5. Make Time for Your Side Gig

Once you have a side gig in mind, figure out how much time you can dedicate to it. If you want your side gig to be a significant source of income, commit to pursuing it during your available hours. Look for ways to free up more hours.

When you’re working two jobs or growing a side business while working a 9-to-5, there will be times when you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Look at your schedule and prioritize. Your side gig will often take priority over socializing and leisure activities.

If your side gig has you working for yourself, you might find little blocks of time you can use to complete a few tasks. Maybe you can wake up an hour earlier, use your lunch break, or take advantage of your daily commute to squeeze in some work.

Read More: The Issues We Can All Face With A New Business Venture

6. Take Care of Yourself

Managing a side gig while working full-time will challenge you physically and mentally, no matter what kind of side work you do. If you’re not careful, you can fall into unhealthy habits or wind up burned out. While you’re working your side hustle, make sure you:

  • Don’t neglect your sleep. Be sure to get as much quality sleep as you can.
  • Find a healthy means of dealing with stress. Working more hours often leads to more stress so have something you can do to relieve it. Exercise is both good for your overall health and an effective stress reliever.
  • Eat a nutritious diet. It can be tempting to live on fast food or other junk if you’re always on the go. Neglecting your diet and eating a lot of bad foods can lead to sluggishness, weight gain, and other health problems.
Working long hours might be good for you financially, but you have to do what’s good for your finances and what’s good for your health at the same time.

7. Don’t Put Your Main Job at Risk

Maybe one day your side hustle will take off and replace your day job. Or your second job will lead to a better opportunity than your principal employer can offer. Until that day, be careful not to do anything that could put your primary source of income in jeopardy.

Be aware of your company’s policies regarding additional employment and check local employment laws. Unless you have a contract that spells out exactly what the grounds for termination are, your employer might be able to fire you for working another job.

If you’re tired all the time and your productivity dips, you might put your day job in danger. Working for a competitor or working on your side gig when you’re supposed to be doing work for your primary job is unethical and could get you fired.

Working a side gig is a balancing act. You might want to focus most of your energy on your side hustle. If you let your day job performance suffer, you could lose your main source of income.

Make sure your regular job stays your regular job until you can leave for greener pastures on your own terms.

8. Handle Your Relationships with Care

When you’re suddenly less available than you used to be, people notice.

Family, friends, and significant others will be impacted. Working a second job or starting up a side gig might require others to change their routines and expectations. Don’t let that cause resentment or ruin relationships.

Don’t keep people who count on you in the dark. Talk to your partner about what life might look like when you’re unavailable. Let friends and family know they might not see you or talk to you as much.

You need their support and understanding to maintain the relationship. Don’t just disappear or expect everything to stay say the same without having a conversation.

9. Keep Detailed Records

If you work for a gig economy company like TaskRabbit, Uber, or Instacart as a side gig, they will most likely classify you as an independent contractor.

Taxes won’t be taken out of your pay and you’re on your own for any expenses. It also means some of your expenses might be tax deductible. That makes your tax situation more complicated.

Make sure you keep track of your income and expenses. Put money aside for taxes.

If you’re running a business or freelancing on the side, consider setting up a business checking account. A dedicated account keeps your business expenses separate from your personal expenses and looks more professional. It also simplifies record keeping.

The more organized and careful you are about tracking side hustle income and expenses, the easier filing your taxes will be.

10. Don’t Be in a Rush to Quit Your Day Job

Many people take on a side gig with an eye toward one day leaving their day job for self-employment. It is possible, but don’t be too quick to jump ship.

Having a good idea is not enough. You need to have a proven, sustainable business model and enough customers to replace your primary source of income.

Working a full-time job to cover your expenses and running a business on the side acts as insurance and cuts down the risk. It also allows you the flexibility to test new ideas and try different things until you have a stable business.

11. Evaluate Your Side Gig Regularly

When you’re working constantly, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals and your progress. Keep yourself on track by re-evaluating your side gig and seeing where you stand in relation to your goals.

Track your time spent, the extra money earned, and your advancement toward your goals. Consider the sacrifices you’ve made and whether it’s been worth it. Keep what’s working and get rid of what isn’t.

If your side gig just isn’t working out at all, it’s OK to move on. You can always try something else.

I’ve run a part-time business nights and weekends, done a few hundred hours of freelance work, worked multiple different second jobs and been an independent contractor for a gig economy company.

Not everything was a good fit. I still do some freelance work here and there, but some of my past side gigs paid little or weren’t helping me get closer to my goals. I stopped when it became clear what I was doing in my spare time wasn’t worth the effort I was spending.

Read More: 4 Top Strategies to Consider When Building a Remote Business

If I wasn’t regularly taking stock of where things stood and how I felt about my circumstances, I might’ve wasted a lot of time and energy pursuing dead ends.

See more at Kinda Frugal

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Career Magazine: 11 Tips for Starting a Side Business While Working Full-Time
11 Tips for Starting a Side Business While Working Full-Time
It's not easy to find the proper side hustle, increase your income, and balance your side hustle with your full-time day job. These tips will help.
Career Magazine
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