Running a side gig can be a great way to make extra cash and supplement your main income. At the same time, you will often discover opportunities to step things up and make something even better out of this business. And while some people are afraid to go the extra mile, those who do usually end up quite satisfied with the results.
It will take some effort, and there will be a significant risk involved. But if you play your cards right, it’s not that hard to see your side business flourishing into a real, full-time job that brings you even more money than whatever you’re doing right now.
Is It a Viable Idea?
The most important question to ask yourself before you begin is if your idea is viable at all. Many people have side gig ideas – practically everyone comes up with something of that sort every now and then. But just because you think you’ve identified a niche in the market that needs filling doesn’t mean that it’s actually a viable opportunity.
Do some market research. Figure out if someone else has attempted anything similar before, and find out what their results were. Did they make any obvious mistakes? Were customers complaining of something that could have been fixed? You can often learn a lot from other people’s failures, but unfortunately not everyone likes to make theirs too public.
Future Earning Projections
Try to draw up some earning projections. Sure, it can be practically impossible to figure out how much your business is going to earn, especially if it’s just a side thing in the beginning. But if you research the market properly and look into similar ventures run by other people, you should notice some patterns that can be exploited.
You don’t have to be extremely precise with those projections. But they should be detailed enough to allow you to make a plan and execute it in an organized manner. You should try to identify the main barriers that would prevent you from growing at each stage, and do your best to anticipate them.
Playing It Safe
In the beginning, safety should be your top priority. Until you’ve reached the point where you’re confident in your company’s ability to generate enough profit, you should take each step cautiously and with a lot of market research supplementing it. Don’t make any risky moves, unless you know you can recover from them easily and continue moving forward.
Sure, risk is part of the game. But what most people ignore in this saying is the implication that every risk you’re taking should be calculated. Don’t just go for things wildly for the sake of experimentation. Try to predict the outcome of each of your actions, and always prioritize the safer steps in the beginning.
Accelerating Your Expansion
After you’ve gained some confidence, you can start thinking about taking things to the next level. The more your business grows, the more opportunities you’re going to see for expanding it. And it’s important to develop a good sense for those opportunities, and know how to identify the ones that can work out best.
Don’t be afraid to supplement your income with external help if you have an idea that will require a more significant upfront investment. There are plenty of options for that out there. Loans are a popular choice for many entrepreneurs, as they can offer you a quick injection of cash that can give you the boost that you need in that moment. But on the other hand, you have to be very confident in your ability to pay that loan back. It’s a type of risk as we described above, and you need to approach it carefully.
You’re probably craving for the moment when things will be running on auto-pilot, and you won’t have to lift a finger to see those profits rolling in. But the reality is that this is a pipe dream. That moment will never actually come, unless you’re extremely lucky. For most people, running a business is constant work, and the required effort doesn’t really decrease as the size of your company grows.
Quite on the contrary, you’re likely going to find yourself with even more responsibilities further down the road. Sure, some of your old tasks will now be run by other people – but that’s not a self-running business at all. The high-level decisions will still be up to you, and it’s important to gain enough experience in the earlier stages of your business, so that you can make those decisions with more confidence later on.