RUNNING A SIDE BUSINESS AND YOUR DAY JOB
I’ve always wanted to have a stable business alongside my professional career . It’s absolutely interesting to see how it’s easy to write down goals but yet struggle to achieve them.
My idea of a stable business is one with structure, well-kept records, an efficient business module, recurring clients/customers and sustainable profits.
Very few people are privileged or bold enough to plunge into the entrepreneurial sphere solely. Many would rather use the safe route of having a salary/paid Job then supplement it with a ‘side hustle’. But the truth is regardless of how risk free that may seem, it could be one of the most challenging options. I find myself in this category and I know it could be very tasking running a business with a day job (bearing in mind other factors like daily road traffic, Over time,social activities, family and rest, i.e. The bulk of the remaining hours in the week(minus 40hrs work time)).
I presently work at a firm where I resume 9am and close at 5:30pm, alongside my three other side businesses excluding my blog. These businesses I run are service and product based, meaning it involves logistics, customer service and procurement . Today on the blog I’d be sharing with you some tips I use in balancing my work-business life, and making sure I am efficient at both ends.
1. CREATE A REAL PLAN: Since we are trying to kill multiple birds with a stone, you’d need to know what you’re doing and how-to. The first step is having a concrete blue print, sounds cliché but it’s absolutely true. If you want your “side” business to become a real business, you need to treat it like one. Create a written plan for the day, week or even months. Look at your work pattern or schedule, and determine the days or hours when you’ll work on your business, and set deadlines for when you’ll accomplish the specific milestones. If you don’t prioritize your side business, it won’t yield desired outcomes. Furthermore, Depending on what type of side business and job you have, the time and energy required may be different. For businesses like mine I need to sacrifice my evenings (9pm-1am) to reply mails, create invoices and package goods for delivery over the weekend. In your case you might even need to use vacation days, or reserve specific evenings and weekends as your side-business’ working hours.
2. MAKE A CLEAR SEPARATION: It’s highly important that you have clear boundaries in both work zones, It’s very easy to want to work a little on your side business during your regular work day, but that’s not serving your existing company and may create an avoidable issue in your workplace. In my case what I do sometimes is to stay back at work after my work hours to respond to mails, this takes me 30minutes at most and I’m home with a small sense of fulfilment. It would benefit your business greatly if you dedicate an amount of time daily outside your job.
3.GET HELP: I know most times we get a bit protective with our businesses and would like to do all things by ourselves, but help doesn’t hurt. Infact let delegation be your best friend. Try to reduce your work load by deciding what someone else can do for you. E.g. instead of doing manual deliveries you can stock up on a market place that can handle all deliveries, e.g Konga/Jumia. Another form of getting help is to be aware of all the resources that can make your “side” business easier. E.g PC/Mobile applications, e.g. excel templates for invoices(reducing the hassle of designing one). You can also check out the app store’s Business category and look at what apps can make your life easier.
4. BE PASSIONATE: This should actually be the first point of this post, as it determines the strength of your dedication. You need to be intentional about the success of your career and your business. Most of us have dreams of quitting a day job to be your own boss, But this would not happen without building your side business to a sustainable point. Hence, you need to be focused and dedicated to your business right after your day job……..which leads me to my next point.
5.ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS: Try cutting out some Tv, web or unnecessary outings. I used to go out on weekends a lot, now I select my outings carefully. I go to places that can add value to me or my business and route my sojourns in the order of importance. Eliminating distractions could be calling back customers on my way to work instead of listening to music while driving. At the start of the day I always write out what needs to be achieved for the day. This gives me a sense of responsibility and a great reminder when I find my self Idle.
6.TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: I used to be very guilty of this. It’s very tempting to work so hard, deprive yourself of sleep and be an overachiever when its your own business. But I’ve learnt that you’d only burn out and be less-effective at your day Job. Be sure to at least get some good sleep, eat well, lots of water and exercise consistently. Also one thing I do to keep me in tune is to create time and connect with people in my life. I make sure I call my close friends on weekends or chat with them, this gives me joy and just helps my emotional stability.
On a last note, Be organized, disciplined, commit to your plan, and hold yourself accountable.
I personally feel its wise to have multiple streams of income, especially in today’s economy. Given the number of people losing their jobs and higher demands, it’s just safer to have money coming in from other places besides a job. With these few tips I’ve shared above I hope it helps in managing your side business better. And whether you want to keep it simple as just a source of extra income, or develop it into a full-time business, the choice yours.
So tell me! Do you have a side business? If not, are you considering starting one? What are your thoughts?
Please feel free to drop a comment, share or ask questions.