The reality is, not everyone is vibing their 9-5 gig. So, building a business on the side is where many of us remain, never actually taking the plunge to move out of the rat race and into the business world. We see business ownership or entrepreneurship as a pipe dream; a life reserved for risk-takers, those with an amazing idea or those who are well-connected and financially established.
The truth is, this is so far from the truth. Business ownership is available to all of us, if only we knew how to tap into the planning and create a profitable, viable business out of the one thing that we LOVE. In this article, we uncover the eight integral steps to take before you can turn your side hustle into a business, and enter a life of freedom.
Before you can quit your day job, it’s essential to do your numbers. What are your overheads, price points and margins? How long can you sustain the business with the capital you have, using those numbers and projections? Have you done a cash flow forecast? The key is this; the difference between a profitable business and hobby is numbers. For more detail, we dive into this deeply in Business Foundations. If numbers scare you, send me a message in the chat button below – I’m here to help.
The second step you should take, if you haven’t already, is to physically approach the customers who are visiting your competitors and ask them what they are prepared to pay for your product. Talk to them about their thoughts on existing brands in the marketplace; what do they expect, what do they love and what would they improve? Create focus groups and surveys to attain more data points. From there, you can build a product and brand to suit your market. It’s possible that your competitors haven’t asked, giving you an enviable position before you even go to market.
Define the unique selling propositions of your product or service. If you don’t have any, create some. There has to be a selling point for your product above the competition. What are you offering that no one else is? Start communicating your USPs to your audience regularly via your website, email campaigns and social media.
Being in business is about being ten steps ahead at all times. The minute you take your eye off the board or get complacent is the moment the market changes, consumer behaviour shifts, the economy falls or a new competitor takes your market share. How can you ensure your product has a global reach beyond your own backyard. Even if you are opening a local hairdresser, get an online presence and on-sell services or products. Go beyond your own backyard.
Before you can go for it, you must have a plan in place to scale the business. Alongside building your global reach, there may be opportunities to build your bricks and mortar presence or employ staff to service more clients. Be prepared to scale or fail.
If one or two or 100 people give you a ‘no’, don’t buy into that. The pain of giving up is infinite, the pain of one rejection is finite and momentary. You’re going to have to develop a thick skin, pick up the phone and pitch your brilliant idea – over and over again. No matter whether you’re introverted or extroverted, if you’re struggling with the selling process and introducing people to your product, then something isn’t aligned; you don’t believe in the product, or yourself. If you really believe in your brand, what’s one more ‘no’? Every website visitor who doesn’t purchase is a ‘no’, but the moment you decide to see the bigger picture, you’ll keep going. Keep tweaking, improving and adjusting, knowing that you’re on a trajectory towards success. A burning desire will get your through every roadblock towards your goal.
It’s important to remain humble in the early days before you scale. No task is beneath you and you’ll wear loads of hats. While your time is precious, it’s important to maintain focus, plan your days and avoid regularly switching tasks. You’ll be working long hours and time management will be critical. Have the discipline to wake up early and get through all the tasks each day. Owning a business is not a 9-5, it’s a lifestyle. Discover the ultimate ways to maximise your time in the Business Foundations program.
Work and life will be blurred; there are no ‘weekends’. But when you love something this much, you do it for the love. For this reason, you’ll need to be certain that this gig is coming from the heart. Do you believe to your core that this product or service has real value and can change lives? If you do, and you have all the planning in place, then go for it. Business is exhilarating, scary and incredibly rewarding, in more ways than one. Welcome to the Biz.