Someone who organises, manages, and assumes all the risks of a business, while retaining a full time job (or in my case a part time job plus a full time role as parent and housewife).
I did originally plan for blog posts to be published every Monday and Thursday, but yesterday I became somewhat occupied as my orders were piling up as quickly as the snow and I agreed to write a tutorial on how to create Invitations using BeFunky (an online design tool, not as basic as paint, not as complex as photoshop) for a craft site called The HungryJpeg. So technically I did create a blog, it just hasn’t been published yet, but I will let you know when/if it is.
Anyway, in my opinion the sidepreneur is the smartpreneur, one of the major benefits of keeping your job while running a business is the security. People who quit their 9-5 and use their new business as their main source of income risk more than just a bit of their time. Though its hard working two jobs, we know we can survive should the business fall through, or not take off in the first place. The income the business generates can also be put straight back into the business, rather than used to pay back business loans.
Financial security aside though, there are challenges you’ll face, as I’ve seen first hand, as well as how I’ve tried to overcome them.
- Time Management – Between working however many hours a week, travelling, eating and sleeping, you’re left little time in the day to run a business. If you work a 9-5 you will have your evenings and weekends, these are the HARDEST times to get motivated. If you’re tired one evening you may as well say goodbye to being productive, and if you want your start up to actually start up you can wave goodbye to four hour shopping trips and spa days at the weekend. It requires a lot of dedication and organisation, what you used to call your leisure time is now working, for free may I add as there is no money yet to take your hourly wage from. Sacrifice your time now and the rest becomes a lot easier. Even as someone who makes things as part of their business, the hardest and most time consuming part was the designing, creating and listing of items, once they’re sold they take a matter of minutes to make, because I did all the hard work in the early stages. There are many tools out there to help, if you can automate something then do it, social media schedulers such as Hootsuite will help with marketing as it posts your content to your social media channels for you based on a schedule that you set up, which you should allow 30 minutes to an hour a week for. Content marketing is essential so if you’re not much of a writer, look on People Per Hour or Contently for people who will write up blogs for you.
- Lack of Motivation – You will get this at some point. I’m pretty sure everyone does. Running a business part-time for me started as a hobby. I liked design and art, and I liked quirky little gifts and stationery, and I liked weddings and all the different ideas for favours I had seen, so for me this was something I enjoyed that didn’t require me going out in the cold. However the more time I have spent on it the more I believed in the products I was selling, and that’s when my effort levels started to rise. I stopped just being an etsy seller and I invested in Facebook pages, IG, a website and a wider range of products. I researched products and learnt new skills which have motivated me even more. If you completely lose your way give yourself an hour to remember why you started your business. Is it because you’re good at it, or because you enjoy it? Maybe it’s because you want to help people, whatever it is focus on that. If you focus on the money this early on you’ll lose the will to even check your emails, I would recommend looking at something such as pinterest for fresh inspiration or read blogs from other people in your field.
- Health – Please take this one seriously. There was a time when I over-worked myself, some say I still do, and now I know how to recognise when I need to have a rest. I won’t lecture you about good posture, stress, migraines and fatigue, you know about all these things. It’s the little things like remembering to eat and drink too, allowing yourself some time off to do something completely unrelated to the business, we weren’t designed to work 16 hour days and you will begin to find you’re less productive if you’re over-worked.
All this aside, being a sidepreneur, small business owner, maker, crafter, anything of the sort, is rewarding. When someone purchases something you have made, places a review saying how much the recipient of the gift loved it, or you see an IG post saying your item made someone’s day. Thats why you do this job, that’s what all those hour were for and that’s why you need to keep on going. Have a start-up story of your own? Share in the comments 🙂