There are more than a few reasons why you might be looking for extra work on the side in 2020. Before you take the leap however, read on for a few common questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you get started.
1. Why should I be looking into self-employment?
Self-employment is a great way of making extra money outside your regular 9-to-5. Even those who have a full-time job might want to look into self-employment on the side as career insurance.
If you are laid off for any reason (a likely possibility in 2020), rather than stressing about how to make bills, you can simply turn your part-time enterprise into your new career!
Most will never conflate their side-job with their career as a way to meaning creative activity. Nothing kills passion for a hobby quicker than making it your main source of income. For a select however, turning your hobby into a career might just give you the job satisfaction and rive you need to really go places!
2. What should I look for in a part-time?
Given the almost limitless opportunities out there, it might be good to narrow your options based on these 3 criteria:
Can I start small?
If you’ve never made a sale or owned a business, it’s probably best to start small and experiment before committing to anything serious.
Successful entrepreneurs take small steps so they can “fail fast” and move on to the next thing.
There’s no guarantee that the venture you choose will be profitable or even enjoyable. As we said, many think of their hobbies when considering starting a small personal business, only to discover that when faced with the pressure of making and selling a product, their enjoyment quickly fades.
Is there a demand?
You start with a great idea, something that no one else has tried before. No competition means loads of money, right?
Honestly, if people need something, chances are there’s already a product out there that does what they want.
You need to find a market with an established base of clients and enough demand that you can sell something, but little enough competition (or a product that is sufficiently differentiated) that you can make a profit.
Can I attract clients?
So, you’ve found a service or product that you know people will pay for, but how do you get those people to become your clients?
All too often, people follow the misguided advice to ‘take a leap of faith.’
Sometimes you might ‘stick the landing, ‘but you can’t rely on luck forever. If you don’t have sales experience, try to get some while you’re still on someone else’s payroll.
If there’s no way you can think to gain sales experience, don’t give up. But, be aware that you’ll need to change your mindset and maybe invest in some training in your spare time.
Will my environment support me?
Make sure to read your work contract! In some businesses, while there may no formal restrictions on part-time work, you may still get some dirty looks if your boss suspects you’re spending office hours on entrepreneurial activities.
Other businesses want 100% of your time and can legally stop you from taking on extra work. Those who are malicious can even take ownership of your product if they have reason to believe it was made with company resources!
Do I have the time?
Being an entrepreneur means sacrificing a lot of time and energy so you might later live an easier, less stressful life.
That means saying ‘no’ to a lot of invitations and clearing time during the day where you won’t be interrupted.
You might also have to clear some physical space, converting a guest room into an office etc.
It’s a common, and difficult, challenge. If you’re not up to the task, be honest with yourself.
Where will I get information and support?
If you’re wondering, “Should I pursue a new career as x, y or z?” a life coach or career coach might help. The best source of information, however, will always be those already working in said areas.
You can find them online, or at their place of business. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for advice. You’ll likely find some very enthusiastic and passionate people eager to help others take their first steps!