These days, almost everyone has at least a permanent job that can never pay all the bills and a side business that they’re trying to keep it away from their employers. In the name of survivability, there’s nothing wrong with this two-jobs strategy of yours. As long as that side hustle doesn’t require much of your time, you should be okay.
While you are very excited about the progress of the business growth so far, somehow you feel a little bit struggling to balance your time between your day job and the side hustle. The last thing you want to have is to let your boss smell the business that you’ve been nurturing for the past few months, and eventually jeopardise your job as a result of it.
The urge to run the business on a full-time basis can be very tempting. Despite the potential it promises, you need to understand the fact that you’re not ready for it. Not even close. You still need that monthly paycheck to cover some of those fundamental expenses back home. The time shall come. For now, you just have to work for it.
There is a way to grow your money-making side business to the next level while you’re focusing on your job. Here are some cool hacks that you can use to build a really profitable and fulfilling side hustle.
Keep everything online. By keeping your business online, all you need is just a laptop and internet access. On the other hand, if you have transaction physical, you will be very busy with operational activities and hence your life will go unbalanced. Let say you have a business that sells t-shirts. You provide t-shirts design and print to customers. Instead of having a shop, pay a rent for it each month, hire an assistant to look after the shop and the walk-in customers, pay his or her salary, worrying about the stocks that are supposed to come in but lost somewhere along the way, potential cash money being stolen by someone you trust at the shop and a few other unnecessary problems, it is much better and easier to keep the business transactions online.
Imagine if you can deal with the t-shirt printing vendor by just using an email, engaging with your customers via shared folders, exchanging emails and instant messages, encouraging online payment transactions, courier the ready t-shirts over to the customers either using a runner for it or get the vendor to send it across directly. With online, you don’t have to leave your office at all.
Consider virtual assistant. It is a bad idea if you’re trying to be a superhero when you’re not. Remember, you only have a couple of hands and a brain. There are only ample things that you can do with those in 24 hours. You need to leverage. Get some operational activities out of your routine so that you can focus not only on your office work but also some other critical matters related to your business such as payment, closing a deal and submitting proposals.
Consider getting yourself a virtual assistant. This is your extra hand and brain that you can utilise to work on your business’ operational work. Since she is working for you via online, you need to give her a clear instruction on the tasks needed to be completed based on the deadline given. The rate isn’t expensive, and always negotiable.
Get your business a real address through virtual office services. People will only convince when they’re familiar with the address of your office. It will be a huge plus if your office is located in a popular or prominent location. The problem is, your business is still tiny to rent in the area. Consider getting a virtual office instead. You just pay a rental that suits your tiny budget while at the same time get the address in the same building with those conglomerates. What a first damn impression to the customers.
Make it legal. Nobody wants to do a business with an illegal entity. You need to get your business registered with the relevant authority. Once it is done, quickly open up a banking account under your legal entity name. It will be such a showstopper if you managed to secure a decent deal from a potential customer but they found out that they must bank-in the payment to your personal banking account. Please do not do this.
A killer website to showcase how reliable your brand is. It has to reflect that your brand is big too. People will do their homework about your brand before they begin to engage further for purchasing purposes. It will such a tragedy when they found out that you do not have a website, using a free domain name, a website that is full of ‘garbage’, messy or a website that you barely update the content inside it. You need to have a great, easy-to-navigate, clean look and updated website that makes your brand look reliable and big in size. Yes, you are alone in this adventure but your customers don’t have to know that. You need to portray that your brand is reliable and credible. You need to showcase that you can deliver what has been promised. Once the customers are convinced, they’ll buy. If you’re not sure how to do it, get help.
Weekly articles and infographics production. The only way you can refresh your website regularly is by updating content there. This is when articles, infographics and video production come handy. Without these content, you will find it hard to update your website with new information. At the same time, without these content, you will also find it hard to post on social media too. Now is the time for you to consider outsourcing these tedious activities to a reliable third party. Leverage on their strengths towards your advantage.
Avoid exposing your identity. The last thing you want to have is to let your employer come across your information on the web that could relate to your side business. He or she will surely be pissed when finding out that you’re getting a monthly paycheck from his or her company but spending more time growing your own business. They won’t appreciate your antics at all. So, how to handle the situation? Well, you need to avoid exposing your personal name too much. For the moment, you need to expose the brand of your company more than exposing your personal brand. This will be a blessing in disguise as you are able to create a few email addresses such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to work on the customer-related activities while in reality, it is you all the way behind those work. When the right time comes, then only you begin to work on your personal branding that relates to the business. For now, please don’t.
A consistent social media presence. You must make sure that the look-and-feel of all your social media channels are similar to your website’s ambience. This is to create a seamless user experience whenever they are in your digital assets. Make them remember your brand better this way. On top of that, your social media activities must be consistent too. Regularly sharing relevant postings every day would help.
A corporate email address. Wouldn’t it be better and more convincing if you have a proper corporate email address rather than a free email from Google, Hotmail or Yahoo? Showcase to your customers that you are very serious about the business. By using a corporate email address, you will also indirectly attract corporate customers to work with you. It is time to balance your order sheet with corporate customers rather than depending too much on the orders from small businesses.
A weekly newsletter. Question, what is the best strategy to continuously remind the customers of your business without having to pay a single cent for the activities? The answer is email marketing. Use your newsletter which information you can get them from your website, to blast news update to your customers. Use less of social media for this. It is the worst platform due to their expensive pay-to-play rules.
Exchange potential trust with trials. As you go along with the business, people will offer you their initial trust. The toughest part is when they said to you that they need to discuss with you physically on the business that they’re about to give. Most of the time, their meeting preference would be during office hours that the situation will make you nervous as you’re working and must stay in the office till the end of the day. To overcome this physical meeting situation, you need to find ways to politely avoid the meetup unless necessary. Offer them a free trial or paid trial for the products that they’re interested in. By giving them a trial period, you are giving them an opportunity to test the quality of the product first before purchasing it big.
Use these marketing ideas to balance your time hustling between your day job and the side business. Quite a number of people are utilising this method and it works for them. You should give it a shot, the result may surprise you.