Quick Guide To Starting A Side Business

Updated: October 29, 2020

The secret to financial stability is having multiple sources of income. That’s why starting a business on the side is always a good idea, especially for full-time employees.

This post will guide you through the initial process of putting up a side business, and give you insights on the things you need to prepare for and do when building one.

First, let me define what a side business is in my opinion. In a nutshell, a side business is an entrepreneurial venture focused on augmenting your cashflow. This means the initial purpose of starting one is not to replace your main source of income but to simply build a new income source.

That definition may seem trivial, but understanding that will be one of your keys to your success, as you’ll find out later.

Time Dedication

The very first thing you have to answer is:

How much time CAN YOU put into the side business?

This is important especially for corporate people, and also homemakers.

Your employment is your main source of income and it would be a bad idea to let your side business eat up time supposedly meant for your day job. And it’s the same for homemakers, who have important duties and responsibilities to their family.

In a sense, if during weekdays, you work for 9 hours, sleep for 6 hours, and your daily routine sums up to 4 hours – this will leave you about 5 hours of “free time” – plus of course, your weekends.

Now comes the second question:

How much time ARE YOU WILLING to put into the side business?.

So in our example, how many hours out of that 5 are you willing to dedicate to this venture? And how much of your weekend rest are you willing to “lose”?

The Side Business Idea

What’s a good side business today? Unfortunately, I can’t give you a straightforward answer there – and you have to Introspect, Investigate, Imitate OR Innovate.

However, do bear in mind these very important tips:

  • Start a side business that will not take away your focus and affect your performance in your regular work or daily responsibilities.
  • Make sure that it’s not in conflict with your work. So for employees, please review your company policies well so you won’t get fired if your boss discovers what you’re doing.
  • And finally, do something that you love. You’re sacrificing your free time here, so you might as well enjoy what you’re doing, right?

Side Business Idea Examples

To get you started on your brainstorming, here are some side business ideas:

  • The Freelancer Route
    • Becoming a “one-man-band” – everything is up to you.
    • Examples include becoming a gym instructor, an English or Math tutor, a web designer, a landscape artist or interior decorator, a baker or food caterer, an eload seller, a voice talent and much more.
  • The Network Route
    • Building a team that will run the side business with you
    • Examples include joining a direct selling company, becoming part of a multi-level or network marketing business, forming partnerships with other freelancers to share projects, etc.
  • The Traditional Business Route
    • Putting up a brick and mortar business, which includes home-based and online ventures
    • Examples include putting up a sari-sari store at home, buying a franchise, starting an online store, joining bazaars, building a small-scale business in your subdivision’s commercial area, and many others.
  • The Passive Income Route
    • Earning extra income without much effort, smaller rewards or higher risks – but you sacrifice less time
    • Examples include stock market and forex trading, investing in UITF or mutual funds, becoming a silent partner in a friend’s business, or acquiring rental properties.

This list is not exhaustive and there are many other side businesses you can put up. Again, make sure that whatever you decide on, it will be both financially and emotionally rewarding.

Final Tips

Starting a side business requires focus, discipline and strong time and energy management skills. Running a side business does not mean you’ll give it less priority. It still needs your full effort to succeed.

Moreover, it always good to start with your hobbies and interests – and see how you can make money from it. Examine your skills and talents, and market the things you’re already good at.

Also, I encourage you to get the support of your family and friends, and even your boss and officemates. They’re usually your first customers, and more importantly – the gentle voice that will remind you if your side business is starting to take a toll on your regular work and other responsibilities.

And lastly, remember that all side businesses have the potential to grow into something bigger. It can and oftentimes, it will – earn as much as your main source of income.

When that happens, then maybe it’s time to resign from your job – and finally, become a full-fledged entrepreneur.

Further Reading: A Step By Step Guide To Starting a Business

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8 comments

  1. Hi Fitz,

    I bookmarked your blog and been following you for a while na. It`s like reading a book. Why don`t you write a book as well? I bet your book will sell like hotcakes since you already establish a name in the Entrepreneur world. Hehe.

  2. Thanks Fitz!

    I feel much better after reading this and realizing that I’m actually pursuing two of the options mentioned here. Most of the time I just feel down or overwhelmed by the things I have to do. But this made me realize I’ve at least taken two steps forward, so to speak.

  3. Being focused with the limited time we have when starting a side gig is so challenging. It is so easy for me to suffer from “shiny object syndrome” and lose those precious few hours that could have been better spent on the core of the business.

  4. I believe that opportunities are abundant for those who will learn to think different. Today, rather than write about one of our ventures, i would like to highlight what the daughter of one of our friends has done. Our friends daughter is fourteen (14) as I type this. Her Dad is an OFW and was able to send his daughter a brand new IPhone 7 as a gift at some point in the past.

    Well, this smart girl sold the phone to get working capital and began a clothing and accessories reselling business. She has even offered new branded sneakers from time to time. During the pandemic, when she was not allowed outside of our subdivision due to her age, she still did business. Her Mom had to go out for regular shopping and when out, would see a potential item, take a pic, note the prices and send the info home. Many stores were forced to close so a lot of bargains became available. How about that, a fourteen year old earning her own money even during a major pandemic crisis!!!

    I am very pleased that our twelve year old has a friend/mentor who is well on her way to future success. How many people would rather just sit and play with the new cellphone, consuming data? The question is, why do adults have such a difficult time getting started? Some of us could learn from the teenagers, don’t you agree.

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