That daytime job of yours may be terrific. But there’s one thing that is far more rewarding and meaningful than good pay and benefits: being your own boss.
Many of us dream of being able to quit our daytime jobs to do something much more rewarding, like be our own boss. However, without the proper planning you could be jumping into a bad decision.
Think carefully before you choose to go down the entrepreneurial path. There is a lot more risk than your salary job covers you from — such as health insurance, life insurance, 401k, dental, vision, unemployment pay, disability (both short term and long term), SSDI benefits if you get injured, paying taxes once for your business then again for yourself, and the greatest sacrifice of all: time spent doing hard work.
It’s not always necessarily true that the more sweat and tears you put into your business, the more successful it will become. It actually be the opposite. The more you are able to find tasks which can be automated or delegated, the more time you will have to carry out important tasks which bring in much more revenue.
Should I quit my day job to become an entrepreneur?
You don’t have to quit your day job just to become an entrepreneur. When five o’clock rolls around, you can either choose to go to happy hour with your friends or home to sacrifice time now so that you can enjoy your time much more later on in life. For many people, this means shutting down the computer at the office and jumpstarting their business at home.
Use your day job as a source of health insurance, life insurance, a stable base salary to keep food in your mouth and a roof over your head. If you have investor funding or balls of steel like I did, then go about it on your own.
So next you have to choose the sort of business you’d like to run. What is the right fit for you? Browse through 10 great business ideas which you can use as a starting platform.
Find A Need To FulFill
A great way to succeed with a business or product is to fill a need, and everyone needs (and likes) to eat. If you love to cook and have access to a kitchen, you’re halfway there. Shelf-stable products, candy, jerky, baked goods: You’re only limited by what you choose. Find a food you’re passionate about, or a recipe that brings you raves, and run with it.
If food is your passion, there’s a way to make it a business.
Sell Your Knowledge
Packaging your skills and knowledge into an ebook for people seeking to learn a skill or build their career can be highly profitable if you have a strong value proposition and know your target audience.
If you’re an expert on any topic, there’s likely an audience of people willing to pay to learn what you know. If your expertise does not lend itself to ebook form, you might also create and share online courses. Either way, once you create the digital content, you can continue to sell it over and over again. There’s no inventory threshold or manufacturing cost.
No worries if you’re not tech savvy, either; that’s what services like Udemy.com are for. You can set up online courses quickly and start turning over a regular side income while adding new materials in the evenings when you’re free. It’s a smart start to a consultancy business further down the road.
Educate While You Entertain
Podcasting is another terrific way to use an hour or three in the evening to build a regular audience around a specific topic of industry. Build your audience enough and you can start to pick up show sponsors that will pay for product discussions or short advertising spots.
If you want to hear examples of great podcasts to get a little inspiration, check out my list of must-listen podcast episodes for entrepreneurs.
There’s a small investment in equipment, but hosting a podcast online is free. Once you have it set up, you can start sharing it and pushing the RSS out to Google Play and iTunes, to build traction.
Develop and Manage Social Media Pages
There’s a good chance you’re guilty of spending a little too much time on social media. So, if you’re going to be there in the evenings anyway, why not get paid to put your expertise to work? Plenty of companies, especially startups in retail, want to build a strong social presence, and they need people to help them make that happen.
The best part is, you can use platforms like Hootsuite to manage multiple accounts and schedule posts. You may be working evenings only, but you can push posts and curate content around the clock.
In 2013, Facebook announced during the Dreamforce conference that it had 25 million active small business pages on its site. There’s a good chance some of them need your skills.
Start Your Own Website
Blogging is a fantastic method for building side income. Tens of thousands of bloggers create content every day on topics as diverse as travel, cooking, parenting, art, anime, lifestyle and more. Through a combination of marketing to subscribers, affiliate marketing, ad revenue and sponsorships, these bloggers are growing revenue daily.
What’s more is that as your writing skills build, alongside your better grasp of content marketing, you can start marketing yourself to businesses in need of a skilled writer. And you can do that any time and anywhere you like.
Learn graphic design
Having a formal background or education in graphic design will be fairly helpful here. But, with that said, it’s not difficult to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. With more accessible Adobe software and websites like Canva and Visme, you just need some determination, creativity and a passion for design to get started.
Teach Music Lessons
You’ll probably want to stick to the instrument(s) you know well, but you can bank the most income and build a solid businesses teaching multiple instruments, or those in a particular class, like strings or woodwinds. Start by giving lessons to individuals to grow your business and get your name out among the community.
As trust among the locals improves, you can move on to holding larger classes with groups. Consider that public schools are steadily reducing their commitment to art and music classes. This gives you an opportunity to work with student classes as your business grows.
It might seem like there’s an app for everything, but then someone comes along and revolutionizes the way we do something all over again. App development is a new and growing industry, and there’s always a need to be filled. In 2014, the iPhone app market alone created more than 4,000 job postings on the site freelancer.com.
Learning to code might take a little time, but once you start developing, you can comfortably set your own hours to get your app launched. Coding is also a great gateway to building a bigger business when the time is right.
Offer pet services
There are a lot of different opportunities available in working with pets, so you should be able to find something that suits you. Whether you want to start a grooming business in the evenings and on weekends, or just offer pet sitting on a one-off basis, you can establish a highly rewarding small business.
There’s the added bonus of enjoyable companionship as well, making this a great choice for those who love animals and need something with a minimal startup cost.
Become a handyman
Your work hours may be limited, but unlike what happens with daytime service and repairmen, you don’t have to charge a huge rate for coming “off hours.” Customers’ “off hours” offer the perfect opportunity for you to save the day when there’s a broken appliance.
Advertise in local publications and market yourself to property management companies, then start “making bank” while you repair everything from furnaces to leaky faucets and broken windows.