In this weird and chaotic times, many of us (myself included) are being pressed by circumstances to pause and think. We shouldn’t be afraid of the business challenges ahead of us – fear is the mind-killer. Instead, we should be mindful of different possibilities that can open up if we work towards them.
Disclaimer: I’m not downplaying the severity of the situation.
It’s very likely that the events starting in China will lead to afinancial crisis and that it will severely affect the job market.
However, I’m trying to convey a simple fact: the world won’t stop after the crisis. It’s a good idea to spend these uncertain times building a business that will supplement your income in years to come.
The goal of starting your business as a side hustle is to generate multiple streams of income.
I’ve listened to a memorable discussion of this topic in the book The Parallel Entrepreneur by Ryan Buckley where he advises people to quit their jobs only after the income from side hustle surpasses the wage they get from the employer.
When you reach that milestone, Buckley says, you should start a second business. A new side hustle. He argues that firing multiple shots at once is better then just one at the time if the target is moveable.
Which business success certainly is.
By the way, if you’re lucky enough to be working for someone else while starting your side hustle, you must be careful about how you use the company’s inventory such as computers and smartphones.
You don’t want to mess with lawyers of your former employer once you set off on your own path.
Your time and resources are not really yourswhile you work for someone.
Be careful about that.
Having a side hustle is hard. To do it successfully, you need to invest at least 10 hours every week, but preferably more. And you need to do it consistently.
That’s why it’s better to use your existing skills and passions to fuel your early growth.
It’s much easier to work extra hours on a meaningful project where you can confidently take action.
Also, you should take into account what you can get paid for.
Another solid piece of advice from Ryan Buckley: sell your product or service to other businesses, not to customers.
When selling to other businesses you won’t typically need many transactions to earn a significant income. If you’re dealing with the B2C market you’ll probably need to scale the business and hire employees before you start earning decent money.
For example, B2B services like web design are great because they don’t require a lot of money to start with and profit margins can be high. Also, Ryan Buckley gives the example of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business.
The second reason to choose B2B over B2C markets is explained below. In short, it’s easier to make direct contact with business owners.
You don’t need their permission to send them an email.
Now that you know what you’re going to offer, it’s time to make the first offer.
It doesn’t really matter what you’ll offer. You only need to do research on what others are doing and model it to fit your skills.
It’s way more important to start taking action. If you’re not sure what your market wants and how much they’re willing to pay for it, the best thing you can do is to create an offer and see if they’ll accept it.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you find a way to connect with your prospects. Either through Linkedin or email.
As I mentioned above, no matter which country your prospects are in, youdon’t need an opt-in from businesses to send them a commercial email. Anti-spam laws are aimed at B2C marketers.
However, it doesn’t mean that it’s ok to spam business owners. Quite contrary. It means that it’s ok to send them 2 or 3 emailsasking them for some time and attention.
If you engage with them more than that, you’d better have a good reason. Which brings us to the last point…
One legitimate reason to contact a single business owner more than three times is to inform him about different offers. The reason is this: if you’ve created the offer 2.0 following the market response to the first attempt, you’re doing them a favor by sending that email.
For example, you can find out that some offer works like a clock, both when you sell it and when you implement it. Then you can go back to your old list of prospects.
And reach out to those that didn’t reply to the first sequence.
You can tell them how you got good results in their niche and you’d like to share the details with them.
Of course, you won’t sell them their competitor’s (your client’s) data. That’s immoral.
Instead, you’ll present them with the strategy and tactics that you’ve used.
After you repeat this process a few times, you should find a sub-niche that fits your skills and passions. And then, grow your business to the point of quitting the day job (and starting a new enterprise, if you ask Ryan Buckley…)
In the end, I just want to quickly summarize the main point of this article and offer advice to those that have lost their job.
Learn how to work in parallel, find your market, create, test and optimize the offer.
Repeat those steps until your side income becomes higher than the paycheck.
If you’ve lost your job, the difference is only that you’ll work on a side hustle while looking for a day job. It’s not a comfortable place to be, but it’s a great bet in the long run.
You have two shots instead of one.
Guest Post Author: Ivan Ilakovac is a freelance writer from Croatia who finally achieved a satisfactory level of English in his writing and is now looking to get published on blogs about business, culture, and other topics. His paycheck comes from direct sales, and his soul is replenished by philosophy and arts.