Do You Know Sidepreneur?
Well, it is you. You sitting on your chair sipping coffee! Reason being, you have decided to start your own business without leaving your stable job.
          Adam Smith

Adam Smith

ENTERPRENEUR

An entrepreneur is someone who sets up his/her own business taking up the financial risks of profit or loss.

VS

       Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson

SIDEPRENEUR

A Sidepreneur is a made-up term for a person who runs their business and also focuses on their full-time job.
In many terms, a Sidepreneur is even better than an entrepreneur as there is limited risk factor involved. And if you have a family to support, a child to raise or some other personal responsibility, it is not possible for you to leave everything and give in to your business.

Well, it’s still a business and requires enormous amounts of effort and energy. So, how do you manage to starting a business while working full time? And take care of your health. And take care of your family. And devote time to relaxation. And handle the crisis situations once in a while. A lot of stuff, eh?

1. Keep Your Legal Terms Clear

You will need to talk to your employer about this extravaganza that you’re going to embark upon. It’s always better to be honest about it from the start. Why create this air of insecurity around your employer’s cabin?
Take a bold step and tell him/her why you want to do this and how it will never affect your work here, at the company.

Essentially, the law varies from state to state. Hence, it’s better you take professional advice from a good lawyer. It might cost you but then, now your business is safe.

And, make sure, that your idea is entirely different from your company’s. You don’t want to end up in that zone.Your employer also understands that starting a business while being employed legally is challenging and you never know, he/she might support you financially and/or morally. Given the condition that your 9 to 5 is intact.

2.  Find a Compatible Co-Founder

If you want to work individually, that’s your choice. When you can handle all the engagements alone, nothing is better. I mean, why bother bringing in a person and then adjusting with them?
The catch here is when you have a cofounder, you are a team. Not a one-man army. There will be someone to support you and this person would know and share your ideas and business.

Your family will also support you but they won’t understand your business better than your cofounder.

Hence, starting a business while working full time will be a lot less overpowering when you have a trustworthy person beside you. Try searching for your partner in the same way you would search for a life partner. No, do not go and fall in love! Try the arranged marriage proposition.

Put up the profile you want and interview people aggressively. You know who’s the best person for you. Try taking the interviews alone and long enough for you to know if that person would fit into the Sidepreneur frame you have.

Another advantage of having a cofounder is you both can always hold each other accountable for things. For instance, if you’re procrastinating today, your partner can give you one kick and you will be back on track. Isn’t that a nice picture?

3. Test Your Idea First

So, before you go all out with launching your product online and buying official commodities for your business, think of examining how fine your idea is.
After you’ve created your first prototype, get customer feedback. Taking customer interviews will be of great help to your idea. You will know if what you’re about to build is even worth it or not. Would it solve a specific problem? Will your business work?
How long would it work for?All these questions will be answered once you go and exploit your idea. And during these surveys, ask very detailed and to the point questions.
For instance, do not ask something like, ‘Do you like using this product?’ The question should be very answerable as in, ‘Do you think using a webcam cover will be useful for you?’ or some other question related to your product.

Next step! Improvements! Based on what you learnt.

And believe me, you will need to repeat this process multiple times before the final product is put on sale. Why waste resources without knowing that the product will be worth selling or not?

Adding to that, gain enough resources for building your product/website via online resources. People usually spend enough time building their logo and thinking of a proper name for their website but forget to work properly on the content and actual website.
Don’t be careless with your website building. It will be the face of your ecommerce business.

4. Don’t Try to Plan Everything

Even if you do, things won’t go according to your planned list. Hence, try going with the flow during this time, when your product is still building. There’s this quote that appears a lot online that caught my attention,

Failure to Plan is Planning to fail

Yes, that is true. The underlying statement is plan effectively once and then know when to stop fixing everything into a timetable.

Quoting Oprah Winfrey, “You can have it all, just not all at once.”

Hence, you can’t plan everything and think of something surprising to happen. Starting a business while working full time is surprising enough though! Irony!

Keep calm and plan your goals. Just the milestones. Don’t go crazy on the planning factor.

 

 

Disadvantage of Plan Everything

It will harm your mental health and make you stingy and occupied all the time. Where will you get the space to generate new ideas.

 

Try to focus on things that matter and forget the ones that occupy unwanted space in your brain. Your work will be a lot more fun when your mind is clutter free.

Also, for carefree planning, schedule your engagements with google Calendar. Not the one in your office system though! Watch out!

5. Start Acting Like a Big Company

But do not hire like one! Outsource your work as much as possible. It will be affordable and it will help you to focus on limited things. After all, your attention span is limited.

Acting like a big company does not mean you spend crores of rupees and have fancy offices. It refers to having and following certain ethical values. Values that you and your small team will abide by always.

Acting like a big company refers to never compromising on quality. Giving your potential customers the best product. Customer support always on top.

Acting like a big company also does not mean you work day and night. There will be days when you won’t feel like being productive. Working effectively and sustainably is the key to being a big company.

For instance, if you spend 2 hours everyday on your website content, which is 14 hours a week, then spend 4 hours on it today when you’re in the mood to do it, but then tomorrow you have two extra hours to do other things or just have a cup of tea.

And think of it this way. Even on the days you’re working very less on your business, you’re still moving forward. That’s progress. Acting like a big company is making sure that the people you work with are satisfied and are working with all the potential and skill they own.

Acting like a big company is learning from your failures, that you will encounter along the way and moving on to the next plan of action.

Acting like a big company means being aware all the time.

6. You Will Never Know When to Quit

The motto in starting a business while working full time must be to generate revenue from day 1.

I have seen a lot of startups go down because funding stopped or revenue wasn’t enough. Being bootstrapped will help you gain momentum and keep your future secure. The focus should be recurring revenue always.

If you’re looking for angel investors and venture capitalists, they come with their own baggage. Investors want to see you working full time. After all, they are investing their money on you. If you’ll be able to handle that sort of pressure and give accountability for all that you do, then go ahead with the investor collaboration. Otherwise, stick to being on your own.

 

There will never be a good time to know when to quit your job and work full time on your ecommerce business. You can set a time frame for it. For instance, I will leave the job after I start earning X dollars from my website.

Conclusion

Well, its still risky. You might end up losing it all. Hence, decide wisely on the leaving your stability part. On the other hand, don’t stick to your comfort zone. You will need to come out one way or another.
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