One of the best ways to increase your income and give yourself a solid foundation by which to grow into self-employment in the future is to start a side business of your own.
If you choose the right business opportunity, there's room for you to keep growing your customer base on the side, while keeping your day job. From there, if you take the right steps, you'll be able to build your side income beyond that of your day job and launch into the world of self-employment.
However, before you get started, you'll need first to understand the different ways you'll be going about discovering and validating your ideal side business idea.
Conversations with aspiring entrepreneurs have revealed that one of the most common mistakes being made over and over again when people are looking for the right side business opportunity is that they overlook their single best resource entirely: their existing skill sets.
For example, a writer and marketer by trade should know that they'll need to engage their core strengths of crafting compelling content, and getting it in front of a large online audience if they want to have a chance of being successful and competing with others in my space.
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur within your field, you'll need to engage your strengths. Are you still unsure about which skills you'll be able to monetize with a side business? Take an Entrepreneur's Skill Assessment.
Once you've determined which strengths you'll plan on leveraging, here are five ways to turn those skills into a side business.
If you've built up a set of marketable skills throughout your career and at your day job, you should consider the idea of starting a freelance business on the side. There's a rapidly expanding demand for talented freelance help, especially in the US with over 55 million freelancers in 2016, representing 35% of the workforce.
If your skills include writing, designing, developing, marketing, social media management, or another high-demand digital skill, then you're in a great position to start bringing on freelance clients. Start with building a high-quality portfolio website to list your skills, showcase examples of your best work, and display reviews from past co-workers or bosses as you get up and running. Create an unambiguous picture of who your target freelance client is going to be, and make sure you're tailoring your website and reach out experience to what that person is going to expect.
One of my favorite side businesses, albeit a very long-term investment in my future, has been starting a blog and building up a loyal audience of regular readers. If you're comfortable with the potential that it may very well take you years to start earning a decent income from monetizing a blog, and you have a knack for building connections with people through your writing, then this may be for you. Be sure to start with a niche topic that'll give you the opportunity to become well-respected within a close-knit community before you set your sights on expanding into a vast market. Your credibility platform will be of great importance moving forward.
3. Online Coaching
If you have a marketable skill that others want to possess or get better at, then there's a market for being paid to coach people, one-on-one, into an accelerated learning experience. The emergence of easy-to-use online coaching websites like Savvy and Clarity.fm already provide you with a built-in community of people looking to work on various types of skills. The most exciting thing about starting an online coaching business on the side is that once you've perfected your teaching experience, you'll be able to easily pack it into a more scalable version like an online course.
4. Online Courses
As with online coaching, when there's a growing demand for a skill that you possess, one of the best ways to monetize that ability of yours, is by creating a genuinely helpful online course for others to go through at their leisure. While the setup time and upfront investments are enormous (concerning your time) with this business model, it's one of the most scalable online businesses out there today. Teachable has become one of the best resources on learning how to launch an online course business, as well as being the premier online course platform to power your course content once you have it built.
5. Physical Products
Whether you have an idea for a new-to-the-world invention, a new spin on an existing product, or nothing more than selling a product in a new way or to a new market, there are countless ways to make money selling physical products on the side.
If you're willing to get creative, there are a nearly unlimited number of ways to use your skills and start a side business that'll have the potential to launch you into a career of self-employment.