10 Questions to Starting Side Business

Being an entrepreneur and having full control over our daily time is the dream of many employees. Moreover, entrepreneurial echoes are increasingly being promoted by the government and the surrounding community.

If you work full-time, it might be a barrier for you in starting your side business. Possibly it becomes a dilemma for you. 

Before you decide and prepare for your planned side business, it is better for you to address these questions below to yourself and try to answer them:

1. Does your planned side business potentially conflict with your company policies?

To ensure that the side business that you will create can run smoothly, there is one important thing that you must do before you start sketching your business idea and it is related to the law.

Look back at the work contract that you signed. Usually, some companies forbid their employees to have a side business. 

If you are found to have violated these provisions, the consequences can be fatal. This could lead to dismissal, not to mention that your image among other colleagues was also affected.

Generally, there are some important things that you should pay attention to in your work contracts, such as the non-competition clause and the non-disclosure clause.

2. Do you have allocated free time that you can use to run your side business?

The most popular reason an employee wants to start a side business is being busy and having no time because there are so many things to take care of at work.

That is true up to a point. If you want to do a side business, you must make sure that you have sufficient time for this. 

A survey conducted by Atlassian, a company providing team collaboration applications, stated that the average employee whom they surveyed only uses 60% of their time at work productively.

According to Atlassian, one of the main reasons employees are less productive is checking e-mail too much. The average employee takes 16 minutes to refocus on their work after checking e-mail.

If necessary, make a detailed schedule of what you want to do, including when you want to work on your side business idea, then evaluate it regularly. 

It could be that you also must spend evenings after work and weekends so you can really get started on your side business idea.

3. Do you already have a comprehensive side business plan?

For those of you who have previously read several books or articles about starting a side business, you may be familiar with the term business plan. 

Usually, a business plan contains tens to hundreds of pages of plans about your business starting from the vision and mission, financial plans, marketing, operations, and so on.

Apart from the question, these are follow-up questions for your side business plan:

What problems will your side business solve?

How can consumers get your offer?

Where is the source of your business income?

What are the biggest expenses or expenses of your business?

4. What is the source for your side business capital?

One of the advantages you have for starting a side business while already working is that you have a monthly salary that you can set aside for savings, investment, and business capital. 

When starting a side business, you usually must fund the business idea with your own capital. There are also those who use part of the capital from friends or family. Also, you can consider borrowing from a bank.

This question is important to ask to know your financial capacity before you decide to start your side business.

5. Do you have partners with who you can work with?

Starting a side business isn’t always easy, especially if you’re trying to do it alone. Having a partner will help you share work and increase productivity. Of course, partners can also be friends to confide in when difficulties arise on your business trip.

Ideally, find partners with people you know and feel comfortable with, especially people you have worked with before. 

Or, you could try first to work together for a while and then decide whether to become long-term partners or not. But, don’t really depend on partners.

6. Do you need to take advantage of freelancers?

If you feel that you are lacking in some aspects of execution, you can take advantage of freelancers to test your side business ideas.

They can give you input how the best way and technicalities in running your side business. You can also get new perspectives from their side.

7. Do you already define a set of specific targets and objectives?

This part may sound cliché, but the reality is that a successful side business is one that has specific goals and objectives. Don’t make this side business your hobby. Of course, we can do a hobby and not based on our moods and desires.

8. What are the obstacles or challenges that you possibly face?

This question is important to ask. If you are new to the side business, it may be difficult to overcome all the obstacles at the start of the business. But don’t let this initial hurdle make you weak and eventually give up.

Know that there are no smooth roads, there will be inclines. Being an entrepreneur means you must get through that incline without giving up. You only need to make small changes if necessary, but that is after doing a little research on your business.

9. Have you already known deeply about your products?

It is one of the basic questions that you need to deeply know before you start your own side business. 

For example, if you want to sell healthy drinks in an online marketplace, you need to know the company that produces the drinks, the expiry date, the side effect that are possibly raised, and others.

If you do not have a deep understanding of your product, you also cannot provide comprehensive information for your potential customers.

10. What is unique about this product or service?

This question is important you ask first because it can be your power to get more profits. For example, you want to sell bicycles on your website, you need to show the unique things from bicycles you offer such as it is a limited edition.

If you have not identified unique things from the product, it will be difficult for you in advertisement or marketing strategy.

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