Some Ground Rules for Starting a Side Biz
We live in an era of the “freelancer.” What was glamorized as the life of the hungry yet determined artist living outside the boundaries of the status quo, has now gone mainstream where nearly 60 million Americans are active in a side hustle because their traditional 9-5 has created an emotional void and left them wanting something more.
The side hustle can be as small as a few hours a week or a venture that gains enough popularity to become your main source of income. The main benefit of a side business is freedom-freedom from a boss, an inflexible schedule, and, financial limitations.
It is much easier to launch a small business today, especially for women, who have long established a successful track record when it comes to running a small business. With the internet and a vast array of social media conduits available, it is not difficult to instantly cast a wide net in your efforts to reach your market and at much lower cost than in the past when only traditional methods of attracting customers were used.
It can’t be emphasized enough that starting a side hustle isn’t necessarily only about money. Sure, the extra money is a motivator, however, if you are going to divert time away from leisure or just plain relaxing into a side venture shouldn’t it be more about turning a passion into reality? Otherwise, unless you simply need the extra money, what are you are you really accomplishing for yourself?
Finding a full time job that is enjoyable, pays well, and fulfilling, is rare, which is why more and more of us are committing our off hours to a side hustle that brings happiness.
Hey, look at it this way-it’s your chance to throw the rules out the window and go for it on your own terms!
A lot of side hustle’s have to with providing a personal service like party planning or dog sitting, while others are tech oriented such as developing a cool APP to keep track of your meds. In any event, there are practical considerations with and a certain mindset one needs to adopt in order to avoid pitfalls or becoming discouraged, either of which can lead to failure.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way in developing my little side business:
Lower cost of entry
For a storefront business, fixed costs remain such as rent and utilities, however in a business (like mine) with no employees and creative use of technology, there is a much higher probability of success than in the past. Costs can be kept under control and the use of innovative (organic) means of attracting customers is very advantageous.
How’s that for appearing techie when I’m not?
The point here is that if you are passionate about an idea and motivated to pursue it, there is no excuse for not pushing ahead with a business idea.
If financing is an obstacle, there is even wider access to funding now beyond traditional means such as friends and family, savings, retirement account, etc. So, there is no convenient shoulder to rest on there.
Have a clear purpose
The playing field has been leveled and the door swung wide open for budding women entrepreneurs, however, a fine point is not to be overlooked.
You simply must have a clear and simple purpose for doing it. If you have no particular purpose for going into business but rather just a reason, like making money, or getting out of a corporate job, it will be tough to convince others to invest with you or buy your product.
Reasons are fine obviously, they convey the logic for doing this or that, but passion and purpose fuel commitment and are powerful persuaders.
People are very perceptive and can tell when their best interests are being well protected.
In launching Lisa Rose, I believed wholeheartedly in the simple concept of helping make a little girl’s princess dream reality for a day. I had to look no further than my own two daughters for any convincing of that. Between the ages of about 3 and 9, they played princess all the time without any prodding.
All of us walk around with dreams in our heads, and this is definitely one with kids of that age. I could see it with my own eyes and my job was creating the environment to facilitate and communicate it simply.
It doesn’t matter what you are selling
To prosper in business the product has to be worthy and messaging on target, but what makes it shine is the energy of a clear purpose. It is the “why” you are there. It doesn’t matter if you are selling shoes, ideas, computers, or dreams, your purpose in doing it is what connects with a market and creates a lasting brand.
In what I do, if we capture hearts and inspire imaginations simply by fulfilling a childhood dream, it also fulfills a parents desire to see their children happy, having a wonderful effect on business.
This is nothing new. Disney understood it and institutionalized “Happy.”
What I learned over time with overflowing benefits is that a good formula for success is to have a clear purpose communicated simply.
Such is the key to prosperity in my view. Customers are less concerned with the exact product you sell them, as they are with trusting the quality of your brand and the integrity of the person behind it.
Referrals. That’s the ticket
Nearly all of my advertising is through word of mouth and social media. I could feature a different dress or costume, or promote a different hairstyle, but that’s not the point.
In this day and age, the ground is fertile for women to go into business, therefore, there is every reason to break into your dream career. The only person holding you back… is you.
Once you are in business, the mantra is to communicate simply. Speak to the heart of your customer.
Business is about profit, but not for its own sake
If messaging during the 2016 Super Bowl was a reliable indicator, the connection with customers is about family, people, and social impact rather than profit for profit’s sake.