Sidepreneur – Starting a Business While Working Full or Part Time
This article is about becoming a sidepreneur, and is a continuation of my business blog writing about the types of entrepreneurs. Also in a article I look at the sidepreneur definition.
This article is appropriate to me, and I only came across the term sidepreneur by accident. I have been in the middle of setting up a side-business, whilst working part-time, and then I saw this word…and thought that’s me.
So what is a sidepreneur?
Looking at the sidepreneur definition, it is described as an entrepreneur who begins a business, whilst remaining in employment as an employee. In other words it’s an entrepreneur on the side.
Sidepreneurs create a new business with a new revenue source, whilst maintaining their 9 to 5 work and holding onto their salary. Setting up a new business in this way is ‘safer’ for the sidepreneur. This means the monthly or weekly pay-cheque still arrives, whilst the new start-up business makes headway.
Becoming a sidepreneur is a safer way to becoming an entrepreneur, as you retain your monthly salary while your business is tested and is proven
Of course, depending upon the success of the new business venture, the sidepreneur can decide if and when they want to leave their employment.
Additionally, a sidepreneur may simply use their side-business as a source of extra income, and not have any intention of quitting their job. This business on the side may simply be to earn extra money in order to make ends meet.
Who is most likely to become a sidepreneur?
Whilst this theory of mine is not proven, I am sure that a sidepreneur is more likely to come from someone who is already an intrapreneur within a company. An intrapreneur is the type of person who acts and behaves like an entrepreneur while working in a large organisation.
A person with entrepreneurial characteristics and drive is much more likely to first become a sidepreneur, before becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur is a person with drive and ambition, and who is not afraid of hard work. Entrepreneurs, or in this case sidepreneurs, like all types of entrepreneurs, have to make sacrifices.
These sacrifices come in the form of spending more time than the average employee working (i.e. during the day with their employer and at home on their own business), with an eye on the future for long-term gain. Whereas, most employees will go to work, but instead of working on their side business, they return home to spend their ‘out-of-work-time‘ on leisure activities instead.
What are the advantages of starting a side business with a job?
There are many advantages of retaining your job, whilst starting a side business, as follows:
While you are setting up your new business, you are able to retain an income to continue paying your mortgage and other bills. This is especially beneficial where you’ve not got any savings. Or where you have savings, these have been set aside as startup working capital for your new business.
Testing and proving your entrepreneurial skills
Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. So by retaining your job (be-it full-time or part-time), you are de-risking the process. If you discover that you are not cutout to be an entrepreneur, you haven’t lost anything. You still have your job.
Testing and proving the business and its products
One of the risks of starting out in business, is knowing whether it will work…or not. By retaining your employment and the income it generates each month, you are lessening this risk, in the event the business you start fails.
Having the best of both worlds
Retaining your job and the salary that goes with it, at the same time as starting a new business, means you will have additional income.
Time for the business to become profitable
In many cases it takes time for a business to turn a profit. So while you are building the business up and getting it to make a profit, you have an income to support you. Also, where your salary is high enough, you’ll be able to use this money to support the business’s cash flow, until such time as it turns profitable.
Fulfilling and authentic work
It may be that your current employment is not your passion. Instead it may be something that just pays the bills. So if your current job doesn’t provide the fulfillment you are looking for, by creating a side business may be the route to take. I always advocate authenticity, which comes in two parts…firstly with others you meet, but beforehand you must be authentic with yourself. For me this is especially true after going through cancer. Don’t spend your time doing something you don’t enjoy doing.
Your first step to financial freedom
If you dream of becoming financially free, you are unlikely to achieve this whilst working for someone else. So by becoming a sidepreneur, you are taking your first step towards financial freedom.
What are the disadvantages of running a business on the side whilst still being employed?
There are a few disadvantages of starting your own business on the side, whilst keeping your 9 to 5 job at the same time, as follows:
Working long hours
Where you are holding down a job, especially a full-time job, starting a business on the side can be tough. You will end up working evenings and weekends and some long hours, in order to get it off the ground. You’ll find you spend less time watching time-wasting TV and being more productive though.
Not being focused at your workplace
As a result of starting a side business, the long hours you work may affect your job. You may be tired from the long hours and evenings, which may begin to affect your work. You will need to be careful not to upset your employer in this case.
Not having time to spend with your family
If you are holding down a full-time job, at the same time as starting a business on the side, the long hours you work will take you way from your family. However, the sacrifice may be worth it in the long-run, especially where the side-business turns into a successful one.
Limited time to speak with customers
As you are at work for some or most of the time, it becomes a challenge to speak with prospective customers. However, with good systems in place, this can be overcome. Having an answering system would be one solution, although leaving clients for long periods before speaking to them may not be good. Also, this does depend on the type of business you are setting up too.
What are the barriers to becoming a sidepreneur?
The most obvious barrier for sidepreneurs is if your employment contract prohibits you from having a side-business. If this is the case, you may be able to ask your employer for their permission to start a side business.
This may be tricky, especially if the side business you are starting is in competition with the company you work for. In which case, you may need to consider a different route to starting your new venture.
Having a very demanding full time 9 to 5 job, where you’re working overtime and weekends, would make starting a side business more difficult. You will need to find a way to reduce your employed hours of work, to give you a better chance of starting your business.
How to make money with a profitable side business
The side business you choose as a sidepreneur needs to be one that can be run in addition to working either full or part time.
There are many profitable side businesses that can be run from home, or in your garage. Most internet-based businesses make very good side businesses. Make the most of outsourcing some of your work, as this will take some of the pressure off of you.
There are many newbie entrepreneurs that run Amazon or eBay businesses from home. Both of these routes-to-market could easily be done at the same time as holding down a full time job.
What steps do I need to take in order to become a sidepreneur?
For anyone thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, I would always recommend getting some education. But before you take this step, begin to focus on your why.
Often times people focus on what they are doing instead of on why they are doing it. The why part helps with the motivation. A great book on this subject is by Simon Sinek…Start with Why.
This step is starting your education path to becoming an entrepreneur. You should continue your education by reading more books. This should include both business oriented books and motivational style books. I would always recommend the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber to read as new business owner.
You should begin to learn about how a business works, but begin with the end in mind. What will your business look like in the future, so you can plan it and make it happen.
For full disclosure, these book links are affiliate links, which means that I will get a commission if you decide to purchase these books.
What’s the most important aspect of becoming a sidepreneur?
The most important lesson to take away from this article, if you are looking to start doing work outside of your 9 to 5 job, is to take action. Focus on your why. If you are unhappy in your 9 to 5, you’ll find a new focus will lift your mood.
Start today, go away now and write down your plan. This plan needs to be specific too, with dates of actions you are going to take.
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Also, if you’d like to discuss your experience as a sidepreneur, or if you didn’t realise this was the term referencing starting a business on the side whilst working, please visit on our business forum here – Business Forum Discussions.