There are many mistakes we do that can cause our side business die prematurely:
- Poorly established web presence: Any business should be able to benefit from having good web presence. We shouldn’t create a website with amateurish design. It should be both very informative and clean. Just about every business gets new customer through websites, after they browse the web. In some cases, these websites haven’t been updated for nearly a year. The key is to keep our site informative, so it is possible for potential customers and clients to contact us easily. Good web presence also should include reliable payments, such as with popular credit card processing company, PayPal and others. We can create our website in blog format and building a link can be sure-fire way to generate traffic.
- We tell customers it is a side business: We shouldn’t lie to customers, if they ask. But, it is important to make sure that customers won’t ask us about the status of our company. If customers see that our side business is run professionally, they won’t ask whether it is actually a side business. We should be able to play the part and instil confidence among customers that we are true experts in the field. In this case, we will be able to do an impressive job for them. Customers will know that we will be around for a very long time. However, there are actually people who prefer to choose professionals who do side business. As an example, homeowners may want to choose an experienced carpenter who works full time in a contractor company, but willing to work at lower rate for woodworking tasks. So, if our side business is service-related and is similar to this example, we may want to inform potential customers that we actually run a side business.
- We don’t have “milestone” plan: Milestone plan is different compared to the often-discussed business plan. While it is essential to have a business plan, we should also know what we need to achieve at specific amount of time. In fact, without a milestone plan, it is possible for us to end up going in an entirely different direction that we have originally planned. It is true that there could be changes in consumer demand and the economy may dictate us to adapt out business, but far too often, people have a vague idea on where their business should be headed. Milestones are more concrete than goals in the business plan. They don’t only determine the expected success points and can also be used to determine when we should shut down our business. It is actually a good idea to pull the plug on our side business if it continuously causes financial bleeding, regardless of what we do. As an example, the “shut down” milestone could be achieved if we don’t obtain monthly profit after 24 months. We may also use “full-time” milestone that determines when we should leave our full-time employment and turn our side business into a full-time career.