How To Start Your Side Business

Although it’s probably the hottest topic all over the internet, ‘side businesses’ are very lucrative, and I’m going to touch on a few points today in a “micro blog post” which won’t take long.

Ultimately, we all want to have some level of financial freedom to do things we enjoy with the extra time we have away from our regular jobs.

That kind of freedom comes at a price. The price of doing business on the side to supplement income, or provide a “fun money fund” for vacations, gifts, or items we wouldn’t be able to afford a regular salary.

This is especially helpful for those who make minimum wage or less than 20% more than minimum wage.

Getting Started

I’ll share some advice that I got from a teacher in High School, who gave me some of the most valuable information [and probably the most basic if you think about it]. We’ll call him Mr. Moreno.

“You can make a good living at a job, but what you do with your time after work is how you make money”.

I don’t need to dissect that statement any more than it already is. He was telling me that to get ahead, doing extra work and spending my “free time” on my own clock was going to push me forward into where I want to be.

The teacher who gave me this advice was my auto-body teacher at a High School vocational school that I attended for half a day, every school day for 2 years.

Starting up a side business doing something that you’re good at is the best bet. Don’t just jump into the easiest thing you possibly can. (I’m talking to you, drop-shipping miracle businesses…)

I’ll use auto-body/detailing as an example.

How Do You Afford To Start?

Another great question, with an answer of simple advice from the same teacher.

Getting expensive tools is easier than you think.

If you’ve got the skill set to do a job, like a quarter panel repair, but you don’t have a welder or a cut-off tool. You can get your customer to pay for those things.

But there is a catch… You’re not going to make a profit off this particular job. You estimate the repair to include the cost of the equipment (only if it’s reasonable. You can’t estimate a $4,000 piece of equipment into an $800 job, or your customer will walk away).

If you need a welder for a quarter panel repair, find one that is used for a decent price that is in the ballpark. If you’re bidding to replace a panel, body work it, and blend the paint job, you’re going to need to bid reasonably.

For example, if it’s a 15 hour job, that you’re capable of, go with about $65/hr. This will put you in lower than a shop, but with enough room to get a welder.

This job will get you $975, which can definitely afford you an inexpensive or used welder that will do the job.

Just be aware that you’re not making a profit other than affording the new tool(s).

The next job will be ALL PROFIT though because you already have the tool, and it only cost your time to earn it.

This method to amassing an inventory of tools is the most cost effective way to do so, and anyone who wants to get into a business without a lot of pocket change can use this method.

Now, this won’t work for things like a CNC lathe, complex computers, press brakes, or very expensive machinery.

You’re not going to be able to bid high enough on a job to cover those costs.

You can either put out the money up front if you’re able to, or re-invest every dollar into your business, not paying yourself until you can afford the equipment.

Getting Your Name Out

Again, this is extremely simple… Especially with the internet and social media.

You can post your work to an Instagram page, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and a half dozen more.

Once you do work for someone local, you’ll have word of mouth on your side. [You don’t even have to do work for someone, you can have network connections/co-workers/old colleagues who will refer you to people because you’re credible and competent].

The Point

Ultimately, getting started is up to you. Being limited by capital sucks, but it can be overcome with a drive to succeed.

Never turn your nose up at used equipment, because it could be the difference between you starting your business and growing it, or sitting on the couch wondering why you pay your bills on time, do everything right, and you’re still not getting ahead.

Go out and start making money. Try out different businesses; because we’re all good at something, and we just need to find out what that is!

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