Start an Online Business with a Full-Time Job

A side gig is something everyone looks for nowadays. But you may be wondering, how to start an online business while having a full-time job. If so, simply search for best and new online business ideas you can start from home.

Why not? The number of Americans that have a side gig despite working full-time is on the surge.

Facts & Figures

Nearly 37 percent- or four out of 10- Americans have a side business or gig, finds a 2018 survey conducted by Bank rate. They earn an average of US$686 per month. Majority of Americans – 49 percent- with side business or side gig earn up to US$200 per month while 15 percent earns over US$1,000, the survey finds.

Almost 50 percent American millennials that include women and men between 17 and 37 years regularly earn from one or more side hustles. About 68 percent of these millennials describe income from side gigs or side businesses as ‘disposable income’ and spend it on buying things in addition to regular needs. For the remaining 32 percent, side gigs are essential to cover living costs, the survey says.

However, there is also vast gender income gap among American women and men with side hustles: Men make about three times more money- or average US$989 per month than the US$361 that women earn from side gigs.

Should these figures encourage you to find an extra source of money, you may want to start an online business.

Building Online Business

So what’s drawing in people to start an online business? A 2018 survey by Hartford insurance reports that money is the main factor. Over 72 percent of respondents agree that bettering own financial status was the main driver in opening an online business while working.

To get the best from your online business, here are some simple tips. You might find them handy while building an online business.

Utilize Your Skills

You need skills to succeed in any online business. Therefore, make an inventory of your skills and shortlist those useful for launching an online business.

Several online business ideas enable you to utilize skills. This effectively eliminates the need to hire an expert or staff to run the business while you are busy with routine work.

Explore some fantastic online business ideas that need zero or low investment yet match your skills. Blogging, online tutoring, online training and consultancy and creating a YouTube channel are some online businesses you can consider.

Identify a Niche

Usually, small online business caters to large corporations. Unless of course, you are planning on selling jams and sauces. There are countless ideas you can find to open a niche online business to serve corporate giants. Identifying a niche market is essential since it will decide on market positioning.

Identifying a niche also helps target specific customers instead of shooting in the dark. This translates as focused efforts and lower expenses on advertising and publicity. A niche business usually stands more chances of success since services, or even a product would be in demand among large companies.

But how do you really know if your product will really sell? There are a few ways to determine this. The easiest is to pop onto an online retail service like Ali Express, pick out a few products or niches you’re interested in, and see how many orders have already been made. If there are well over a hundred — and especially if there are thousands — you know there is great demand for this specific product.

You can also head to Google Keyword Planner to see how many people are searching for something niche that hasn’t really been turned into a product yet or create an MVP (minimum viable product — basically, a prototype) and test it out on your targeted market to see if people would actually buy it.

Once you’ve decided on a product, you then need to source it. You could drop-ship, which means you source and list products from another vendor and then have said vendor ship them directly to your customer. Doing this requires no inventory or shipping involved for you.

Other places to find your products before selling them on for a profit include eBay, car boot sales, and craft markets. Alternatively, if you choose to go down the digital product route (such as an eBook), you don’t even need to source anything if you are writing it yourself.

Validate Your Idea

Validating your idea is essential before you start an online business . More so, if you are working elsewhere full-time. Validation involves putting your business idea to test by doing a trial run. It involves getting real customers to try your product or service.

This process enables you to know whether a building an online business is indeed feasible. You get vital insights into the business idea. These insights are particularly useful to innovate a business model you select or dump the idea altogether in favor of profitable ones. Several entrepreneurs fail to validate their product or service to end up with huge losses.

Flexibility is Key

Flexibility is something to bear in mind while you start an online business. In fact, flexibility can become the defining line between success and failure of your business. A flexible business model allows you to adapt rapidly to market conditions and, if necessary, perform a quick turnaround.

Further, flexibility also ensures you have control over the online business even while traveling for your full-time job. It is particularly useful if your full-time job involves traveling, especially between different time zones. You can attend to the business even while away from home for long durations.

Consider Outsourcing

You may encounter some grey areas while building an online business. They would arise because you lack may lack skills in some area. It is not essential that you should have every expertise while making an online business.

Getting some tasks done by freelancers or part-timers is easy nowadays, thanks to websites like Fiverr and Upwork. Outsourcing need not be expensive unless you are looking for some very esoteric skill. In fact, lots of small online businesses effectively outsource smaller tasks from freelancers to save time and money.

Outsourcing also helps when you could be facing workloads from a regular job. It takes off pressure, at least temporarily. This keeps your business running while you focus on the full-time job. Growing your online business is also possible by outsourcing select skills.

Make Money While Asleep

A good online business is one that makes money while you are asleep. Consider this factor before starting an online business. This means, your product or service has to be available round the clock. There should be a constant demand for your online business, regardless of a client’s location.

Building an online business that can cater to markets worldwide is the surest way of making money while you sleep. To launch such business, you will require a good market study that considers factors such are demand in various countries, pricing, and delivery, among others. Affiliate marketing through your website is one method to consider while building an online business.

You don’t have to be a professional web designer to launch a website! Instead, you can use a peer-to-peer eCommerce site like Etsy to establish a storefront or Squarespace to design a professional portfolio for your services. Alternatively, you could build your own self-hosted eCommerce website from the ground up. However you put your online store together, make sure the layout is clean, your contact information is easily visible, and the site is easy to access across all devices from mobile to desktop.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Once you’ve got your site set up and ready to go, you need to start driving traffic to it. This is essential for getting people into your store in the first place. Here are a few tips for how you can driv traffic.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remains the best way to drive organic traffic to your website. This is all about using the right keywords to rank high on Google searches. If you aren’t familiar with the process, you may need to learn more about SEO in-depth.
  • Facebook Ads. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune on Facebook ads to get started reaching your audience. A $5 ad can work wonders if you target the right people and consider the niche interests your passionate prospective customers have
  • Instagram allows you to add a link in your profile. Link to your store in your bio, and then engage people with your imagery and content.

In Conclusion

There are some other factors to consider before starting an online business while you have a full-time job. Topmost among them is legitimacy. Some companies explicitly bar their employees from part-time employment and business, especially if the conflict of interest can arise. Otherwise, launching an excellent online business is definitely worth your effort.

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