Starting A Side Business 63 Comments
So far on my blog I’ve been focusing on general tips to save money and some of my personal financial mistakes. Maybe I’m just a pessimist and have been focusing on the negative.
This week I’ll switch it up a bit and share a bit about why I started a side business.
I’d have to say I first got off on the path to start my side business in college. There I was enrolled in a general computer systems technology diploma program. This taught me a wide range of computer skills that would later come in very handy.
In addition to the skills I acquired, I also crossed paths with someone living in the same college dorm and taking the same computer diploma program. I admit I didn’t get along with him much at the time, but he turned into a big source of inspiration.
Soon after graduating I heard that this guy had launched his own dating website. He was running it all on his own and it was quickly gaining a lot of momentum. Basically he was offering a free service funded by ads in a niche dominated by companies that charge membership fees. Over the years I watched enviously as his website became quite popular and he started making a lot of money.
So I began tossing around some ideas for a website that I could start on my own. Nothing really sounded promising enough though. I was just hung up on the notion that it needed to be a unique idea.
Later while I was working as a webmaster (and website marketer in training), my boss gave me some very wise advice. She told me that to get ahead in this country, you really need to establish a secondary source of income. Her reasoning was that if you just work a daytime job, a large percentage will go to taxes and you’ll manage to find a way to spend the rest.
That was when it really clicked. I decided that I was going to start my own website and see if I could put my new website marketing skills to use. I just had to think up an idea.
The plan I settled on was to target a lucrative niche and create a business directory filled with affiliate offers. Luckily I had all the basic skills to do all the work myself. And now I had the motivation to put those skills to use and work hard.
I thought I had the ideal business plan and it was going to make me rich. Not everything goes exactly as planned though. In the end, I didn’t make much money with that first website, but I did learn some valuable lessons and discovered a new sub-niche to focus on instead.
Since then I have gradually expanded to various other niches. These websites have had their ups and downs. I’ve even gone through periods when they were making enough for me to work on them full time. During one of those times I looked into the benefits of incorporating in Canada but decided it wasn’t right for me at the time. Unfortunately online income can be quite unstable.
Still, these websites have served me well and brought in some nice income. Even when I’m not working on them, the commission checks keep showing up. It definitely adds some financial flexibility.
Anyways, that’s the gist of the story. It may not be glamorous, but perhaps it is just the foundation for something better down the road.
Thinking of running a more traditional side business? For tips on how to manage your finances, check out this business cashflow guide from Hitachi Capital. If you think your idea has a great chance of success enter the SMB competition for a chance to win funding free of charge.
If you run your own side business, what led you to start it? Did you have any specific motivations?