Are you getting ready to start a side business?

These “side hustles” as we like to call them to have the potential to grow and possibly even become a full-time job. However, regardless of your business goals, you want your side business to succeed. After all, there’s nothing worse than putting time and effort into something that fails.

If you’re getting ready to start a business, these are five things to remember. Learning from other side business’s successes and failures is a great way to avoid common problems.

1. You don’t know your WHY

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Develop the idea of what you want to accomplish. Think about your end goal. Are you looking for just some extra money for vacations or some splurges? Do you want to grow this business and have it become a full-time position?

There’s no wrong answer here except a lack of one. After all, if you don’t have a destination in mind, then you’ll never get there. This doesn’t mean that your plans won’t change over time. After all, you could find that your experience and demand makes you rethink this business. However, start off with a goal and purpose in mind. This will not only keep you motivated. It will also provide a basic road map of what you want to accomplish.

2. Undervalue your natural advantages

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You could start your business on your own but having assets on your side sets you up for success. What are the tools you have in your tool chest to make you succeed? This could be unique skills that will set you apart. It can also involve connections that will set you up for success.

Consider a person who has connected to the small business community already. This person already has a network of mentors and peers to provide guidance through the process. You may feel as though you’re starting from scratch. However, chances are that you have assets that are going to benefit your business goals. Think about what you bring to the table and how you can use that in your business.

If you still believe that you don’t have enough skills or talents, let me tell you a secret, acquiring new skills is just a habit. Actually you can learn useful skills that make money and improve your overall results dramatically.

3. ‘I don’t have enough time’

If you hate time management, then you’re going to be on the struggle bus. Think about how much time you spend on your full-time job. A part-time job is also going to require time. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up working all the time and not actually enjoy building a business.

You should prepare to invest time but if you use your time wisely, then you and the business will benefit. If you’re not much of a planner, consider any number of digital apps and resources to keep your day on track.

I very common mistake that many entrepreneurs do —including me— is not having clear long-term goals, so that you can break down those goals into monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily goals.

I recently asked Chris Dacker for some tips about this and I feature him on my podcast The Side Plan where you will learn the 1-2-3 Method and how to set daily goals to boost your productivity.

You can listen to the podcast episode here:

4. Measure your success by the wrong numbers

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We all want to make money but chances are that this will take time. Make sure that you don’t need the money from this side business right away. It can take up to two years – if not more – for businesses to start turning a profit. Chances are that your side business will have less overhead and you’ll make money much earlier.

If you’re trying to just make money quick, then you’ll probably get frustrated and quit soon. Instead of focusing on the cash flow by itself, focus on learning what actually works for your business. Optimize your process and make them work great. You’ll find that focusing more on the process then just the money sets you up for long term success.

5. Forget to enjoy the process: the journey is the destination

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Building your own business, even a side business is a lot of work! Make sure that you’re taking the time to stop and smell the roses. You’ll probably have periods of stress along the way but take time to enjoy what you’re doing. The time when your website launches or you ship your first order are milestones for any business.

Keep in mind that starting a side business can be a great way to pursue your passion while learning along the way. Use these five areas to make sure that you’re building the best business possible. Most people find that opening a side business is a great experience when they have a purpose and the right tools to make it work.

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