How to Have a Successful Side Business

I had the privilege of speaking last month at an empowerment event on running a successful side business. Because many of us work full time while running a business, it's easy to lose focus and cause the business to fail. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track.

1. Have a reason for running your business and have a vision of what you want to achieve.  Do you want the business to turn into a full time venture? or do you just want extra income to pay off your car? Write this down and set daily and weekly goals to get you to where you need to be.
Look at your vision and goals everyday. The more you look at them, the more likely you will do what needs to be done.

2. Do something you're passionate about and remember what works for me does not necessarily work for you. Don't be afraid to pursue your passion.

3. Don't be afraid to fail and take risks. The fear of failure is the number one factor that keeps people from pursuing their dreams. Don't be afraid to make the necessary investment no matter how small or big for your business. Take the risk in making the call to the person you think will help you in your business. Don't be afraid of hearing the word "No". A No today might turn into a "yes" tomorrow, or get you closer to a "yes" from someone else.

4. Training is a must and comes in different ways. Read books, online articles, take training classes to sharpen your skills and keep you on trend in your area of business. Follow and get ideas from other people who are already successful especially in your line of business. Who is your inspiration?

5. Use tools to your advantage. Do you have a smartphone and are you just using it to make calls? You're missing out. There are so many tools and apps that can help you run your business on the go and help you save time.

6. Learn the art of marketing and don't be shy. If you really have a reason for running your business, you won't be shy about marketing. Let everyone know every way you can about your business. Give out fliers, business cards, and catalogs on a daily basis. Spread the word on networking sites. Show me your news feed on Facebook  and I will tell you if you're really serious about your business. "Farmville" anyone?

7. Treat your business as real business so that people can take you serious. Because this is a side venture you may tend to blow off your business for other things. Also your friends and family will probably not value your time. If you make appointments keep to them, offer good customer service and say no to TV, surfing the internet and other time wasters if you have to work on your business.

8. Don't give up and be consitent. If this is what you really want, don't ever give up. You never know when you will make it. Give out one more business card, one more flier, make one more call. You never know when you will land that big customer and make it big.  You have to work your business everyday. Sending out emails once a month just doesn't cut it. Consistent activity = consistent income.

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