8 Ways to Start Your Own Business While Working

If so many people are unhappy with their job, why don’t more people quit their jobs and do what they love?

So if so many people are unhappy with their job, why don’t more people quit their jobs and do what they love?

Two main reasons why people don’t quit:

  • fear of failure and the unknown
  • bills, bills, bills – loss of financial security

Lucky for you that plenty of entrepreneurs have figured out how to start a business without quitting their jobs, so that you don’t have to let fear of losing everything stop you.

Here are 8 ways to start a business before you jack in the day job.

1 Start a written blog, video blog or podcast

Apparently if you want to start a blog, wordpress is the way to go and they have plenty of free themes to get you started.  For the record, I have tried wordpress for three different websites now over the years and as a non-techie I absolutely detest it.  I think the user interface is abhorrent, clunky, clumsy and ugly.  I would rather pay for the beauty, simplicity and speed that I get on Squarespace.  The time I save using squarespace more than compensates for the price differential and fustration of using WordPress.  Vloggers are obvioulsy the new stars of screen – I’m sure you’ve heard of Zoella and Tanya Burr.  And podcasting is apparently the new big thing for those that like audio books or have headphones surgically attached – you know the types – you see them at the gym and on the train every morning.  My favourite podcast is Radio 4’s The Bottom Line – check it out for nuggets from CEOs, Investors and Entrepreneurs.

2 Try selling at the weekends

There are more opportunities than ever to have a go at getting your products out there.  Pop up shops in the high street or in offices, festivals, fairs, carts and market stalls.  Appear Here is a great website for finding pop-up space, making it as easy as booking a hotel room.  All reputable music festivals have areas on their websites for potential traders, so why not have a look at a festival near you.  Innocent famously set up at a music festival to decide whether they should give up their jobs to make smoothies full time and have never looked back.

3 Establish a social media presence for your business

It’s not rocket science but if you’re going to be selling anything, you need to let people know you are there.  A great way to do this without spending any money (only time) is on social media, particularly if you are thinking of selling to the general public.  At time of writing, the grandaddy of platforms is supposedly Facebook, new kids on the block Instagram and Snapchat, Pinterest is a bit niche, but the emerging kingpin of them all seems to be Twitter.  Check out these top twitter tips from David Schneider at That Lot

4 Become an expert in your field

This is particularly important if you have a unique perspective on an age-old problem or have an unusual interest.  You can write online articles, comment on articles, offer to write blogs and give talks.  A great example of this is Jake McGowan-Lowe, a 14 year old collector of bones and now an author and authority after he started his collection at the tender age of just 6 years  old – move over Attenborough, there’s a new kid in town.

5 Create a mobile app

Proceed with caution – this is now a very crowded market place where there is already almost an app for everything and most of the top-selling apps are well-resourced with either developer expertise, money or established brands.  Unless you want to build the app yourself for fun and can come up with an app for something which really isn’t there at all, you may well need a huge budget to make it fly, unless you want to try your hand at a DIY app.  The one app I could never find was a reminder for Gina Ford’s book – The Contented Baby, and I do think the lack of women in tech might mean that women’s products and services may be an under-serviced area in the app space.  Chad Mureta, author of App Empire has an incredibly inspiring story and is now a successful appreneur.

6 Set up an affiliate marketing or reselling website

This might seem like a dark art or something that sounds too good to be true.  In short, it’s a way that sellers pay commission to you if someone clicks and buys from a link on your website or blog.  Amazon, Ebay and others have big affiliate marketing programs.  Bear in mind, you have to be producing good, authentic content to get people to read your stuff in the first place, but this is a good way of building a passive income while you work.  There are a number of forum sites like A Best Web and Commission Junction, but this short Affiliate Marketing for Dummies video explains how to get started.

7 Set up an ebay, etsy or Amazon shop

Popular with craft-makers but this isn’t just for hobbyists.  Some ebay and Amazon businesses have spotted quirky niches, often with vintage or recycled goods which are no longer made, for which there is a thriving market.  If you can get cost-effective logistics, then there’s money to be made.  Leading website notonthehighstreet.com has also made a great business out of marketing on behalf of these sellers.  And the beauty of it is that you can be as busy as you want to be.  I’m guessig everyone knows about ebay and Amazon, so why not check out these tips for getting found on etsy, by artist Katy Fryd.

8 Set up a website for obtaining pre-orders and sign-ups

I came across this article a little while back for how to test a business idea without spending virtually any money.  To be honest, it doesn’t get any more low-risk than this! If your biggest reason for not starting a business is fear that no-one will buy your product or service then this is a great way to test the market. In short, it’s a step by step guide to building a website in order to capture interest in your idea by using a ‘Buy Now’ button.  A word of caution is that it may not cost oodles of money to set up, but it may cost time and a bit of tech-savvy to get traffic to your website.

With so many ways to get started whilst still doing the day job how can you not give it a try. Really, what is their to lose?