Have you ever thought about striking out on your own, perhaps turning a hobby into a paying gig? If you’ve already got a full-time job, you might think that having your own business is totally unrealistic: you’ve got bills to pay, and you can’t just quit and hope it all works out.
There are plenty of good reasons to try going into business, though, and if you’ve got an hour or two to spare in the evenings, plus a few hours at weekends, you could definitely give entrepreneurship a go.
Here are some key reasons why you might want to:
#1: Make More Money Each Month
Perhaps you’ve got no hopes of a raise or a promotion at work … but you want more money. Starting a side business can give you extra cash every month, to pay off debts, save for a vacation, or simply for extra peace of mind.
If the things you do for fun tend to be pricy, turning them into a business can be a great way to make them pay for themselves. For instance, if you enjoy crafts, you could sell some of your productions on Etsy. You might not make “quit your day job” money … but it can still help you enjoy your hobbies.
#2: Give Yourself a Back-Up (or Escape Route)
Many people are finding that formally secure jobs aren’t so safe after all. A side business could be a lifeline if you find yourself made redundant, or if your hours are cut.
Alternatively, your business can provide an escape route. If you’re hoping to get out of your job but can’t find anything else, then getting a business going while you’re still on a regular paycheck is a smart move. Once you know you can make enough working for yourself, you can quit your job.
#3: Learn New Skills
If you’ve been working in the same job for more than a year or two, you’ll probably find that most days look pretty much the same. You rarely get to learn anything new – which may make you feel uninterested in your work.
By starting your own business, you’ll pick up a ton of new skills. Some of these will be specific to your particular field (for instance, if you set up as a freelance web designer, you’ll obviously improve your graphic design skills) – others will be related to business in general (such as negotiation, marketing, time management). All of these skills could be useful in your day job, perhaps helping you gain a promotion.
#4: Make a Difference in the World
Perhaps you feel as though your regular life isn’t making any real impact on the world around you. If you’re a stay at home parent, you might feel like you want a larger role in life; if you’ve got a mundane job, you might question whether what you do is worthwhile.
By running your own business, you can make a real difference. You can create something that you’re proud of, and potentially leave a legacy for others too.
#5: Gain Confidence
Perhaps you feel that self-employment is for other people, not for you. They might seem braver, smarter, better-connected … whatever it is, you’re convinced they have something that you don’t.
The truth is, a huge range of people run their own businesses. Many of them will have felt even less confident than you when they started out – but developing a business has also helped them develop their confidence and their inter-personal skills.
You don’t know where starting a business will take you. Perhaps you’ll give it a try and decide it’s not for you … but, as a result, you’ll be more certain about your decision to stick with the day job. Or perhaps you’ll find your skills and confidence growing by the day, and you’ll eventually be able to quit your job to work for yourself, doing what you love.
If you think running a business just might be for you, check out 9 Steps to Starting a Small Business to find out where to go next.