Have you ever thought about quitting your job to work for yourself?
Maybe you have – but it seems like an impossible dream, and you know you can’t just walk out of your current job and hope for the best. Or maybe you can’t imagine quitting – you enjoy your work, you like your colleagues, and you want a steady income.
Either way, think about starting a side business: it could have huge benefits for you.
#1: Boost Your Bank Balance
Few of us want less money. Chances are, you’re either trying to pay off debt, or trying to increase your savings. A side business lets you make extra money without chasing a promotion or asking for a raise at work.
You don’t necessarily have to spend every evening and weekend on your business, either. Just a couple of hours a week, making an extra $50 -$100, might be enough to make a massive difference to your finances.
#2: Diversify Your Income
A side business doesn’t just give you extra cash; it gives you a new source of income. We’ve all seen friends and colleagues laid off during the recession – and it’s clear that traditional employment isn’t as secure as we might have once thought.
Having multiple sources of income means that if one dries up, you’ll still have some money coming in. If your company folds, or if you’re made redundant, you may be able to survive for a few months on the income from your side business.
#3: Learn New Skills
When you’re working for a boss, you’ll probably have a clearly defined role and set of tasks – and your boss often won’t be keen on you seizing the initiative or rocking the boat. But when you start up your own side business, you can learn and explore as much as you want – in fact, you’ll have to learn new skills (like project management, sales, accounting…) in order to be successful.
These skills play into the whole of your life – not just your side business. Perhaps you’ll be able to use them in your regular job, and prove that you’re worth promoting. Or maybe you’ll find that increase self-discipline or financial management makes your personal life easier, too.
#4: Make Your Hobbies Pay
Many hobbies are expensive. If you’re into photography, for instance, you might spend thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses, and other equipment. If you’re a musician, you may want to set up a home recording studio.
Even if your side business doesn’t make a lot of money, it could easily make enough to cover the costs of your hobby. You could pay for that new camera by doing a few photo shoots, or even by selling stock photography online.
#5: Follow Your Dreams
Chances are, you’ve got some dreams which don’t have anything to do with staying in your current job. Maybe you want the freedom of working for yourself. Maybe you want to have enough money in the bank to take a six-month sabbatical from work, so that you can travel.
Whatever your dream, a side business can give you the funds and the freedom to make it come true. And you don’t have to wait for months or years in order to get the benefits, either: working on that side business during your evenings and weekends can be motivating and encouraging in itself. You’ll find that you have a new sense of purpose, and that you feel in control of your life.
Have you ever run your own small business? We’d love to hear your tips and ideas in the comments!