Starting a Side Business

Starting a Side Business

More people are launching side ventures, but would it work for you?

By Caz Blaxcell

So, you're contemplating a second income because you need to save for your wedding. Or perhaps you've realized all of your friends are buying houses and you're still in your pokey rented flat. Perhaps, you've got a great business idea, which you go to bed thinking about every night. Well, you're not alone.

According to the, around 1.2 million people in the UK take on second jobs to boost their income and pursue their own passion projects. With real-term wages falling 8% since the financial crisis, more people are cramming extra work into evenings, weekends and even their lunch hours to supplement their main incomes.

It all sounds like a good idea, until you realize there are only 24 hours in a day and you need to sleep. To help you make a decision on whether it's right for you, I've pulled together some considerations on how you can make it work for you, before committing yourself whole-heartedly to your new project.

A part-time venture could work for you...

...if it doesn't overcrowd your schedule

Taking on a second job is likely to leave you short on time to socialize, and setting up your own side business is likely to be even more demanding and far more time-consuming then you’d think (trust me on this).

If you’re likely to be staying up into the early hours of the morning answering emails and building your idea into a viable business, it’s likely to affect your performance in your main job. If you plan to be a part-time entrepreneur for the long-term, it’s certainly not sustainable or good for your wellbeing.

So, if you're super-passionate about what you're doing, then you need to plan your time as efficiently as you can and be patient as it may take longer to set up then first anticipated. If it's just about the money then it's probably worth seeing what opportunities there are at work, like climbing further up the career ladder at work or doing overtime.

...if you want to be your own boss some day

If your long-term dream is to be a successful entrepreneur and own your own business, then it’s definitely worthwhile pursuing your idea on the side. 1 in 5 start-ups in the UK are started as someone’s sideline. Starting your business alongside a full-time job may be tough for the short-term, but it’s a great way of validating your business plan whilst you have the financial security of your main job.

...if you can get paid for something you love doing

The saying goes: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life". If your day job isn't doing it for you, then apply this wisdom to your side enterprise, and it could add a fantastic dynamic to your life.

After all, ¾ of Brits already have a part-time hobby or passion they pursue alongside a full-time job, and on average, earn a collective £249 million a month from their after-work interests. If you have a skill or talent that people will pay for, get out there and seize the day.

...if you want experience in a different field

Whether you’re want to move into a totally different field, then a sideline venture can test your skills and provide you with invaluable insight before you fully commit yourself.

So, to recap, if you’re thinking about a side business, make sure it’s sustainable and that it won’t overcrowd your private life. Or just commit in the short-term to either test the idea or until you've earned the money you need.

On the other hand, if you dream of being your own boss and you think you have a valid business model, starting up your own side business while you’re in full-time employment could to be the perfect opportunity to make it happen.

Go digital to get ahead

Convinced a side business is indeed the right direction for you? Great. To get started, here are a few tech tools that all successful part-time entrepreneurs need:

Where to start
Where to start:

Find your perfect board on Trello Inspiration

Be Tax Savvy

Make sure you’re in the know with any further tax implications a second job or a side venture could result in. This article on Money Advice Service should give you some good pointers.