Many people want to start a side business. For some, it’s because they want to turn a creative hobby they’re passionate about into a project so that they can earn extra money. For others, it’s because they want to make the transition into entrepreneurship financially comfortable by building a business slowly in their spare time as they continue to work for an employer.
How about you? If you clicked on this article, you might be thinking of starting a side business while you are a BCIT student? Or are you a recent graduate hoping to start something on the side so that you can transition into full-time entrepreneurship in the future?
If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions, this blog post could help you decide if now is a good time for you to start working on launching your side hustle or not.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start
There are many things to think about before you start a business, ranging from what your product or service will be, who your ideal customer is and how you’ll reach them, to how to register your business and how you will get funding in place, and more!
Because the process can feel overwhelming, many new entrepreneurs fail to ask themselves these three crucial questions before they start working on their business idea:
- How much time do I have?
- Can I afford to start a side business without going into debt?
- What do I really want to do (or learn)?
Let’s briefly look at each question and why it matters.
1. How much time do I have?
To run a successful side business, you’ll have to plan your schedule carefully so that you have specific times scheduled when you’ll work on your business each week. Be realistic when you think about what your schedule will allow. The excitement of starting a company you’re passionate about will give you energy. Still, it’s essential not to make your schedule so full that you don’t have time anymore for your non-work-related priorities like enjoying the outdoors, exercising regularly or just hanging out with family or friends, as it will lead to burnout.
Also, keep in mind that some side businesses require a more significant time investment than others. Are you taking on a project you’ll be able to manage on your own? Or should you consider finding a partner from the get-go to help?
If you need to find the time you can consider:
- Waking up earlier,
- Staying up later, or
- Spending less time on social media, watching television or online streaming.
Can I afford to start a side business without going into debt?
It’s essential to think about how you can start your side hustle without debt. Although you might not know yet how much money you will need to bootstrap your side business, as you haven’t done your research just yet, you do need to know how much disposable income you have available and how much of it you are willing to invest into a side business.
If you decide this upfront, before you need to spend the money, it will be easier for you to make smart decisions later on, because the excitement can lead you to make risky financial decisions that could lead to regret.
Decide in advance what your maximum spending can be and be clear on what your financial situation is.
3. What do I really want to do (or learn)?
When you choose your side business, choose something you want to do or learn to achieve. Enjoying the work, you do or feeling passionate about learning about it will help you to stay committed. If you’re a student, whether that’s part-time or full-time, or a recent graduate working for someone else, ask yourself if you care enough about your idea to live it daily, even though you already have a full schedule, and even on the days when you feel tired.
There is a lot more to think about, but this is an excellent place to start. If you still feel committed to starting a side business after thinking deeply about these three questions, you’re ready for the next steps.
Do you need guidance in identifying if an idea you have for a side business is a good fit for you? Connect with us for support by booking an online 1-on-1 appointment. Our services are free for BCIT students and grads, and your BCITSA Entrepreneurship team members (Laura and Tania) are available virtually to support you.
Do you need support? Would you like 1-on-1 support for your next pitch or virtual presentation? Connect with us by booking an online 1-on-1 appointment. Our services are free for BCIT students and grads and your BCITSA Entrepreneurship team members (Laura and Tania) are available virtually to support you.