The ‘side hustle’ is becoming increasingly popular. Are you thinking of starting a business while still in your day job?
Working a nine to five comes with benefits, and the security of having a steady income can be a ‘deterrent’ to starting a business.
If you decide to leap into entrepreneurship, however, the first thing you must do is to explore if your idea can be turned into a viable business.
First – is your idea viable?
Instead of a long-winded business plan, it is best to start with a Business Model Canvas. You can download one here for free. This will help you validate many of the assumptions you have about your business idea. For example:
What problem does your product solve?
What is your product?
Who are your target customers?
What is unique about it?
How are you planning to distribute your product to customers?
How much revenue can you make?
What are your significant costs?
Next – review your employment contract
Back when you signed your employment contract, was there a clause that prohibits you from setting up a business related to your current role?
You need to review your contract and speak to your employer.
The easiest way to avoid trouble is to make sure you are working on an idea that is unrelated to that of your employer, and to work on your own time and with your computer and phone.
Now – test your idea
To reduce the risk of ‘startup failure,’ you will need to test your concept rigorously. For example, do you have a prototype? Do you know what your customers think?
Customer interview and surveys are now easy to do with tools like SurveyMonkey and the reach given by the social web (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).
To put your assumptions to the test, ask potential customers how they would use your service or product to solve their problem. Ask if they