Companies have different rules about employees working other jobs. Study your employer’s rules regarding what they expect from you if you open a side business. If you intend to offer a competing product or service, you may risk losing your job, particularly if you signed a non-compete clause when you first started. You could even be subject to a lawsuit if you market a product or idea you came up with while working your full-time job.
Having an adequate amount of cash flow in a business can make the difference between success and failure. That’s why it’s important to have serious cash reserves when you launch full-time. But many people don’t have the months of operating expenses needed to do this. So they start small with a side business and use profits to beef up cash reserves for a future full-scale launch.
Mechanical Turk operates much like TaskRabbit and GigWalk: it’s a corner online where Amazon gathers tasks to be done, people willing to do them, and people willing to pay for them. On Mechanical Turk, you get to do the oddest jobs you can imagine as an online business idea, made possible by a parallel online universe that runs on hits, visits, surveys, reviews, pins, likes, CPCs, reads, and other metrics. But don’t get too ambitious. The small sums being paid out to human Mechanical Turk users rarely add up to anything seriously substantial, even if you invest most of your spare time into it. It's a better opportunity for internationally-based people with internet access and lower costs of living than in the US. Here’s one person’s account of his former life as a Mechanical Turk talking through how he got started with this business idea and what the experience was really like.
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that "Sandwich Artists" are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.
All you have to do is create the product, upload it to your custom website, and let people know you are selling eBooks on your new online store! Marketing your online store and building up a consistent flow of traffic will create buzz as your customers pass the word along about how good your store looks, and how helpful your eBook content is. With a little elbow grease, you’ll increase traffic, downloads, and start making money on the side.
Starting a business while keeping your day job can be just the strategy you need to turn your dream into reality. You can propel yourself into the world of Web Development or Web Design easily, for example, with such high demand in the marketplace for both. You can do the work at your own pace with all of these opportunities and build a new career while maintaining your present job.
I can’t say enough about dog walking and pet sitting. I’ve been doing this for over two years, and my business has grown to the point where I was only home 4 days last May. The place I’m at now has a pool, and the next place has a pool table. I love dogs but can’t have one of my own, so I also get all the puppy snuggles I could want. And the startup cost is very low.