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Life is expensive, and it can be challenging to make ends meet while saving enough for the future on your day job’s salary alone. That said, starting a side business based on a skill or talent can be a great way to supplement that income.

Here are five factors to take into consideration when cultivating a side business that makes sense for you.

1. The Skills or Talents You Have to Offer Think about your professional skills and hobbies—things that you excel at or enjoy that may be challenging for others (such as writing, accounting, photography or gardening). Similarly, consider what you enjoy doing and if it can be turned into a sideline business: If you’re great at throwing parties and socializing, for instance, you might want to try your hand as an event planner or directly selling clothes, beauty products or other items at gatherings in your home.

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2. The Market Potential for Your Idea Think about whether the services you’d offer fill a niche or solve a problem. In other words, will enough people want what you’re offering to make it a viable, sustainable side business? Even if you’re in fabulous physical condition and want to help other people, that doesn’t guarantee your success as a personal trainer if there’s a glut of similar offerings in your area. Once you’ve developed a clear concept for your side gig, bounce it off friends, family members and others in your community to test its viability.

3. The Certifications & Licenses You’ll Need You may not need any new ones if you’re an experienced writer, handy-person, gardener or artist. But if you want to become a different kind of service provider, you may need to get certified or licensed in that area. If you decide to become a driver for an app-based transportation service, the parent company can fill you in; the same is true if you decide to coach or referee for a local recreational organization.

4. The Hidden Costs Besides taking required materials or equipment into account, you’ll need to consider how much it will cost to start up your side business.

Did You Know?

According to a 2016 survey, 29% of Americans have a side job.

These sneaky fees might include creating your own website, advertising, and networking. Remember, too: you’ll need to pay taxes on this side revenue, so factor those costs in. Also, with some businesses—such as tax preparation or home repair—you may need insurance in case something goes wrong.

5. How You’ll Market Your Services Word of mouth and community list-serves are good ways to start letting people know what you’re doing. If you’ll be offering your services through social media, figure out which outlets best suit you—whether it’s selling handmade goods on e-commerce sites, or advertising your photography skills on online venues or print media, and the like.

Handled the right way, a side business can generate more than just extra income: It may provide an additional source of personal fulfillment, too.

 

 

 

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