Originally published in February 2018 on Sootoday.com
For most wantrepreneurs (wannabe entrepreneurs), coming up with the right business idea is often the biggest obstacle. But sometimes an opportunity falls in your lap that you didn’t consider before. I consider myself a serial entrepreneur, having started many different businesses over the years, and this recently happened to me.
As an entrepreneur, I am always thinking about different business ideas and opportunities. I have operated various types of businesses over the years (nearly all part-time), everything from web design, computer camps, consulting, training, blogging, indie book publishing, online product sales and more. But a recent experience spurred my latest side business or “side hustle” if you will.
A friend reached out to me, asking if I could help his colleague with their resume. Over the last decade or so I have helped numerous friends and family members to build or revamp their resumes, with great success. Since my free time is at a premium these days, I agreed to help for $50 per hour and they accepted.
First, I reviewed the client’s existing resume and then we met for coffee to get into more detail about her work history, skills and ambitions for the future. I really enjoyed the process. The result was a much more powerful resume, and my client was very pleased.
Then it occurred to me. Everyone I had helped over the years had experienced success with their new resumes…they had either gotten the job they were after or at the very least landed interviews. They also felt much more confident with their qualifications.
It turns out I have a knack for helping people extract valuable transferable skills and accomplishments from their work history, many they didn’t even realize they had. Through my own experience and background, I have learned what skills and talents make someone a valuable team member. I can then wordsmith these accomplishments, crafting a narrative in the form of an attractive, powerful resume.
And now I realized clients were willing to pay me for this service.
I am not a certified resume writer, or job counselor…so what qualifies me to help clients with their resume? It turns out that my nearly 20 years of experience in business development, marketing, entrepreneurship, management, and personal branding has given me an edge. I have hired my own employees and have been involved in hiring at several positions I have held over the years. I know what skills I look for in candidates and have worked with enough talented colleagues to recognize the skills necessary to be successful and effective in any organization.
Shortly after my own revelation, I began the process of establishing and launching my new service. It would focus on resume development and personal brand development – something I have had success with, as a published author, brand advocate for Blackberry, and Startup Canada Award winner. With hard work and a plan, it is possible to craft your own story, while building authority and expertise in a particular niche or industry.
How does this apply to you? Think about it. We all have talents, experience and qualifications that we can utilize to operate a side hustle. Would you be happy making extra money in your spare time doing something you enjoy?
Side hustles are often low-cost operations that fit your schedule, and your lifestyle. Work as much or as little as you’d like (in your spare time), and who knows, you might find there is enough demand (and satisfaction) to someday make it a full-time venture.
With this in mind, I will describe each step and the costs incurred to launch my new business in less than a week. It is easier and less expensive than you might think!
You might have noticed that the grand total was actually $285. However, in my case I did not register the new business, as I intend to offer the service under another existing business I operate, saving me $60. Therefore I only spent $225.
It is important to recognize that there are some other important steps along the way. As soon as I decided on the business name/domain name, I made sure to secure the name on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Again, you want to be consistent across mediums so that your customers and clients can find you.
You may have noticed that I did not mention writing a business plan and performing a lot of market research to ensure the business was feasible. I did make a plan, but it was a one-page business plan – identifying what my ideal client looks like, our unique selling proposition (what makes us different), how I will market the service, a startup budget and more.
Since this is another side business for me, there isn’t a lot to lose. There is no inventory or major expenses to incur. Since I am offering a service, it is just my time, which is valuable to me, but doesn’t technically cost me anything.
Because my costs are so low, this will be a worthwhile venture even with one client a month.
Once my website was complete, I shared the news of this new service on Facebook and LinkedIn. My Facebook page already has over 40 likes and continues to grow. From there I was confident I could connect with new clients through word-of-mouth referrals and social media alone. To date I have not spent any money on advertising, but instead rely on social media and word-of-mouth.
Feel free to check out my website at www.brandme.social. I’d love to hear your feedback or answer any questions you may have about starting your own side business.
The easiest way to get into business is to get started with as little cost and risk as possible. I have shown you how to launch a new business in a week for less than $250. What is holding you back?