I and many other entrepreneurs want control, and this is one of the reasons I’ve just hired a project manager. It’s our business, our brand, our name, and face on the product, so we want to make sure that everything is done right, and this doesn’t happen all the time. We want to oversee that whole thing, which takes away from our creative time, as well as our time for implementing and running the business, and doing what we need to do in order to create new products and services.
Having someone oversee that team removes you almost completely from the day-to-day administrative stuff, even if you’re just overseeing it; it puts you in a position to create.
There are people who run and manage teams, and there’re supervisors; there are also ways in which you can leverage that experience and do the same thing for people like myself, who will pay you.
What you have to understand is that everything you do comes with a price. If you provide customer service for big companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Sprint, you’ll want them to pay you an hourly rate to do those services. If you are someone who works for a company that provides sales—whether it’s cars, clothes, or houses—you have a price for performing those duties.
When starting a side-business, you have to put in that same energy. You just have to go into the mindset of “I have a price, this is it, and this is the value you’ll get for it. Let’s do business”. Many people need a project manager, a supervisor, a salesperson, a web designer, or a social media manager, but they can’t afford to bring someone in for forty hours a week, pay part of their benefits, and do everything else that comes with being an employer, so they contract those out. They’ll pay the provider a fee per week or per month, to do X, Y, and Z, and with a set list of expected results. After that, you’ll just do business.
You could charge someone $20 an hour for social media management, and go into that full time. You could also offer to create 3 posts a day once a week for a client, and also engage with their followers, and do other work, all for $250 per month. If you get 10 clients like that, then we’re talking about $2,500 per month for 20 hours per week, if that.
This strategy will allow you to do something part-time but make a fulltime income. Once you get good at it, you’ll also work out the kinks.
If you’ve never done something like this before for other people, they're going to be some roadblocks and speed bumps in the way—things that you don’t really like. Still, you will work those out, and, once you have a smooth road ahead and you’ve established a good system, guess what you’ll do? Just like with any other job you’ve gotten good at, you’ll ask for a raise.
The thing is that, when you’re a business owner, there’s no one you can ask for a raise, so you have to give yourself one. A 9-to-5 business will either say “Yes” or “No” to a raise, but, when you have your own business, either on the side, fulltime, or a combination of both, you don’t have to ask for that raise; you can simply say “My prices are going up from $250 to $299 per month for the same services”, maybe add a little value to your offer, and move on. If you’re good at what you do, people won’t have a problem paying the price.
When I was a kid and lived with my grandma, cable TV was $20 a month. At one point she told me that, if I was going to watch TV all day, I would have to pay the cable. I was an entrepreneur back then too, and I remember that she used to show me the bills, and I’d pay her the $20 per month.
Basic cable is $50 a month now, for the same service we got back then, so I don’t want to hear “I don’t think I should raise my prices; what if people don’t pay and I’ll lose clients?”. You might lose clients, but the ones you keep and the ones you gain are going to make up for that.
If, say, you have 10 clients and you raise your prices up by $50, you might lose 2 of them or about $500 per month. With the other clients you keep, if you’re charging them $250 per month, you still get $2,000. Even if you’re losing money, you need to consider that you now have 2 slots available for new clients. Those are going to amount to an additional $500, so you’ve just gone from $2,000 to $2,500 per month, for the same amount of work you were doing the month before, all because you raised your rates.
I want to encourage you to take an inventory of the services you’ve provided today, and that you provide in order to get paid a paycheck, and I want you to figure out how you can leverage those skills, and whom can you provide them for.
If you work in a restaurant taking orders, that’s a service you’re providing. There are people selling shirts, hats, creams, and lotions, and there are people who need others to take orders on their behalf. Even though that process should be automated, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people going to a website to ask specific questions about the products being sold on it; if there’s someone in the chat there, who can answer questions and help process the order, it’ll provide value to someone. Now, they have the opportunity to capture the prospects that may have left without buying something, after not finding the information they want.
I’m bad at leaving voicemails, and a lot of people are bad at sending emails. So, if I call and an answering machine picks up, I’m hanging up; it’s not something against the company, but I just don’t do it. This is the value that you can provide: if you’re taking orders at a fast food restaurant, then you can talk to clients in another setting as well, for someone else.
Do I have to start a business as an LLC or as a sole proprietorship?
I would always start an LLC, because it helps me protect myself. When starting a side business, it’s okay to hold off doing that in the beginning. I believe that the legal limit is $600, before earnings become taxable, or maybe more (you’ll have to contact an accountant about this). I would say that, until you’ve become profitable and you’re making more than that, you can hold off on making an LLC.
I would not go for a sole proprietorship for the simple fact that there aren’t many protections in place for it. We’re in a sue-happy world, and people do it for just about anything, so I would be careful about opting for a sole proprietorship, as it leaves you at-risk of compromising your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit.
Come back tomorrow for Part 3 of this series! Looking to start a business now? Why wait schedule your 1 on 1 session with me today. Schedule Here!!!