One of the big struggles today is starting a business, but doing it without giving up the things you have with a full-time job.
I was in this position a couple years ago. I had a great full-time job that I really enjoyed. The work was challenging and the people were incredible. But as I looked to the future I just had the pull to do something on my own full-time.
I had been operating Ghost Blog Writers for about two years or so at the time on the side. I was writing when I’d get home from work and on the weekends. It was nothing crazy, but the potential was there. Then I brought in a couple other writers to help with a few projects.
But eventually the pull was there. I had the “now or never” realization that there was never a better time to figure it things out than at that point. The more you get pulled in by the golden handcuffs of a job the less likely you are to pull out. And that’s fine as long as you’re happy.
So if you’re in the push or pull right now with a new startup then it’s time to figure out how to get sales while you’re still working full-time.
Pre-Step – Talk To Your Boss
This step isn’t required, but it’s recommended if you feel you can take it. Talk to your boss about your side business. Since the moment I was hired at my full-time job my boss wanted to know about my side business. He knew I had aspirations and since he was very smart and experienced in business he was even helpful with it.
I also know a few others that started their own businesses on the side and a few have spoken to their bosses. Because in today’s world there is just going to be some crossover with emailing during work hours and things like that. Not all, but I would say most bosses aren’t as set on “company time” anymore. They feel that as long as you’re getting your job done for them that you can work on the side businesses especially if it keeps you happy.
Again, this won’t work all the time, but it’s recommended if you have a good relationship with your boss. Honesty is always the best.
Sales Tips #1 – Make Connections On LinkedIn
If you’re interesting in business and online business you’re probably doing a little bit with social media. I can tell you right now that LinkedIn is the only social media account you need to focus on if you’re time is limited. If you sell to other businesses or to other professionals then you need to be on LinkedIn building your connections and working on building a group of your own.
First, the connections are huge. You can meet all kinds of people including your target customers and their influencers on LinkedIn. I’ve gotten a few different clients over the years from meeting people on LinkedIn. Those have come just from making connections with my target customers and having them see my description. They see what GBW offers and call us up.
Optimize your description and summary. Explain who you are, what problem you solve and how you solve it. Then go out and connect with your target audience. If your audience is small business owners then connect with small business owners.
To take it another step further you can start your own group on LinkedIn where you discuss an industry topic related to your business. Get as many people in there talking about their struggles and provide answers as you can. Really give good information and keep the spammy article sharing out of there. Over time you can build a strong group and you’ll have access to emailing them every week.
Sales Tip #2 – Meet Business People At Local Events
It’s good to join local groups. You can feel like you’re a part of your community and you can meet potential customers. But don’t really go into these events thinking that you’re going to start asking for sales. Participate in events. Sponsor things and work to get your name and your brand name out there in the community. The goal is to get people aware of what you do so they can tell their colleagues about you.
After you’ve been involved for a while you can start asking other members if they know anyone that would be interested in your services. This is a less-spammy way to ask about potential customers. You get referrals and you can use that referral to get yourself in with the potential customers.
Sales Tip #3 – Write One Blog Post Per Week About Your Target Customers And Their Influencers
Finally, start blogging on your own website. You can fire up a website on WordPress for a $13/year domain name, $200/year hosting (get fast hosting) and a couple hundred maybe for a premium template and some custom designing from a good designer. That’s to start out. After you’ve had some success you can focus on a custom design.
Now, you have to write about your customers and their influencers. The reason you want to do this is to get the attention of the people you want to work for. You can get their attention by writing about them. A lot of brands are monitoring their mentions online including on social media. So when you write about them and share it on social media they’ll often see it. Sometimes they’ll re-share the content for their audience to see and other times you’ll get on their radar, which can be the start of a potential sale.
And finally, you have to talk about their influencers. Your target customers have people that they follow, read and watch. When you write about these influencers because if you do they’ll often re-share your content and their audience is your target customer. It’s like an endorsement for your services when your customer sees their influencer sharing your content.
It’s great that you’re starting your own business. A startup is challenging and if you’re doing it while still holding down a full-time job it’s even more challenging especially on the sales side. But it’s entirely worth it because you can keep your cushion while you build your business.
The key is focusing on sales. Without sales you won’t grow your business so put your effort into getting sales. And use the above items to get those sales. They’ll work and they’ll put you in a good place in the long-term when you’re ready to leave and go at your startup full-time.