We’ve all seen the false claims from sales people who promise that you can earn many thousands of dollars a day/week/ month if you follow their system. You see them standing by expensive cars, posing inside of mansions or throwing up cash because they just have so much.

For every legitimate offer for help building a business, there are dozens of sketchy, shortcuts that promise grand riches, but in reality, only deliver heart ache and frustration. I should know, I have been ripped off far too many times even by some very trusted names.

My first advice: Skip all those promises that are too good to be true.

Look at all the companies that you admire and take note of how long they’ve been in business. Are they successful? Do you dream of reaching that level of success? Do you have the skills and determination to be that successful?

Of course, we also hear stories of businesses closing their doors; some after just a few years. But if you spend your time NOW mapping out your business idea and setting a firm foundation on which to grow, you’ll set yourself up for success instead of failure.

That’s why I suggest that people start with a side gig first before they invest so much time and effort into building a business.  Let me to clear, however, a side gig is a business but I like to think of it as an avenue for additional income or a foundation for a full-time effort.

Let’s explore just a few questions to get you thinking in the right direction about starting your gig:

  1. Do you have a viable business idea? Basically, have you done your market research to determine if there’s a need for your services? If you have skills and natural talent, you can find your niche and be successful.

Businesses based on trends or fad products have a harder time sustaining themselves because fads disappear and trends change, which can leave you closing up shop rather quickly. But, don’t forget the Pet Rock, that company made $15 million.

  1. Do you have start-up money? Opening a service-based business is rather simple and doesn’t require much upfront investment but you also need to prepare for building a full-time operation if that’s your goal. Will you need to upgrade your equipment? Will you need state-of-the-art equipment or a simple computer upgrade? Do you plan to employ locals or will you outsource tasks to independent contractors? Do you have all your business paperwork filed correctly?
  2. Do you have a professional online presence? What does your website look like? You can hire a talented web designer on gig sites like Fiverr and Upwork who can add flair so it doesn’t look like a DIY website.

Look at all your social media profiles. Do they look similar, with current headshot photo and brand colors? Do your posts talk about your business and field of expertise or are you chatting with your college buddies? Look objectively at your social media and do an overhaul so your posts and images all convey a professional, expert image.

  1. Do you have a marketing plan? Yes, planning is a vital part of running a successful gig whether part-time or full-time. You shouldn’t look at your computer screen and wonder what to do next. You shouldn’t have to depend on the kindness of your friends and family to continuously send you business. YOU need a plan for finding those prospects and knowing what will attract them to you.

If you have the desire to succeed, you can certainly make it happen. Focus on creating a stable foundation for your business and continuously tweak your marketing plan to attract prospects.

Not a fan of planning? My quick and easy weekend course is just what you need…

If you keep thinking about getting your own gig going but don’t know where to start, my latest course is golden, “Create Your Side Hustle Income Plan: Do It In a Weekend” is designed to help you sort out what you want to do and discover if it’s a sustainable idea, all within one weekend. I’ll even walk you through how to plan prices, how to discover your Dream Client, and how to set up a marketing/social media plan you can use every day. Get started on the right foot with some research and soul-searching exercises. Learn more HERE