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7 tips for a successful sideline business

Maximize your time but know your boundaries.
By Entrepreneur Staff |

Doing part-time or sideline businesses is very common in the Filipino workplace—from the officemate who sells homemade longganisa to the receptionist who has a cellphone loading system.

A lot of boundaries are trespassed, however, when one is engaged in a sideline business. Questions like ‘when is the right time to sell or when do I transact business’ are just some that one has to answer.

You Can Start Your Own Business co-author Arnold Sanow suggests these tips to help make your part-time business a success:


1. Get your family involved.

Whether it's answering the phone, stuffing envelopes or putting together orders, giving family members the chance to help out is a great way to get more accomplished in less time—while also making them feel like they're part of your business.

 


2. Be ready to give up personal time.

 You won't have much time for TV, reading or hobbies you used to enjoy. Be sure the sacrifice is worth it, or both your job and your business will suffer.

 


3. Focus on the task in front of you.

 When you're at work, focus on work. Don't let thoughts of your business distract you.

 


4. Make the most of every minute.

 Use lunch hours or early morning to make phone calls. Use commuting time on the train to catch up on paperwork.

 


5. Take advantage of time-zone differences and technology.

If you do business with people in other states or countries, make time differences work to your advantage by calling early in the morning or after work. Use faxes and e-mail to communicate with clients at any time.

 


6. Don't overstep your boundaries.

Making calls on company time or using your employer's supplies or equipment for your own business purposes is a big no-no.

 

7. Be honest.

 Only you can assess your situation, but in many cases it's best to be upfront with your boss about your sideline business. As long as it doesn't interfere with your job, many bosses won't mind. You'll also gain by being honest rather than making them feel you have something to hide.

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Photos from Flickr (Ran, Danilo Lewis, Heather Kefauver, Judge Onan, Mary-Heather, Jeffrey Hall, and Jonathan Schwartz)

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