Entrepreneurial Struggle - Earn Income While Starting Your Business

Tourist
4 0 1

I wrote a business plan and made samples about 2 and half years ago but am just recently launching my business to the public.  I have sales already but nothing close enough to support an income full time.  I have been unemployed by my own doing (another start up that I am still involved from an ownership standpoint but not an employee anymore) for few months now.  My previous experience is in website and email account managment so using Shopify has just sharpened my skills but I feel my strength and passion is in the business start up phase and building of brands.  

I am looking for a job that nurtures my skill set while also affording me time to work on the business I have started.  Of course it is all complicated with finding a company that will hire someone who is involved in two business already...but I have no income.  

Right now my wife is supporting the family and I am daddy daycare, which is working pretty well but we are slowly bleeding cash.  

My question to this community is what have others in this scenario done to suppliment income or what type of jobs have you targeted as symbiotic with a Shopify business from a flexibilty in schedule, cash flow and educational growth standpoints?

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Highlighted
Tourist
6 0 2

haha - I am two years in, and still have 11 part time jobs!

- I fill in for vendors at the farmers market at $10/hr (1 or 2 days 5 or 6 times a year)
- I do transcription for an arborist at $20/hr (3-4 hrs/month)
- some random word press design
- I make bracelets and sell them on etsy
- I do some paid production work at festivals
- I help people pack and move
- I sell stuff people give me when I move them, on craigs list

- more of the same kind of madness....

Getting a regular paid job is the real way to do it and build your business at night after hours, its crazy making trying to piecemeal it. Your internet business has no daily hours, so having another real job is definitely the way to go.

 

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New Member
1 0 1

That is an excellent question. One which I'll be following to see the replies to.

Like so many, I currently work full-time in Corporate America, but have a desire to build my existing business, which has done quite well for not doing any real advertising & social media push. Unfortunately, my business minded wife tells me that in order to quit my main gig, we need to at least triple sales to cover my current salary and benefits.

I've toyed with the idea of doing something else part-time in order to make my departure from Corporate America come sooner, rather than later.

Best of luck!

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Shopify Partner
38 0 8

Hey Gabe,

Nice article. You're most certainly not alone! Just to introduce myself I'm Oli, I'm 15 and Sales Director at Swole Panda Bamboo Clothing and Accessories (www.swolepanda.com) and also Co-Owner at Direct Hoverboards (www.directhoverboards.com). In terms of a job, I can't really offer you one as I'm at quite a young age and although my business is succeeding greatly we don't earn enough to add more staff. Nor do we need any till we open physical stores. What I would recommend is that you start selling on ebay. Sell anything, eveything has a price tag! This will give you a bit of income to invest into your business and get off the road. But I can offer a bit of advice on your site (the jiu jitsu one). 

So I'd say the site looks ok but could use a bit of work to look a bit fuller and more interactive. For me social media is probably my biggest point of sale and this should be the same for any online store. Instagram is easy to use and you just don't have a big enough following, work out a daily posting plan and get some very high quality pics. Always to remember to use good # to get more exposure. The method I think works best on insta is getting the bigger pages to post a pic of your product and credit your shop, at a price obviously. But for you this may be a cost that's too heavy to incur at the moment but would definitely recommend.

On to your products. The market you specialise in is very niche. Therefore to attract sales you need to beat the competition. With such a small product base it just doesn't seem to legit. It costs nothing to use an app such as 'Merchify' and just fill out your store with everything. Hoodies, T-shirts, Tank Tops, Caps, the lot! Just really build on your product base so you can attract people outside of jiu jitsu aswell. 

Hope this helped and good luck! Need anything else just ask!

All the best,

Oli Stephenson | Sales Director at Swole Panda Bamboo Clothing and Accessories

www.swolepanda.comsales@swolepanda.com

 

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New Member
1 0 0

I'm there with Mike plowing through the corporate sea while trying to start something. I mostly work through word of mouth and largely Facebook. Sales are few so far, but I'm trying to expand what I offer in order to cast a wider net. First couple days were huge, it's dropped off again to almost zero.

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New Member
1 0 2

Hello! I have some pretty simple advice: Get a career going on the side and keep it for awhile, even if you experience some intial early success. If your start-up doesn't work out (statistically it won't - not to be a downer), then you need to have a career you can step into that you enjoy. If you are unemployed too long and are forced to re-enter the market, you will be forced to take something you don't want to do. I am working on launching an online retail space, but I am pursuing an equally fulfilling job during the day. If my online business does not work out, my backup plan is just fine - I love it. This takes pressure off of the start up. When your survival is dependent on its success, the fun/passion can get sucked out really quickly. 

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Tourist
11 0 2

If you have time and skillset then you can get some good money from freelancer.com or other freelance sites.

 

-Logan

myluvbox.com

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Shopify Partner
6 0 2

I feel you, it's a lot tougher than most people think to get an e-commerce biz up to a living wage. Freelancing can work but expect to compete with an international crowd that will work for $5/hr...so use your network if possible, rather than trying to get started on Elance or one of those sites.

Luckily for me I was able to hang onto some contract engineering jobs to keep me alive while I got my first site up and running. If you don't have that option and you want to go for it, start by hitting the streets and doing some direct selling to gyms, stores, etc in your area. You'll get good at sales really fast and you should be able to make a few sales per day.

Good luck!

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Tourist
4 0 1

Some great info here and certainly appreciate it, and since I posted this I have a potential job offer to take a friend's business idea and run with it part time.  He does not have the time to do so but has a good budget to get things moving forward. The family already pays for daycare so will watch my kid during my 'on' hours with their business.  I love the start up process and this will allow me to work on my business and sharpen my skills.  Obviously the down side is the pay will not be what a full time or corporate part time job would provide, but I think happiness, time with the family, time for my business and a new business endeavor might out weight that big paycheck.  

Nothing set in stone and still digesting all the great 'career' advice.  Glad this thread caught some legs as I am always so curious what other folks paths look like.  Hope folks keep posting. 

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New Member
1 0 0

Gabe good story and I'm sure lots of can relate to it.

On thing I do on the side to supplement my income while I'm reinvesting most of my profits back into my biz is Uber.

I am an Uber driver on the weekend nights, Uber is great because it allows me to work when I want and I choose my hours. 1 week I might work 2 days the next week 4 days all depends on how much I want to earn, I set targets and when I reach it I then go home. Also I can work on biz while out on the road when it's a little quiet I'll pull out my laptop connect it to my phones personal hotspot and work, when uber send me a rider request I then close my laptop put it under the seat and do the rider request.

I'm not sure what city you're in but here is a link that'll give you more info: 

https://get.uber.com/drive?invite_code=d1kp392d6 ;

Hope that helps a bit :)

Jamie

www.SuitMeeUp.com

 

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