Develop your Side Business: From Idea to Income

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably about to launch your side business. You don’t have to start a super-sophisticated technology start-up to become an entrepreneur. Running a side business alongside your main activity like a full-time job/school/retreat is not only viable, but also advantageous. In this article, we will try to review all the stages of the development of your side business, from the idea to your first income.

My name is Julian Ivaldy, I have studied and developed many types of side-businesses through my digital side business studio SideFounders. I wanted to share what I have learned along the way. If you have any comments, do not hesitate to contact me, I love to challenge my point of view :)

1 — FIND A DIGITAL INDUSTRY & SECTOR AND BECOME EXPERT

Are you interested in mobile applications? What exactly are you interested in, the product? The distribution? If it’s the product, focus on the creation of the product. Learn coding or discover no-code technology, and concentrate on the sector that most appeals to you to create your expertise ( e.g. no-code development of SAAS).

The Internet gives you all the resources to find valuable digital industries and find the most compelling segments. Here is a list of interesting industries & sectors: IT Development, UI/UX Design, Online Education, Online Consulting, Growth Hacking & Marking, etc.

➡ Can’t focus on one industry? Assume your multitasking role

OR — PARTNER WITH AN EXPERT AND BE MULTI-TASKED

You have a lawyer friend who gets bored on weekends ? Suggest to him to co-create a side-business with you that will propose models of company contracts on a website! (e.g. Creation of a company MyLegalDoc.com)

Side-business can be developed alone but also in collaboration. I strongly recommend, to begin your entrepreneurship path as a team. It will help you find your added value.

2 — CREATE YOUR OFFER AND FIND YOUR POSITIONING

It may sound strange, but make sure you have competitors with the same type of offer as you do, it’s a sign that your market exists. Beyond simple research, don’t hesitate to draw inspiration from your competitors, adding your personal touch and improvements.

You decided to focus on the education industry and you want to create online math courses for struggling 8–10 year olds ? Go to the online course platforms, find math courses for 8–10 year olds, analyze their presentation, content and add your personal touch (e.g. Quizzes, Workbook)

BE CREATIVE

3 — MEET YOUR CUSTOMERS AND VALIDATE YOUR PMF

It can take a lot of time and effort to find your product-market fit, but the results are more than worth it. I recommend you to sell your offer before it is even developed, by publishing it on a website or social media for example.

You decided to focus on the digital product industry and you want to develop your own B2B mailing SAAS ( Software as a service) ? Join facebook entrepreneurship and startup groups such as StartupNow / WeAreFounders etc. Write a facebook post presenting your solution as if it was already developed and ask people to show if they are interested in your solution.

Once you have validated your PMF, you will have identified your customer target and you will be able to focus on your sales pitch and your lead acquisition.

4 — BRING YOUR OFFER ONLINE AND TARGET YOUR CUSTOMERS

To target your customers, I will suggest you to use growth hacking strategies, it’s the most flexible way to find your first client according to your wallet. Ideally, I will advise you not to invest money to find your first clients, but there are side businesses that only work if there is a minimum investment.

You decided to focus on a profitable community business, by creating a golf information site, linked to amazon articles with retro-commission ? You should implement simple growth hacking strategies. You could join community group around golf, on Facebook for example, which is a social network used by older people who seem to be the persona of golf passionates. All your strategies should be set up according to your offer and the target you want to convince to visit your site to potentially make you earn money.

The launch of your offer and the search for your first customers will lead you to realize a multitude of strategies that will help you to identify your final target and the most relevant means of acquisition (ROI) in case of success or to iterate on your product & your communication & your acquisition in case of failure.

5 — CREATE YOUR COMMUNITY AND SET UP YOUR ACQUISITION

The secret of many profitable side-businesses in their communities, federated and committed around the startup’s offer and its entire ecosystem. Some projects can’t federate, and that’s where it gets spicy. When you can’t count on a committed community to play on the growth of your secondary activity, you have to play with different acquisition methods (Growth Hacking, SEO, ADS, Influence Marketing

Your side-business is a mobile application to visit London ? You should publish lots of articles in your website about London (Walks in London, Tourist places to visit in London etc.) to have a perfect SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy and have a lot of organic redirection to your website. You should create micro communities around the tourist visit on very specific subjects (How to visit London, Best monuments in London, Foreigners in London etc.). You should use growth hacking to scrap the emails of all people who like instagram picture of London Major Instagram account and send them emails presenting your solutions etc.

There are many strategies specific to the type of business you are developing that may be of interest to your side business. I strongly recommend that you try a maximum by making a spreadsheet of the strategies launched and the performance of it measured under 10/15 days in order to focus on the most profitable techniques!

6 — GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND WORK ON YOUR AARRR

It’s a data analytics framework to help you grow your business revenue, a framework I use every day, and one that you must integrate to do Growth Marketing seriously. This funnel model is to be applied as a layer that is superimposed on all your actions to see if each of your actions has a positive impact on your business or not.

That is to say, if you do an action with the objective of improving the results at one of these 5 steps. Its success can only be determined by taking into account its consequences at all stages further down the funnel and especially at the return stage. The nerve of the war.

You have created a profitable community turned to amateur investment ? You have decided to set up several acquisition techniques, you have created a community through a Facebook group. Your acquisition techniques allow your Facebook group and thus your community to fill up quickly. However, you don’t do anything anymore once you have invited people in this group and they are part of your “community”? In this case, the action of acquisition is useless then what you have not worked on the 2nd axis of the AARRR, the activation… The person having joined your group will thus never be activated, never customer, you just wasted your time…

There are many ways to work on your AARRR. for Acquisition, use growth hacking techniques, create a community, make ads, etc. For Activation, adapt your speech to the profile of each prospect, offer him advantages. For Retention, pamper your customer, you must not stop giving him intention when he becomes a customer but make him stay a customer as long as possible. For Revenue, don’t hesitate to carry out actions that can double your customer’s average bill, exclusive offers with commitment for example. For the Referral, set up an ambassador program, give benefits to your most loyal customers in exchange for their support and create your small army.

🏴‍☠️ Want to join the community? Join Pirate Marketing Community

📞 Want to discuss marketing? Book a 30-min call with me

MediumTwitterInstagramYoutube