Taking some time to invest in your career is a smart move for many reasons. For some people that means moving up the career ladder while others have a need to start their own business.

Speaking for myself, working from home has been a rewarding challenge. My goal is to have a source of income that will allow us to meet our financial goals and offer a flexible schedule. The challenge for me is with keeping my business running as I adjust to my schedule as a new parent.

If you’re looking at starting a business and growing it without going broke, I hope these tips can help you. grow your side business

What Business to Start

For some people, their personal obstacle with starting a business is know what business would fit their needs. I mentioned a few business to look into a few weeks ago, but let me highlight 3 of my favorites:

  • SAT/LSAT/GMAT Tutoring
  • Blog Consultant
  • Bookkeeping

What makes these business a smart first move is that they have very low start-up costs and there is a steady demand for them.

If you’re a recent college graduate and are having a hard time finding a place of employment, consider how you can use your skill set to your advantage. No doubt you’ve been trained in the latest edition of certain software and most recent of developments. Talk with your professors and see if you can brainstorm a current need out there that you can fill.

Steps to Starting and Growing a Business

After you started a business, you have to work hard to keep it growing. In the beginning, however, you may have a smaller budget to work with.

If you’re really limited on funds, I’d recommend investing on building your skill set for your business. Make sure that the certification/training is for something that can pay off for your business.

How do you find out what training you need to grow your business? Listen to your clients. What other services are they requesting? Do you find yourself recommending others for certain jobs, but you know you can do a better job?

One site I recommend for those in the creative industry is Lynda.com. They offer a constantly updated library of full courses for a variety of software such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and FilmMaker Pro.

If you have a bigger amount to invest into your business, then consider some options like:

  • Hiring a Virtual Assistant: If you’re limited on time and you want to maximize your billable hours, consider hiring a VA to take care of the day to day administrative tasks.
  • Have a Professional Design & Create Your Website: First impressions are important and for many clients, their first glance at you is your website. Have a web designer give your site a polished look.

Even if you have more money to play around with, your business expenses should not be more than what’s necessary. before you invest, calculate what the expected return on investment (ROI) is on it.

Thoughts on Managing Your Career

Being happy with your career is a deeply personal series of choices. Don’t feel pressured to conform to anyone else’s definition. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. I’d love to hear from you as entrepreneurs. Do you have a system to manage your irregular income?

Looking for more career related posts? Don’t forget  to check out the rest of the job series to help figure out your next move.

I hope you enjoyed this series – it was a lot of fun to do. Can’t wait for the next one….

Photo Credit:  law_keven