Why You Need to Start a Side Business Before You Retire
The last office job I had really felt like family. We all worked really hard to make our customers happy. We were a lending institution for farmers and I loved it.
During the financial downturn, things weren’t looking good for anyone and we had to merge with other association. My department was eliminated. I was already looking to go out on my own so I was emotionally ok when the time came.
While the merger was going on, the stress was high. We had several employees who’d been there for years and were 3-7 years from retiring, but they weren’t sure if they were going to make the cut.
Even worse, some who did stay weren’t sure they could handle those stressful years and I wished they had something to fall back on.
And let’s face it, even if you retire from a company doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to retire.
These days so many Americans have debt that keep them from really enjoying the golden years.
When many of my coworkers finally did retire, they had to move on to get another job. Several are trying their hand at MLM companies.
Why You Want to Start Before You Retire
1. You can build up your revenue before leaving your job.
This is crucial.
I’ve tried the whole leave your job before your side business starts making any money and it weighs on your mind a lot. Instead of creating strategies to make money, you feel this looming doom behind you that your money is running out.
You don’t want to be in this place when you’re trying to build up your side business.
It strangles any creative juices you might have.
2. You can find what works before leaving. Not every idea will work and you want to have a stable job to help when things don’t go well.
We tried manufacturing our own product.
There were 4 partners and we all worked our full time jobs and came together nights and weekends to work on our product. After two years and thousands of dollars, I was glad to still have my day job when we finally shuttered our idea.
3. Your employer only cares about you in how you can provide for them.
This sounds so harsh, but we literally felt like we were in a family business and that our bosses would do anything for us.
When the economy crashed though, several long time employees lost their jobs and their retirement benefits immediately.
4. Your job is probably on autopilot now. You’ve been at your job for a while and have everything you do working like a well oiled machine.
Right now is the absolutely best time to start something on the side.
Building something new up takes a lot of energy so you probably have the best setup right now to do it.
5. When you find the right side gig, your confidence will soar.
Instead of wondering how you’ll ever be able to retire, you’ll be able to finally see the next steps in the path to retiring from your job and creating your side business.
Emotions and self confidence are such huge parts in building up your side business and realizing that you have what it takes to do it will be huge.
Side Businesses to Start
Now that you know why it’s important to start a side business before you retire, let’s look at some side businesses to start today.
Start a Blog — this is my all time favorite and the one that I’ve had the most success with.
You can create a blog about your lifestyle, travel, or interests. You can also choose a niche and create an affiliate site about it. My first site that I really started making money was in the RV living niche and I sold that site for 5 figure payout.
I could go on and on about this side business, but it’s the best one to start on the side while you’re still working because it can take a few months to get any traction, traffic, and start earning so starting as soon as you can is best.
Here is a free 12 day email course you can take to see if blogging is right for you.
Tutoring — You can use this time to build up your tutoring reputation and help students in the process. If you’re interested, you can read about all the details in becoming a tutor.
Teaching Online — Now, tutoring kids isn’t the only way to do this. In fact, my favorite thing would be to teach online. If you have any experience in anything that others want to know about then you can teach online.
Online education is a multi-billion dollar industry. One of my first online ideas was to teach adults how to use their computer.
You can sign up with online sites like Udemy or Skillshare and create a class now.
Pet Sitting — If you love pets, you can start this anytime for the evenings or weekends.
You can either choose to just let your friends and family know that you’re starting a pet sitting business, or choose to use online services like Rover.com to setup your own profile.
House Sitting — You probably have some vacation time built up at work. If so, you can use that to start house sitting in different countries to get your profile built up.
What do I mean by this?
Several home owners, usually with pets, need people to house sit their homes while they leave for work or vacation. There are a few sites that you can create a profile and start house sitting today.
Many people love it because it allows them to travel cheaply and helps them earn some money as well.
Want to know the best house sitting sites to use? Jema Patterson shares them here
Selling Your Crafts — Do you have a craft that you love doing? You can easily start selling your wares. Just choose to sell locally through your farmer’s market or craft shows. You can even decide to sell online with any of the crafty marketplaces. Here are a few popular ones:
Travel Tour Guide — There’s a renaissance with travel tour guides. Although travel agencies pretty much went away with the internet, there are several people who would love to pay for someone to plan out their next vacation.
Another popular move is to create a vacation and be the personal travel guide while on the trip.
Here is someone who is making her living with her blog and being a travel guide.
Consulting — You probably have a ton of experience or knowledge from your job. If you don’t offer consulting on the same industry or don’t have to worry about an NDA, then you can start consulting other businesses with your experience.
Project Work — This borrows from your experience from work as well, but instead of consulting, you’d pick a very specific thing you’re good at and offer to do project work based on it.
I enjoy doing this when I need to pick up some extra money. Think of doing Excel work for a company, or data entry.
Sell Online — I probably made the easiest money selling online, through Amazon. You don’t have to rely solely on Amazon either.
My best friend’s coworker realized she loved shopping for nice handbags, but had a closet full of them that she never used. The price tags were still on many of the bags.
So, she opened an Ebay account and start selling them. When she realized she could make money by shopping, she realized it was a great way to start her side business before she retires.
What Not to Start Now
I want to chat about a few ideas that I want you to be careful with. These are the side businesses that flat out are scams or are very difficult to make work. I’ve seen a few people try these and get burned badly with them.
Make Money Fast Scams — you can blow through a lot of money finding these shady online make money fast sites. They promise the world with no effort and just a low up front payment of $47, $97, or $197. Their sites look like they were made in the 90s and their claims are really crazy. One of my best friends loves these sites and keeps trying to find the silver bullet to retirement, no matter how many times I try to talk to her.
Network Marketing and MLM — This is a little hard to cover because people will claim that they are doing really well with their network marketing company.
And maybe they are.
But in my experience you’re left with strained relationships with family and friends and little to show for all the time, money, and energy you’ve put into it.
For all the effort you have to work to get it going, you’d be WAY better off starting a blog and earning affiliate money that doesn’t involved harassing everyone you know.
Need More Ideas?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Our goal is to get you started. If you want to check out a larger set of ideas, our friends at VTX Capital rounded up 50 more ideas you can start today.
After reading through this, you really could use this tactic before quitting your job too. I’ve done is several different ways by having something lined up before leaving, to leaving and stressing about making things work.
For me, having something lined up first is way better and gives you more confidence to do what you need for yourself.
The reason I like this list though, is none of these ideas will break the bank in starting something on the side. You also don’t have to learn a lot to get started with most of these items so you can choose one idea and start today.