Starting a Business? Tips to Make Money on the Side

If you've ever wanted to start a business or make extra money on the side, there are some key considerations and tasks that increase your chances of success. Get wise tips about managing risk, incorporating, business banking, starting no-money ventures, and how to prepare financially before starting a business.

Laura Adams, MBA
4-minute read
Episode #547

If you want to start a business or just start making money on the side, there are key considerations and tasks to complete first in order to increase your chances of success. To bring you business tips from a friend and successful entrepreneur, I interviewed Philip Taylor, who goes by PT.

PT is a former practicing CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. He created PTmoney.com over a decade ago to help readers move toward financial independence. He’s also the founder and CEO of FinCon, the conference and community dedicated to helping other financial influencers and brands.

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Some money-making topics we cover include:

  • How being risk averse can work to your advantage when starting a business  
  • Whether passive income is a dream or can be a business reality
  • Best ways to prepare financially before starting a business or side venture
  • The financial account you should have before making your first sale
  • When to consider incorporating your business
  • Types of businesses you can start with no money
  • Small business and home office tax deductions

Listen to the interview using the audio player on this page or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify

The following tips were provided by PT.

5 Critical Things To Do Before Starting a Business

  1. Brush up on the fundamentals. 
  2. Save more money. 
  3. Test your idea. 
  4. Learn the legal and compliance aspects. 
  5. Consider your family.

I'm a firm believer that not much is required to start your own business. You really just need to get out there and start making sales. A business just needs customers. You can even start a business with no money.

But there are a few things you should consider doing before you start your own business. Let's look at a few.

1. Brush up on the fundamentals.

If you're planning to start a service business, it's probably a good idea to brush up on the fundamentals of your craft. For instance, if you're planning on starting a t-shirt design company, it would be helpful to take a course on Photoshop or other design software.

Not only will this help you improve your basic skills, but it may even lead to a few business contacts and potentially a few gigs. In addition to looking for classes, you could also consider volunteering or interning for a company that already does the work that will be required in your business.

2. Save more money.

Gary Christensen, who started a delivery service, says that, “if you’re not sure what you want to do, start saving some money.”

In addition to saving money, I'd recommend having your personal finance details in order before starting a business. The leaner you are on the personal side, the more freedom you'll have to explore your business idea. The longer you can stick with your business, the greater your chances of success.

3. Test your idea.

Before you hire a single person, purchase a bunch of inventory, or spend a ton on advertising, you should test out your idea to make sure it's a winner. Steven Sashen, who started a shoe business, made his “barefoot running” shoes for just a few people before deciding it was a legitimate business idea.

Not only did Steven's first few shoes prove he could sell more, it led to some free advertising. Put a small piece of your business out there and let your potential customers tell you if it's wanted.


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.