liOne of the toughest parts of starting your own business is figuring out what kind of company you want to run. There are so many different business plans out there, from affiliate organizations to service companies and more. How do you know what's going to make you happy in the long term?
A lifestyle business is just one of the many options available to forward-thinking entrepreneurs. When you run a lifestyle business, you create something specifically for the purpose of supporting or sustaining the lifestyle you want to achieve. While the business is still profit-focused to some extent, making the most money possible isn't the biggest factor on your list of priorities.
Instead of building a company all about money, an entrepreneur investing in a lifestyle organization wants to find the right balance of life and work as a business owner. You generate just enough income to continue enjoying your lifestyle, without worrying about your work taking over your personal life.
Is a Lifestyle Business Right for You?
If you want to break free of the nine-to-five and build a company doing something you love, then a lifestyle business could be the perfect avenue for you. This kind of venture is all about balance and enjoyment, and it's a great way to pursue your passions, without stressing over cash. The key features of a lifestyle business include:
- The owner is the sole employee of the company
- The owner already makes an income or living elsewhere
- The owner has the freedom to use their time and resources as they see fit
If you have a talent, and time on your hands, then you can start a lifestyle business and make it grow, all you need to do is consider the following steps.
Step 1: Know Your Goals
The first step in starting a lifestyle business, just like launching any other venture, is figuring out what you want to accomplish. You know that you want to start your own company, and start generating income - but do you have a plan of action in mind? When coming up with your goals, try and answer the following questions:
- How much freedom do you want in your personal life? Are you comfortable working to some deadlines, or do you want the opportunity to simply avoid work whenever you like?
- How much income do you need to earn? Are you looking for a way to supplement a part-time job, or just earn some extra income?
Step 2: Identify your Interest or Passion
Choosing your interest or passion is very important because you're going to build your entire business around what you enjoy doing. Lifestyle companies are all about freedom and fun. They're not something that you should dread working on when you come home from your other job.
In fact, no matter what kind of venture you want to launch, you'll usually find that you have a greater likelihood of success if you pursue something that you're passionate about. The more you love what you do, the easier it is to stay motivated when times get hard. Since most people running lifestyle companies also have other sources of income, you'll need all the motivation you can get to keep yourself focused and achieve your goals.
Step 3: Find a Unique Problem, but Don't Reinvent the Wheel
Now that you've chosen your niche, you'll need to think about what your business is going to sell. The best way to choose a service or product for your company is to look for a solution to a problem that you know your customers have. For instance, if you're interested in joining the accounting software niche, and you know your customers have a hard time working with complicated technology, it makes sense to create something that's as simple as possible to use.
Although it's important to choose something unique so that you don't blend in with the crowd, make sure that you don't reinvent the wheel entirely. Lifestyle businesses, just like any other venture can be a risky thing, so it's best to choose a strategy that's been tied and tested before. Look at what kind of things have worked for other people in your industry and try to learn from their success.
Step 4: Create a Business that You Can Automate
The best lifestyle businesses can run themselves - for the most part. You won't have to worry about finding the right balance between your work life and your personal life if you know that you can automate your company and continue to bring in money when you're doing other things. In the beginning, it's okay if you have to do a lot of the work for yourself, but eventually, you should be looking for a way to automate your processes either through outsourcing or technology.
If you build a business that requires your input all the time, then you're not creating a lifestyle company. Not only will an automated business give you more freedom, but it could make your organization more appealing to buyers and brokers if you decide to sell in the future too.
Step 5: Set Everything Up
Once you've made all the important decisions about what you're going to sell, and what you want to achieve, and you're sure you can automate your company at some point, you're ready to start setting things up. While lifestyle businesses can be easier to launch than startup companies, they do have some nuances that you'll need to work out. Take a look at the competition in your space and make a list of the things that they have that you'll need to implement. For instance:
- A website: You'll need a website where you can sell your products and services and share information about your company. You might also have to set up a professional email address, and phone numbers so that clients can contact you.
- A blog: Blogs are where you can share useful content with your customers and encourage them to keep coming back to your website. A blog can be a valuable source of organic traffic for your site.
- Marketing strategies: You'll need a way to promote your product and service and convince people to buy whatever you're selling. This might include sending emails to a list of subscribers, communicating with customers on social media, or even launching a direct mail campaign.
Step 6: Enjoy Yourself
Finally, it's time to get down to business - literally.
Perhaps the most nerve-wracking part of launching your lifestyle business is actually following through and working on your dreams. Although lifestyle companies are often easier to run than full startup ventures or freelance businesses, they also require hard work and dedication. You'll need to be willing to promote yourself, find new ways to connect with clients and grow your company whenever you have the chance.
Remember, a lifestyle business is a combination of hard work and fun. Make sure that you're ready to commit yourself to the process of bringing your company to life, but don't let the process overwhelm you. Enjoy the feeling that comes with following your passions.
About the Author
Bio: Jock Purtle is a committed entrepreneur and business professional with expertise in high-growth company valuation. Ever since he launched his first company at the age of 19, Jock has been pursuing his dreams as a business owner and innovator. He is currently busy running his business DigitalExits.com.