Traveling for work can be a huge hindrance when you intend to start a side business because your options are inherently limited. If you are a consultant traveling Monday through Friday and back home for the weekend, you can’t really start a side business that will require you to work on weekday evenings
In this situation, you have to select a business that you can conduct on weekends when you are home. Alternatively, you can pursue a side business that you can partly manage remotely while traveling and closely be involved with over the weekend. Better yet, you can choose a business model that you can start and manage remotely now and in the future.
I started with real estate when I first started pursuing side businesses. Specifically, I was buying undervalued and distressed properties and flipping them for a profit. I was an M&A consultant at the time and traveled significantly for work. Not only was I traveling quite a bit, but my schedule was rather unpredictable. I would be in the home office weeks at a time, and suddenly out of State or the country for weeks at a time with no predictive pattern whatsoever.
Because of travel, I was constantly rescheduling appointments, missing out on time sensitive meetings, delaying phone calls and all sorts of other stuff that gets pushed back when you are so busy with your professional life. Bottom line, not only did the people who I did business with hated it, but I too became fed up with it.
I switched gears from flipping properties to long term value investing, where I bought move-in-condition properties from motivated and troubled sellers at a significant discount and then found tenants to pay me rent every month. This model worked well initially as I started it when I wasn’t traveling too much. But what happened when I started traveling again was that I was not able to show my properties to potential tenants (therefore more opportunity / holding costs for me).
I was not able to attend to requests and concerns from existing tenants, and had to call expensive handy men to service the properties when tenants called with a concern. Bottom line here is that it got to be way too much to handle, and both the tenants and I got fed up with it. The biggest disadvantage I’d say was that I wasn’t available to check out hot properties and bid on them because I wasn’t in town, therefore losing out on several lucrative deals. My agents would get frustrated sending me hot listings just to see me not act immediately on them. If you know anything about real estate investing, I am sure you can feel my pain right now. Early bird always gets the worm.
So I stopped flipping, and I hired property managers to manage my existing properties. Property managers are vultures who I still pay 10% of the tenant’s rent each month, and 1 month of their rent in lump sum each year they renew the lease. The biggest rip-off in the world, however it can relieve quite a bit of stress of your mind if you find the right partner. I still invest in real estate today and because of my current situation in life, I chose to hand off all my properties to managers rather than spend time worrying about day to day tasks. I have much better things to do than plunge the garbage disposal.
The same thing happened when I invested in a small business. I thought I could manage it remotely. Sure I could, but without giving it my 100% I was not able to realize the full benefits I had envisioned when I made the investment. I still own the side business today and it is still profitable, though not as lucrative as I had hoped. There is no way it could produce up to its potential without my close supervision. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you see it, I have better things to spend my time on today.
I was clearly not in a position to pursue a service based side business (at least physical services) because of travel. I could have pursued freelancing work which I could have done during evenings in hotels while traveling, or on weekends when home. However, I was never attracted to opportunities that only offered money for the time I spent “working the job”. I’d rather spend my time and energy on ventures that can provide me with passive and residual income.
Entered into the picture Site Build It (SBI), a website I came into familiarity with while reading one of the blogs I am subscribed to. The website introduced me to a new way of doing business, by investing my spare time into establishing a profitable online side business in my area of interest. SBI made me realize how I can blend my passion, my interest in entrepreneurship and my desire to establish a side business and turn it into a profitable venture while working remotely from anywhere I had an internet connection.
I spent several weeks reading sections of the SBI website and studying several successful existing businesses to understand the possibilities of working on my own terms. As my travels continued to increase over time, I slowly transitioned from focusing on real estate to cyber state – the Internet. I realized that building successful websites is similar to real estate in many ways. Both are passive and residual ventures, both are assets that can be sold for a lot of money and both provide great opportunities for tax planning. What I liked most about the concept of doing business on the internet was that it costs very little to get started and I could work on it from anywhere in the world.
The more I studied Site Build It, the more I realized the opportunity to live my life the way I always wanted, with mobility to move anywhere, financial freedom and flexibility. Not having a programming and computer related background was initially intimidating. However, I was surprised at how fast I was able to grasp the theoretical concepts by reading through various articles online about doing business on the internet and everything related to it.
SBI made it easier for me from a technical perspective because a majority of SBI users are like me. They do not have any computer background whatsoever. SBI provided all the tools necessary to get started building and establishing my side business. All tools were point and click, drag and drop. I was impressed by SBI’s founding principle, which is to enable those without computer knowledge to leverage the power of the internet in building a business around what they know, love and are interested in.
If any of my pain points resonate with you, or if you are looking to get started with a part time business but are hindered by your busy travel schedule, I highly recommend you read about SBI and what it has to offer. You can witness tons of other SBI users in all kinds of situations in life who are making their dreams come true. So if your busy travel routine has been the reason you haven’t gotten started, I hope this post has provided the solution you were looking for.
Readers: Do you currently travel for a living? What do you think about starting up an online venture while on the road?
Here are some of my additional thoughts on starting a side business while maintaining a full time career.