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Starting a Business / Startups

The 5 Challenges You'll Face on the Path of Building Your Side Business

Being prepared makes things a little easier but nothing is ever really easy.
The 5 Challenges You'll Face on the Path of Building Your Side Business
Image credit: andresr | Getty Images
- Guest Writer
Entrepreneur while still 20
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Yes, you can build a business on the side. But it's not as easy as you think. You'll face a lot of challenges on your path.

Many people have tried to build a business on the side. But it is best when they've identified these challenges first and started to take action on them, that they found success.

Here are the five main challenges you will face when building your business on the side. Don't forget to grab your cheat sheet for a detailed plan on how to conquer these challenges.

1. Loneliness and self-doubt.

This is the first challenge you will face as you begin building your business on the side. Even if you have a lot of friends and enjoy the time you spend with them, you will need to sacrifice a lot of time with them to be able to build your business on the side. Being lonely and working on a business without having a steady income will make you doubt yourself everyday.

Related: How to Deal With Self-Doubt

The solution?

Plan high quality time to spend with your friends and family by saving special time to still enjoy yourself. Have a clear plan of what you want to achieve and model your activities after someone who achieved it. You can ask that person to be your mentor or take a course that shows you what do do step by step.

2. Financing your business.

We're all aware of the problem of finances when building a business on the side. When you're starting out and your income is limited and you're getting little to no money for the work you do, you'll find it hard to finance your business.

You could borrow money (which I don't think is the best thing for most people to do) or bootstrap your business. You don't need to invest a lot of money to start a business online. Don't go after shiny objects and aim for perfection. Just start simple and iterate later.

3. Limited time.

The problem with building a side business is that you're doing it with your spare time. You have other things that are taking up most of your time.

So time will probably be the biggest challenge you'll face, especially when you're doing it for nearly no return for a long time.

The solution? Start reading about time management and plan your time wisely. The Pomodoro technique is a great way to help you get more done in less time. Read this post to know how I built my business on the side while studying dentistry.

Related: The 7 Biggest Time-Wasters in a New Entrepreneur's Day

4. Stress.

This was a deal-breaker for me last semester. The study requirements at my college increased significantly, and at the same time I had lots of deadlines that needed to be met or I would lose long-term clients.

Long story short, I broke down and lost a few clients. Stress is inevitable, specially when building your business on the side.

How to deal with it? Just know that getting burned out is a natural part of the process. And then make your schedule a little bit flexible so you have time for emergencies that pop up. Also, use the morning to your advantage, because that's a low-stress time of the day. And start practicing meditation.

Related: Top Tips for Managing Stress

5. Staying healthy

Since time is limited and you want to make your business successful, you might think it would be better to save that hour of going to the gym and start spending it on working on your business. Yes, it could be advantageous in the short term, but over time, your energy level will fall, and your stress level will increase.

I once heard Jim Rohn say something along the lines of, "Your business growth can't exceed your self growth."

Plan going to the gym for just 1 hour for 3 times a week, and take a walk for 30 minutes on the other days. Plan your meals ahead of time so you don't have to eat junk food. That will be a great step toward being healthy.

It's inevitable that you'll face a lot of challenges when building your business. This is especially true when you're building your startup on the side. You need to start taking action to face these challenges. That's why I created this action plan to help you.

The best thing I can tell you is that it'll be easier if you take action now. So what are you waiting for?

Infographic: The 20 Most Common Reasons Startups Fail and How to Avoid Them