How to Start a Lifestyle Business
One of the most difficult parts of starting a business is deciding on what type of business it should be. You know you want to start a business and make a success of it. You know you want to become rich after a few years of running that business. But when you are asked what business it is, you would most likely pause and think.
You’re lucky if you already know from the beginning what type of business you want to set up, but it is a different story if you are still undecided. For starters, it is not so simple that you just get right to it once the idea strikes you. There are certain considerations to be made, and you have to evaluate yourself – your resources, your capabilities, and your interests – on whether you are up for it.
Fortunately, aspiring entrepreneurs and business people have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to starting a business. They could enter the food industry, perhaps, or go into retail. If they have more than enough resources, they can even venture into information technology or try their luck in any manufacturing business.
But there is another industry that is currently booming: the Lifestyle Industry.
We will 1) define what a lifestyle business is, 2) why you should start one, and 3) how to start a lifestyle business.
THE LIFESTYLE BUSINESS
What, exactly, is a lifestyle business?
A business, as we all know, is set up for the purpose of maximizing revenue and earning as much profits as possible. This definition does not strictly apply to a lifestyle business, though.
A lifestyle business is one that is formed for the purpose of sustaining or supporting the income and personal requirements of the owners. It is still, to some extent, profit-oriented, but revenue maximization is not at the top of its list of priorities.
Instead, the ultimate goal of a lifestyle business is the creation and sustenance of a pleasant and harmonious balance of life and work of the business owner. It generates just enough revenue to let the owner enjoy his or her current lifestyle, without adversely affecting his or her personal life.
Enjoyment is usually a key point in a lifestyle business. Owners set up the business based on their personal interest or passion – it could be a hobby or simply something that entertains them. This ensures that they actually love and enjoy their work on their business.
This certainly redefines the age-old philosophy of many straitlaced businessmen about never mixing business with pleasure. In a lifestyle business, the owner can earn money from something they are having fun with.
We can break down the features of a lifestyle business into the following:
- The owner is the sole employee or, in the case of more than one owner, the founders or owners are the business’ employees.
- The owner already makes a reasonable living, earning a respectable income.
- The owner has the freedom to do whatever he wants with his time and resources, so he can decide how much time is devoted to his work time and his personal time. He is allowed to pursue his interests and indulge in his passion while running the company.
- There are no intentions to exit the business or sell it off, so it is built with plans to operate it for many more years to come.
ANYONE can start a lifestyle business and make it grow.
Many are under the impression that, when you start a lifestyle business, it is of a full-time nature. You can start a lifestyle business on the side, while you are holding a regular job. Some of the more successful lifestyle entrepreneurs started out that way: they had jobs and were already earning income, but they set up their lifestyle business on the side. Then they decided to do it full-time when their business started succeeding and they were earning enough to sustain their lifestyle even if they quit their previous job.
Bottomline: a lifestyle business is one where the owner can run his or her company without sacrificing his or her personal life, such that he or she can live the way he or she wants to. More than for financial gain, it is set up for personal and lifestyle reasons.
Lifestyle business vs. Self-Employed
Others argue that there is not much difference between running a lifestyle business and being self-employed. After all, many lifestyle businesses involve working from home, with no employees other than yourself, and you having full control of the time you devote to the work at hand.
There are similarities, sure, but being self-employed is still strictly a job, because you adhere to specific hours. For example, you set up a business that you open up every day, early in the morning, and close every night. A lifestyle business does not have these designated hours boxing you in. You can conduct your business at any time, because it does not hinder the way you live.
Lifestyle business vs. Startup
Startups are certainly popular these days. You often hear advice from many people saying that, if you want to get into business and succeed, set up a startup instead.
Compared to the lifestyle business, a startup is its complete opposite. A startup is established with the intention of making it grow at a fast pace and earn a lot of profit over that short period. Growth and revenue generation are its main objectives, so its owners continually seek funding for its growth and expansion activities. Lifestyle businesses, on the other hand, do not go out seeking to attract additional funding or venture backing. All the funding will be provided by the owners or the founders.
In a lifestyle business, the owner is responsible to no one but himself. A startup has the responsibility of making it big and earning money in order to be able to return the investment of the financiers and investors, as well as line the pockets of the owners. In the process, the owners and the employees of the business will have to do all they can, even putting their personal lives on hold, just to fulfill that responsibility.
Examples of Lifestyle Businesses
A “lifestyle businessman” was once asked what type of business he is involved in. He answered, “it involves writing, teaching, and managing a band that often goes on tour all over the country”.
For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a lifestyle business, it would not seem like it is a business at all. But you will be surprised at how flexible this type of business is, so what he said is completely valid.
Here are some of the most common examples of thriving lifestyle businesses today.
- Professional blogging. This is most probably the quintessential lifestyle business. Many bloggers now make their living through blogging.
- Novelists, poets, journalists… These writers prefer to take the freelance route instead of getting employment in established organizations or companies. They travel, go places, experience things and write about them.
- Consultants and advisors. Services of consultants are sought after these days, ranging from matters regarding finance, law, technology, health, travel, real estate, and more.
- Online stores. E-commerce also falls under the lifestyle business category if they meet the definition of one.
There is a general misconception that lifestyle businesses are strictly conducted online. That is wrong. A lifestyle business can be any kind, so it can also be offline. It may involve selling physical goods or services.
WHY YOU SHOULD START A LIFESTYLE BUSINESS
A lifestyle business has certain advantages over other types of businesses, and we’ve touched on them briefly while discussing its features. Let us take a look at what they are.
- Your personal life will not be sacrificed. You are not bound by any obligations to keep certain work hours, go where you are told by your superiors, or deliver this much amount of work at strict deadlines.
- There is no obligation to any investor or financing provider to earn a lot of profit. You provided the funding for your business, so all the profits will inure to your benefit.
- You get to enjoy the freedom of time and location. You choose when to work, where to work, and when to just take it easy and rest. Even while on vacation, you can sneak in a couple of hours of work.
- You get to control most, if not all, aspects of the business. You founded the business, you are the employee, so you call all the shots.
- You also enjoy financial freedom, because you will be earning income that will be able to support the lifestyle that you want.
- You can expect positive cash flow early on, since there are no other employees to pay and other costs and overhead to spend on.
To be fair, starting a lifestyle business is not all hunky-dory, because it also has its disadvantages. You may find yourself having problems funding your business and lamenting the limited funding sources that you have. In the event that you want to hire someone as an employee to help you out, you will have difficulty getting the best person or the top talent, since they are most likely to go for larger venture-backed businesses. Lifestyle businesses are also on the modest side, so if you are going into business with the expectation of earning millions of dollars within the first two years, you might want to rethink going for a lifestyle business.
STARTING A LIFESTYLE BUSINESS
How does one go about starting their lifestyle business? Take a look at the following tips.
Step 1: Define your goals.
The first step is knowing what you want. You are pretty sure that you want to start a business, but what are the fine points about it? What do you want to accomplish in your business? The goals we are referring to are personal goals: what you personally want to happen by starting your business.
When defining your goals, make sure to consider the following:
- The amount or extent of freedom that you want with respect to your personal life. This relates to financial freedom, location freedom, and time freedom.
- The level of income that you deem would be enough to support the lifestyle that you want. This is your way of setting a target.
Step 2: Identify your passion and interest.
These are very important because you are going to be building your business around them. A lifestyle business should be something that you love and enjoy doing, so you have to know what you are passionate about or what interests you the most.
There have been many stories of businesses failing because the owners somehow lost interest halfway through. This is why lifestyle businesses have greater chances of succeeding, since the owners are passionate about what they are doing. Even if the odds seem to be against them and the obstacles look insurmountable, they do not easily give up on what they really, really want and enjoy doing.
Step 3. Find a problem.
Now you have to identify problems that will be solved by your knowledge on the topic that you are passionate about or interested in. You are likely to have more customers for your lifestyle business if you have something to offer them – a solution to their problems.
It goes without saying that the problem should be something that people would be willing to pay for the solution that you will offer. You can find this by taking note of what the people are spending their money on. You can also start looking at the competition, or those lifestyle businesses that are similar to what you have in mind. By studying them, you can tell whether there is a problem that you can offer to solve or not.
Step 4. Decide on the business you will set up.
From the assessments you conducted in the previous two steps, you can now decide clearly what lifestyle business you will set up. See to it that it is capable of being automated. See if there is a way to employ technology in the conduct of your business. This will make things easier for you down the line.
Step 5. Set it up.
This will be the one that needs the most work when you are starting your lifestyle business. Get the tools you need to get set up. If you are planning on writing or becoming a professional blogger, you have to get the basics down of setting up a blog. This includes learning about, and obtaining, the tools that you need. We created an actionable video guide on how to set up your blog which is the basis for your passive income empire.
- Set up your blog or get your website up and running. Fortunately, you do not have to be an expert in website creation or programming and coding to be able to do this, since there are platforms that allow you to set up a website or blog for free, or for a minimal fee. It’s just a matter of going through your options and finding the best fit for what you have in mind.
- Start attracting traffic for your website. There are various ways to attract traffic, and you may need to study a bit about it.
- Find clients locally. It does not have to be strictly performed online or via your blog. By actively going out and personally finding clients or customers, you can get started.
- Start building your potential client or customer list. It doesn’t matter if you have to start small, as long as your do
Step 6. Just do it!
It’s time to get down to business, literally and figuratively.
- Create and produce quality content. This is, after all, the main work of a lifestyle business. You have to create content that will address or solve the problems that you have identified earlier.
- Stay connected. This applies to your clients or your market. Through staying connected with them via social media and email, you will be able to keep yourself updated on the products and services that they want to buy, and the problems that they will be having that you might have a solution for.
Trust your intuition. This is also very important. Of course, learning should be a continuous process. Attend trainings and seminars related to the business you chose to go into. Keep yourself up to speed with the latest developments related to your chosen field of interest.
The real beauty of a lifestyle business is being paid for work that you enjoy so much you won’t even call it “work”, and living the life! Get started with your lifestyle business today and live life to the fullest!
In Madrid, we met the founder and CEO of Coches.com - Iñaki Arrola. Coches.com is the …
In this article, you will find and learn 1) an introduction to Customer Development Model, 2) …
Picture a scenario where your tech firm is planning to launch a new smartphone on the market to …