2. Get Set to Launch a Sideline by Jim Clark

2. Get Set to Launch a Sideline

This course takes you from identifying a business need to crafting a viable Sideline plan.

Learning Outcomes

  1. You will establish action steps for launching a scaled-down version of your Sideline. 
  2. You will know how your Sideline provides benefit to prospective customers, and be able to state these benefits in a 30-second statement.
  3. You will gain skill at defining a business need for your customers.
  4. You will become knowledgeable at applying simple financial viability tools of break-even, cost-benefit, and cost-per-use to your Sideline plan. 

What's included?

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2.1 Separating fixable and less-fixable sources of conflict will reduce your distress
1. Sideline conflicts grow from differences and conflicts that are likely to recur.
2. Five causes of conflict eventually surface in most Sidelines.
3. Manage Sideline conflicts by trying to reduce the differences rather than escalate them.
4. Increase your options in order to avoid a confrontation over one-choice situations.
2.2 Ignoring conflicts only makes them worse
1. When having an ongoing difference with someone, don’t expect it to go away by itself.
2. If possible, try to fix some part of the conflict soon after it happens.
3. You will know if a conflict is partially fixed if you reach one or more important agreements.
4. It’s better to write down your agreements with copies for your next planned discussion.
2.3 Demonstrating customer acceptance will dictate your level of success
1. Define your ideal customers.
2. What value will your Sideline deliver to your customer?
3. With two distinctly different customer groups, what are the deliverables for each?
4. Given your defined deliverables, state outcomes as an elevator speech.
2.4 Forming a set of informal advisors to help answer difficult questions
1. Recognize that successful Sideliners actively seek diverse information sources.
2. Figure out how to pursue diverse sources of information.
3. Don’t worry about forming a real advisory board – enjoy having replaceable, informal advisors.
4. Reach outside your comfort zone when contacting potential helpers.
2.5 Understanding simple bartering can help reduce upfront costs
1. What types of Sideline expenses could you pay by bartering?
2. How might you use the two forms of bartering for your Sideline business?
3. How can you find candidates for bartering?
4. Understand there is no such thing as a “one-price” store for barters.
2.6 Monetizing your Sideline will help define your profitable
1. Monetizing Sidelines differentiates them from hobbies.
2. A first step in monetizing your Sideline is to calculate a simple break-even estimate.
3. Calculate best- and worst-case estimates of profitability for your first year of operation.
4. Examine fixed and variable costs to determine how much help you can afford.
2.7 Understanding basic break-even will help eliminate unachievable goals
1. Financial break-even occurs when total costs equal total revenue.
2. Estimating break-even is critical for generating a certain level of income by a given date.
3. If break-even estimates show low profitability, try to eliminate some fixed costs.
4. If your business strategy changes, your break-even will also adjust.
2.8 Using cost-benefit analysis to determine if Sideline time spent produces the desired reward
1. Compute revenue generating options above break-even.
2. Cost-benefit can help you decide whether to pursue other income sources.
3. Cost-benefit analysis can determine if you should reduce your Sideline offering.
4. This tool can factor in your labor time and value.
2.9 Turning fixed costs into variable costs can help limit monthly expenses
1. Identify all your initial fixed and variable costs.
2. If you are not sure how to change fixed expenses, search online for your type of business.
3. Once you have developed the cost list, circle the fixed costs that might be renegotiated.
4. Review your motivation for wanting to retain certain fixed costs.
2.10 Determining cost-per-use to make better purchase decisions
1. Calculating cost-per-use is better than guesstimating.
2. Recognize that cost-per-use calculations can simplify your resource alternatives.
3. You can also apply cost-per-use when assessing ways of making revenue.
4. You can use cost-per-use to calculate helper contribution.
2.11 Focusing on both effectiveness and efficiency will help sharpen goals
1. Identifying the most important things to be done will enhance effectiveness.
2. After identifying the most important things, establish how to do them right.
3. Combine effectiveness and efficiency by describing elements of the most important goals.
4. Recheck these ideas with a trusted advisor before moving on.
2.12 Using the 80–20 rule can quickly improve efficiency
1. Describe a near-perfect result as a customer might see it.
2. Isolate those factors which are likely to matter most to customers.
3. Review the factors by determining how to achieve them in 20% of your time.
4. The goal is to eliminate 80% of tasks to be done.
2.13 Listing every Sideline task will help locate any devil in the details
1. For your new Sideline, lay out all the separate tasks you think will go into doing it.
2. See if any items on the list can be done together.
3. Identify the most important tasks on the list.
4. Make a rough draft of the sequence of the tasks.
2.14 Conducting a thorough task analysis will differentiate necessary tasks
1. After listing all the important tasks, identify the five most critical action steps.
2. For the most critical steps, describe an “at least acceptable” level of performance.
3. Rank the critical tasks by importance, and then list them in sequence of completion.
4. Identify tasks to freely delegate to others.
2.15 Using criterion-referencing to establish measurable results
1. Define the most important tasks that can be measured.
2. For each critical task, determine one or more of the measurable criterion-referents.
3. Use criterion-referencing before you even launch your Sideline.
4. Don’t invest too much time trying to define “superior performance.”
2.16 Using critical incidents to isolate key Sideline tasks
1. Review your task analysis. Isolate seven or eight tasks that seem most critical.
2. Do some research to validate the two or three actions that matter most to obtain the best result.
3. After isolating the critical behaviors that contribute to task success, then try to describe them more specifically.
4. Isolate the critical behaviors which, if done improperly, will produce failure.
2.17 Using task delegation to avoid spending too much time on your Sideline
1. From your task list, identify tasks you can and cannot delegate.
2. Delegate every task you can financially and practically afford to delegate.
3. Use the “bin system” to separate the work into smaller, delegable tasks.
4. Retain helpers to perform tasks according to your standards for payment.
2.18 Avoiding “one right way” philosophy so that helpers can also identify ways to save time
1. Recognize that for most tasks, there is rarely “one right way” to complete them.
2. Use early-warning signals to detect better/worse approaches to delegation.
3. State your quality standards in terms of what is “at least acceptable” versus “superior.”
4. Over time, allow helpers to determine best methods for doing the work.