“Running a Side Business: How to Create a Second Income” by Attorney Richard Stim and Lisa Guerin, JD is a great little book that contains the basics of starting a business on one side, while maintaining your day job. It is one of the Nolo and USA Today collaborations, providing legal information in an easy-to-understand format with USA Today checklists, tips, and snapshots. It is an interesting and informative book.
The book is just over 250 pages long and contains 10 chapters. The first chapter looks at things to consider before starting a side business and looks at various side businesses available. The second chapter focuses on things online. Free stuff you can find online, as well as making money from Amazon, eBay, affiliate programs, etc.
The third chapter deals with money management. Provides the basics of record keeping, bookkeeping, accounting methods, cash flow, forecasting, and money matters. Chapter four provides some basic concepts on protecting personal assets when discussing business entities and insurance.
Chapter Five is titled “Avoid Lawyers” and provides information on contracts. The basics are here, but if your business involves certain items, products, or services, you may want an attorney to review some of your agreements before finalizing them.
The sixth chapter deals with licenses, permits and other procedures. Good general information is provided here, but you probably want to check your local laws to make sure they are followed. And yes, the author also recommends that you do it at the end of the chapter. Chapter seven is about working from home. Home office efficiency is the main focus, and then there’s a bit of evaluating when you might want to move out of your home, as well as a few other tips.
The focus of chapter eight is working with others. The basics of employee vs. independent contractor are explained, as well as other topics related to work with the family, taxes, etc.
Chapter nine presents some basic marketing concepts. There are a variety of marketing tips and strategies. The final chapter, ten, offers tips on taxes and deductions. Again, you would use this to learn some basics and then discuss it with your tax preparer.
Much of the information in this book can be found in other books in more detail, but what this book does is provide the basics in one simple volume with the small side business as the focus. Most of the other resources do not provide that. I think if you are thinking of starting an additional business, this book would be a great resource to get started. You probably want more resources as you go along and determine the areas you need the most help with, but this is definitely a great first read for anyone thinking of starting a side business.