What It's About
A serial side hustler creates a digital checklist to fast-track business training.
Words of Wisdom
If you’re someone who wants to start down the side hustle path, Chris recommends testing before investing. He would see time and time again clients coming up with really complex app ideas meant to solve a certain business problem. But before he would recommend they invest, they’d test a workflow of the concept using something inexpensive like index cards.
And you won’t believe how something so simple can reveal deal-breaking issues, thus saving so much time and money before building an app they didn’t need.
Chris is what we like to call a "serial side hustler." Before Trainual, he started six other projects including an organic shade-grown coffee imported from an entrepreneurship school in Honduras, a graduation video filming service called Happy Grads, an aerial videography service for auto dealerships using drones, and a side hustle selling guidebooks!
Notes from Chris
As side hustlers, we’ve all been there. A brilliant business idea pops into your head that you know could be a success if you could just pull it together. But all it really leads to are more questions than answers. This is what Chris Ronzio’s side hustle is all about. Getting your business out of your brain. Chris, a former full-time consultant, was in the business of helping companies build systems and processes to improve their operational efficiency. Inspired by his professional experience and empowered by his side hustle stamina, he decided to launch Trainual. Trainual, Chris defines as “the easiest way to organize how you do what you do.” This web app helps business owners build a how-to guide on how to run and organize their business. Imagine every role, responsibility, process, policy, and procedure within your company outlined in one simple spot. During his day job as a consultant, Chris realized that there was one thing he kept seeing business owners struggle with over and over again. Not having a good system for putting their business on paper that other employees could reference to hit the ground running. Say a new employee is hired at your organization. How do you get them up to speed on your business quickly and effectively? In Chris’ mind, so much of a new hire’s success within any company is about giving them the right tools and information to do their job. This is where Trainual comes into play. You could introduce them to your business using the web app so that they feel empowered and invested in every aspect of their day-to-day. Once the digital product was developed, Chris focused on finding his audience. He reached out to the companies he had been working with already and offered lifetime access to Trainual for a thousand dollars. And four of them said yes which was totally awesome, but he was really hoping that 50 would. At the time, he didn't know much about preparing for an online product launch, so while he did celebrate the validation of his idea, it wasn't like the first few dollars he had made from his first business at 14, when he tried to swim in a few hundred bucks like Scrooge McDuck. But before he knew it, six more businesses had signed up. What was surprising about that though was that some of the sign-ups came from outside of his network. That meant the word was spreading! For the first few years with his investment in time being super slim, Trainual profits grew from about $300 per month to $2,000 per month after minor site hosting expenses. Once profits were able to cover his mortgage for a couple of years, Chris decided that it was truly time for celebration. Since December, his profits are up to $4,400 per month. He’s been able to triple their customer base over the last two months and now has users from 22 countries. Now that’s a side hustle success story! In the immediate future, Chris is focusing on making Trainual the premier product for all businesses to document how their company works. His biggest challenge now is the same one that many of us have—too many projects! Fortunately, he’s got a checklist to help him keep up.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Trainual: Streamline your business' training procedures—learn more on Chris' website!
- Evernote & OmniFocus: Some of the different organizational tools I use to organize my tasks and goals
- Senior Center Director Creates Virtual Training Service: A director of operations at a senior center comes up with a way to improve training services—while building a sustainable side income
- Lost & Found: How Lost Property Helps a UK Woman Find Her Side Hustle: Tanya-Jane Park wasn’t looking for a side hustle when she went to a popular music festival, but when her friend lost her handbag, she managed to find one anyway
- Telecom Manager Gets Paid to Write Resumes for LinkedIn Connections: After previous side hustle attempts ended in failure, a lifelong corporate employee studies his LinkedIn connections and finds a profitable idea
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