Whether you’re tackling inflation or just looking to increase your income, starting a side hustle while maintaining your regular job is great way to accomplish this. Side hustles are also an avenue for the regular person to pursue their passion or interest without needing to heavily rely on the outcome.
But the harsh truth is that side hustles take time, effort and dedication. The journey of an idea turning into a successful venture is no ‘walk in the park’, but so long as you are committed to the process, you are bound to make something of it.
Let’s explore how you can get your side hustle off the ground and running.
What is a side hustle?
Making a business plan
Treat your side hustle like a genuine, thriving business.
The more serious you are about it, the more likely you are to succeed.
And for that you’ll need a business plan which outlines your objectives, challenges, milestones and market strategy. Because it’s not your primary income it will suffice to have a much briefer business plan.
The first component of your business plan is an executive summary:
Simply put, this is a brief summary of your business, its goals and the products or services you will be offering – this should be no more than one page. It should address your unique value proposition and in-doing so you’re also able to feasibly justify to yourself if it’s a worthy idea.
Next up is a market analysis:
Although your side hustle is still in its infancy phase, it’s still important to conduct a brief market analysis for valuable insights. Find out the size of the market you are wanting to target, identify the level and volume of completion, along with your customer demographics.
You will also need to outline the side hustle’s operations plan:
What are your day-to-day activities? How do you plan on running the side hustle and how will you conduct your customer service? These are some of the questions you will need to answer.
Lastly, it’s important to have risk management in place:
Identifying potential risks such as legal, financial and operational risks, along with how you can address them will save trouble in the long run.
As mentioned earlier, it takes time and commitment to see results, which is why your goals should be realistic. Here’s a structure which can be followed while goal setting for a side hustle.
Define the goal: Vague goals are not only pointless, but can lead to dissatisfaction and uncertainness. For example, don’t state your goal as “increase sales”, rather make it measurable and say “increase sales by 20% by the next quarter.”
This makes the goal measurable and more satisfying to achieve.
Realism: Starting a side hustle and making it successful is not easy. A side hustle is also secondary to your primary job and the time allocated towards it is usually limited, so be sure to have realistic goals. Are your goals achievable and reasonable with the time frame you have?
Prioritise: Some goals are more important than the others. Focus on the goals which will have the biggest impact on your business and one’s which will accelerate your side hustle.
Deadlines: You need to be held accountable and motivated to achieve your goals. Without deadlines, you’re less likely to achieve them.
Adjustable: A few goals might need tweaking along the way and it’s important to be open to adjustments. Your side hustle will always be evolving and consequently your goals need to be flexible.
Positivity: Every goal you tick off needs to be celebrated. Take time to recognise the small wins and this will keep your motivated to push towards the bigger picture.
Officially setting up the side hustle
This is dependent on the country you reside in, but there are a few factors that will generally apply to you. In countries such as Australia, every form of payment received for your services – even if it’s a one off – needs to be reported for tax purposes.
Depending on your side hustle you might need permits and business licenses, so be sure to check if this applies to you.
Having a website to spread the word of your side hustle is a must.
Make sure to create a separate and professional social media account for your side hustle. Using your personal one has too many risks and you might come across as unprofessional.