Sunday, April 14, 2024

How to start a side hustle in 2023

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?

A secondary job, more commonly known as a ‘side hustle’, is an additional job which people take on to supplement their primary income.
But there’s many other reasons why people may choose to take on a side hustle than increasing their income. In some cases, people are simply making use of their extra time to explore different avenues of career paths, while others are pursuing their true interests and waiting for it to become successful enough to leave their primary job.
Whatever the reason may be, there are definitely more positives to starting a side hustle than not.
Identifying potential side hustle ideas
This is one of the harder parts of establishing your side hustle.
Every business relies on a problem – solution concept. There’s a gap in the market and your product or service is the solution.
It’s also important to realise that a successful side hustle requires you to have talent and interest for the business idea you want to explore. You might be doing your day job just for money, but a side hustle relies requires you to build everything from the ground up and for that, there needs to be talent.
If you’re passionate about something then you’re already set, otherwise explore your unique skillset and recognise what you have to offer as an individual.
Some of the more common side hustles are:
• Selling digital products
• E-commerce
• Photography
• Blogs
• Podcasting
• Delivering food or packages
• Dog walker
• Online tutoring
• Starting a clothing line
• Influencer
• eBooks
Some are easier than the other, but the difference in monetary reward explains that. 
Currently, online side hustles are a lot more popular but the competition is often a barrier too entry.
It’s very important to choose the right side hustle for you and to not dive into one which isn’t aligned with your interests or skill set. This will just result in failure and bouncing around from side hustle to side hustle.
Take your time and don’t rush.


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.

Goal setting

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

There are legal obligations you should be aware of for your 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.

The essentials

Having a website to spread the word of your side hustle is a must. 

There are many free website builders available, with each of them having varying levels of technical expertise. You’ll want the barebones of the website ready, such as a domain name, design, content and social media integration. As the side hustle develops you can look for improvements within the design, user experiences and search engine optimisation.

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.

Management and growth

Managing a side hustle is a skill which develops with experience and everyone’s approach is unique. 
At first, your biggest challenge will be balancing the side hustle with a full-time job, along with other commitments you might have. It’s essential to have a balance or you may mentally burnout and scrap the idea of a side hustle.
Staying organised is key when managing a side hustle. After all, you’re balancing two jobs and many other commitments, hence it’s important to make a list. Most importantly, you’ll want to stay on top of expenses, invoices and receipts to ensure all finances are in order.
And what good is a side hustle with poor communication? Following up with your clients consistently, answering questions and addressing concerns will make a world of difference in building their confidence. Be completely transparent by letting them know what you can and can’t do, but also make sure they respect you and your business.
This closely ties in with growing your side hustle. If you’re customer service is great, then clients are likely to spread the word about your services and it will be easier to acquire more clientele. Keeping a good relationship with them may also present opportunities to attend events and this may open doors to increase your network.
The more you stay on positive terms with clients, the more you can build your brand and maintain a reputable side hustle. 
When do you go all in?
There’s no specific time when someone should consider quitting their primary job and going full-time with their side hustle. Typically, people use measurable indicators such as number of clients, stability and income, however when the time is right you will know.
But for now, you’re ready to start a side hustle!
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