With so much changing in the workplace these days as, a result of the various COVID issues, there is a lot of uncertainty for people, especially around finances. That’s why so many of us are looking at ways to create extra income through some kind of side hustle business or job, writes best selling author and business coach Andrew Griffiths.
It’s never been easier to set up a side hustle than it is today. There are so many options to choose from and platforms that help us to find part-time work that suits our goals, skill set and lifestyle. But remember, it’s a business and it needs to be treated like one. There are some simple steps to follow, pitfalls to avoid and strategies that can increase the chances of your side hustle succeeding.
7 steps to side hustle success
Be clear on why you’re doing this
People want to start a side hustle for a range of reasons. Most are looking for extra income, but that isn’t always the only reason. People start dog walking businesses to get more exercise. Chef’s start video cooking classes to give them variety from working in the kitchen, people become Yoga teachers because they love yoga and want to help others to practise it. It’s important to be clear about what your reason for starting your new business is
What kind of side hustle do you want?
If we are clear about why we want a side hustle, the next step is to think about what kind of side hustle you want? Is it indoors or outdoors? Night time or daytime? Can you work when it suits you, like an UBER driver, or do you want something more prescriptive and structured? If you struggle with motivation, then having too much flexibility might not be a good thing. Figure out what kind of side hustle will work for you, your personality type and your preferred working environment.
How many hours can you commit to your side hustle?
How much of a side hustle do you want this to be? A couple of hours a day, one day a week or several days of the week. This helps us to set parameters and goals for the business. How many customers do you need, what kind of revenue can you make from the time you have to commit, what kind of business idea will work for the hours and the amount of time you are prepared to commit?
It pays to do some homework
Anyone starting a business needs to do a little research (sometimes a lot). In one of the lockdowns, I received a note in my letterbox from a lady who wanted to start a business making home-cooked meals and selling them to regular customers. I reached out to her to ask a little about it. She has dropped her not in 500 houses in our suburb. She had 50 responses from people who were prepared to order meals on a regular basis. Her side hustle was created, and it cost her a few flyers and an afternoon walk.
How much will your side hustle cost you to get started?
Any good business (and we have to remember that a side hustle is a business) needs attention paid to the numbers – specifically, how much is it going to cost you to start? What do you need to buy, what subscriptions (think online platforms, apps, joining fees) will you need to pay? Are their ongoing costs? We need to go into this with our eyes wide open.
And how much will you charge?
Deciding how much to charge can be a tough one. If your side hustle is via a platform like Uber, Deliveroo or Amazon Delivery, the prices are set by the company, and you have little choice but to accept them. So you need to think long and hard if that works for you. If it’s your own side hustle, look around at what others are charging, don’t go too cheap, look at being a quality-driven business, not a cheap business.
Next we need to do some marketing to get our first lot of customers
My advice is to keep your marketing simple. Start with friends and family, tell them what you’re doing. Perhaps set up a Facebook page or a simple website, depending on your service. If it’s geographically based, meaning you’re offering, for example gardening or pet walking, in a specific area, do a letterbox drop. Make it easy for people to reach out. If you do a side hustle through a third party, again like UBER, they get you your customers to a large degree, but I suggest you do your own marketing as well. The best way to get more customers is to do a great job, get some google ratings and let word of mouth referrals kick in.
Whatever kind of side hustle you go for, remember, it’s a business. This means you need to manage your money. Make sure you’re getting paid and make sure that you can pay your bills. You will also need to think about keeping good records on a platform like XERO. Come tax time, you can claim deductions and pay tax accordingly. It makes sense to include a visit to an accountant in your start-up costs just to get good advice from the start. And of course, make sure you have any insurances that you need. These will vary depending on the type of business you have.
Last but not least, have fun with it. Choose a side hustle that gets you excited. One that you feel passionate enough about to put the time and energy into making it work.
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