A side hustle allows you to safely establish a second source of income while keeping a day job. Once your income from the side hustle becomes stable, then you could make it a permanent job. Most important, it provides you a career-changing opportunity, and that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Today, we’ll discuss how to start a side hustle and establish it as a full-time successful business.
However, it’s not an easy task to start a side hustle and make it a profitable business. It requires you to change your priorities, psychologically shift your focus, and willing to do creative work every day.
Reasons for Launching the Side Hustle
Before jumping into the discussion of how to start a side hustle, first of all, we should know the reasons why people start the side hustle. Money is the most obvious reason. According to an estimate, 62% of the people start a side hustle in order to pay their bills, 41% of the people want to follow their passion.
- 55% of the freelancers in the US have updated their skill set in the past six months. Peer education, online courses, and applications are the main sources of learning.
- The average annual income of 43% of the household doing side gigs is approximately 80K dollars, and 37% of the people doing single jobs have an annual income of less than 30K dollars.
- People who do extra 12 hours of work per week, then earn roundabout 1122 dollars extra per month
- 28% of the US citizens are actively focusing on the side business
Top Side Hustle
Some of the main side jobs or hustles are;
- Vloggers/Bloggers: it’s a very old and classic side hustle. People have different interests, and they start blogging and vlogging by focusing on one niche.
- Business Profession: it comprises a wide range of services that coaching, financial analysis, legal counseling, consultancy, designing, programming, writing, etc.
- Creative Work: services in the creative field are entertainers, party planners, comedians, DJs, writers, musicians, artists, etc.
- Health/Beauty/Wellness: meditation teacher, nutritionists, personal trainer, stylists, hairdresser, etc.
- Online Buying/Selling: eBay and Etsy platforms allow you to open your shop as a side hustle, and start selling your products/services.
How to start a side hustle
If you’re planning and learning how to start a side hustle, here are some of the steps that you should keep in mind and follow;
Tony Robbins says that 80% of your business success is psychological and the remaining 20% is mechanical. It means that coming up with a great product/service won’t lead you to success if you don’t have an interest in solving customers’ problems, determination, and grit. Before starting the side hustle, you should ask yourself that how badly you want to win. If you don’t have much interest, then you shouldn’t expect higher results.
The side business would take a lot of your time every day week after week. It means that you have to give up on your friends’ companionships and less time for your family. If you’re willing to make these sacrifices and allocate a separate time for your business, only then you should succeed. It’s the mental and psychological commitment that leads to the success of your business.
Skill Set & Area of Interests
You should never enter a better when you don’t have the proper tools and equipment. That’s why you should have knowledge, industry experience, and a relevant skillset. When you have the right mindset, right interest, and relevant skillset, then it would amplify your success rate.
For instance, many artists and musicians sell their services of playing violin, piano lessons, online guitar teaching, etc. However, some of the freelance services are even more profitable like digital storytelling, graphic designing, video editing, etc. If you don’t have the skillset relevant to your interest, then you should focus on learning it.
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Start from One Customer
You may perceive your side business as something awesome and great, but the views and perceptions of the potential clients would be completely different. It’s probable that they would ignore your idea. That’s why you should validate your business idea, and start it would with a single paying customer. You should make sure that you won’t be offering a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
The reason many startups fail is that there’s no demand for the product in the market. Therefore, you should recheck the applicability of your products from the customers’ perspective. They won’t buy your business idea if they don’t find any value in it. Ultimately, you would lose your investment.
It’s important to get the feedback of your customers and ask them if they would like to be in the waiting. You should also notice that how many people are showing interest in your upcoming solution. If you don’t receive positive feedback and customers aren’t showing interest, then you should reject the idea.
Differentiation from Competitors
It would be rare to find a heavy-demand niche or field without any competition. It’s highly probable that whatever field you’re going to enter, there would be established players in the market. Their focus is always on winning the competition by exploiting any of the opportunities available and making their product available.
If you want to gain a competitive edge, then you would come up with something unique and innovative in order to differentiate your offer. The competitive advantage could be in any form ranging from intellectual property, strategic relationship, best-in-class, customer service, profit margin, or aggressive sale strategy. It’s something that would make customers choose your product over competitors.
Goals & Objectives
It’s no doubt that you should dream big. However, when it comes to the success of your business, then you won’t go anywhere if you don’t have any destination. If you want to reach your destination, then you should start with small goals and then make them big.
For instance, your first goal should be to have 1000 customers. The point is your goals should be realistic, practicable, and attainable, and divide them in terms of daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. Most importantly, you should develop a positive mindset and focus on success. However, you should follow the SMART acronym strategy while developing goals; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time oriented.
When you find a viable solution, and then launch the side business. You shouldn’t obsess over trying to find the perfect solution. It’s because you don’t know your customers that what product/service they would like. If you obsess over trying to find the perfect solution, then you’re wasting your time, energy, and resources.
You should develop a simple business plan, set up the milestone and deadline of your project, and announce the opening date. However, you should try to meet the deadline. If something happens, then make yourself accountable and evaluate your performance. After completing one milestone, you should set up the next milestone, and keep building the process.
Outsource Work Outside of your expertise
The next stage in learning how to start a side hustle is knowing and accepting the fact that you can’t be perfect in everything. In fact, you could have weaknesses in your main selected niche. Therefore, your focus should be on those skills that you’re good at.
For instance, your main expertise is management and accounting, and graphic designing isn’t your strong suit. Instead of gluing weak skills to your main expertise and pushing away customers, you should outsource other work. In the beginning, you should waste your time learning everything. However, the most effective strategy is outsourcing the work that you’re weak at.
If you don’t receive feedback from customers, then your side business would soon fail. It’s possible that you’re offering a product that isn’t working for customers. Without proper feedback, you’re just wasting your time, resources, and capital in the wrong direction. That’s why it’s important to accept and digest the harsh feedback of customers. It would help you to improve your product/service.
Keep Your Day Job
When you launch the side business, then you should neither use the company’s company resources or its time to follow your passion and dream. It’s not only wrong and immoral but also professionally unethical. However, you should do your best in your day job and deliver great performance. If you compromise over your work at the job, then it would jeopardize your reputation when you need a partner for your business later.
Stabilize your Earning before Leaving Job
You should leave your day job until your earnings from the side hustle reach 75% of your current income. It would be highly risky if you leave your day job in the beginning. However, you should have to save to back your expenses for the next six months. It’s because the business would take a lot of time to grow and start earning.
Conclusion: How to start a side hustle
After an in-depth study of how to start a side hustle, we’ve concluded that launching a side gig and making it a full-time business are two completely different things. It would require a lot of courage, determination, and grit to make your business successful. If you follow the abovementioned steps, then you could establish your side hustle as a permanent business.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.