Some people are natural born leaders and entrepreneurs. I am that person. I have always dreamed of working for myself with the benefits and challenges that come with it. Currently, I have a full-time job. I work 40 hours per week, and while I love the job and people I work with, the fact that I am using my skills to make someone else money and not myself doesn’t sit well with me. I have several side hustles including blogging, web design, and digital marketing on the side. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know to start your next side hustle to earn some extra income and maybe one day, make it your full-time job!
1. Be realistic when starting
When starting your side hustle you might at first get excited about earning extra cash and how easy it will be. This usually isn’t the case. Whether it’s finding clients or the time to complete the work, something will always come up and it’s your job to tackle the problem. Finding clients will be challenging at first, so don’t expect to make $10,000 your first month (but kudos to you if you do!).
2. Create a business plan
What service will you provide? What products do you plan to sell? Why should someone come to you instead of a competitor? How will you market your products or services? All of these questions should be answered in your business plan. Even though this is a side hustle, you still need direction and a plan. According to bplans.com, your business plan should include 6 things (You can read the details for each section here):
- An executive summary
- Company and management summary
- Financial plan
3. Gather connections
When you start your side hustle, any connections you have will be your best bet to get started. From there, you can obtain referrals and show off any work you have completed. If you’re selling a product, you can use your connections to write reviews and share your product on social media.
Friends, family, high school classmates can all be potential connections to contact when you first start your side hustle. Reach out to see if they are interested in your product or service. If so, great! If not, ask them to share your contact info with their connections to gain more exposure.
4. Define your brand
Whether you’re selling your services or products, you will need a brand to sell them. This can be a personal brand, like your name, or a corporate branding strategy. When creating your brand, there are several things to consider.
- Who is my target market and what characteristics do they have?
- What is my mission statement and company values?
- What feelings do I want my brand to invoke?
Ultimately when defining your brand, you want to align your customers' characteristics with your mission statement to create a connection with the customer.
5. Get ready to start your hustle
After defining your brand, your almost ready to start your side hustle. There are only a few things left. Are you going to have a company website? This is the time to create that! All marketing collateral should be organized so you can hit the ground running when you start. You should also aim to define all operational processes during this time. How will you accept payments? Will you withhold sales tax? All of these questions should be outlined during this time ensuring a smooth start to your side hustle.
6. It’s time to start
Now that you have all of your marketing materials ready and operational processes outlined, it’s time to start your side hustle. If you plan on running digital advertising, now is the time to start! This is also the time to reach out to your connections and start building relationships.
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7. Gather initial results and optimize
After you’ve started your side hustle, take a month and look back on your progress. Are you getting clients or sales? If yes, good, you’re on the right track. If no, it might be time to reevaluate your marketing strategy to attract more clients. Here are a few things to consider: Are you getting traffic but not converting, or are you not getting the chance to make the sale in the first place? This can guide you on what decisions to make. If you’re not getting enough exposure, maybe it’s time to start running more advertising campaigns. If you aren’t closing the deal or getting any sales, maybe it’s time to consider lowering your prices.
Have you started a side hustle? We’d love to hear your advice on how you succeeded. Comment below!