The ‘side hustle’ is becoming more popular as people seek to earn more money, try out a business ‘on the side’ while working full time, or have a safety net in place if they fear redundancy or cutbacks.
The ease with people can go into some type of business thanks to the Internet and other tech advances, and a general rise in the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset has seen side hustling grow to the point where some 15 percent of Americans are working on one.
Plenty of opportunitiesBeing able to get online easily means opportunities are easier to access, and for product-based businesses innovations such as prefabricated metal workshops and even stores mean a trading base can be established quickly, easily and economically.
So how to set up your side hustle?
Are you mentally prepared?Just because it’s a ‘side’ business or service offering you still have to be as focused and driven as someone working at it full time would be.
Set goalsAsk yourself why you’re looking to start a side hustle; clarifying this will keep you focused and motivated and enable you to measure your success.
Set your overall goal but also set incremental goals to help you get there; these help you get started on achievable, smaller goals you can realize sooner rather than the larger, more distant ones.
The classic SMART goal setting and achievement method are worth using.
Identify your skills and interest with a needHow can your skills and interests be put to best use?
You need to have an idea of what need there is and if you can fill it; if there’s a gap in the market (a classic way many entrepreneurs started small) can you fill it and make a profit?
How would you reach your customers? Is there competition? If so this is good as it means there is a demand; the key is in offering something different to your customers.
Would an existing business activity suit?Maybe the entrepreneurial aspect of side hustles isn’t for you - or at least not yet. In this case, existing basic tried and tested service activities may be the way forward.
For example, maybe becoming an Uber driver is worth considering so working hours that suit under an established business model. Perhaps you could offer in-demand local services? For example, if a lot of foreign students live in your area and there’s a shortage of people teaching English as a foreign language then maybe you can help fill the gap?
Maybe dog walking or pet sitting services are in demand locally?
Whether you aim to start a business or try an existing activity, there are plenty of side hustle options out there.
Setting hours and conditionsIt’s important to have specific hours for your side hustle both in terms of sticking at it and not letting it take over your life outside your actual job (or even worse seeping into it).
If you’re too casual as to when you work at your side hustle, you may get into the habit of only doing it when you feel like it and this can result in your losing interest before any goals have been reached.
Similarly, overdoing it means you can get burnt out and your performance in your ‘real’ job may suffer.
Have specific hours and, even though you may be tempted, allow yourself some ‘downtime’ from both your actual job and the side hustle to refresh and recharge.
The side hustle: a good way of learning and earning
Along with the extra income it will hopefully provide, your side hustle can equip you with new skills you may not get the chance to develop otherwise - and provide you with a degree of reassurance that, whatever may happen with your mainstream career, you have a safety net in place.
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