Breaking away from the daily grind is no mean feat, and it’s all too easy to abandon your dreams because you simply can’t separate out the time or space to devote to anything else. Yet in recent years you may have noticed more and more people beginning to supplement their income with a little gig on the side. In fact, a study carried out by Bankrate found that around 28 percent of millennials are running a successful side job, with those surveyed earning on average around $200+ per month.
These hard-working side-hustlers manage to balance two sources of income and still somehow find time to relax and enjoy their extra earnings. Yet establishing a great side Hustle is not beyond your reach. In fact, with the right choice of business, and a heavy dose of good old-fashioned enthusiasm, you too could join the ranks of high-flying hustlers.
Know Your Strengths
Naturally, to truly excel at your side hustle and get the most back from the time you put in, it is important to play to your strengths. After all, the plan is to develop a successful business doing something you enjoy within an industry you care about. And the better you are at the trade you choose, the easier it will be to break into the market and build authority within that industry.
Jimmy Chan of Pixelicious spends his workweek as an engineer, but his side hustle sees him capturing perfect shots of newlyweds, as they celebrate their marriage. He only takes on a few weddings a year, so he can ensure that he always outputs a high standard of photography. However, he’s a great example of someone who has managed to supplement his regular income by capitalizing on his additional skillsets.
Develop a Plan
Perhaps the most critical step, once you have a sense of the sort of hustle that could work for you, is to set out a plan. More than half of U.S. companies fail in five years, and often this occurs as a result of failing to prioritize effectively.
- Set a budget. Know where your startup revenue is coming from and how much you can afford to invest. This will enable you to make more reasoned decisions about the initial scale of your side hustle, and the time you will need to invest to see a positive return.
- Choose an industry, niche, and channel to focus on. Whether you aim to set up a store, run a blog, or offer a bespoke service of some kind, it is vital to determine who your audience will be, how they’ll find your content, and what sort of message you hope to deliver.
- Have backup. This could be a small team that you plan to work with, or just some friends and family you can bounce ideas off. There are days when you just won’t want to go it alone, so make sure you know who to turn to if required.
- Set aside some free time. If you are a schedule driven person, you might want to set defined working hours each week. If not, then set yourself targets to reach, and when you’re able to work on your side hustle, then give it all you’ve got. But whichever you choose, remember to save some time for you. This is supposed to be fun, after all.
You don’t need a huge space, or significant capital to get your side hustle rolling. Two Perfect Souls founder Evelyn Leung began her jewelry business from a small Manhattan apartment, uploading digital designs to Shapeways, a 3D printing community. Her business has since gone from strength to strength, and now provides her with a steady income stream doing something that she loves.
Remember, you can start small and still dream big. For example, rather than launching your own website from scratch, you may spot a promising opportunity; perhaps a for-sale ecommerce store with a workable url, and a niche that appeals to your interests.
This is a popular way to break into the world of ecommerce, as it removes some of the early stages of setting up a business, and may mean you are working with an established audience and a body of content. However, the downside is that you may have to compromise on your initial aspirations in order to meet the expectations of the existing followers, and to adapt the content to your needs.
Set Realistic Goals
A grand plan is one thing, but you need to break that down into attainable milestones. Set your sights high, but not beyond your reach. This means you will always feel like you are progressing towards your goal, and staying on track. In contrast, if you feel like you are consistently failing to achieve all you’d hoped, you may begin to feel discouraged and less enthusiastic about your work.
Also keep in mind that it’s ok to fall short once in a while. This just tells you that you need to adjust your timetable and examine how you can avoid the same issue recurring in the future.
Passion Is Everything
The point of a side hustle is to earn some extra income while doing something you enjoy. So be sure to choose a business venture into which you can pour your full enthusiasm. This passion and energy will be discernible in everything you do, and will give your marketing efforts a significant boost.
This is especially relevant when interacting with your following via Social Media, or on other platforms where you are in direct communication with your audience. Positivity is infectious, and you will rapidly be able to win customers over, and build their excitement for the products or services you have to offer.
While positivity is essential to how you interact with your social media followers is essential, it is also essential to ensure that your Social Media Outlets are well managed and properly monitored – without doing this you will fail to make the most of the enormous potential to increase your revenue and growth that social media offers.
If you have the time, drive, and aptitude to monitor and manage your social media accounts, then this is a bonus to your startup. However, even if you do possess all of these qualities, it may pay you dividends to invest in a service that is able to manage and monitor your social media outlets, such as Buzzlogix.
This is because by passing on some of the responsibility for your social media outlets elsewhere, means that you can focus your energy on the qualities that you alone have – your unique ideas for how to develop your startup.
Make It Shine
As with any passion project, you will never feel like everything is perfect; you will always have bigger and better visions for the future of your business. Yet this can be used to your advantage, as it will encourage you to keep working to optimize your side hustle, and secure the greatest possible return for your efforts.
Explore business tools and automation solutions to streamline tasks wherever possible. Test everything, and pay constant attention to customer feedback, and content performance data.
- Tools like Asana and Trello can help you manage your workload and keep track of projects.
- Keep track of your income and expenses with a money manager such as Mint, or a good old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet. Check out this handy infographic on tax deductions for bloggers. Many of the points apply to most side hustles.
- Scanning apps such as CamScanner make it easy to keep all your receipts and contact details together. While others such as HelloSign facilitate collecting digital signatures.
- Platforms such as Magento and Shopify offer a range of features to streamline the process of managing an online store, delivering content, and collecting backend data.
The more information you gather, the better your content will become. You should always be striving for improvement, but it is also important to remember that you cannot expect perfection every time.
As Edison said, “When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” Learn from your failures, and try not to fret when things don’t go as smoothly as you had hoped. Sometimes it’s necessary to sacrifice perfection for the sake of simply getting things done, and moving on to the next task.
Keep In Touch
Once your side hustle is up and running, all you need to do is keep it rolling. For the most part this will simply be an extension of the steps you’ve already gone through. However, a large part of maintaining the success of your side business is the development of a reliable network of clients and contacts.
Depending on your hustle, this might mean re-engaging with old customers, reaching out to former clients, and even getting in touch with prospective customers. Keep a well-segmented mailing list, and store as much detail as possible about each individual.
This will help you to reach out to the right people at the right time, so your business remains in the forefront of their minds, making it more likely that they will make use of your services in the future.
Image Credit: PublicCo via Pixabay
The secret to an awesome side hustle is finding something you love and making it pay. You may only find time to work on it once a week, or it may outgrow your primary revenue source. Whatever the case, the more you enjoy it, the greater the returns you will see, both in terms of revenue, and personal growth.
No one can tell you which industry to choose, or how to run your gig. But with the tips above you should be pretty well-prepared to set yourself on the path to side-hustle success, and join the ranks of entrepreneurs who have chosen to make the digital age work for them.
Article located on Buzzlogix Social Media Marketing Blog. Your Guide On How To Set Up A Really Great Side Hustle