Welcome to part two of our series on side hustles! In part one we covered the benefits of starting a side hustle and how to find the right hustle for you. In this week’s blog we give you our key tips on how to start a side hustle and get it off the ground faster.
There is no passion to be found playing small and settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living – Nelson Mandela
You’ve made the call to start a side hustle. You know you want it, you’ve got the idea and you’re ready to go. Here are our tips:
Test the market and yourself
Before you start a side hustle, it’s crucial that you establish that there’s a need or want for whatever service or product you plan to deliver. For example, I spoke to countless friends and family before launching SF and started with confidence knowing I’d be helping the people that matter most in my life. It sounds basic, but accidentally skip this and you could find yourself pursuing a passion project that goes nowhere.
You also need to test yourself. You need to know you can fit it in. You need to know you have the talent, the knowledge, the experience. You’ve got to be committed to this and you need to understand how it affects your life as it currently stands.
You’re probably going to need to dedicate ten, fifteen, maybe twenty hours a week to this new venture. You need to test yourself and make sure you’ve got the work ethic and the dedication to make it happen.
Something’s gotta give when you start a side hustle
You will need to make sacrifices. If you’re going to dedicate ten hours plus a week and a whole lot of head space, there will be things you have to give up. This might be that extra yoga class, the sleep-in on Sunday, or time with friends and family.
Make a conscious decision on what that is. If it affects those closest to you, have the conversation. This is important to you, so that should be enough for them.
Don’t forget to make up some of this time every once in a while too. I’ve found scheduling this time in the calendar works a treat.
You can’t always do it all
To start a side hustle you start with the end in mind. This means planning to outsource. HOWEVER, in the early days, you should do everything yourself until you know your systems well enough to teach the next person. Of course, I’m only talking about the ongoing work in your business. For one-off, ad-hoc work e.g. logo design or website build, these are items you are far better passing on straight away.
Focus on your key skills and once you’re set up, plan to only do the items where you add value.
You also need to make sure it’s affordable. We’ve bootstrapped SF so we’re doing things as cheaply as possible and not wasting money. Limiting your available funds, forces you to be creative and find smarter solutions.
Once you’re ready to outsource, there are all sorts of online resources that are cheap and easy to use. Use websites like fiverr, freelancer and upwork. Always compare local suppliers but sometimes it pays to try someone located overseas for cheaper administration or ad-hoc tasks. If you need tips on who to work with and how to do that, feel free to reach out.
Make sure it’s a passion
When you start a side hustle it’s going to be hard work. If you’re doing this for more than money, you need to love the work. This is especially true if you’re disengaged in your current role. You need to find something that you’re pumped to get home to start working on.
If your side hustle is a chore, you’ll soon give up and it’ll be over before it starts. So make sure this is something that is important to you and you are going to LOVE the work.
Don’t strangle your main source of income
It’s not easy to start a positive cash-flow business from scratch. So if this is what you’re doing, as exciting as it might sound, do not quit your day job. Wait until you have the results and are able to start paying yourself a good chunk of your income needs.
If the plan is to eventually transition from your day job, work towards dropping one day a week and go from there. You need to be able to afford to live and you don’t want that pressure when you’re trying to grow a business. You might decide in six months or a year that this isn’t going to work. If it doesn’t work, you want to have a fallback position.
Use your network
When you start a side hustle it’s important to lean on the people closest to you, not just for advice, but to help spread the word.
When I started Sufficient Fundz almost twelve months ago, I sent a one-off email to all my connections on LinkedIn and Facebook. It was as simple as “Hi, how are you? This is what I’m doing, click here to subscribe and receive the magic that will follow ;)”. From that one email, I had about 150 subscribers to my list.
Don’t underestimate how much your crew are willing and able to help. If you show them what you’re doing, the difference you’re making and how important this is to you, they’ll get behind it. At least this has been our experience.
Social media is your friend
All businesses large and small find themselves on the same playing field with social media. You have the ability as a small operation to tap a huge market with little expense. You can target your posts and ads to very specific people who represent your niche. This is a moving beast and we’re learning a lot with this all the time. If you’re not already following us on Facebook and Instagram, we’d love the support!
Over 50% of the internet is consumed via our phones. Considering the most used apps are all social media e.g. Facey, Insta, Snappy & Twitter, it’s pretty clear this is where the eyeballs are. You need to be playing in the same sandpit as your audience if you’re going to successfully start a side hustle.
When you have limited time and resources, the power of social media is priceless. This is true no matter whether you have a blog or podcast, or are selling a product or service.
You do need to find the right platform/s so reach out if you need help with this. I’m always happy to show you what I’ve learned.
Understand what you have to do to make this work.
It has life-changing potential so of course it’s not going to be easy.
Know this upfront.
I call BS on the work smarter not harder memes. Working BOTH hard and smart on your side hustle is imperative.
Building SF I’ve worked countless Saturdays and Sundays and after hours to get this off the ground. We’re doing this while continuing to build Sufficient Funds, visit clients, start a family, and everything else that’s important in life.
You’ve already signed up to long hours spending time after hours to do this, this is because you know the only way to get this off the ground is to put the effort in.
I can’t stress enough how important it is these days to show people who you are. If you’re trying to build a blog or a business that revolves around your service or anything that has anything to do with you, even if it’s just a product you’ve created, you can’t discount the fact that it’s important that people see YOU.
Being truly authentic is showing people who you really are. When you get to know yourself and the peeps see this, you’re opening up a huge opportunity. Not only for friendship but very important for your side hustle, other people’s willingness to spend money to get some of that.
People want to work with those they know and trust. Being authentic and turning up consistently in this manner has been a key to our growth so far and will be for yours too.
So there you have it. Nine tips on how to start a side hustle. Don’t forget the most important thing is to jump in and give it a crack. If you’re sitting at work with an idea in your head, clear a few hours this weekend, sit down and plan it. The next step is easy, just start.
How are you enjoying our Side Hustle series so far? If you missed the first edition, check out Find your side hustle and create extra income. We’ll wrap the series shortly with “How to Stay Sane, Side-Hustle Style”.
If there are any tips we’ve missed or advice you’re still hoping for please let us know. We’re only human and can always create more if it helps you!