Whether you’re looking to start your very first business, or you’re an established business owner looking to develop another income stream, launching a side hustle can be an ideal way to do so. By developing your business as a part-time side gig, you can greatly reduce the personal and financial risk that comes with starting a new business from scratch.
If you’re eager to get the ball rolling with your side hustle, here are a few tips to help enhance your chances of success:
1. Monetize your passion
The quickest way to get a side hustle going is to start with something you truly enjoy doing and are already good at. By doing something you’re passionate about, you’ll have the motivation to see things through, because even when you’re not making money, you’ll still be having fun.
If you’re working a day job, find a task that you enjoy doing and for which you already have the skills, experience, and industry knowledge. For example, if you work in marketing and really enjoy creating your company’s digital media, you might launch your own e-newsletter or graphic design service. But first, be sure that you aren’t violating any contract terms with your current employer. This is something we can help you with before you launch.
If you already own a business, look for ways to generate new income streams from your current operation. From affiliate marketing to consulting and creating information products, look close enough and you’re bound to find several potential new revenue sources. Not sure where to start or which options to choose? We can help.
2. Validate your concept with income and feedback
Studies show that nearly half of all startups fail due to a lack of a profitable market. This showcases the need to validate your business concept with paying customers before investing too much time, energy, and money—or quitting your day job. Your side gig idea may sound super awesome to you, but your potential customers might not feel the same way.
By attracting just a few paying customers, you’ll not only validate your idea, but you’ll be able to solicit vital feedback. By soliciting honest customer feedback, you can make adjustments to ensure you’re producing the ideal version of your product or service.
Oftentimes, your initial concept will evolve through several iterations before you land on the winning one, so be flexible and willing to go with what actually works, not just what you think will work.
3. Minimize startup costs
One of the biggest benefits of launching a side gig is that you may not have to invest much—if anything—to get your operation off the ground. If you’re already in business, you can leverage your existing legal, insurance, financial, and tax foundations, as long as they’re already well established. If they aren’t, then meet with us to get them well established before you expand.
If you are starting a side hustle from scratch, you will want to consult with us before you do to get your basic foundations in place, as we can often phase your investments over time to match your income growth.
4. Develop a schedule and stick to it
Of course, if you’re already running a business or working a 9-5 job, you’re likely going to have limited time to work on your side hustle. That’s why it’s called a “hustle”—you have to hustle to make the venture pay off. This is where time management is critical.
First, you’ll need to determine how many hours you think you can spend each day on your side gig, and block out those times using Google Calendar or another time blocking app. You’ll also need to find the times when you’ll have the most focus and energy. Whether it’s setting aside extra time in the morning, evenings, or weekends, tailor your side job schedule around when you’ll be the most productive.
From there, you must make those work times as non-negotiable as your day job or primary business venture. If you simply work whenever you feel like it, you’re unlikely to make progress, you’ll get discouraged, and your venture will fall flat.
We’ve got a process we can take you through, called the Money Map, that can help you to map your income needs, your available time, and then use your calendar wisely to ensure it all works. Contact us for details.
Don’t neglect your foundation
One key way to maximize the time and productivity spent working your side hustle is to streamline the tedious—yet critical—business-management tasks involved with running any operation. From keeping financials and creating solid agreements to managing taxes and insurance, these things may not be very glamorous, but ignoring them can seriously stunt your budding business—and even lead to financial ruin if you’re sued or audited.
A Creative Business Lawyer can ensure you have the foundational legal, insurance, tax, and financial (LIFT) systems in place, so you can focus your time and energy on growing your side hustle. At first, you probably won’t need anything super extensive, but you’ll at least need the basics, and we offer exactly this kind of support with our LIFT Start-Up Session.
Schedule a Start-Up Session with us before launching your side hustle—or if you’ve started but have yet to set up LIFT systems, or if you’re simply not sure your systems have been set up correctly. And then, as your side hustle grows, visit us again to implement the full suite of systems offered in our LIFT Foundation System and Toolkit.