Have you ever considered a side hustle? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent Bankrate survey, over 44 million Americans now have a side gig. A side hustle can bring in much needed cash and, in some cases, even blossom into a full time entrepreneurial endeavor. If you’re itching to start your money making side hustle, consider these tips:
Identify Your Expertise, Passion, or Solution to a Problem
Every single one of us is in a position to provide something unique to the world. And, if it’s packaged in a way that provides value to others, people will be willing to pay for it.
Consider turning your passion into profit. Carey Heywood devoured young adult paranormal fantasies but soon ran out of books that deeply interested her, so she wrote her own and sold them on Amazon as ebooks. Since writing her first book she has sold over 200,000 copies of her novels.
Find a problem and offer a solution. Do you have a dead deer on your property and don’t know what to do with it? Call Matt Coughlin. The Leesburg, VA landscape project manager makes between $500 and $1000 a month on his side-gig removing dead deer from Northern Virginia properties.
Use your current skills for extra cash. Heather Quinn Gage of Texas used her skills honed as a fundraiser for a non-profit theater company to fuel her side hustle consulting for nonprofit organizations.
Commit a Plan to Paper
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
You wouldn’t travel from New York to California without a GPS navigator. Likewise don’t start your side-gig without a written plan. This plan will serve as your road map. What exactly will you offer, to whom, and how? How will you acquire customers? What are your revenue, sales and profit goals? Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll refine it and change it as your side-gig grows. The important thing is that you have a plan before you start.
Just Get Started
Do you remember the old Nike slogan, “Just Do It”? It encouraged people to stop procrastinating and just get active. No excuses. Too often we come up with brilliant ideas for a side hustle but never implement them. We’re afraid of failure and our fear paralyzes us.
But here’s the beauty of a side-hustle. If you’re smart with your plan and don’t spend money unnecessarily, your failures will not devastate you financially. If you do fail just pick yourself up and try again. The upside is that your venture could become wildly profitable.
Kick procrastination to the curb by creating a deadline by which you’ll secure your first customer. Set this deadline in stone. Once you’ve actually obtained your first paying customer the motivation to ramp up your side-hustle will kick into high gear.
Carve Out the Time for Your Side Hustle
If you’re serious about creating a new income stream then you must treat your side-hustle seriously. Carve time out of your life to nourish it. Set regular work hours for your side-hustle and honor them just as you do the hours you spend on your regular job. Wake up an hour or two earlier to work on your business or cut out the television or Facebook. You may have to even ask your spouse to take on additional household tasks or learn to say “No” to those social events, clubs, or volunteer activities that don’t particularly interest you.
Solicit Feedback, Make Changes, and Repeat
Your customers’ opinions are worth their weight in gold. Constantly seek their feedback and let that feedback guide improvements in your side-hustle. What’s working? Is there something you could be doing better? Are there related services or products customers might consider purchasing from you?
Don’t Jeopardize Your Day Job
Treat your 9 to 5 with the respect it deserves. Someone is paying you to do a job. As tempting as it might be, refrain from using company time or resources to work on your side-gig. You could get fired or sued. Worst yet, your company could stake claims to the fruits of your side hustle labor. Likewise, check your contract or employee handbook to make sure you’re not subject to a non-compete clause that would prohibit you from performing freelance work that’s too closely related to your current job.
Your side hustle can become a welcomed income stream, but in order to make the big bucks you must treat it seriously by providing it the time, planning, and effort it deserves.
BMWK, are you ready to get started on your side hustle?