Looking for a way to earn a few extra bucks with a side hustle? Maybe you need to pay off the bills that are piling up too high. Or perhaps you’re saving for a down payment. Or maybe you have a passion you want to monetize. No matter why you’re drawn to experimenting with a side gig outside of your full-time job, we must say it’s a smart financial move. Starting a side hustle will not only increase your bottom line every month but will also help you gain additional experience. It will also allow you to explore your passion while having the safety net and security of your day job. So, how to start a side hustle while keeping your cushy 9-to-5 job? Here are the five simple key steps to follow.
Choose a Side Hustle Idea that is Potentially Viable
“What side-hustle should I get into?” — This is the first question that may pop up in your mind while thinking of starting a side hustle. Sure, you can follow your passion and turn your hobby into a side gig. After all, what can be more fulfilling than working on something that you’re truly passionate about? But what if it’s not profitable or worth the time you are going to spend? Some ideas may sound great at the beginning but they might not be rewarding in the long run. A better way? Brainstorm all of the skills you have and then filter out those products/services that people are willing to pay for. Go for a potentially viable idea that’s the best fit for your personality, skills as well as the market.
Invest In Market Research
Maybe you’ve got the best idea in the world and you want to jump right in. That’s great! But, what if you end up dumping a ton of money and time in creating a product that no one actually wants? Sounds terrible, right? Having a hunch is not enough to start a successful side hustle. You need to do some market research to assess if there’s a demand for what you want to do, sell, or create. Ask yourself— why would a customer want your product or service? What problems are you solving with your offering? And why the customers should choose you over your competitors? This will help you know more about your customers and you will get to know if something is missing from the product or service.
Once you’re convinced that your idea best serves the market, it’s time to decide on your consumer base and pricing. Identify your target market or audience who would use your product. Determine what type of audience you are targeting, their age, gender and where do they live. Also, crunch some numbers to make sure your idea could actually make money. Add up any costs that would go into creating your product and figure out the market rate that others in similar businesses offer.
Test the Water before Going All
So, you’ve done your research and fleshed out your idea. Now it’s time to test the water. Before going all in, you should test your idea on a small scale. Figure out what’s the bare minimum you need to get your first paying customer. You need a product or service to sell, a willing buyer, and a way to receive the money, that’s it! While it’s easy to get caught up in creating expensive websites and fancy business cards, don’t fall for it. Instead, try to tap into your existing contacts to land a client. Start small and keep your costs down so that while launching the side hustle, there will be no surprises that could lead to failure.
Carve Out the Time
Initially, putting in an extra hour to start a side hustle can be a tough sell. Your day job already restricts your free time, and there are always friends and family to think about. But, if you want to get your side hustle off the ground, you have to find those extra hours somewhere. Set aside a time that’s strictly dedicated to your side gig. You may carve out an hour every night or half a day each weekend. Remember, 30 minutes a day is way better than nothing at all. So, pick a schedule that works for you and make the most of every opportunity to keep your demanding side hustle afloat. But, don’t burn yourself out and try to strike a balance between work and your personal life.
Map Out a Long Term Business Plan
To set up a successful side hustle, long-term planning is crucial. This offers a roadmap to your desired outcomes. A solid set of goals can help you focus on what’s important. It will also motivate you to keep going when things get tough along the way. Without a goal or plan in place, you might get lost in a maze of endless paths with no destination. So, think about what your end game will look like as far out into the future as possible, and then follow through on achieving those goals. Be realistic while setting up the goal or else it will lead to frustration and procrastination.
Starting and growing a side hustle does take time. So, if you expect it to reap fruits too soon, you are likely to give up on it. So, be patient and follow the steps above to see your side gig bringing in some serious cash. Though it takes some time and patience upfront, it will be worth it in the end.