The fear of being overwhelmed is one of the greatest challenges for entrepreneurs who are thinking about pursuing a side hustle. Secondary efforts are most successful when they add to your life, not when they burden it. For this reason, it is important to understand your own levels of persistence, motivation, and self-discipline.
As you start to develop your plans, you’ll need to reprioritize your life to make the time your side hustle needs to grow. This might mean removing some activities or hobbies. Set aside regular time every day to work on your side hustle. Whether it is late evenings or early mornings, be purposeful in dedicating the time. Once you set a work schedule, stick to it. Routine is key. You will achieve more consistency if you involve yourself for smaller periods of time every day versus an eight-hour block on Sunday. Learn how to say, “No.” Consider how any new endeavors, at home or at work, will impact the time and energy you need to pursue your side hustle.
If you don’t already know the full gamut of what it takes to run a business, educate yourself and find whatever professional resources you need before taking the plunge. Examine whether or not you possess the necessary skill set to be successful. Find your weaknesses and consider outsourcing those challenge areas.
Simplicity is key. Invest your time and energy on one or two services or products and grow them. Establish clearly defined and measurable goals. Know how you will monitor progress and what measures you will examine to identify growth and challenges. Collaborate with others also trying to make a side gig work. Learn from each other, support each other’s endeavors.
Know that it is the rare business that takes off overnight. Persistence and patience will help you get through the time it takes to grow your side hustle to a point that it can become your full-time job. When your side hustle does start to make money, either save it or reinvest it in your efforts.
Avoid taking on excessive debt to establish your side hustle. If something doesn’t directly benefit your potential clients, the money probably should not be spent. Establish a need for your services or products before looking to borrow any funds to help your efforts. You will get a lot of emails from other businesses trying to sell you services or products you "need" for your business. Be weary of taking on or committing to things that don't make sense for your needs or current status.
Think supplement before you think replace when it comes to making money from your side hustle. Before you abandon your full-time job, triple-check that your business endeavor is financially where it needs to be to fill that void. Have enough money in savings to live for half a year without income before you thing about making your side hustle your main job. Avoid saying yes to every client or business opportunity that presents itself to you. Thoughtfully choose clients. Don’t be afraid to say no if the job request doesn’t take you in the right direction. If the job isn’t the right fit, it can have a detrimental impact on all aspects of your existence.
Don’t ignore your primary income source as you look to grow your side business. Respect your day job and the energy you need to invest in order to do the best job possible while you are there. Look at your full-time job as a skill building opportunity and funding source. Keep it positive and remember that your side hustle should remain secondary to your full paying job. Don’t mix the two and understand your commitment to your current employer and whether there are non-compete or other agreements in your contract. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to make the most of opportunities, like professional development or networking, that are relevant to both your “real” job and your side hustle.
Build a timeline from first thought, to launch, to year three. It doesn’t need to be a formal business plan unless you are actively seeking outside funding. Just know that your plan should be fluid - a living, breathing document. Change can be good and it’s almost impossible to predict how your entrepreneurial journey will go.
Do your homework and understand the niche you are entering. Is it oversaturated? How are you going to separate yourself from the competition? Identify your target audience. Who will want what you have to offer? What value propositions are you bringing the table? Price your services or products strategically. While it is important to know what your competitors are charging, the value you provide should guide what you charge. Are you a salesperson? At the very least, you need to be able to sell yourself although it is better to learn how to sell not only yourself, but also your services or products. Figure out how to eloquently communicate the value you provide.
Finding the perfect balance between your primary means of income and your side hustle may prove to be a difficult task. Your health, physical and mental, is paramount to achieving success. Learn as you go to understand what will zap your motivation and energy and what will feed it. With proper planning and a “never give up” attitude, you’ll eventually create your dream business and make it your full-time gig.
The professionals at Strategy Driven Marketing want to help you make your dream a reality. We are here to help you with your website and whatever other marketing needs you have. Contact us today.