Oh girl, I feel you! Side hustles are DEFINITELY the new thing in business and everyone who seems to be ANYONE has a side hustle. Heck, this coaching gig is MY side hustle. So let's make sure we get you off on the right foot with your new passion project!
First things first, it's okay to not know what you're supposed to do. Most of us don't know what we're doing. That's why we're out here on the internet trying to figure it all out. Hello, Google University, just looking to expand my education here! Don't be afraid to spend a little time learning about the field that you want to get into. It never hurts to do a few Google searches, Pinterest hunts, and a online window shopping. That way we can gather information and know where a good starting point should be.
Now I will say this, there are a few different types of Side Hustles out there but today, I'm going to focus on one that you're truly passionate about. We all know about Uber, Instacart, and other gig work that people use for side hustles but today, this message is for those Side Hustlers who want to make it their full time gig but they want to start smaller and ease their way into entrepreneurship!
Let's do some brainstorming. So get out the closest piece of paper or open the Notes app on your phone and jot this stuff down. Having the information below figured out, will make those action steps at the end, just that much easier for us!
How much time can I commit weekly to my side hustle?
Will I take it seriously as a business or is it more of a hobby?
If it's currently a hobby but you're ready to monetize it, how can you do that?
Will you be doing this on your own or with a partner or two?
What is your objective or goal with starting a side hustle? (more money, fame, a career you enjoy?) Write them ALL down!
Once you have all of that figured out, you're going to move onto some action steps. I'm a Coach/Mentor who loooooooooves taking action! So here's what you can work on once you have a clear idea about where you're headed with your side hustle.
What Product or Service are you offering? What makes it special. THINK this one through all the way. Think of any alternatives you want to offer and even what you DON'T want to offer. It's equally important to know what you want and what you don't want.
Identify if you're helping your customer by either a) removing something that is causing them pain or help them to stop the issue or b) giving them something that creates pleasure and they don't want to live without. Examples being: Pain = Someone who has a Virtual Assistant business would help others who feel overwhelmed by their own day and need an assistant to make things easier. Pleasure = Selling Cupcakes! I mean, hell, who doesn't LOVE cupcakes?!
Finances. Ooooooh wee! You know I saved this doozie for #3 on the list of action steps but it's quite an important one. If you don't know how you'll fund your side hustle, that's a big deal. You will need to figure out just how much you can initially invest, what you'll be charging for your product(s) or service(s), and what the threshold is to "cut your losses". Another HUGE component of finances, is figuring out tax stuff. I know, I know, it's not sexy OR exciting but it's important stuff. So I'd recommend that you either look into sole proprietorship or LLC or any of the other options. These will effect your tax filing for the next year, as well as what you, as a business and individual are liable for.
Branding, aka, what people say about you when you're not in the room. This one of those things that some people LOVE to spend a lot of time and money on but it doesn't need to be that complicated. You can check out awesome sites like Color Hunt or Colormind for some color schemes. You can work in Canva (the free version is best to start with). Will you have a website or just use Etsy for your online product? Have a friend or family member take some nice photos of you to use for social media and make sure you get all of your socials figured out. This is also the step where you need to figure out your business name and check online to make sure it's not already being used.
Legal Stuff is next! So this one and the two above, I kinda see them as being intertwined. You need to know how much money you can spend, what you want your brand image and name to be, and then file the appropriate documents. If you're selling something as a reseller, you will need to get a business license for this. If you're providing certain types of services, you'll need a local business license, liability insurance, and possibly a license to provide that service. I suggest checking with your local City and State's business websites to get information. My city was able to give me information and some free resources for businesses starting up.
Determine your work schedule as well as any launch dates and get going! It's important for us to keep some sort of a routine but who are we kidding?! Part of what appeals about starting our own side hustle is the ability to create our own schedule or have more flexibility with it. I recommend that you set a "flexible" schedule to allow for normal days and times when you're working on your business, as well as flex time if you need to do something with your family or if you need to add on a few extra hours because you've been so busy! This will help keep you sane and organized and working IN and ON your business. I recommend setting aside around 25% of your time to work ON your business and not directly IN it. Think more like a CEO during those times and less like the manual labor.
Determine thresholds as your business grows. When will you need to hire additional help? What does that look like? When will you know it's time to go all in on your side hustle and make it your full time gig? How will you be able to scale this business (if that's your goal)? Start thinking of the future as if it's already here. It's a great psychological trick to get you moving in that direction.
Starting your own side hustle based on a passion of yours is honestly one of the most rewarding things. It's like taking the drivers seat in a really cool Tesla or something. You've always watched others do it and now you get to be in charge!! It comes with a lot of work but if you're willing and ready to put in the time and effort, you can be happy with what you're doing and making some pretty good money too!