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What is a side hustle? A lot of people wonder about that or haven’t found out what it is yet. A side hustle is essentially a way of making money outside of a regular job or running your own business. It allows you to earn an additional income with the freedom and flexibility to be your own boss and pursue your passions.

Embarking on one can also be a good way for small business owners to generate additional cashflow and earn an income on top of operating their own business.

Small business owners can also use one to develop additional skills and experiences they can use to improve the productivity and even profitability of their own ‘primary’ business.

Here’s a word from Graham Stephan about some of the top moneymaking side hustles you’ll come across:

The Rise of Side Hustles

what is a side hustle - woman dropshipping

Today, there are more Americans working a side hustle than at any point in the last two decades.

Research shows that generating additional cash is the main motivator for doing so.

Paying off debt and building up savings are also among the key motivators for taking one on as a second business or as another job.

Other leading reasons people have a side hustle is to learn new skills and to start a business of their own.

Younger generations are particularly prone to work a side hustle. Data from Bankrate shows that one in four millennials, those aged between 18 and 26, are working on their own with a side hustle to generate an additional income.

A quarter of millennials say their efforts earn them $500 or more a month.

Most Common Types

what is a side hustle - copywriter working on their computer

When considering a side hustle, the world is literally your oyster. What’s great is, no matter what small business you currently operate, you can start a side hustle that isn’t relevant to your primary business but is rather akin to your passions and hobbies.

Some of the most common side hustles include:

  • Driving (for example for Uber or Lyft)
  • Delivering Food
  • Renting Your Car
  • Renting Vacation Properties
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • YouTube Posting
  • Ecommerce Reselling
  • Virtual Assistant Service
  • Bookkeeping
  • Preparing Taxes
  • Business Consulting
  • Copywriting
  • Social Media Managing
  • Photographing Events
  • Catering
  • Operating a Food Truck
  • Event Planning
  • Personal Training
  • Teaching Online Courses
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Planning for a Side Hustle

what is a side hustle - woman planning her side hustle on a notepad and computer

Running your own business is naturally time-consuming, so the thought of running two businesses side-by-side can be daunting.

However, if you’re determined to give a side hustle a go, like starting any business venture, planning is the key to success.

Firstly, think about what it’s to be. More often than not, if it’s something you enjoy and are passionate about, the more likely you are to succeed.

You should ideally devote a regular time slot to work on your side hustle. Work out how much time you can realistically devote to without it impinging too much on your current business.

If, for example, a day a week is too much time to spend away from your principle business, make it one morning or afternoon a week instead.

The more realistic amount of time you set yourself to work on your new business venture, the more sustainable it is likely to be and the more success it is likely to generate.

Seasonal Side Hustles

what is a side hustle - person making christmas wreaths

If you don’t feel ready to commit to a full-time side hustle, you could always choose one that comes and goes with certain seasons.

For example, making and selling cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations or chocolates at Easter, can be an enjoyable way to fulfill your arty passion and earn some more money during festive times of the year, whilst working on your main business for the rest of the year.

Steps for Starting a Side Hustle

what is a side hustle - start on a rug under person's shoes

Starting a successful side hustle requires careful planning and execution. Here are the essential steps to get your side hustle off the ground:

  1. Identify Your Skills and Interests:
    • Begin by assessing your skills, talents, and hobbies. What are you good at, and what do you enjoy doing? Your side hustle will be more rewarding if it aligns with your passions and strengths.
  2. Market Research:
    • Research the market to identify potential opportunities and gaps. Understand your target audience and their needs. Analyze your competition and find a unique angle or selling point for your side hustle.
  3. Choose Your Side Hustle:
    • Based on your skills and market research, select a side hustle that you believe has the potential to be profitable and sustainable. Consider the demand, competition, and scalability of the idea.
  4. Business Planning:
    • Create a business plan that outlines your goals, target audience, pricing strategy, and marketing plan. A well-thought-out plan will serve as your roadmap to success and help you stay focused.
  5. Legal and Financial Considerations:
    • Depending on your side hustle, you may need to register your business, obtain permits, or adhere to specific legal requirements. Consult with a legal or financial professional if necessary.
  6. Set Up Your Workspace:
    • Designate a dedicated workspace for your side hustle, whether it’s a home office, a workshop, or an online platform. Ensure it is organized and conducive to productivity.
  7. Build an Online Presence:
    • In the digital age, having an online presence is crucial. Create a website or social media profiles to showcase your products or services. Invest time in building a professional and engaging online brand.
  8. Acquire Necessary Tools and Resources:
    • Depending on your side hustle, you may need specific tools, equipment, software, or materials. Invest in quality resources that enable you to deliver excellent products or services.
  9. Set Clear Goals and Milestones:
    • Establish specific, measurable, and time-bound goals for your side hustle. Break them down into smaller milestones to track your progress and stay motivated.
  10. Market and Promote:
    • Develop a marketing strategy to reach your target audience. This may include content marketing, social media advertising, email campaigns, or networking. Consistency is key.
  11. Provide Exceptional Customer Service:
    • Focus on delivering exceptional customer service to build a loyal customer base. Happy customers are more likely to refer others and contribute to your success.
  12. Track Finances and Taxes:
    • Keep detailed records of your income and expenses. This will make tax reporting easier and help you manage your finances effectively.
  13. Evaluate and Adapt:
    • Regularly assess your side hustle’s performance. Analyze what’s working and what needs improvement. Be open to adjusting your strategy based on feedback and data.
  14. Manage Your Time Wisely:
    • Balancing a side hustle with your main job or other commitments can be challenging. Prioritize your tasks and use time management techniques to stay efficient.
  15. Scale and Expand:
    • As your side hustle grows, explore opportunities for expansion. This may involve hiring help, offering new products or services, or entering new markets.
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Starting a side hustle can be a rewarding endeavor, both financially and personally. It requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. By following these steps and staying committed to your goals, you can increase your chances of building a successful and profitable side hustle.

Steps for Starting a Side Hustle” Comparison Table

This comparison table is a practical tool that offers a structured roadmap for launching a successful side business. It simplifies the process by breaking it down into distinct steps, making it easier to plan, execute, and track progress.

Step Description
1. Identify Your Skills and Interests Assess your strengths and passions to align your side hustle with what you’re good at.
2. Market Research Research the market, audience, competition, and unique selling points for your idea.
3. Choose Your Side Hustle Select a profitable and suitable side hustle based on your skills and market analysis.
4. Business Planning Create a detailed plan outlining goals, pricing, marketing, and strategies for growth.
5. Legal and Financial Considerations Ensure you meet legal requirements and consider financial aspects like budget and funding.
6. Set Up Your Workspace Create an organized and productive workspace, whether physical or digital.
7. Build an Online Presence Establish a professional online presence through a website or social media platforms.
8. Acquire Necessary Tools and Resources Invest in the tools, equipment, or materials required for your side hustle.
9. Set Clear Goals and Milestones Define specific goals and track progress through achievable milestones.
10. Market and Promote Develop a marketing strategy to reach your target audience effectively.
11. Provide Exceptional Customer Service Focus on delivering great service to build a loyal customer base.
12. Track Finances and Taxes Keep accurate financial records and manage taxes efficiently.
13. Evaluate and Adapt Regularly review performance and make adjustments based on feedback and data.
14. Manage Your Time Wisely Prioritize tasks and use time management techniques to stay efficient.
15. Scale and Expand Explore growth opportunities as your side hustle succeeds, like hiring or diversifying.
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