Home Business 10 Steps To Starting A Successful Side Hustle

10 Steps To Starting A Successful Side Hustle

by Robbie Dellow
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Gone are the days when you could depend on having a steady job for life – and that’s not a bad thing! In this ever-changing world it’s important to be adaptable, flexible and take advantage of opportunities, if you want to get ahead. But how to break free from the mundane working-for-the-man routine, more commonly known as a job? How can you stay afloat with the rising cost of living?
Have you considered starting your very own side hustle?

1 – Why a Side Hustle?

So you’re stuck on the 9-5 work-life treadmill, trying to stay financially afloat, just like all your colleagues, even though none of you seem to be getting ahead. You have a burning ambition to better yourself, but how? Wouldn’t earning an extra $500 or even $1000 a month make a difference? Starting a side hustle could be the answer to help break free from one of the unwritten rules in society – that hard work and long working hours pays off.  A side hustle could even become very lucrative, growing into your main source of income, thus potentially giving you the freedom salaried workers can only dream of. 

Of course, if you would rather come home after a hard day of work, collapse on the couch and complain about your life, then that’s your call. We all make choices in all aspects of life. Hell, you’re even making a choice now by reading this article!
The journey of starting and running a side hustle isn’t easy, and it isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. But if you feel there is more to life, and you are prepared to learn, and apply your new found knowledge to your chosen side hustle, then keep reading.

2 – But I Don’t Have Time

This is probably the biggest excuse people have for justifying never starting their side hustle. What, with working full time, doing all the household chores when you get home, and making lunches for the next day, it sure can be hard to find the extra hours that a side hustle would need. I understand that in some cases it would be very difficult, it not impossible. But in many situations, trimming your TV, or internet browsing time, by an hour a day may be all that is required to start developing your side hustle. If you really want to start a side hustle you will find certain aspects of your busy life where you can find time to dedicate to getting started.

3 – Choosing a Side Hustle

When determine what type of side hustle it can be prudent to consider what skills and knowledge you already have. This can give you a fantastic advantage as you build your side hustle from just an idea to an income generating business.

Your side hustle choices will normally fall under the categories of :

  • Providing a Service – This could be performing garden maintenance, dog walking, washing windows, repairing mobiles, tutoring, freelance writer, bookkeeper, proofreader, blogger. 
  • Selling Products – Buying from garage sales and then reselling on eBay, making making foods to then sell, creating branded product(s) to sell from your website, drop shipping.
  • Platforms Designed for Hustles – Think Uber, AirBNB, OnlyFans, DoorDash, and many many more.

4 – Starting Small

Most people never get started on creating a side hustle because they convince themselves that you needs tons of money to start. The secret is to start small, test your idea on friends and family, figure out what works, and then build from there. Work with what you have and grow from there. Keep your ongoing expenditure to a limit so you don’t have crippling debts that will suck the blood from your capital, and cripple your enthusiasm.

5 – Get Out There and Test

Many times I have had people tell me about their fantastic idea for a side hustle that they are still planning, and then several months later telling me the same narrative. The most important part of a side hustle is starting it. You need to create that first product, or service, and then get out there and test it on friends, family and neighbours. This will help you refine it, or indeed you may need to pivot on to something else. Ask for honest feedback, and don’t be scared to hear any constructive criticism. Don’t be too precious/defensive if your idea is a no-go – Don’t be afraid to pivot.

6 – What Marketing Platforms To Use

Up until recently most business marketing was undertaken with a scattergun-style approach – Businesses would advertise to all and sundry, hoping that a small percentage would respond to their advertisements. Such marketing was more commonly done using Letterbox drops/ Leaflets, or paying for advertising space in a local newspaper or magazine. Indeed, some companies still utilise such inefficient means of marketing.

Thankfully, in these modern times, there is much smarter means of marketing available. Now, using the Internet you can perform very focused advertising at potential customers that fit a certain criteria that you think has the best chance of engaging with what you offer. Additionally, such marketing can be analysed and measured so you can keep refining and refining to increase your success.

Google, Facebook and Instagram are but some Internet platforms that can be used for such directed advertising.  But please remember that these are platform tools to be used – don’t centre you business solely around them. The key is to direct customers to you, or your website, where they may then make purchases, contact you, and/or join your mailing list be giving their email address. Keep in mind that if an advertising media you use shuts down, for whatever reason,  then your business will not be adversely affected.

7 – Networking

Word-of-mouth marketing is king. If you can get a customer to believe in your product, and buy in to your story, then the potential they have to generate more potential customers within their social circles, is huge. I even rate word-of-mouth higher than using influencers because it normally comes across as much more genuine. So give away free samples to peole you know, and tell them your story, and encourage them, or even incentivise them to share, with their groups.

Additionally, join relevant Facebook groups, and if they allow advertising, reach out. Reply to others posts, and give out your knowledge for free. Become a perceived expert in your particular field and people will start following you and sharing your content with others.

Find local community halls where you can host events. Back off from any hard sales tactics and concentrate on building a rapport with attendees, where they can then carry your story to others .. and invite others to your next event.

Encourage customers to write reviews of your products/services. Visitors to your website love reading reviews and will give much credibility to what you have to offer. Customer reviews can be displayed on your website and also on Google (helps your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)).

8 – Transitioning to Full Time

Your side hustle could get to a point in time where it is gaining traction and impacting your ability to manage it as a side hustle. This is when you have to make the call to allow yourself to focus on it full time. Many well known brands have grown in such similar fashion. if you want to realise the opportunity of what you created you may need to give it your full concentration and step back from other distractions you may have. Ensure you have set up your new business to meet the taxation and compliance regulations that are required in your country. 

9 – Further Resources

Ok, so you have read this far and you should now have a better idea of what a side hustle is and what will be involved. And most importantly, you are keen to further explore the particular aspects of what will be required in starting the particular side hustle you may have already chosen. If it requires a website, or will involve using the internet to sell your products/services, then you may consider buying the No Rules Start-Up eBook. This 137 page book details everything that is required to know in starting an eCommerce business, without all the technical goobledygook.

10 – In Summary

Taking the plunge and starting your side hustle is the hardest part. Do your research, embrace learning new things and be brave enough to step into the arena. If you don’t, someone else will step up!

Don’t concern yourself with the doubters that focus on the negatives – Such people will go through life, clinging to safety, never trying anything new. If you approach starting a side hustle with the right frame of mind you cannot lose – at least if it doesn’t work out you can say that you tried. Having ‘What If’s’ in your life is far worse than not trying at all.

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