The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Side Hustle

*Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

starting a side hustle

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So, you’re ready to start a side hustle. You’ve been thinking about it for a while and now you want to make the jump. That’s great! I’m going to share some tips with you on how to get started and what things you need to know before jumping in.

If you’re looking for a way to get an extra income stream, have a hobby that you think you could turn into a business or want to start a side hustle to eventually go full-time with, then this post is for you.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about starting a side hustle from how to come up with ideas, marketing strategies and more! Let’s get started. 

What is a side hustle and why should you start one?

Before we get started on side hustles, let’s define what it actually is. A side hustle is typically defined as a second job or another source of income generated in your spare time during nights or weekends.  

A side hustle can be anything that doesn’t interfere with your main source of income but helps you make more money.

Some benefits of starting a side hustle include getting to be creative, learning new skills, and gaining valuable experience in your industry.

For example, if you’re looking to switch careers to go into marketing, the old way would be to maybe find an entry-level job at a marketing firm however starting your own business or working on one would give you the experience you need as well as not affecting your income while making the switch.

Another reason is that it’s also a great way to expand your network and social circle.

Working a second job isn’t all work and no play, you’ll meet new people who share the same interests as you or have different experiences from their own business which you can learn from.

Lastly, it’s a great way to bring in an additional source of income. Even if you were to start a side hustle that doesn’t make much money at first, it’s better than not having one at all. Think what an extra $500 – $1000 per month would do for you.

Additionally, many people find that having a secondary source of income can help relieve stress. You may also start thinking about quitting your 9-5 job.

starting a side hustle

How do I come up with a side hustle idea?

If you’re looking for a side hustle to start, it’s important that you have an idea first. There are many ways you can come up with ideas for your own business or what you want to do as a side hustle.

The first thing is to think about any skills or talents that you may have and turn them into a business idea. You can start a blog, sell clothing on Etsy or do something else that you enjoy doing.

Another great way to come up with ideas is to look at things you are interested in. What are your hobbies? What are you good at? Look into what other people may be willing to pay for and give that a shot!

You can also start a business by finding a problem in need of fixing. For example, if you’re going through the process of applying to colleges but kept getting rejected, then finally found a successful process, you could come up with an idea for college consulting where you provide advice on the application process.

If you don’t have an idea, you can always check out websites like Etsy, Amazon or Shopify to see if there are any products that you think you can sell that are popular on those platforms.

Can I start a side hustle without money? What should I do?

Some of the best ideas for side hustles such as consulting, selling your own product or starting a blog don’t require a lot of money.

If you have an idea but need funding, I suggest saving some money or put it on a credit card.

If you’re not interested in doing that, you can also try starting your side hustle through affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is when you promote products from other companies and earn a commission if someone buys that product or service.

It can be a mixture of both online and offline businesses. For example, if you love baking cupcakes, why not sell them at your local farmer’s market? Or maybe you’re an amazing florist who offers fresh flowers for special occasions? Get creative!

What to Consider Before Starting a Side Hustle

Before getting started on your side hustle, here are some things you should already have:

1. A passion for your work

2. Time management skills

3. An idea of what you’re going to sell/do

When starting a business or side hustle, be specific about the services or products that you offer. You don’t want to make it too broad or else it’ll be hard for you to stand out from the crowd.

Include keywords that are specific and relevant to your product/service in your website’s domain name, business name, and social media handles to make sure that people searching for what you offer will find you!

What are the steps to starting a side hustle?

Here are the basic steps to starting your own business or side hustle:

Step 1: Define Your Niche/Market

What do you want to sell? What problem can you solve? Being specific will help narrow down your options and at the same time, help you target your audience.

Step 2: Find a supplier

If you’re looking to start a business where you sell products, find a supplier for whatever it is that you want to sell. For example, if you wanted to start an eCommerce store selling phone cases, figure out who your supplier is.

Step 3: Make a plan

Next, you need to create a business plan and decide how you want your business to run. For example, if you’re consulting on the side as a way to grow your network, determine what services you can offer and to whom.

To make a successful plan, you’ll need to determine what your time is worth and how much it’s going to cost you for supplies and other expenses.

Step 4: Take action

Lastly, take action and work towards creating something that can last. Get started on your business plan or get to work on your product!

starting a side hustle

How do you get started with your side hustle?

The best way to begin with your side hustle is by taking it one step at a time

First, figure out how much time you can invest in your business. Second, narrow down the components of your product or service. Third, make sure you have all training and resources you need.

Finally, draw up a plan and run your side hustle the right way!

Creating a business plan

Before you start selling or offering your services/products, create a simple one-page plan. This will help give you an overview of what’s to come and serve as a guide when making future plans and goals.

What are some challenges that come with starting a side hustle?

Starting a side hustle can be extremely rewarding, but it’s not without its obstacles. Below are some common challenges people face when first starting their side hustles:

1. Making time for your work and personal life

2. Balancing time between work and your side hustle

3. Finding clients/customers for your products or services

First, it’s important to be aware of the fact that in order for a side hustle to work, you must be willing to put in the time and work it requires – there won’t be any quick and easy money.

Second, if you’re wondering how to find time for both work and your side hustle, try creating a schedule and mapping out how much time you’ll need to put in each day.

Lastly, if you’re looking for clients for your side hustle, start off by building a portfolio, letting friends and family know what you’re doing and joining Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

Creating a budget for your side hustle

Before you start selling your products or services, figure out how much inventory, supplies, and resources you’re going to need.

Next, determine how much money you’ll need for each of these items in order to be successful and start taking in sales.

Lastly, if you’re just starting out or have a low budget, think about what items sell the best and try lowering your profit margins on those goods.

Determine how much time you can dedicate to your side hustle each day

Take a look at your schedule and figure out how many hours you can dedicate to working on your side hustle.

For example: let’s say you have an hour commute to work, get home at 6 pm, cook dinner for yourself and your family, and then finally get to bed at 10 pm.

In this scenario, how much time would you have to fit your side hustle it!

– Instead, think about what day of the week works best for you to work on your side hustle

– Then, take a look at the best hours of the day for you to work on your side hustle

– Last but not least, schedule those hours into your daily/weekly calendar!

starting a side hustle

How much time do you need to dedicate to your side hustle

It’s vital that to discover how much time you can dedicate to your side hustle, you must first know how much time is required for each component of the business.

  • Marketing
  • Product Creation
  • Content Creation
  • Admin etc

Once there are no more unknowns, figure out how much time you can spend working on each component

When you have all of this information, calculate how many hours per week you’ll need to spend on your side hustle.

What’s the best way to market a side hustle?

Social media

Social media is an inexpensive and effective way to market your side hustle.

For instance, if you’re selling hand-made bracelets on Etsy, post pictures of them on Instagram and Facebook to gain interest and followers. You can also create a business page or profile for your side hustle

Additionally, Facebook advertising is a great way to target specific audiences and promote your business.

There are also many ways you can use social media to help get more sales by running contests, scheduling posts at optimal times, facilitating conversations with customers or clients, and establishing a strong online presence

Pro tip: If you’re just starting out, posting about your side hustle on social media gives you the opportunity to be exposed to new audiences and people that haven’t heard of you before.

Email marketing

A good way to market your business is by sending emails.

Why?

Because your email list will be the difference between you staying an employee or taking your side hustle full-time.

So make starting your email list a priority when you start your side hustle.

Pro tip: Sending emails is also beneficial because it’s an opportunity for you to send promotional offers.

Selling through a social network

While it’s best to sell your product or service on an eCommerce website, you can also find success by selling through a social network. For example, if you make hand-made bracelets and post pictures of them on Facebook, those pictures can be shared.

If your product gets good feedback, then other people on the social network will share it too.

Making friends online within niche groups can also open up opportunities for collaborations and sales. Share each other’s products or services with your friends, get feedback, and establish business relationships that way!

Pro tip: Social networking channels such as Instagram or Pinterest can be extremely helpful when it comes to growing interest in your business.

As you can see, there are many ways you can market your side hustle. The most important thing is to make sure that you spend the majority of your time on marketing your business.

If you want to start a side hustle, try taking the knowledge from this article and applying it to your own!

– Having a strong online presence

– Understanding target audiences for different channels of marketing

– Knowing how much time is necessary to spend on each area of your business

How do you put a price on your time?

The easiest way to calculate how much to charge for your goods or services is to simply take the amount of money you want to earn per hour and divide that by how many hours it takes you to complete something.

Keep in mind, however, that many side hustles require you to take some time to think of your pricing strategy before selling anything. Because pricing can make or break your business in terms of the revenue you have coming in.

If you undercharge you’ll feel burnt out with no rewards and will not be able to build a profitable business.

Don’t undervalue yourself! If it takes you 3 hours to hand-stitch a skirt, don’t sell it for less than $50. Doing so will affect your bottom line.

starting a side hustle

How much money do you want to make with this side hustle over the next year or two years?

Your answer to these questions depends on your goals. If you want to add another income stream to your life, choose a number that will help you financially.

However, if you want the business to eventually replace your full-time job, then plan on making more than whatever amount would help you.

Now that you’ve found your business idea and figured out how much time, energy, and money you want to put into it, you can figure out what to charge.

To find this answer, take the money number you came up with. Then divide it by how many hours it takes you.

For example, if you want to make $50,000 a year with your business and you spend 10 hours/week running the show, then work out how much you need to charge for each hour of your services. You might come up with something like this:

$500/hour

$1,000/day

$ 1,000 x 5 days = $5,000/ week = $10,950 per month. This assumes you work five days a week for 52 weeks in the year.

This question will take some thought and consideration. However, the better you answer it, the more successful your business will be.

If you want to make $50,000 with your side hustle in a year, don’t charge $10 an hour. Doing so will hurt your bottom line.

It takes knowledge, planning, and creativity to successfully handle a side hustle. Are you up for the challenge?

What essential business skills do side hustlers need?

The best way to stay sharp in the business world is by taking courses or in other forms of professional development. You can attend seminars, workshops, conferences, and even hire a coach to help you learn the ins and outs of your industry.

Additionally, many business owners find that joining a group of like-minded entrepreneurs is helpful. Not only does this help you branch out and network with other professionals, but it can also provide support when you need it most

What are your limitations when it comes to starting a business in your spare time? 

Journal these questions before you start your side hustle:

  • Have you considered all the factors involved in starting your own business?
  • Is time an issue for you, do you have enough of it to start a successful business?
  • Do you need more training or education before launching your side hustle? If so, take some courses or join a coaching program.
  • Are you ready to invest some money in your business? If so, how much are you willing to put into it, and when will you make that investment?
  • Can you handle the pressure of running a successful business? Will this new responsibility bring home lots of dough or just frustration and overwhelm?
  • Are you ready for the responsibility of running your own business? If not, wait until you feel confident enough to start a side hustle.

What’s next?

Take all the information you’ve gathered and put it together in an organized document so that you can start your business.

You’ll need to answer the questions above so that you have a full picture of what comes next. Once you’ve got it all together, start taking action.

Figure out how much money you want to make in your business after everything is said and done. Then, break it all down.

For example, if you want to make $50,000 with your business after everything is said and done, then break that number down into monthly figures

$50,000 divided by 12 months = $4166.67 x 5 days = $2083.33

Next, figure out how much you need to charge per hour or day in order to get that amount. In this example, you might come up with something like this:

$500/hour x 5 days = $2500/week = $8317.50

Tips for making your side hustle successful

Your side hustle will only be successful if you take the right steps and know how to navigate them effectively. Here are a few tips to help you with that:

  • Don’t give up. Starting a side hustle requires daily commitment for weeks, months, or even years.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go according to plan, either. Your side hustle is just part of the learning process.

If you get stuck or feel like giving up, take a step back and try something new for a while. You need time to learn what works.

Hire a coach or take some courses to help you succeed in your side hustle.

You can also check out our online courses for entrepreneurs here: Step Up Boss Up Academy

Side Hustles that are currently trending 

These side hustles are especially hot right now. Keep an eye on them, and see if they make sense for you:

  • Freelance writing
  • Consultant
  • Online courses
  • Online selling
  • Blogger
  • Speaker
  • Virtual assistant
  • Social media
  • Website Designer or Developer
  • App Development

Freelancing is in high demand, with more people turning to it in 2020. If you have a specific talent or skill that can turn into a service, then you’re in luck! With this side hustle, you’ll be able to choose your own work hours and who you work with. It’s also the easiest side hustle to start with platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and PeoplePerHour.

In this day and age, everyone wants to run their own business. In fact, 80% of Americans want to become entrepreneurs at one point in their lives. If you feel the same way but aren’t sure how to make it happen, then running a consulting business may be for you.

You can get more ideas here: Online Business Ideas

What does a consultant do?

Consultants help their clients by providing business or professional advice. The advantage to being a consultant is that you work on your own terms, and you get to choose the projects that interest you.

Consulting isn’t just for the experienced business person, either.

It’s not always easy to turn a side hustle into a full-time gig, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Even successful online entrepreneurs have pivoted in order to make more money in their businesses.

If your side hustle is moving slowly, consider pivoting in order to make more money with it.

Don’t give up on your side hustle if you don’t see much success right away. Instead, think of it as part of the business development process. You’re still learning.

Finding local clients is an easier way to get started with your side hustle, but it will limit you in the long run.

If you want to make more money with your side hustle, then look for international clients online. The internet makes this easy to do nowadays!

Starting a Side Hustle With Ease

The side hustle is a great way to earn some additional income on the side and it can be as simple or complicated as you want.

In this ultimate guide, we’ve provided all of the information that you need to get started with your own side hustle idea.

From coming up with an idea for a business, starting one without money, marketing your new venture, and even pricing yourself. 

If you have any questions about getting started please contact me!

I’d love to help make sure that your new endeavour has everything they need from start to finish so that it becomes successful quickly.

And don’t forget – our FREE Online Business Road Map is available below if you ever feel stuck in the process!

About Me

Hi, I’m Lorraine P. Emmanuel, a Certified Business & Mindset Coach who helps heart-centred, multi-passionate women build businesses around who they are and how they want to show up in the world.

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