What you need to know about making extra money on the side
A side hustle is a business that you do alongside your main job and gives you the opportunity to do what you are passionate about or making extra money on the side. It is flexible and allows you to explore your talent and skills while still giving your job maximum attention. This trend has become popular with the need to have a cushion in the event that you lose your job or just have an extra income that complements your main source of income.
Side hustles also give you a chance to test the water for entrepreneurship and decide whether it is a path you want to pursue full time or let it remain a side hustle. You get a chance to transition smoothly from your full-time job, in case you decide to make it a full-time job. Or, maybe, it just cannot bring you sufficient income as a full-time job but you like the idea of doing it so making it something you do on the side helps you enjoy yourself and make some money while at it. For those feeling stuck in their careers and are looking for something more interesting to do to supercharge themselves, an extra job can provide you with a great avenue for personal fulfillment.
When choosing what to do alongside your main job, it is important to choose something that does not drain you or take up too much of your time as it can distract you from your main job.
What you should know about a side hustle
Well, it is not all glamorous on the other side but it can also be enjoyable and fulfilling. People speak glowingly about side hustles and in fact, everyone around you seems to be having one. But, before you also hop on that bus, here is what you need to know:
- Competition is not always healthy
Have you read the fine print in your employment contract? Chances are that your employer explicitly states that you should not be involved in activities that compete with the business. Yes, this means that you cannot use skills gained to try and defraud your employer by, for example, stealing his/her clients.
Competing with your employer is considered gross misconduct and could result in serious consequences for you. Your employer may be an established brand in the industry and can cause you to lose credibility thus, you lose your job and your connections.
Additionally, if your side business is eating into your employer’s time, you might want to reconsider it as this will affect your performance and can result in dismissal. So, when considering what side business you want to do, do not be in direct competition with your employer otherwise, you should change careers or let go of your job.
- There is no guaranteed return
A side hustle is like a typical business. It may seem lucrative and very attractive but that does not mean that the money will start flowing in immediately you take off. If it is a hobby that you want to pursue, there is no guarantee that it will pay off just because a friend told you that it pays. So before quitting your main job, you need to know that it will take lots of time and effort to actually start making money and make it sustainable.
- You need to be patient
Every great business you know was built on sheer patience and determination. No one starts a business and breaks even within the first month of operation. You will, therefore, have to invest a lot of time and money before you can make any meaningful returns. You will have to devote a substantial amount of time before you can become competent and start making money.
Any business requires close monitoring and persistence in order to survive and your side hustle will require your dedication and persistence in order to give you a meaningful return.
- Discipline is not negotiable
Just because your side hustle is not your main job does not mean that you are free to treat it as you like. If for example, you are starting a blog, you will need to be consistent and be careful about content authenticity and quality. You cannot afford to do things if and when you please as this is a sure way of failing. Consistency is also what gets you known and starts bringing you the clients you badly need.
You will need to create and implement systems that help you in achieving your goals so that you can grow. Remember, the point is to grow what you do and possibly get a steady income from it. Creating systems also helps you to stick to your schedule and gives you discipline. Systems also help you to get on with it such that with time, you can handle your side hustle with minimum effort. Practice makes perfect.
- Have a clear goal in mind
Most people start side hustles to make some quick money and have no long term plans for developing them into full-time careers. But, you could turn that extra source of income into a full-time job over time if you focus on constant growth.
Having a goal gives you the need to keep working hard as you are working towards something in particular. It also gives you the dedication as you are clear about what you really want to achieve.
How to launch a successful side hustle
Once you know what it entails to have a business alongside your main job, here are steps you can take to ensure that you are successful.
- Create time
You already have a full-time job and other engagements in between but, you still need to find time to take care of your extra source of income. Make time for it. This helps you to become more dedicated and devote enough time and energy to pursue what you want to do on the side.
This also helps you to create clear lines between your main job and your other business so that none eats into the other. For example, if you want to become a freelance photographer, you can decide to do this over the weekend or when you have a day off so that you have enough time to do a good job and dedicate enough time and effort to your employer.
- Solve a particular problem
When starting any business, your main goal should be to help people meet a particular need or provide a solution to a problem. When you know what problem you are tackling, you will be able to know what demand exists for your goods or services and determine your chances of success. It actually helps you know exactly why you are engaging in this extra work.
This means that you should know your target market and what exactly is needed. This is a business like any other and if it offers no solutions, chances are that it will not succeed or give you the kind of income you expect.
- Social media is your friend
It has never been this good for those planning to establish great side hustles with little effort. You do not have to have a huge marketing budget for your other job because you honestly can’t afford it. Secondly, there are so many things you can venture into online and make an extra shilling from the comfort of your house.
When it comes to using social media, get the word out there with little effort. Make yourself visible. Share with your friends what you do on the side and get people to engage with you conveniently. If, for example, you do a decor business on the side over the weekend, upload photos of your work on social media and let people know that you are great at it. This way, you market yourself with no budget and get more clients that you would not have gotten, had you depended solely on word of mouth. You will also need to be consistent by constantly sharing information so that you stay memorable to the online community.
As they say, your network is your net worth and never in the history of mankind has networking been simplified like today. At just the click of a button, you can create valuable networks that can help you grow your business by offering you jobs.
Additionally, make use of friends by asking them to share information about your side hustle with their online friends. This helps you to spread the word easily and reach more people faster. Even if you have a website where you sell stuff or share information, make sure you bring this information to your social media pages as it tends to get you more noticed.
- Be agile
In a fast-paced world, you need to learn and execute quickly otherwise someone else will take your pie. You need to learn your lessons and change as fast as you possibly can.
When starting out, you may not know all the risks involved and as you grow, learn to observe and learn what works and what doesn’t and move on quickly. This will help you build a sustainable hustle that might even become your main job in future. The idea is to use every opportunity to grow. Your side hustle is just a job like your main job and the only way to grow is by constantly improving yourself by learning new skills.
- Outsource what you are not good at
Although you start a business on the side that makes use of your passion and skills, there are those things you will need along the way that you cannot do yourself. Let’s face it, no matter how good you are at learning, there are those things that will give you problems and there are some that you simply hate doing. Support someone else. What you can’t do or hate doing is someone else’s side hustle so get help whenever you need it. As your business grows, you will need to improve and improvement needs expertise.
In conclusion, a side hustle can be a very satisfying venture especially if you are feeling stuck in your career or you are just looking for a way of making extra money on the side. When handled properly, it can even blossom into a full-time job or make you more money that you ever imagined.
Do you have a side hustle or want to launch one? Join the discussion here