How to start your side hustle

Side hustle

Are you looking to expand your skillset or make some extra money on the side?

Maybe it’s time to start a side hustle but first of all, what is the definition of a side hustle or ‘portable business’?

A side hustle is something you do in addition to your day job. It’s not your main income and it doesn’t take up most of your time but that doesn’t mean it isn’t lucrative or worthwhile.

For many people, it’s a low risk way to test out an idea or industry that they would like to transition into more fully. 

Freedom Laptop Lifestyle blogger Stanislava Hale shares some thoughts about her portable side hustle here. 

But before you get started, there are a few things you should think about. They are:

  • What will you do?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Who will you meet along the way?
  • What will you build?

Once you’ve figured that out, you need to do the following things:

  • Find your niche and focus on it
  • Be clear on what your speciality or area of expertise is
  • Find your first customer and test / validate your offer
  • Work out how you can differentiate yourself from other establishers players
  • Find out if there are any professional associations or networks you could join
  • And then start online because it’s accessible and affordable

While there are some risks associated with starting a side hustle, there are many, many benefits.

This Harvard Business Review (HBR) article shares some great insights into the risk/reward analysis but, in summary, HBR says, “We are proponents of side hustles — they allow workers to reap the benefits of independent work while retaining the stability of a traditional role, thereby avoiding the major downside of full reliance on gig work. They also offer empowerment as workers feel able to shape the work and its context. But like so many things in life, you can have too much of a good thing; balance is the key.”

Whether you’re planning to work on your side hustle on the weekend, at night or in the early morning, or you’re hoping to weave it in between your ‘day job’, there are some rules for maintaining boundaries around your different roles. Some of these rules include not using your company phone or laptop to run your side hustle, not running your side hustle on company time, letting your manager know if there are any conflicts of  interest between your side hustle and your main job, and ensuring that there is no confusion about what you actually do when it comes to LinkedIn profiles (ie flag that you have a side hustle if there is any chance that employers, clients or customers might get confused). 

The benefits of a side hustle or a portable business are:

  • The flexible lifestyle – you can work whenever and wherever it suits you
  • You get to dip your toe in the water before you go ‘all in’
  • Make additional income
  • This could become your full-time business if it goes well

The best ways to manage your side hustle

  • Understand what problem you are solving for your target customer
  • It’s going to eat into your social time if you are still working full-time so love what you do so you doesn’t feel like work

The best advice on starting up

  • Don’t go over the top on a website and set-up
  • Start small, learn, grow, pivot and evolve
  • You won’t get it right the first time

Struggling to come up with an idea for a side hustle? Check out this list of 50 side hustles.

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