At first glance, a side hustle seems like the answer to so many of your financial issues. After all, who doesn’t want to earn extra cash for minimal work? In reality, however, a side hustle won’t automatically make you rich or instantly boost your earnings. To ensure success, you’ll need to take steps to make sure that your chosen side hustle can have a meaningful impact on your finances.
1 in 3 Americans already have a side hustle and more than 61 million people in the U.S. plan to launch one this year. If you want to be among them, it’s important to plan your venture in advance and figure out what impact it’s going to have on your financial situation. To get started, take a look at these seven top tips to launching a successful side hustle:
1. Identify Your Objectives
Many people start a side hustle in order to generate extra revenue, but this isn’t the only reason to launch a venture. You may want to start a side hustle to develop a specialism within your current profession, for example, or to help build a profile in your industry. Alternatively, you might be eager to start a side hustle because you want to share a particular hobby with likeminded people or because you want to learn more about a particular topic.
Of course, the right side hustle can fulfil many objectives but identifying your underlying reasons for wanting to launch a venture can help you when it comes to decision-making. If you want to expand your professional skillset, for example, you might choose a side hustle that’s closely related to the sector you currently work in. Conversely, if you want to create a side hustle that’s linked to your hobbies, you may select something that’s totally different to your current job role.
2. Set Goals and Targets
Once you know what your main objectives are, you’ll be ready to set distinct goals and targets. These might relate to the amount of revenue you want to generate, the number of clients or customers you want to acquire, or even the amount of publicity you want to gain.
Whatever your goals are, make sure they’re SMART: smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timebound. Setting SMART goals helps to ensure that they’ll have a meaningful impact on your efforts and your subsequent success, rather than being vague aspirations.
3. Check Your Certifications
Depending on the type of side hustle you want to start, you might need specific certifications or qualifications to operate legally. If you’re going to be giving financial or investment advice, for example, you’ll need to ensure that you’re legally permitted to do so. Alternatively, if you’re going to launch a food-based side hustle and whip up delicious recipes for customers, you’ll need to determine whether you’re subject to FDA regulations and contact your local health department to confirm whether inspections are required.
4. Take Out Insurance
Many people overlook the importance of taking out insurance when they’re running a side hustle but this is one crucial way of protecting yourself and your finances. Although you might think of your side hustle as a hobby, this won’t prevent people taking legal action against you if something goes wrong. Before you begin trading, think carefully about what type of insurance you might need and, if necessary, get professional advice.
There are various different types of insurance that can be relevant to a side hustle, including product liability insurance, public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Furthermore, you might want to take out an extra policy if you’re going to run a side hustle from home, as a standard house insurance policy might not cover work-related items.
5. Consider Your Costs
Ideally, your side hustle should require minimal setup costs but it’s important to assess what running costs you’re likely to encounter once the venture is underway. By identifying all of the costs you’re likely to encounter, such as marketing expenditure and professional subscriptions, you can find savvy ways to reduce your overheads. This enables you to retain more of the revenue you generate and increases the profitability of your side hustle, so it’s well worth spending some time figuring out how to keep your costs as low as possible.
When you’re accepting payments from customers or clients, for example, credit card processing fees can eat into your profits. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these costs altogether. Take a look at this post from NadaPayments to find out how to reduce card processing fees when you’re running a side hustle or a business. By using a surcharge model and passing the fees on to your customer, NadaPayments can ensure that you retain more of what you earn.
6. Build an Online Profile
Before people will do business with you, they will want to know a little more about you and your venture. If you don’t currently have an online profile, it’s time to create one. You don’t necessarily need to be active on every social media platform or have your own website, but you do need to cultivate a positive online reputation.
Being present on relevant industry websites or maintaining your own webpage on sector-specific directories can be an effective way to do this. As you refine your personal brand and find new ways to publicize your side hustle, you’ll find that it has a positive impact on the number of inquiries you receive.
7. Plan a Customer Acquisition Strategy
Customer acquisition can be one of the trickiest aspects of business, even for established organizations and major corporations. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into your side hustle; you won’t generate revenue if people don’t know about it! Due to this, you’ll need to ensure that you can promote your venture and connect with your target audience.
As the gig economy has become increasingly popular, a number of platforms designed for freelancers have sprung up. Depending on the nature of your side hustle, this could be a highly effective way for you to acquire customers. With the opportunity to create your own profile page, bid for work, and connect with potential clients, operating on these types of platforms can streamline your client acquisition strategy.
Although you will typically need to pay a commission and/or a subscription fee to join these types of sites, they do offer advantages. If you don’t need to actively market or advertise your services, for example, you can save a significant amount of time and money, while still generating a high amount of revenue.
Are You Ready to Launch a Side Hustle?
If you’re eager to start boosting your income and you’ve got a great idea for a side hustle, now could be the perfect time to begin planning your new venture. While it’s tempting to get things underway as quickly as possible, taking the time to research the market and ensuring you have everything in place is beneficial in the long run. Similarly, connecting with suppliers and B2B service providers will give you the opportunity to expand your professional network and make contacts that will help you to enhance your performance.
Whatever niche you’re going to focus on, a side hustle can be a fun and lucrative way to spend your time. With the right preparation, you might be surprised at just how much you can earn!