Feeling curious about starting your own business? A good step towards that is to build your own side hustle. This helps to try things out, without quitting your day job and therewith reducing the risk of the journey altogether by scaling slower.
You should also always discuss such ideas with your employer. Most commonly managers will approve of the idea for as long the side hustle isn’t competition to the company. A good boss knows that anyone who is running a side hustle is learning a lot of great skills that he or she will also apply in their day job for mutual benefit.
Here are some tips on how you could run your own side hustle:
1. Think it through first
The idea of building a little something to generate some extra income can be very appealing. Especially if you think you could create something that will ultimately lead to passive income. Well, I’d say you can certainly try but passive income is rarely achieved and sometimes planning into such a direction is counterproductive. Before you kick anything off, here are some questions to think about first.
- What can you do?
- What do you want to do?
- Are you comfortable with asking for money?
- What’s the scope and what will you not do?
- Does your employer formally approve of this?
- Does your family approve of this?
Settled all of that? All positive about it? Okay then proceed to tip number two.
2. Plan dedicated timeslots
How much spare time do you currently have? If you already feel like you don’t have enough time in your day, you should reconsider pushing your day job career further and maybe not start a side hustle.
If you spent a lot of time going to work and traveling back home, that wouldn’t be a rarity. It’s not always ideal, but for some, it makes sense to use the commute time to work on their side hustle too. This time doesn’t need to be wasted. Not applicable for all kinds of activities but it’s a possibility in some cases.
In order to run your side hustle well, make sure you plan your own “business hours.” Those should ideally not be longer than two hours per workday next to your day job. Stick to your schedule and don’t be tempted to build something continuously. If you can’t manage to run your side hustle on work days, think about converting the 5×2 hours into just 8 hours on your Saturday (assuming you don’t work on weekends for your primary employer).
3. Be professional about it
Depending on what you plan on offering as a commercial service or product, it’s good to know who your potential customers would be. Whether you’re going to be B2B or B2C, you’d be wise to set up a professional way of working, so your buyers feel confident about working with you.
- Build a website around your side hustle
- Use a professional email address (You@YourWebsite.com)
- Be on social media and allow people to find you
- Build a consistent catalog with prices
- Have a policy for discounts
- Track your time
- Register with tax office
- Follow traditional and digital marketing practices
- Too much orders? Transform to a startup company
- Share your story
- Listen to feedback
The last bullet brings us directly to the fourth tip today.
4. Work out loud
Traditional methods of getting your name out there and achieving your goals not always work in our modern world. For building relationships that matter, and not only putting a lot of names in your book, I suggest you to have a look at what John Stepper shares about the Working Out Loud way of building relationships.
Talk about what you do and your goals. Share your progress and build a community around you. Contribute to others and over time great things can develop. This often helps not only enterprises to run innovation but also SMEs, and side-hustlers like you are (or want to be). Check it out!
5. Don’t rush it
A side hustle is a side hustle for a reason. You run it next to your day job so you can try out how well you’d do as an entrepreneur and your own boss in your own company, without all the risk of not making enough revenue to live.
Follow the tips we told you about, stick to plans and policy to make sure things work out. It’s imperative to stay healthy so make sure you eat well, drink well, have enough breaks and sleep as many hours as your body needs. If you sacrifice any of these aspects, the quality of what you do might suffer, or you might get sick over time.
Worst case scenario would be that you’re no longer a fit for your employer and that you also didn’t get the side hustle to take off (sufficiently) yet. Give it time. Enjoy the journey. Don’t rush it.
Don’t risk a good job over an experiment. I absolutely support everybody who wants to live their dream and finally do what they always wanted to do, but there are ways other than just abandoning everything and going “all in.”
Some people report that they happily accepted the risk in this part of their life, but there are also many people who failed and caused issues for themselves and their family. Think carefully before you abandon your day job. Running a side hustle and letting it grow for a couple of years might be a better idea. Ultimately you can run both paths indefinitely if you’re feeling comfortable with it. Good luck achieving your dreams!
Have any stories and experiences to share? Write your thoughts down in the comment section below.
YouTube: Working Out Loud: Interview with John Stepper (By ZF Group)
Photo credit: Alejandro Tuzzi