Pages

11-step guide to turning your passion into a money-making side hustle

It’s easier than ever to start a side hustle. Online shopping platforms like Etsy and Shopify mean almost anyone can set up their own business. And thanks to Instagram and Twitter, advertising your new venture doesn't require a huge marketing budget.

And so to help you turn your passion into a thriving new business, small business lender OnDeck created an 11-step guide to becoming a successful side hustler.


But before we check that out, let's look at why so many people are starting a hustle on the side.

Why do a side hustle?

Most people set up their side hustle for one simple reason: money! The cost of living is rising, wages are stagnating, and an increasing number of workers are struggling to make their salary stretch to the end of the month.

For others, the side hustle is their true passion. It allows them to explore their creative interests while holding down a 'regular' job. In a sense, it means people can have the best of both worlds, i.e. a stable job that pays the bills and a side hustle that satisfies their 'artsy' or entrepreneurial side.

A side hustle is a great way to test the waters before quitting the day job and setting up your own business.

With a side hustle, you can figure out if people like what you're selling, where your markets are, and how much you could make if you turned your side hustle into your main gig. A side hustle lets you take business risks without taking the actual risk of sacrificing a guaranteed salary.

Advice for first-time side hustlers

Every first-time business owner and side hustler will make mistakes; it's inevitable, but mistakes (and failures) are not a bad thing. Just look at them as feedback systems, lessons, or information on what to do differently next time.

But some mistakes are worse than others. And knowing what they are and how to avoid them can save you time, money, and more than a few sleepless nights. And no side hustler can afford a sleepless night! After all, they need to get up and go to work in the morning.

11 things NOT TO DO when setting up your side hustle

Here's a look at the biggest and most common mistakes in side hustling.

Tip 1: Don't over-invest

Start small, and only invest money you don't need or can afford to lose. Don't borrow or take on large debt to fund your side hustle. Build up a healthy client base and solid brand before investing significant amounts of cash.

Tip 2: Not doing your research

Side hustles are passions. However, don’t make any decisions based on 'feelings' or 'gut.' You're still trying to run a business. And that means doing all your market research before you try to sell anything. Find out who your customers are, where you can find them, and how much they're happy to pay.

Tip 3: Don't get fired from your main job

Some employment contracts restrict the number of part-time hours you can work. This is especially the case for those working in the public sector, like healthcare or the police. Read your employment contract carefully before setting up a side hustle.

Try not to talk about your new business at work. In fact, keep it on the down low if possible. You don't want your boss or colleagues worrying that your attention is elsewhere.

Tip 4: Don't forget your licenses

Even if you're running a lemonade stand, make sure you get all the required licenses and permits. You will get shut down without them, and there may be other legal consequences that could prevent you from setting up again in the future.

Tip 5: Not tracking your income and expenses

The accounting side of running a business isn't the most exciting part of being your own boss. But it's essential that your incomings are more than (or at least equal to) your outgoings. Don't work about investing in expensive accounting software. A simple money in and money out Excel spreadsheet is all you need during the early days.

Tip 6: Not talking about money

You have to get comfortable talking about money, and you have to know what your products or services are worth. At the very minimum, you need to be charging enough to cover all your expenses.

Tip 7: Not setting up a business account

You probably won't make a big profit initially, so it's tempting to run a side hustle through your personal bank account. DON'T DO THIS. It will lead to some serious headaches when calculating your end-of-year taxes. Set up a business account instead, and keep all your personal and business finances separate.

Tip 8: Not having enough to pay taxes

Figure out how much tax you might need to pay, and then set aside a portion of your income every month. Accountants advise saving 25-30% of your net profits for tax.

Tip 9: Not 'switching off’

Managing a side hustle and a full-time job is tough. Add a young family to take care of, and you've suddenly got a one-way ticket to Stress City. So don't try to do too much. Know when to switch off and relax. Tomorrow is always another day. Work is important, but life matters more.

Tip 10: Not asking for help

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Plus, not everyone has a head for figures and complex calculations; that's what accountants and tax managers are for. Use them.

Tip 11: Don't 'burnout'

Burnout is real. It's a sign that you're overworking and not taking care of yourself—incorporate rest, healthy eating, exercise, and a good night's sleep into your routine.

Side hustles can make money. But they should always be personally rewarding. If not, they'll quickly turn into a second job. So remember to have fun. Side hustling is about doing what you've always wanted to do.
11 side hustle mistakes that can hold you back from success (guide)

No comments: