If you want to start a business, but still want the security having a regular 9 to 5 job, then starting a side hustle could be a happy medium. You’ll get to learn what it actually takes to be a business owner and learn the intricacies of starting and managing a business. However, just because it’s the safest option, it doesn’t mean that you should go in unprepared. And managing a business outside of your current job demands a lot of discipline, prioritization, and a bit of scrappiness and creativity. Here are the steps you should take to make sure you start your side hustle right.
Understand the Legal Side of Things
Remember, a side hustle is still a business, and you’ll have to know the legal requirements in your field. You have to be familiar with zoning laws, licenses, and permits in your area. Some places might be more lenient than others and might require much less while you might be exposed to very serious consequences in other jurisdictions, so make sure that you’re prepared.
Consider which business structure would be the best for your business. A lot of people who start side hustles will have a tendency to register as a sole proprietorship, or worse, not register at all. That is a dangerous game to play.
Not only will it complicate things when comes the time to declare your income, but registering as a sole proprietorship will leave your personal assets vulnerable in case of litigation. Don’t assume that just because you’ll be doing some groundskeeping or house cleaning work on the side that nothing’s going to happen. Accidents happen and one major lawsuit could completely ruin you, so be careful. Also, make sure that you get the proper liability coverage as soon as you start getting some work.
Decide on Which Type of Side Hustle Would be the Best for You
If you’re going to start a side hustle, you have to ultimately find something that will cater to your strengths. For instance, you may want to sell websites to local business owners, but if you don’t have what it takes to be a salesperson, you might have trouble getting jobs no matter how good you are.
You should also try to do something in a field you’re passionate about, or else you might have trouble getting the motivation needed in your off time. At the end of the day, if you’re good at something and you love it, chances are you’ll be successful if there’s a legitimate demand for it where you are.
Get Some Financing
Since you still have income, this could actually be an advantage here. If you can prove that you can repay and have a steady income, your choice of financing options is greater. If you need a relatively small sum of money now and are willing to repay within short terms, then payday loans might be a good option. However, this should only be an option if you have low or bad credit and go with a direct lender.
Services like Bonsai Finance will connect you almost instantly with hundreds of direct lenders. You’ll be able to choose lenders that fit your needs the best and get the best rate possible. Direct lenders will usually offer much better rates than other lenders. Getting an installment loan is another viable option if you’re looking for a larger amount and want to pay off over a longer period.
Get Familiar with Social Media and Online Marketing
If you’re starting any kind of business in 2019, you have to learn how to use online marketing to your advantage. If your business is purely online, then learn everything there is to know about pay per click marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. Join discussions wherever you can and make bonds with people within the community. Social media marketing can be one of the most efficient ways to get traction, so use it. Also, consider launching a website using one of the many e-commerce platforms out there.
Find a Differentiating Point
No matter how small your business is, you’ll have to deal with competition if you want to be able to make a steady income. This means you’ll have to compete against established players in the game and find a way to differentiate your product or service in order to compete. This is why you have to work on building a competitive edge.
You could do that in many ways. You could offer low or smart pricing on your products or services. You could focus on offering unparalleled personalized customer service. You could also get an edge by being more aggressive or efficient in your sales practices. Anything you can do to separate yourself from the rest.
Have Clear Goals and Milestones
Even if you start small, you should always have plans for expansion. Eventually, this could become your sole source of income if you do it right. But in order to get there, you have to take baby steps. You have to start by getting your first customer, then five, then 10 until you have a steady stream of new and regular clients.
Don’t try to aim for the moon when setting objectives. If you aim to get 500 clients straight out of the gate, you might get discouraged very soon. Instead, try to focus on getting one or two per week and nurture the ones you already have. You also have to set clear milestones and dedicate yourself to reaching them. Have your plan laid down on paper and make yourself accountable when you don’t follow through. Also, make sure that the people around you are aware of those as well, so they can hold you responsible too. This could be a huge boost for your motivation and help you push through until you reach your goals.
Starting a successful side hustle is about more than having a dollar and a dream. You’ll have to be ready to do the necessary legwork, research your niche thoroughly, and have the discipline and wherewithal needed to make it work.