A side hustle is an extra job or activity that someone does in their spare time. It can be anything from selling items on eBay to blogging to making and selling jewellery.
The term is typically used in the United States to describe a second job that someone works on in addition to their regular full-time employment.
Side hustles are a great way for people to make money and try something new. They also help people find their passions and develop new skills. Many successful businesses once started as someone’s side hustle whilst they built their skills and their business to a point where they could quit their job.
What is the Difference Between a Side Hustle and a Full-Time Job?
A side hustle is a part-time job or small business venture that is done in addition to a person’s main job. It often has flexible hours and the pay might not be as good as a full-time job.
A full-time job is a position where you work for at least thirty hours per week. Full-time jobs generally come with security and benefits that a side hustle can’t always offer such as guaranteed regular pay, retirement plans and a career path.
Should You Consider Starting a Side Hustle?
Many people are looking for ways to generate income from home. Some people use their skills to start a side hustle, while others invest in rental properties or other types of business ventures.
Whatever your reason for wanting a side hustle, there are some things you should think about before you get started:
What kind of project would you like to do?
One of the first things to consider is what would you like to do. A good place to start is by looking at your existing skills and experience and considering is there a good way to put them to use.
This could be someone working as a graphic designer freelancing on a website like Fiverr or Upwork. It could also be something as simple as someone who loves dogs offering a dog walking business in their local neighbourhood. Others might simply find a part-time job online that can be done around their schedule, like data entry or proofreading. We talk more about these in our article How Genuine Are Work From Home Jobs?
How much time will this take?
The beauty of starting a side hustle is that you can do it on your terms. Some can be done by spending just a few hours a week on them whereas others will be much more time-consuming.
After coming up with a list of side hustle ideas you might be interested in starting, take the time to fully appreciate the time involved.
- How long will it take to setup?
- How many hours a week will I need to do this?
- How long will it take to learn the missing skills I need to make this successful?
- Will you need to invest time promoting your venture alongside doing the work?
- Will the side hustle create any additional time commitments? Such as providing customer services and responding to potential customer emails
If you have already done some research into creating side hustles you might have come across click-bait articles and YouTube videos promising that you can launch your project in a very short period of time. You should always be careful of claims like these. For most side hustles, the results produced will be a direct result of the level of work put into it.
If you can’t commit a sufficient amount of time that a project will need, you should consider other ideas and find something that is manageable for you in the long run.
What commitments will I need to make?
The biggest commitment you are likely to need to invest into a side hustle is your own time. For some, this is easier than others. Parents and especially those with younger children may find it challenging to commit the proper time required for their project.
Some side hustle projects might require you to work particular hours or offer a service on certain days, like weekends. Make sure these are all acceptable to you before committing to starting your side hustle.
Other side hustles might require you to invest a lump sum of money upfront for things such as a website or stock.
Make sure that you are in a position to follow through with delivering your side hustle before you start it. Abandoning a project after a few weeks or months because you can’t commit to the demand is a waste of your time and possibly money.
Will I have enough energy for this?
Like with the above considerations, your energy levels should be considered before taking on what could be a substantial side hustle project.
Most people will find time to work on their side hustles on an evening or a weekend, but for a lot of people, this is the only chance they get to relax after a hard day at work, feeding the children or walking the dog. After all of your daily responsibilities are dealt with, are you going to be able to put in another few hours of work on your project? or is it your priority to unwind and relax?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to relax in the latter hours of the day. A healthy work-life balance is crucial for us all. If voluntarily putting extra responsibility onto your shoulders is likely to cause you to burn out after a few weeks, you might want to consider a less time-consuming side hustle or not doing one at all.
How much money will I need to invest?
The amount of money you will need to invest into your side hustle depends on what you plan to do, how much of the initial setup you can handle yourself and how much promotion it will require to begin generating business.
Before starting your side hustle be sure to do an inventory of all essential costs required and make sure this is an amount you can comfortably afford to spend. Some side hustles could be started for free to very little by relying on a Facebook Page and maybe having some flyers to put in letterboxes in your local area.
If your side hustle involves paying another person or company an amount of money to give you access to it, please be careful. Many multi-level marketing scams require an upfront investment that often leaves the investor out of pocket over time.
How to Make Money from Your Side Hustle
To make money from your side hustle you should define what products or services you will offer and who you will promote them to.
If you are going to offer freelance services you could advertise yourself on Fiverr or Upwork or search Google for other gig-economy websites that relate to what you would like to offer.
If you are looking to sell products online, familiarize yourself with sales platforms such as eBay, Etsy and Shopify and workout which platform best suits your needs.
If you are looking to offer a service to your local community, look for ideas on how to promote your new venture. This could be posting into a local community Facebook Group, using your town or city’s name in hashtags when sharing your content online, or posting leaflets through doors in your neighbourhood.
Not all side hustles are instantly profitable and some will take time to build a customer base or interest around what you are doing. However, you should always build into your plans how you will eventually make money from your side hustle to make it worthwhile.
What are the Best Ways to Make Money on the Side?
The best ways to make money on the side are to embrace and utilize the knowledge, skills and experience you already have.
Build a list of where you feel your key skills and strengths are and begin to think of ideas of how you could make money from them. This list of 100 side hustle ideas might help get your creative juices flowing.
Using the expertise you already have will allow you to begin making money faster and give you an advantage over your competition.
It is very possible to start a side hustle using all new skills, but you need to factor in the time it will take to learn them before you can competently begin making money from them. If you are entering into something that is completely new to you, take time to research people already doing similar. Look to learn how they promote themselves and see what works for them.
How to Create a Plan That Works For You
A side hustle is a great way to make some extra money on the side, but it can also be a lot of work. You have to find time in your day to work on your project, and you also need to find time in your week for marketing and promotion.
The first thing you need to do is to figure out what your priorities are. What is the most important thing in your life? For most, it will be family and/or your job. Make an honest assessment of whether not you can fit a side hustle into your life.
Next, figure out how much time you have available each day. You should also take into account the amount of energy that you have each day as well as any commitments that may be coming up in the near future. This will help you determine how much time you can spend on this side hustle project and what kind of progress can be made within a reasonable amount of time.
Successfully implementing a side hustle depends on realistic and achievable expectations. Here is the framework for developing a plan:
- What kind of project do you want to work on?
- What do you need to know before moving forward?
- How much time can you realistically commit each week, and what about your energy level?
- Who can support you with your responsibilities at home and work?
- What are the potential challenges and obstacles, and what contingencies do they require?
How much money do you need to invest to start a side hustle?
One of the first things you need to do before starting a side hustle is figuring out how much money you need to start it. This will depend on the type of side hustle you want to start and what your goals are for it.
Some people start with low-cost projects by using their skills and talents in order to earn some extra money. This can be anything from making crafts and baking goods at home and selling them online or offline, or it could be something as mowing lawns and gardening services.
If you want to take this route, then the investment can begin from as little as zero and increase with amounts you feel you are comfortable with. Free tools like social media are great ways to gain exposure for your side hustle and offering your products and services on established sales platforms like eBay or Etsy will bring eyes to your offering immediately.
If you feel that you need more promotion you can begin to explore options such as placing adverts in your local newspaper or by distributing leaflets to your neighbours.
The equipment you need will in order to do your side hustle could be where your largest costs are incurred. Be sure to create a full inventory of everything that you need and make a total cost. Before committing to the side hustle make sure that the costs are acceptable and be aware of any recurring costs that may occur, such as subscription fees or as a result of wear and tear of equipment.
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Conclusion – Is a side hustle for everyone?
A side hustle is not for everyone. Side hustles are a great way to make an extra income, but they often require a lot of time that unfortunately, some people will not have.
The term side hustle is one that is growing in popularity every year and the amount of content published online supporting people to start their own business or side hustle also grows.
We would never discourage any of our readers from chasing their dreams and trying to earn extra income but we will leave you with two final thoughts for consideration:
- Stay clear of online scams, there are lots of people online selling online courses that offer zero to little value and is information you can find online for free.
- Please manage your work-life balance effectively. Starting a side hustle is exciting and you will be full of energy and motivation when you begin, but remember that we all need to take time to relax, have fun and spend as much time as we can with our loved ones.