7 Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle

7 Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle

Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream many people have, but often
the fear of leaving a steady salary keeps people from pulling the
trigger.

In reality, running a small business doesn’t have to be an
all-or-nothing thing. By starting
your company
as a side hustle while you continue to work your
9-to-5 and earn a paycheck, you take most of the risk out of being
an entrepreneur. You also get the opportunity to test out your idea
to see if it could sustain you full-time financially.

If you do decide to launch a side hustle, you’re not alone. In
fact,
37% of Americans have a side hustle
that brings in an extra
stream of income. Whether you plan to grow the business over time
or simply add money to your wallet, start small and grow as
you’re ready.

1. Pick something you have time for


via GIPHY

You might fantasize about opening a restaurant, but that isn’t
something that’s easy to do a few hours a week while you continue
to work full-time as an employee. Businesses that work best
as side hustles
include:

  • E-commerce
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Photography
  • Freelance writing
  • Selling crafts

Before you invest any money into this new passion, research what
it takes to not only start a business like this but also sustain
it. If you can’t commit the time needed to make it succeed, you
may want to wait until you can devote more energy to it.

2. Have a slow rollout strategy

How you launch and run your side hustle
will be different from how you’d start a business you planned on
running full-time. You might start by focusing on a single product
or service, then expanding as you see success and understand the
true time commitment.

You won’t have a ton of time to plan your initial launch if
you’re working a minimum of 40 hours a week, so spread out your
efforts to avoid burnout. Your plan might look like this:

  • Month 1: Get a website and logo designed
  • Month 2: Set up social media channels
  • Month 3: Open a business bank account
  • And so on

By spreading these tasks out, you allow ample time to get them
done right the first time. Anyone who has ever had a website
designed will tell you that, even if the designer tells you it will
take two weeks, it will likely take a lot longer. If you’re in no
rush, this won’t impact your ability to launch.

3. Choose an established platform

Choose an Established Platform for side hustle

Reinventing the proverbial wheel costs more, takes more time,
and is more challenging to find customers. On the other hand, if
there’s an existing platform you can use for your side hustle,
you can start making money sooner.

Uber is the obvious example of a side hustle platform that’s
essentially plug-and-play. But you can also get your green thumb on
with Lawn Guru, deliver packages for Amazon Flex, or dog sit with
Rover. Even if you still want to launch a fully-fledged business
related to an existing platform down the road, becoming a provider
through a tried-and-true channel can teach you a lot that will be
helpful later on.

4. Get your finances in order

Another perk of having a side hustle and starting slow is that
you don’t need a lump sum up front, and most side hustles are
pretty low-cost to get started. Still, you do need to create a
budget to understand your
expenses
and how much you can potentially earn (and how
soon).

Creating a
budget for your side hustle
will require a little research, as
you’ll need to find out what things cost, from website domain
hosting to email marketing software, depending on your needs. In
addition to any digital expenses, you’ll have, including
equipment (more on that in a minute), office supplies, and
materials if you plan on making, for example, crafts to sell on
Etsy.

You may want to spread your initial expenses out over several
months, the way you did your rollout strategy, so that you can
spend a little here and there rather than a lump sum.

You’re probably motivated to start this side business because
you want to make extra money, but realize that may take some time.
It may be several months before you find a steady stream of
customers, particularly if you start your business from scratch.
Make sure you can cover all expenses until you start being
profitable, or your side hustle will stall out.

5. Get the equipment you need

Get Your Finances in Order for side hustle

Speaking of equipment, you more than likely need at least a few
items. At the bare minimum, you’ll want a phone, tablet, or
computer to do business online. Beyond that, you may need specialty
items or equipment specific for your type of business.

If you want to sell produce at the farmer’s market, you’ll
need a mobile
point of sale system
. If you make jewelry, you might want a
large desk with a magnifier and lamp on it. If landscaping is your
thing, you’ll need a reliable mower and weed eater.

You can save on equipment by looking on Craigslist for used
items, but make sure they’re new enough and in good enough
condition to rely on them. The last thing you want is for your
mower to die in the middle of a job.

6. Do your homework

Do Your Homework for side hustle

The
more you know about the industry you’re getting into
, the
more successful you’ll be. Know who the competitors are, both
locally and internationally. Know what people charge. Know who your
audience is, and where they like to connect with these types of
brands.

Beyond that, it can be helpful to read books and blogs about
running a business in general. If you don’t have any business
experience, paying sales tax, managing your bank accounts, and
ordering supplies may be foreign to you.

7. Make time to invest in your side hustle

Initially, sure, you’ll be so excited about your new side
hustle that you’ll spend every waking hour working on it. But
over time, your enthusiasm may wane, particularly if you’re not
seeing results. Remember: you’ve got to put time and energy in
(especially in marketing your business) to attract customers and
keep them coming back. No one said it would be easy!

Resist the urge to work on your business when you’re at your
day job, or you’ll risk being fired. Establish a schedule for
when you’ll focus on the side hustle after hours. If you’re a
night owl or an early riser, these might be the best times to put
in a few hours each day.

If you have a passion that you want to turn into a business,
starting it as a side hustle is the best way to test the waters
while learning the market and bringing in revenue.

Guest author: Susan Guillory is the President
of Egg Marketing, a
content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several
business books, and frequently blogs about small business and
marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness,
and Cision.
Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle
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7 Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Side Hustle