Your side hustle might be your dream, your hobby, your stress relief—but are you treating it like your business? No matter how small right now, starting off with the same attention and focus you give your “real” job is the best way to ensure doing what you love becomes your full time job. We’ve got tips to make sure you start off on the right foot.
The “blow the man down” tip
In the second season of The Big Bang Theory, Penny tried to start a side business making flower hair accessories. She came to realize that her production process limited the quantity of items she could sell and increased the cost of the accessories in order to make a profit, and started singing the old pirate favorite “Blow the Man Down” as a way to speed up her production line.
Sing if it helps, but before you begin your side business make sure you are taking into consideration cost of materials, realistic expectations about development and shipping, and optimum prices for making a profit while keeping costs realistic for your customers. While you’re at it, determine goals including the profit your side hustle would need to bring in to replace your full or part time jobs.
The 24 hours in a day tip
While figuring out the numbers, figure out quality of life too. How much time is realistic to devote to your side business? Consider not only paid-gig time constraints, but also the needs of family and friends, and of course yourself. How many hours a week can you devote to creating your product? Factor in time to source supplies, time for advertising, time spent selling, and time spent fulfilling orders.
Tools such as Solo Hustle can help streamline some of the necessities of running a business. For instance, easy-to-launch landing pages are a great way to help potential customers find your business. If farmers markets are key to sales, a system like Solo Hustle can facilitate on-site payments and simplify bookkeeping.
The scale realistically tip
You don’t need to take the industry by storm right out of the gate. As your side hustle grows it can be tempting to start investing some of your revenue in the trappings of a “successful” business. But consider what’s going to really move the needle on your growth. Do your customers care whether or not you have a brick and mortar storefront? If not, don’t spend your hard earned profits on rent and furniture. So where should you focus investments first?
Marketing and branding. If customers can’t find you, they can’t buy from you. Consider where your most lucrative customers are and invest in ways to reach them there. A tool like Solo Hustle can assist with email campaigns, web sites, and product catalogs.
Legal needs. Spend a little upfront to ensure your brand is trademarked and protected and you are managing your business correctly. Seek financial advice for the best way to manage taxes. Solo Hustle can track mileage, invoices, and more to make quarterly tax payments easy and accurate.
Tools and technology. Prioritize tools that are multi-functional and make your side business more productive and profitable. If your production line is holding you back, look for options that will speed up the process to increase your inventory. Tools like Solo Hustle solve multiple headaches—from marketing, to accounting, to sales and order management. That frees up time to focus on new product development and continue your growth.
With the right mindset and the right tools, your side hustle can soon become your only hustle.