While side hustles are not a new concept by any means, they are growing more popular by the day. People increasingly rely on side hustles during times of high inflation and economic uncertainty. Generating extra income through side hustles can be a lucrative way to build up emergency funds, pay off debt or invest for retirement.
A person’s motivation to launch side hustles varies from individual to individual, though common influences often include the desires to earn extra income, to gain a creative outlet, and to obtain a greater sense of personal freedom. For me, developing a side hustle that focused on upcycling thrifted clothing allowed me to promote my personal views on sustainability at the individual level and the importance of slow fashion. Slow fashion advocates for clothing and apparel manufacturing in respect to people, environment and animals. It typically uses local artists and eco-friendly materials.
In addition, I was able to turn a passion project into a source of income. Wherever you are in the process of running a side business, here are some tips on how to keep the momentum going.
1. Be consistent with your time
Consistency is key! Whether you’re hitting the ground running with a new side hustle idea or if you’re working to maintain your existing side hustle’s success, it is vital to allot a dedicated portion of every day or week to work on it. If you aren’t committing your time and effort, it’s difficult to succeed. Having a more structured outline of your work time will likely help you achieve more consistent growth as time goes on.
2. Generate a list of priority tasks
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to a side hustle. One effective mechanism that allows you to figure out timelines and deadlines is to generate a list of clear-cut, specific tasks. For example, mark your calendar with straightforward tasks such as, “create a digital spreadsheet” and “research potential web domains.” By being precise in naming the tasks that need to be completed, and by prioritizing them based on importance, you will be more productive and efficient with your time.
3. Develop a financial plan
A financial plan allows you to consider your budget and to rely on a specific, detailed strategy before going forward with your decision making. Although most side hustles won’t require you purchase everything you need to begin all in one go, it is beneficial to develop a plan that outlines your startup budget so you can anticipate what you may need to buy and at what prices. Some potential costs that should be considered for your preliminary budget are office equipment, marketing expenses and other materials. Additionally, be mindful in how you are investing your resources, particularly in the beginning. Slowly growing your business gives you the ability to adjust as needed, rather than diving in all at once.
4. Establish a record-keeping system
Creating a system that keeps all your documents in one accessible place will allow you to monitor important information relevant to your side hustle. Moreover, having an organized system will allow you to keep track of orders, customer interactions, and other crucial data that will help you stay on top of your side business. When starting out, using a simple paper system may be sufficient, but as your side hustle becomes more sophisticated you may want to consider platforms like Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets. In my experience, Google Sheets was also an effective method to keep track of the cash inflows and cash outflows of my side hustle.
5. Use the side hustle as a learning experience
Unless you decide to expand or focus on your side business as your main career path, your side hustle will generally remain secondary to your full-time job. Regardless of where your career takes you, your side hustle will be a learning experience. It allows you to build your portfolio further with an overall experience that hopefully will help you to new skills, expertise, and experience. I no longer work on my side hustle, but I have developed new skillsets of time management and financial management, and an entrepreneurial spirit that will persist throughout my career path.
It requires true grit to grow your side hustle into a business that generates profit. With your side hustle, know your worth and remain patient. As in all things, success often requires consistent effort and time.