Ace Your Side-Hustle with 9 Simple Tips
Almost half of all Americans under the age of 35 have a side-hustle. In other words, they have a part-time job in addition to a full-time position. For some, side-hustles are a way of making extra money. For others, they’re the means to turn a hobby or passion into a fledgling career. Although they’re swiftly becoming the norm for workers, they aren’t without their struggles. If you’re working a job on the side, here are 9 easy tips to rustle up success for your hustle:
- Put your full-time job first
- Create a schedule
- Don’t take out debt
- Don’t use your project as an excuse
- Spend your money on your customers
- But not too much money
- Separate your dreams and goals
- Focus on revenue
- Hold yourself accountable
Put Your Full-Time Job First
A side-hustle is a safe way to earn extra money or explore a business opportunity while still making a steady income from a full-time job. Because of this, it’s crucial that you put your full-time position first. This source of income not only allows you to consider a start up venture, but it will also help to fund it and leave you with the security to pursue your dreams. If you start to prioritize other projects, your coworkers and bosses will notice, which could result in unfortunate consequences. So, get out there and crush your full-time career.
Create a Schedule for Your Side-Hustle
We just told you to put your full-time career first. However, that can be hard to do when the different parts of our lives tend to bleed together. Avoid project creep by creating and sticking to a strict schedule. This schedule might divide your day into different parts. Or it may require you to work on different projects on different days. To help keep your projects running smoothly, write to-do lists for each job as well. This will help you manage your time without having to push projects into extended or overlapping time slots. Finally, make the people you come into contact with aware of your schedule so you don’t run into clashing careers by mistake. This might include asking your family to respect the boundaries between work and personal time. Or it may involve setting an auto-response email to tell clients and vendors when to expect your response, so you don’t have to rush to get to it outside of your set hours. Every person will need to schedule their time differently, so try a few different options to learn which is best for you.
Don’t Take Out Debt
Although you may hope for your side-hustle to become your full-time career, it probably isn’t at that point yet. However, many entrepreneurs believe that taking out loans and sinking significant investments into their part-time careers will help them reach their full-time goals faster. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be true. In order to be successful, your business must first turn a profit. You’ll only slow your profit potential by having to pay off debt first. If you must spend money, try to do so from savings. Or, better yet, spend no money at all and instead rely on the tools you already have. If you can profit from your own resources, you know that a later investment is more likely to be worth it for you (and easier to pay off).
Don’t Use Your Project as an Excuse
Speaking of money, don’t let your side-hustle become an excuse for spending it. Many entrepreneurs who start a venture on the side begin it based on a hobby. As such, they may use the venture as an excuse to spend more on the hobby. For example, a person starting a home bakery might use it as an excuse to remodel their kitchen. But, is a remodelled kitchen necessary to make the bakery better? Probably not. This example can also translate into buying expensive technology or fancy clothes to impress clients who really only care about the product or service you can offer them.
Spend Your Money on Your Customers
So you know not to spend your money on debts or unnecessary frills. But what should you spend your money on, if anything? A good rule of thumb is that your money is best spent on anything that will improve the customer experience. For example, if your website is outdated or not well done, spending some money on improving it might be in order. In addition, you can spend money on tools that will improve your efficiency so you can serve more customers. However, you should only do this if your customer base has expanded beyond what you can handle. Although many entrepreneurs believe that spending money on improving efficiency early on is a good thing, you have no way of knowing whether or not it will pay off.
…But Not Too Much Money
Although spending some money to improve your efficiency and customer experience isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it should be done in moderation. In order to grow your business, you can’t rush to deplete its resources, because you may not be able to build them back up as quickly. So, instead of spending the maximum amount on improvement projects, start with the minimum. Come up with a system for setting a budget that works for your individual situation and stick to or under it. This will help you to nurture the spark of your business, rather than extinguish it.
Separate Your Dreams and Goals
Your side-hustle should be built around a dream. However, in order to achieve that dream, you need to create goals. Each goal serves as a specific step towards reaching your dream. As you work through each goal, you will learn new skills, build your customer base, earn revenue and do all the little things that it takes to build your business and reach your dream.
Focus on Revenue
The main difference between a hobby and a business is that a business makes money. So, in order to turn your side-hustle into something successful, focus on what makes you that money. In most cases, the biggest thing your business needs is your own labour. By working to offer your product or service, you create the mechanism for earning. Sure, you’ll have to spend a little bit of time designing a website or running a marketing campaign. However, especially at the start, your main focus should be on doing the thing that directly brings in money.
Hold Yourself Accountable
When you have a boss, it’s easy for your work to be held accountable. Your employer and colleagues expect tasks to be completed and shared with them and, when they aren’t, there are tangible consequences. As a result, people who work for someone else have an external power driving them. However, when you work as your own boss, it’s easy to let accountability fall by the wayside. When you don’t have to justify delays to someone else and don’t have anyone there to chide you for you procrastinating, even the simplest of tasks can be left incomplete. If this is a struggle you face in your side-hustle, come up with new ways to hold yourself accountable and stay productive. Rewards systems are one option. Likewise, you may be able to find a group of local entrepreneurs who help keep each other on task and accountable. Whichever method you choose, accountability is going to be a huge part of your success.
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