In a perfect world, we’d all be able to do work that fulfilled our passions and filled our bank accounts simultaneously. Unfortunately, the world’s not perfect and most of us are regulated to working jobs that don’t exactly tap into our creative spirits.
If this sounds like you, perhaps you should consider a side hustle. It’s a great way for you to pursue your talents and ideas and bring in extra cash. If you’re ready to take that plunge, consider these five steps to make it a success.
Respect the hustle
The side hustle may sound cool and trendy but it’s serious business. For a side hustle to be successful you will have to plan, you will have to work, and you will have to sell. We all know that sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t always work out; nevertheless, you do need a plan.
What are the services or products you are offering? Who needs it? How will you deliver it? What is your unique value proposition? A unique value proposition will set you up for success and apart from the rest. This is what differentiates you from others in the market. But even that isn’t enough if you don’t have the determination, drive, and consistency to fuel your side hustle.
Mo problems mo money
As you start to flush out ideas for starting your side hustle you need to spend time thinking about the things you like to do and the things you’re actually good at. Ideally, you should like what you sell and sell what you like, but here’s something else to keep in mind: some of the most profitable businesses are built on solving problems. There’s a good chance that others feel the same way and are just waiting for someone to create the solution. Be the solution.
Don’t quit your day job (yet)
Side hustles are called side hustles for a reason… It’s that thing you do outside of your steady, dependable, paycheck-producing 9-5. Unlike a part-time job that people often begrudgingly take on to make ends meet, side hustles are often fueled by passion and talent. We hear stories of overnight viral sensations, but those are few and far between. Hang on to your safety net until you have done your due diligence. Have a proven concept, and most importantly, paying customers.
Validate, validate, validate
Conventional wisdom tells us that we don’t need others to validate us. However, when it comes to the side hustle, throw that concept out the window. Validation is everything in business. Do people want or need your product or service? And most importantly: will they pay for it?
In the business world, this is called market research and you can tackle it in several ways. Identify your target audience and talk to them. These may be informal conversations, email surveys or small gatherings that you put together. The feedback you can gather from this will offer valuable insight into your customer’s mind. Offer a limited time low price or build a prototype and start a waiting list. The point of all of this is to give you a solid idea of what people are willing to pay for and to give you the opportunity to refine your idea or services before you launch.
Smell the coffee
Side hustles are built detail by detail. You will need to plan and prioritize. Plan on spending a good deal of your off time working on your side hustle if you want it to truly be a success. Prioritize your schedule so that it doesn’t interfere with your day job and set aside consistent side hustle time. Maintaining a list of action items you can be accountable for will help keep you focused.
Making money in your sleep is a dream not afforded to many. Wake up, smell the coffee, do the work. That’s how it’s going to happen. With the right mix of dedication, plus superior product or service, this side hustle just may turn into your dream job.