Starting a side hustle is a great way to earn extra money and develop skills that can help you advance your career or build a business. While there are dozens of side hustles you could try (check out this list for ideas), it’s important to take an honest look at your situation and figure out what makes the most sense for you. In this post, I’ll share some questions to ask yourself before you dive into a new gig so that you can make sure you create a profitable side hustle.
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What Is Your Purpose In Starting A Side Hustle?
In order to start a successful side hustle, you need to be clear about the outcome you’re seeking.
Defining the purpose of your side hustle will help you choose the right one. Do you want to pay off debt, save for a big purchase, add another revenue stream, or start a business? Knowing your purpose will help keep you focused when the going gets tough.
Make sure you choose a side hustle that aligns with what you’re trying to accomplish.
Example: I started my business because I wanted to set my own schedule and replace my income from my day job.
What Are Your Skills?
Another important factor in choosing a side hustle is your skillset.
Are you a bookkeeper, video editor, writer, designer, or web developer? You could offer these services to business owners. If you’re crafty, you could try selling handmade products or print-on-demand merchandise. If you like to drive, driving for a delivery service might be a good fit.
The important step is to take inventory of your skills and consider creative ways you could use them to make extra money.
Example: I’m an accountant by profession, so bookkeeping was a natural fit for my business.
How Long Will It Take To Become Profitable?
Some side hustles take longer than others to become profitable.
Making money from a new blog or a YouTube channel will take time while pet sitting or driving for Uber will allow you to get paid when you work. If you need money now, service-based side hustles tend to be a better option. However, if you want to build an audience and don’t need money immediately, creating content can be a great option.
Whatever you choose for your side hustle, be sure to focus on making it profitable.
Example: I started sharing bookkeeping tutorials on YouTube and over time I was able to monetize my channel.
How Much Time Can You Dedicate?
It’s easy to overlook the amount of time it takes to run a side hustle.
One of the best ways to figure out how much time you can dedicate to your side hustle is by keeping a time log for a week. This will help you see how you’re currently spending your time and whether it’s realistic to take on a side hustle. Chances are you can find time to work your side hustle, but it might mean cutting back in other areas.
Example: Even if you can only commit 5-10 hours a week to your side hustle, that can make a difference.
What Is Your Plan for Marketing?
Once you decide on your side hustle, it’s time to tell people what you’re doing.
While it can feel uncomfortable to promote yourself, often you’ll find that people are supportive. Keep in mind that delivering excellent customer service is one of the best ways to market your side hustle. You should also consider creating an email list so you can stay in touch with customers.
Share your side hustle on social media, tell your friends, and look for places (in real life or online) where you can connect with people whom you can help.
Example: I market my business through referrals, my website (SEO), my email list, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Starting Your Side Hustle
If you’re looking for a resource that can help you create, launch, and market your side hustle, be sure to grab your FREE copy of my Small Business Startup Checklist.