These days, it seems like everyone has a side hustle. It’s an extra way to make some money when you’re not at your main job. While the gig economy has made ample opportunity to make extra money on the side, it doesn’t mean all were created equal. Here are a few tips to help turn your hobby or spare time into a profitable side hustle.
Start with What You Know
Is there an aspect of your job that makes a good freelance opportunity? For example, are you a manager who could consult on the side? Perhaps you’re working communications and can do some freelance writing in your off time. Most people who make profitable side hustles do so by focusing on their strengths and previous connections.
One note about this approach: be very careful to keep your main job and your side hustle separate. Your work will not appreciate you taking their clients or opportunities. It could result in termination or even legal action.
Make a Plan
Your side hustle is a business, so make a business plan. Sketch out your goals and aspirations with your side hustle. Keep your targets reasonable and achievable. You don’t want to burn out before your gig even gets going. A plan will help you organize your business, give yourself milestones to celebrate and give you an idea of when to pivot.
Alternatively, you can also let someone else do the planning for you. Many people side hustle with companies like Uber, Instacart and others. These are perfect for people who want something to do that doesn’t require a lot of planning and strategy. Plus, you can make your own hours and get a reliable source of income.
The initial people buying into your side hustle will probably be friends and family. They want you to succeed no matter what, which is a double-edged sword. Getting open, honest and sometimes brutally necessary feedback can be difficult from these groups. That’s why you should solicit feedback from your early customers who aren’t family or friends. They will help you mold and change your business to make it a better experience that will grow and succeed.
Turning a hobby or your spare time into something profitable can take time and energy. Make sure to take care of yourself while growing and be patient in that growth. Overnight successes don’t happen. Even ones that appear like instant successes took lots of hard work, dedication and no small amount of luck. Keep at it and be shrewd in your planning and execution. It’s the best way to make your side hustle profitable and enjoyable.