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About 40% of Americans created or maintained at least one additional source of income in 2022, and that percentage will likely rise in 2023. A desire to increase income is a common reason for starting a side hustle but not the only one.
Many people also start a side hustle because they are looking for a creative outlet. Others do so because they want to make a positive difference in their community.
What Is A Side Hustle?
A side hustle is a business that you run on the side, in addition to a 9-5 job. It could be done on the weekends, after work, or even only on holidays.
If it doesn’t go well, you can always switch to a new hustle. If it goes better than expected, you may even be able to quit your full-time job. Your side hustle would then become your new primary business.
If you’re thinking about starting a side hustle, these tips will get you off to a good start. What’s more, these pointers can also be helpful for those who already have a side hustle.
Evaluating your current activities from time to time may help you boost profits. It can also help you find ways to lower your workload and expenses.
Service-Based vs. Product Based: What are the Options?
Service-based businesses focus on providing customer services. Some services, such as tutoring, consulting, and tax preparation, require an expert skill set.
You’ll likely need a degree, experience, or both to generate trust in your services. You can offer these services either in person, virtually, or both.
Virtual services are ideal for many people because they offer flexibility and enable you to reach customers who don’t live in your area.
Other services don’t require a degree or years of experience in a particular field. These include dog walking, working as a rideshare driver, delivering food or groceries, cleaning houses, and mowing lawns.
You just need to be willing to work hard and do a good job. These side hustles can be ideal for students with the physical stamina needed to handle these jobs.
Product-based companies sell a physical product you can hold. It can be something made by the business owner or sourced from a third party. They can also be digital products such as eBooks.
These products can be sold online on social media platforms, Amazon, Etsy, and/or your website. If you make your own products, you can also offer them for sale at local vendor markets and craft markets.
Use Your Skills to Start a Service-Based Business
Service businesses make up 75% of economic growth in developed nations, and it’s not hard to see why.
It typically costs far less to start a service-based business than it does to start a product-based business. Additionally, service-based businesses are flexible.
They can meet changing customer needs in an instant to bring in new clients and retain current ones. What’s more, service businesses are immune to supply chain disruptions and other problems that can cause headaches for anyone selling products in today’s world.
Consider Your Talents
Take some time to think about your talents and abilities. Are you a good cook? Do you like working with kids? Can you type quickly, or speak a second language?
These are all good skills you can leverage to start a service-based business. Start by using online platforms for freelancers in these fields to connect with potential customers.
Outschool, for instance, is a good platform for people teaching classes as a side gig. TranscribeMe and GoTranscript have paid transcription jobs. If you find demand for your service is high, you can start a personal website and grow your brand.
Alternatively, you may want to base your new business on an activity you like doing. For instance, do you enjoy being out in nature after spending eight hours in an office? If so, perhaps mowing lawns or landscaping is a good option for you.
On the other hand, someone who enjoys working with animals may want to start a dog walking or pet-sitting service. Advertise your services in your neighborhood to get your first clients. As you do well with your first jobs, you’ll earn word-of-mouth referrals.
Wisely Choose Products for a Product-Based Business
Product-based businesses can be very lucrative. They also don’t take up much time, especially if you’re sourcing items and putting them up for sale online.
Generating passive income in this manner is ideal if you have a busy workload. It’s also a good option for seniors who need a side hustle that isn’t physically intense.
Stick With What You Know
It’s wise to set up a product-based business in a field you’re already familiar with.
A professional real estate agent, for example, may want to consider home flipping. Someone who has excelled in an artistic hobby such as crocheting, sewing, or painting may want to sell their creations.
Many teachers make good money selling worksheets and study tools they have created to other teachers and homeschool parents.
Do Your Research
If you decide to buy third-party products and resell them, do careful research to ensure your business plan will work.
First, you’ll want to make sure there is demand for what you’re offering. Consider possible target audiences and how you will reach them.
You’ll also need a reliable source for your products. Take time to consider where you’ll find the products for resale to ensure you won’t run out of needed items.
Consider Start-Up Costs
Next, you’ll want to consider how much money you’ll need to invest to get your business off the ground.
Calculate not only the cost of buying products but also shipping/delivering them to customers. You’ll also need product liability insurance if you plan on selling items on Amazon or eBay.
Remember that items can take a long time to sell, so make sure you can cover important expenses while your business gets off the ground. Never go into debt to take on a side hustle.
Starting a side hustle can be easy, moderately difficult, or extremely difficult. Much depends on what you’re offering and the time and work it takes to get your hustle started. It will also take some hard work and effort to keep your hustle successful long-term.
In any case, a side hustle can be well worth your time and effort. Even if your first efforts don’t succeed at first, you’re gaining valuable skills that will increase your odds of future success