Whether you’re working, studying, doing neither or doing a little bit of both, your twenties are a great time to consider starting a side hustle. Chances are, you’re relatively commitment-free and a bit of extra cash would go a long way. If you have an idea that you think could become a business, these are my top tips to take it from hobby to hustle.
1. Choose Something you’re Happy to Hustle for 🤩
Starting a side hustle means signing up for a lot of work. Typically, there will be little reward for this work until things get off the ground, which could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. To make sure that you don’t run out of steam before that point, you should choose something that you have a genuine passion for. Love travelling? Start a travel blog. Got a talent for DIY? Open an Etsy shop. Whatever you choose, make sure you enjoy it enough to keep going once the initial thrill wears off.
2. Have a Clear Vision
When it comes to choosing a side hustle, the options are limited only by your creativity.
Just because you can do anything, though, it doesn’t mean that you should do everything. From the outset, know what your business will include and what it won’t. Establish your niche and stick to it. This means that your efforts are focused in one place and your audience knows exactly what you do. Once you have an established presence, you can slowly expand your offering and grow your business.
3. Get Set Up 👩🏾💻
Make sure you do all the boring stuff at the beginning. Register for an ABN (it’s free to do so), start recording all your expenses, prepare your key documents and plan for the future.
a. Your expenses could include things like a percentage of your phone bill and home internet each month, any raw materials you buy to make your products, website hosting fees and equipment.
b. You will need to create a basic invoice template and a media kit or price list. You can find free samples of these documents online, which you can easily adapt or use to create your own.
Making sure that you have this framework set up from the beginning will help you to seem professional, avoid unnecessary costs, understand where your money is going and gain clients.
4. Invest Smart
No one wants to have all the gear and no idea. Chances are, you actually don’t need that much to get started. For many side hustles, a smartphone and an internet connection are enough. Don’t overspend when you first start out on expensive equipment, memberships or software. Do your research and work out exactly what is necessary to kick things off and what the best deal is for any key investments. Once you start making a bit of cash, you can use some of it to reinvest back into your side hustle and take things to the next level.
5. Build your Brand
Once you’ve built a bit of momentum, it’s important to make sure that your audience recognises and remembers you. The key to long-term success is making sure that you are front of mind when somebody is looking for your products or making a recommendation to someone else.
“To do this, you need to establish a clear brand.”
Everything that you do as a business should align with the same message, aesthetic and quality. Consistency allows people to trust and understand your business. Once you develop your brand, stick to it. If you do decide to change your branding, you should communicate this to your audience so that they know why you have done so and that they can still trust you.
6. Have Patience
All good things take time, and your side hustle is no different. Nurture it, watch it grow and, above all, be patient. You won’t make money overnight! Give it time and sooner or later your hard work will start to pay off. Focus on slow and consistent growth rather than your ‘big break’. The more you fixate on hard deadlines or high expectations, the more likely you are to feel like your side hustle is failing. Often, the only problem is that you haven’t given it enough time. Try to ignore what other people are doing or how fast their businesses are growing. Focus on you, what you offer and how you can make that offering better. The rest will follow naturally.