5 Tips To Start Your Side Hustle (And Actually Make It Work)

Time to stop slaving for 'the man'.
Image: Sex And The City

If stagnant wages and the monotony of slaving for the man is getting you down, you may have thought a time or two about starting your own business.

Enter stage left: the side hustle.

Defined as a secondary job to supplement your income on top of a primary job, there are many fully-fledged businesses that started off as side hustles: think Etsy, Under Armour and Groupon.

Why not take your carefully built skillset, creative mind and drive in business and put it towards something that you can foster, grow and hopefully reap the rewards of down the track?

However, it’s a big decision to start a side hustle. From thinking up the business idea, modelling how it would work, getting down into the financials and actually seeing it to fruition, there’s a lot at stake in the game.

So – here are five tips to help you get on your way with your next opportunity.

Find A Niche In Your Skillset

While you can certainly learn your side hustle from the ground up, it’s good to start by capitalizing on your existing knowledge base. Whether it’s finance, PR, HR, arts or something else, find a way to take what you know and create something new.

When you’re starting a side hustle you need to be the expert, and this is a great way to ensure you have the knowledge base to get it off the ground.

Think About Demand

Image: The Office

While it’s important to pick something that you know and are passionate about, it’s also important to think about supply and demand. Is this something people already have access to? Why will they choose you over competitors?

Scope out the market and get an idea of what is out there that is similar to your product, and then think about how you can differentiate and improve on the idea.

Make A Business Plan

So you’ve got a great idea you’ve been dreaming up for years? Now it’s time to turn that brain-caterpillar into a butterfly. Make a business plan that outlines what the business is, the problems you’re solving and how you’re different than competitors. It should include a target customer scope, marketing plan and of course, financial scope and legal considerations.

When you run your own side hustle you’re every department in a typical office job, so try to ensure you’re covering all bases and have the tools you’ll need to actually create the business.

Consider Community Grants

Image: Sex And The City

There are a lot of opportunities to get investment and interest into your side hustle. While crowdfunding can be a great way to get off the ground, have a look at what the banks you know and love have on offer.

For example, CommBank support hundreds of local businesses across Australia with $10,000 Community Grants. They provide funding in vital areas such as medical care and education. You can read more on that here.

Get An ABN And A Good Accountant

A side hustle can be a brilliant way to bring in a new income stream, but with a second income you don’t get the tax-free threshold.

It’s important to organize a proper payment structure with an ABN, and ensure that your business is complying with tax rules to avoid any surprise bills at the end of the financial year. A good accountant will help you organize your expenses, claim what you’re eligible for, and set aside an appropriate amount throughout the year so that your tax return isn’t one of nightmares.

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