Everyone wants a side gig these days. Whether you define a side gig as something that puts an extra $200 in your pocket each month or a full-fledged part-time business that doubles your income, you must have a plan for how you launch, grow, and protect your supplementary business. Do you?
3 side hustle tips to keep in mind
The days of only having access to a single source of income are long gone. Anyone can earn money from a side gig or side hustle. Whether you’re a business owner, stay-at-home mom, doctor, or a student, there are opportunities to make additional income. However, it’s important to build your side business the right way. Consider the importance of a few key concepts along the way:
There are times in life where you’re wide open and carefree. Then there are times when you have to buckle down and work your tail off. This is one of those times where you need to get serious about building a sustainable income stream. However, just because you have to grind, it doesn’t mean you have to burnout.
The key with any good side hustle is to find a niche that provides inherent balance to your full-time job. If you spend eight hours a day at work behind a desk, a side hustle that aligns with your talents and skills could allow for more activity (e.g., coaching a youth travel team or designing furniture in your garage).
2. Mitigate risk
Ideally, a side hustle will provide you with supplemental income. At worst, it is an enjoyable hobby. A side hustle shouldn’t put you at unnecessary risk – personally or financially. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. This is why it’s important to mitigate risk, just as you would if you were running a full-time business.
Take one popular side hustle, Airbnb hosting, as an example. Hosts often make the mistake of assuming their property insurance covers guests. Many Airbnb hosts also assume they have enough property insurance to pay for any claims that arise. But the truth is there are often gaps in coverage that leave hosts vulnerable. A tailored insurance strategy can fix this.
“That’s why I always recommend getting Duuo as an added layer of protection,” interior designer Jo Alcorn writes. “As an on-demand insurance service, Duuo allows you to pay only for the nights you want short-term rental coverage. It’s designed specifically to protect short-term rental hosts and their homes regardless of the listing platform.”
Whether you design and sell jewelry on Etsy, or host an Airbnb property, think about the biggest risks you will face and implement targeted strategies to reduce the severity of these threats.
3. Time management
Most people complain that they don’t have time to start a side gig and make extra money. But these are often the same people who spend their evenings binging Netflix, going to bed late, and waking up at 8 a.m. – just in time to leave for work.
What if, like entrepreneur Jessica Lawlor – who added some freelance writing gigs to her plate – you got more serious about your schedule?
“I slowly made an effort to set my alarm a little bit earlier each day. Within a few months, I was waking up at 5 a.m. and earned myself two full hours of side hustle time I’d never considered. This two-hour pocket of time felt like a gift,” Lawlor says.
“It allowed me to say yes to lucrative writing opportunities — like a regular magazine assignment. These often allowed me to make nearly $1,000 per quarter for just a few hours’ work a couple of mornings the month my assignments were due.”
Whether it’s a couple of hours in the morning, during your lunch break, or a pocket of time in the evening after dinner, if you’re motivated to find some room in your schedule to hustle – you will!
Start with a simple plan
In the startup world, many people love to talk about how much you can glean from business failure and how it aids in personal growth. For some, it’s a badge of honor.
While there is some truth to this, the reality is that failure sucks. No one starts something and aims to fail. If you launch a business – whether it’s a full-time operation or a small side hustle – without a plan, you will ultimately fail.
Don’t become so addicted to strategy and planning that you never act. Devise a flexible plan. Take balance, risk, and time management into account and improve your chance of success.
Hopefully, your side gig will also provide you with additional income to fuel a better life, too.
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