Have you ever dreamed about leaving your 9-to-5 job so you could start your own business? You’re not alone. In 2022, 5.07 million business applications were filed in the U.S.
The biggest obstacle for most people is not knowing where to begin. Start by thinking about what you’re passionate about. If you love animals, you could become a pet sitter. If you’re passionate about coding, you could start a web design business. The possibilities are endless.
Most people don’t just jump right into a business full time. Instead, it starts as a side hustle and eventually grows into a profitable business that allows them to leave their other jobs.
Being handy around the house can be a very valuable skill to have. When something breaks, you can easily fix it without needing to hire someone else.
If you’re skilled at doing a lot of different projects around the house you could market yourself as a handyman. You could also become more specialized in doing one thing such as landscaping or painting.
“I got started by offering my services to friends and family members who were looking for help with various home services,” said Tommy Mellow, founder of A1 Garage Door Service. “I quickly realized that there was a high demand for these services in my community, and decided to turn my side hustle into a full-time business.”
The best part about starting something as a side hustle is that it allows you to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t without the added stress of needing to make money from your services.
“To scale my business, I focused on three key areas: marketing, customer service and efficiency,” Mellow said. “I invested in online advertising and social media marketing to reach a wider audience and attract new customers. I also made sure to provide excellent customer service, responding promptly to inquiries and addressing any concerns or issues that arose.”
Another great side hustle that can be scaled into a full-time business is digital marketing. It could be through social media, content creation or search engine optimization.
According to the Small Business Administration, there were more than 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. as of March 2021. That means there are millions of potential clients who are looking to gain visibility online so they can grow their own businesses.
“I started building links as a side gig,” said Milosz Krasinski, managing director of Chilli Fruit Web Consulting. “It was just an activity I did in my spare time to earn a bit of extra money, usually around $200 a month. At the time, I had a nine-to-five job, and this was just a way to support my income and get my hands into the rapidly evolving digital landscape.”
Krasinski went on to say, “As time passed, I began to realize that my side gig had potential beyond just making a few extra bucks. It was more than just building links — it was about understanding businesses, their target audience and how to connect them in the most effective way.”
Creating physical products isn’t for everyone. Not only do you need to have the resources to manufacture products, but you need a way to store them until they’re sold as well.
Creating and selling digital products is a much easier way to offer something of value to your audience, especially when you get the framework down.
“I had the entrepreneurial itch like many people and spun up a site on Shopify selling a range of music related resources,” said Cole Dash, founder of Rudemuzik.com. Dash went on to say that without the headache of storage costs, shipping costs and maintenance, it’s much easier to focus on scaling the business.
“I scaled to a profitable business [in] two ways,” he added. “First, I consistently reached out to my customers to understand their pain points. Second, I narrowed down my product offerings to those that are laser focused on solving those pain points. Yup, I scaled by offering less.”
If you’re a people person and live in a high tourism location, a great way to make some extra money would be to work as a tour guide. Find creative ways to show people all the great things your city has to offer.
“In 2017, my partner Monique Hamilton and I started what’s now one of the largest tour companies in New Orleans,” said Christopher Falvey, co-founder of Unique NOLA Tours.
Falvey went on to talk about how their business started as a complete side hustle. Hamilton was the sole tour guide and he handled marketing and accounting for the business. As they began to grow, their focus was on hiring the best guides for their business and treating them with respect. This allowed them to love their jobs more, which ultimately gave customers a more positive experience.
The Bottom Line
Many people start a side hustle because they want to supplement the income from their nine-to-five jobs. However, many side hustles tend to focus on things people are passionate about, so why not make the necessary moves to turn it into a successful full-time business?
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