Side hustles are all the rage these days, as workers look to supplement their incomes from their primary jobs with more flexible gigs in their spare time. A side gig can be much more than something you do with an hour or two on a weekend, though.
A side hustle can be a separate, thriving business when properly managed, one that generates a real secondary income and not just a few extra bucks. Read on if you’re looking for tips and tricks you can use to boost your side hustle income in a hurry.
Have a Plan
Most side hustles start as simple secondary jobs intended to generate a little extra income. But if you really want to grow your side gig income, you have to map out your strategy just like a “real” business. Without a business plan, you might be able to pull in a few extra dollars, but it’s unlikely you can consistently build your job on the side.
With a business plan, however, you can allocate your time better, cut out inefficiencies and focus on what you need to in order to maximize your income growth. Plot out exactly what you want your side gig to become. Do you simply want to earn a few extra dollars? Do you want to grow your income every year? Or do you ultimately want your side gig to replace your full-time job? No matter what your objective, having a plan makes it infinitely more likely that you’ll achieve your goals.
Market, Market, Market
You may be the greatest widget maker in the world, but if no one knows, you won’t earn a single dime. Whatever your side gig is, research what the best marketing opportunities are for your service or product, and pour your energy into that. For example, if you’re good at interior design, it generally won’t do you much good to advertise your talents in an in-flight magazine. However, creating a YouTube channel where you provide tips on how to make the most of your interior space might generate a loyal following, potential advertising revenue and, most importantly, some interested clients.
Over time, analyze how your marketing is doing so that you can refine your efforts. Remember that in business, 20% of your efforts typically provide 80% of your results. Streamline your marketing efforts so that you aren’t wasting 80% of your time and money on strategies that aren’t working.
Keep Costs Low
One way to maximize side gig profits is to have low expenses. If you’re going to sell products online, for example, you might have significant startup costs in terms of inventory and/or storage. If you’re starting a dog walking or house sitting business, on the other hand, you might not have to spend money on anything at all, except perhaps marketing. This isn’t to say that high-cost side gigs can’t be immensely profitable over time, but if you’re looking to maximize your profits from day one, try to limit the amount you have to spend to get started.
Invest In Yourself
If you just want to work a few hours on the side and use that money to pay bills or take a vacation, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you truly want to grow your income stream over time, you’ll have to take some of those profits and reinvest them in yourself. For example, if you make arts and crafts, consider investing in upgraded machines or tools, or even hiring assistants to help you produce more product quickly. If you resell products on sites like eBay, consider using your initial profits to buy additional inventory, rent a storage space or even open a store.
Even if you start with a low-cost side gig, you can use some or all of your first profits to increase your marketing and outreach. By reinvesting your profits, you may not have anything to show from your side hustle for a while, but once you successfully expand, your ability to take money out of the gig should jump exponentially.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Regardless of what your side hustle is, many have gone before you, and many have either succeeded or failed. Take the time to study what has made others in your industry succeed, and apply those lessons to your own side hustle. As the saying goes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. While you shouldn’t copy everything you do from someone else, learn from prior stories in your industry and focus your efforts on what has already proven viable.
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