Having good financial health means having enough money to cover your daily expenses, pay off debt, and grow your savings to meet your financial goals. One way to do this is by having a side hustle.
A side hustle or side gig is work you do outside of your regular job to earn extra money. According to a Zapier survey conducted by The Harris Poll, a third of Americans have a side hustle. Another quarter plan to start one.
Considering that a side hustle will take up your time, effort, and even money – hence the word “hustle” – you want to make sure you earn enough to make it worth it. This requires serious research and planning. Here are some tips for launching your side gigs with odds stacked in your favor:
Be Clear About Your Goals
People start a side hustle for various reasons, according to the Zapier survey. Many want to build passive income or diversify their income sources. Others want to save for a specific financial goal. Some even do it just for fun. Why do you want to start a side gig? Your plan should include how much you want to earn and how long it should take to achieve it.
Find the Right Side Hustle
Don’t start a side hustle because it seems like a hot trend. What works for some people may not work for you. Yes, make sure there is demand for what you plan to do and that you can make money from it. But to be able to sustain it when the going gets rough, it must be something you are good at and would enjoy doing. So, consider your skills, interest, and experience – then match them with market demand.
Make Sure You Have Time for It
You need to be realistic about how much time you can allot for your side hustle. If you work a regular 9-to-5 job, you can fit your side gig after work or on weekends. But consider your other obligations like chores, family responsibilities, and even volunteer work. Ask yourself if you are willing to give up your free time and social life, at least temporarily.
Just Get Started
Planning is crucial, but you could end up in analysis paralysis. At a certain point, you need to act. It does not have to be a big launch. And you don’t have to wait until you have everything in place. It can be as simple as texting or emailing friends and family about your plans. To get out of inertia, break down your action plan into small, achievable milestones, set a deadline for each, and ask someone to hold you accountable.
Your side hustle should be both low-risk and low-cost. Don’t buy an expensive franchise or invest in a new business, where one in five startups fail in the first two years and 45% close during the first five. Always start small. Bootstrap your business. Wait until your side hustle starts earning and growing before investing serious cash.
Don’t Quit Your Job
Your day job provides stable income and a fallback if your side gig fails to gain traction. So, don’t quit your job – yet. Consider leaving if you already earn at least 75% of your current salary. And make sure your performance at work does not suffer because of your side hustle. If your side gig is related to your current job, you could even transition from being an employee to an independent consultant for the same employer.
Sign Up at Freelance Platforms
According to a survey by Side Hustle Nation, the most popular side hustles are online businesses, freelancing and consulting, and e-commerce. Online businesses, including e-commerce, are more scalable, but they take time to build. You may have to learn how to do it first. And then, you need to grow your audience and promote your business. On the other hand, freelancing and consulting already make use of your current skills. And it is faster to land your first client. Before creating a website and marketing your services, join freelance marketplaces and start bidding for projects.
Join the Gig Economy
The global gig economy is worth $204 billion, with over half of Americans likely to join it by 2027 as it is already growing thrice as fast as the total U.S. workforce. Freelancers are just a part of it. There are ride-sharing drivers, Airbnb landlords, TaskRabbit workers, pet-sitters, content creators, online sellers, tutors, fitness trainers, virtual assistants, party and wedding planners, life coaches, yoga teachers, drop shippers, print-on-demand sellers, real estate agents, the list goes on.
Start your side hustle and like 44% of gig workers, it could even become your primary source of income.