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How to start a ‘side hustle’

Want to be your own boss, at least in your spare time? Starting a ‘side hustle’ is a great way to pursue your passions and make money in the process, and you can do it without giving up the security of your day job.

Once again, we collected a series of handy tips to help you turn your skills into a side gig – and who knows what next?

Give yourself some (spare) time

Being good at something is a great starting point, but launching a successful business is not just about having skills. It takes time, dedication and smart planning. The bottom line is, don’t quit your job as yet: your current income can be a solid ground to build upon, and a safety net if things don’t work out.

How determined are you?

Business success doesn’t happen overnight, so before you start a side hustle, it’s important to understand what you want to achieve.

Is it just a no-frill pastime? Are you looking to give your savings a significant boost? Or perhaps, you think of this as your chance at a brand-new beginning? Setting clear goals will help you keep focused and on track.

What can you do?

The best results often come when the right skills meet the right interest areas, and experience and industry knowledge obviously don’t hurt. But if you lack key skills that relate to the side hustle you want to create, remember: it may not be too late to learn them or improve them.

Creating a solution to a problem

These days, it seems almost impossible to create something completely new and disruptive. But with so many online options and the rise of the sharing economy, perhaps it’s never been so easy to try. The key thing is to create solutions: your product or service should solve a unique problem or solve a problem uniquely. And to test this theory, think about the most successful brands out there: do they not provide solutions?

The first paying customer

One of the top reasons why startups fail is ‘lack of market need’. Does your idea have what it takes? Would customers find value in it? One way to make sure is to validate your side hustle idea with a paying customer (before you’re way too invested to drop it). For example, you can get feedback from potential customers and ask them to join a waiting list…

What makes you ‘different’?

Unless you’ve created something completely new, competition is an inevitable part of doing business. Your competitive edge is what makes your customers choose you, and can range from aggressive pricing to top-notch customer service, world-class features and innovative sales strategies. So, what’s your point-of-difference? What makes you stand out?

The importance of having a plan

It’s not easy to maintain the same level of enthusiasm as time goes by, and setting milestones and deadlines (provided you stick to them) may help you beat the inertia. Plus, don’t forget to tell friends and family about your plans: the more people know what you’re doing, the less you’ll allow yourself to make excuses.

Don’t aim for perfection

Finally, a word about ‘perfectionism’, which can be a double-edged sword. Trying to do your best is one thing, but it’s important not to be afraid of making mistakes. After all, your side hustle may or may not succeed, but the only way to know for sure is to try. Have fun!

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