How to start a side hustle while keeping your full-time job

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Some of us wish that our work could align with our passions or that we could have more leeway in balancing work and life. But it's not likely that you can just up and leave your 9–5, what with having to pay for things like housing and food.

Starting a side business and gradually increasing your revenue is the ideal approach to one day becoming your boss while maintaining the stability of a regular job.

In addition to boosting your income, taking on a side gig may open doors to new professional experiences that would never arise during your day-to-day work. It's common for people to get full-time positions after meeting via a mutual interest in something they did on the side. The content marketing consulting career I've established was also aided by this.

But it's always complex to turn a side business into a moneymaker while still holding a full-time job. It calls for strict time management, a change of perspective on what matters, and the will to be resourceful and inventive every day.

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Here are 10 tips to help you get momentum in your side business while still maintaining your primary source of reliable income.

1. Set a time goal for your side hustle and stick to it

The first step is to realize how much effort will be required to make your side business successful. You should expect to put in some work since this won't improve automatically.

If you have regular 9-to-5 work, then most of your day is already planned. Rather than focusing only on your main job, you'll need to devote part of your free time to your side gig. This will most likely be in the early morning and late evening. You should ask yourself whether you can make that time commitment before you start.

You should avoid running a side business if the prospect of working weekends fills you with dread. But if you decide to go on, take care not to overexert yourself. The last thing you want is to become so overworked that you can't do your current job adequately.

2. Identify your skills and areas of Interest.

If you're enthusiastic about what you're selling, you'll have a better chance of making money. It will give inadequate effort to a task if you are not interested in it. One study by Deloitte indicated that when workers are uninspired, they are less likely to give their all.

So, starting a side business related to something you're already passionate about is a good idea. If you have a passion for baking, you may open a webshop to sell your creations. Conversely, if you're an accomplished guitarist, you may share your knowledge via video lessons on a platform like Alison.

Many artists, for instance, make money by teaching others how to play an instrument through the Internet. However, some artists also make a living through freelance work as graphic designers or digital storytellers. There's no time like the present to get the knowledge and experience you need to launch that side business or pursue your passions.

3. Identify how you will generate income

This is a major milestone on the road to success in your side business. Taking stock of your financial situation before starting a company is crucial since it will always demand investment. Expenses like hosting and maintaining a website, advertising, product development, and distribution should all be included in your budget.

How your consumers or clients will pay you is something else to consider. Invoicing is a common part of operating a business, especially a new one. This might be a challenging chore if you aren't accustomed to handling money.

4. Differentiate yourself from competitors

The odds are that you'll have to compete with other established players in your side hustle's field unless you've created a completely new product or service that stands in a class by itself. The economic world is full of cutthroat rivalries. In every market, there will always be others that want to one-up you, steal your clients, and find ways to develop faster than you.

If you want to avoid this, you must provide your value propositions with a significant competitive edge. Anything that makes your company stand out from the competition might be considered a competitive advantage. Differentiating elements might be anything from clever (or poor) pricing to aggressive sales methods, larger profit margins, unsurpassed customer service, best-in-class features, strategic partnerships, and intellectual property. Customers pick you and keep returning because of what you provide that no one else does.

5. Define clear goals

The ability to think large and aim high is admirable. Seeking for the end zone right out of the games won't get you anywhere when it comes to making your side hustle successful. Making progress toward your broader objectives requires setting initial targets that are both manageable and attainable. Gaining a second happy client is the natural next step after signing on your first. After that, you may go on to your third, fourth, fifth, etc.

If you try to tackle a thousand consumers at once instead of one, you'll be completely overwhelmed by the amount of preparation work involved. From what I've seen, the best way to form good habits and train yourself for success is to set realistic, time-bound objectives for the next days, weeks, and months. The SMART Goals Criteria is a useful tool for creating effective goals.

6. Plan out your breakthrough moments

Start, make money off, and refine a smart, workable side business concept. If you don't know what will connect most with your clients, don't waste time attempting to design the ideal answer. If you don't wake up from your dream state, you'll be wasting your life away. You may overcome this resistance by creating a basic action plan that details the steps you need to take, the dates you need to complete them, and the date you want to launch your product.

Maintain your commitment to your deadlines, inform your loved ones of your plans, and force yourself to stop making excuses. Take the necessary steps to advance from one stage to the next. Remember that striving for perfection will only slow you down and keep you from getting anything off the ground.

7. Tasks beyond your area of expertise should be delegated.

Your strengths are clear to you now. It's unrealistic to expect to excel in every possible task. As you embark on your side job, you'll quickly discover your areas of weakness. You'll need to outsource some (or even most) of your side business's administrative tasks if you want to continue focusing on the parts of the enterprise that you know how to handle best.

For instance, you may excel in bookkeeping and management, but if your graphic design abilities are subpar, people are less likely to listen to what you say. Do what you're excellent at while looking for ways to outsource the rest to improve the situation. Unless there is a direct connection between what you're interested in and your firm's demands, I wouldn't even bother attempting to acquire new talents soon. There is a more efficient and simple solution, and that is to outsource your shortcomings. The worth of your time rises with time, making this a cheaper option overall.

8. Request honest feedback from customers

If you don't hear back from your first clients, your side business is far more likely to tank. You could be aiming to create a product that doesn't solve your customers' concerns in the best way feasible. If you don't get an outside perspective, you can carry out your plan, waste time, money, and effort, and end up with nothing to show. Accepting negative criticism as a learning opportunity can help you develop a habit of refining your answer.

9. Don't risk losing your day job.

It should use neither your company's time nor resources to further your side business. It was unethical and probably against your contract when you started working there. Maintain a high standard of performance in your day job and all your contractual obligations, even as the success of your side business grows.

If you cut corners at work and tarnish your bosses' impression of you, you may kiss all hopes of working with them again or forming a partnership goodbye when you finally leap into full-time entrepreneurship. I've learned the hard way that not following the rules of a contract might result in reprimands and even legal action.

10. Develop a steady flow of clients before you give up your day job

Do not quit your day job unless your side hustle can provide you with a steady income of at least 75% larger than what you are making now. Most business owners like taking calculated risks, but you should only get into something with some assurance of success.

In addition, you should have enough money for personal and company expenses to last you for at least six months in case your firm does not expand as rapidly as you had hoped. Remember that the clearest predictor of future success is having delighted consumers and transforming them into income in the early stages of your side hustle. With a family to support, it should resist the temptation to stop quickly much more strongly.

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