Do you have an idea for a passion project but you just need that push to get you going? Well, you’re in luck, thanks to finance expert Barry Choi. Here are his tips on how to kick that side hustle into gear.
Figure out what your side hustle is
Take a look at your skills. Are any of them marketable? Many people don’t realize something they do on a regular basis already could easily be a side hustle. Graphic designers could easily find some work on the side. If you’re a handy person, you could make your services available on sites such as taskrabbit. Even if you have limited skills, you could be an Uber driver or work in retail. The purpose is to make more money.
Know why you want to side hustle
If you’re thinking about starting a side hustle, think about why you want to do it. What are your goals? Perhaps you want to earn more money to save for a downpayment for a home or you just want to save more money in general. If you’re going to earn more money, you should have a goal for that money.
Start marketing yourself
Like any business, you need to market yourself so people know you’re offering a service. At the start, that might just be through friends and family but you might want to consider creating a webpage to market yourself. There are also sites you can list your services. Posting signs on lamp posts with your phone number probably won’t help. Seriously, when was the last time you hired a painter or moved after seeing an ad posted a lamp post?
Dreaming big is always good, but it’s better to set goals that are realistic. Maybe at the start, it’s getting one paid customer and then later, it’s growing your mailing list. This may seem obvious, but way too often we set these crazy goals for ourselves that are attainable. We just end up getting frustrated and quitting. Of course, you’ll run into some bumps along the way, but small goals will lead to bigger goals.
Make sure you’re on top of your finances
The point of a side hustle is to make money right? If you’re spending more than you make, then you have a serious issue. Some side hustles will have startup costs e.g. photographers, but you want to be cashflow positive ASAP. Once you start earning income, make sure your accounting is up to date. Save all your receipts and always report your income the CRA. You’ll also want to claim any eligible business expenses and register for a GST/HST number once you earn $30,000+ in a single year from your side hustle. Be on top of everything and think like it’s a business.