6 Things to Do Before Launching Your Side Hustle

When you’re not happy with the amount of income you’re making from your full-time gig, a side hustle helps fill the void. However, you can’t just launch your side hustle overnight and expect things to go well. Just like when you’re running the day-to-day operations of any opportunity to earn money on the side, it’s necessary to think carefully about your side-hustle setup strategy. By overlooking the crucial things below, you’re missing out on potential profits.

Create a Budget

Assuming you do a good job of managing your money, you probably have made a personal budget that ensures there’s enough in your bank account to pay for things like:

  • Housing
  • Groceries
  • Your cell phone and cable bills
  • Fun outings

Budgeting before getting your side hustle off the ground is a good way to make sure your financial situation can bear the extra expenses you’ll incur before starting to make a profit. The things you might need to buy for your business you probably wouldn’t need otherwise range from office supplies to a faster Internet service, depending on how you make your money and market services or products.

Avoid side-hustle snags and make sure the business budget you create includes fixed costs, variable expenses and one-off needs, such as new furniture or tech products. Also, verify your budget is realistic by doing research to find out how much certain things usually cost in your area.

Ensure There’s Demand in the Market

Maybe you’ve decided a dog-walking service would be a particularly fitting side hustle, because it allows you to combine your love of animals with a desire to exercise regularly. Although it’s true such a service is in demand in many communities, it may not be in your hometown. A closer look at the market may reveal there are already two other nearby companies that are well-known and profitable, meaning it’s probably foolish to add your business to the mix.

If it turns out there are already too many similar businesses in your area and the market is saturated, look for ways to alter your original idea. For example, you might decide to start a business where you visit dogs in their homes when owners are on vacation.

Build an Attractive and Reliable Website

Your website will likely be one of the top ways people find out about your side hustle and how it could benefit them. That’s why it’s so important to invest in building a website that looks great and functions as intended. Spend ample time thinking about the most helpful features it should include, and ask friends for input.

Most good websites share the same basic elements. They’re usually easy to read, filled with interesting content and have links that make it easy for people to share your content on their social media feeds.

Plan a Launch Party

Regardless of the kind of side hustle you have, creating a buzz about it is a great way to get people talking and make them curious about what you provide. Consider planning a launch party and inviting everyone you know, plus telling those individuals to feel free to bring their pals along. Launch parties are especially advantageous if you are selling products such as:

  • Homemade or gourmet foods
  • Makeup
  • Housewares
  • Health supplements

While people are at the launch party, they can test the products themselves, which is often a much more compelling activity than simply reading about items through paper-based or online materials. Besides doing things like playing icebreaker games, you can get people excited by adding a welcome element of novelty and setting up a fun photo booth.

Encourage people to pose with your products and snap photos inside the booth, so they’ll have reminders of all the fun they had during your launch party. It’s important to leave people with positive impressions about your side hustle, and a launch party, complete with a cool photo booth, could help those good opinions form. Some companies even print the photos onsite, meaning attendees don’t have to wait to receive them via their inboxes.

Populate Your Social Media Profiles

Speaking of social media, don’t expect your side hustle to meet expectations if you haven’t gone through the process of solidifying your social media presence. As already mentioned, many people initially get the scoop about new local businesses online. The likelihood of them looking for you on social media is especially high if you live in a college town or are marketing to younger segments of the population.

Optimize your social media profiles with worthy content such as an appealing profile picture and keyword-rich descriptions of your business and its services. Also, avoid leaving sections of your social media profiles blank — incomplete details may make people think you’re not sufficiently committed to the business, or haven’t planned the specifics adequately.

Set a Schedule

One reality of your side hustle may be a brand-new experience for you — it will probably require you to work completely without supervision. Side-hustle success is dependent on excellent time management, and if you don’t come up with a manageable schedule, you’ll either become burned out from too much work, or get bored because you’re not sure what to do next.

Scheduling your time and sticking to that routine is something you especially can’t avoid if you are still working full-time while getting your side hustle going. Failing to hold yourself accountable to a schedule could cause your productivity and overall quality to decrease at your full-time job, and maybe even cause you to lose it.

Also, relying on a schedule makes it easier to switch between full-time employment and the time you’ve blocked off for your side hustle, instead of having to multitask. Although multitasking often seems like an appealing way to get things done at first, research shows it’s less productive than focusing on one thing at a time.

As you can see, starting your side hustle could be a relatively straightforward process, as long as you don’t leave out must-have elements such as the ones listed above. During the early stages of showcasing yourself as a side hustler, you’ll probably make a few mistakes. Even if you do, once the foundational elements are in place, it’s easier to dust yourself off and keep going.

Sarah Landrum

After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR, Sarah moved to Harrisburg to start her career as a Digital Media Specialist and a writer. She later founded Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers.

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