University of Houston Small Business Development Center
By: Tatyana Parham
Ever thought about starting a small business side hustle but don't know where to start? Starting a small business hustle outside of your 9-to-5 job has the potential to generate additional income for you and your family, provide you with a creative outlet outside of work, and give you an opportunity to pursue your personal interests in a lucrative way.
As people have become more creative in finding ways to generate additional income due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, and remote work is the most accessible it's ever been, opportunities for side gigs and freelance work have become endless. With a combination of consistency, passion, and focus, you are able to funnel your natural talents and interests into a profitable small business.
Read on for basic steps to begin transforming your hobby into a successful small business side hustle today.
Find Your Passion
While a general understanding of business management is essential to starting your own small business, the most prominent success stories originate from business owners who decided to relentlessly pursue a passion project. Tap into what you're good at, what problems you're good at solving naturally, and what people in your life always come to you for. These are all typically strong indicators of what a great small business side hustle could be for you.
When the ins-and-outs of running a business becomes challenging, focusing on your passion for the side hustle can be a key motivator that keeps you going. By leveraging these passions with your past education, experiences, talents and skillset, you are able to develop a business concept that people actually need.
Know Your Industry
Once you identify what interests motivate you enough to create a small business side hustle, conduct a deep dive and research the industry that capitalizes on those interests. Remember that a lot of competition in an industry can be a sign of a thriving and growing market landscape. No matter how saturated an industry may seem, every small business owner will bring a unique perspective and set of skills and experience to any business venture.
Take a look at patterns of successful businesses in your industry to learn what the target customers are already buying, and how other businesses have responded to evolving consumer demands. Learning how to provide effective solutions for real, everyday problems, is the key to monetizing any small business idea.
Develop Patience and Consistency
Even with a solid business concept, transforming a casual hobby into a profitable small business side hustle requires you to develop qualities that will help you shape your ideas into a structured, fully functioning business. Patience is an essential trait that equips small business owners with the grit and perseverance needed to keep their business going, even when they aren't turning an immediate profit. Even if your business isn't initially making much money, you will never create a successful small business hustle if you give up too early.
Develop and implement a schedule that will allow you to consistently put effort into your small business side hustle, even if you can only dedicate a couple of hours every week. Although balancing your day job, side hustle, and personal life may feel a bit overwhelming, cultivating good time management skills can help you efficiently maximize your productivity without the burnout. Consistently working on your passion project with clear, measurable goals in mind will help you grow your side hustle into a scalable small business.
Build Your Online Presence
As consumers increasingly spend more time online, small business owners should build an active and engaging online presence to develop a credible brand identity. The first step to expanding your side hustle online is to create a website that focuses on educating potential customers of your products and services while maximizing user experience. An effective small business website can also serve as a strategic marketing channel for your business, as well as a point-of-sale system for e-commerce transactions and appointment scheduling.
After you have set up an attractive and informative website showcasing your business's products and services, you can maximize your online reach by utilizing social media. Social media is a cheap and effective method to market your small business side hustle online, and engage with potential clients that may not have found your business otherwise. Use social media as a tool in market research to see what potential clients are attracted to, as well as a built-in space for one-on-one customer service. Be sure to separate your business's social media from your personal accounts so you can begin to grow an audience that is targeted specifically for your business.
Start With What You Have
It may be easy to procrastinate working towards your small side hustle when you work a full-time job, have a busy home life, and have limited time, money, and other resources. The best thing you can do to finally launch your small business side hustle is to just start where you are now with what you already have. Sure, that expensive business coaching retreat, or a brand-new laptop with the latest software would be great to help you grow and expand your business, but it is more beneficial to start today and do the best you can with the resources you have now. Remember that side hustle opportunities are endless, but you can't be successful if you never start the business.
For more tips and resources to grow your small business today, click here.
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