Business Sense: Tips for Anyone Starting a Side Hustle

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Are you thinking about making some extra cash outside your 9-5 job? You are not alone! One of the smartest money moves you can make right now is starting a side hustle. Side hustles are becoming more popular amongst youngsters in the U.S. 

COVID 19 pandemic put millions out of work with many small retailers and restaurants out of business. The pandemic has been a hotbed of new business creations and innovations. According to the U.S. census data, U.S. business formations rose to nearly 42% in 2020.


Benefits of a Side Hustle

  • It builds a solid financial future
  • It can be low cost yet a high rewarding income booster
  • It helps grow new skills
  • It helps you exercise your creativity
  • It enables you to develop a network of contacts

With little planning, you can take on a new venture while still working full-time. Here are some tips and resources that you can use as you start this new business journey:

1.   Notify Your Employer

Every employer has different rules and attitudes on side hustles. This is why you should read through your employee handbook and know the dos and don’ts. Some of the things to note are:

  • Conflict of interest clause. It restricts employees from doing anything that can potentially harm the employer’s business. It also requires you to tell the employer if this changes at any point in employment.
  • Non-compete clause. It protects the employer’s interest by preventing employees from doing similar work that may compete with the current employer.

That said, most companies won’t have a reason to allow you not to start your side hustle as long it doesn’t interfere with your work and performance. It is better to disclose your other interests in good faith than your employer finding out on their own, making them reactive about the situation. This also creates transparency and trust.

2.   Identify a Growing Industry That Aligns with Your Passion

Just like any other business, a side hustle takes a lot of time to nurture and grow. Therefore, you must identify a product or service that has steady growth in demand.

Google Trends will help you identify this quickly. At least you can make your side hustle a success that’s worth investing your time and money.

3.   Get a Mentor

A quality mentor is critical in any business. Many small business owners can benefit from a mentor. Find someone who is ahead of you in the same type of hustle you are considering starting. Someone who has been working for a few years longer can offer invaluable advice and guidance.

A mentor can help you navigate through many problems, and they will encourage you in hard times and help you avoid pitfalls. Your success chances will be much higher if you don’t try to do it on your own.

4.   Have Long Term Goals

Side hustles don’t turn into income-generating businesses overnight. A lot of work and effort has to be put into it. With this in mind, you should ask yourself if your current routine can be easily sustainable over the years. 

Write down a list of goals and schedules that you can actively work through. Tracking your progress will help keep you motivated during tough times. 

5.   Don’t Forget Tax Planning

You wouldn’t want to get into debt or trouble with the law. If your side hustle is generating substantial income, it is advisable to pay the estimated taxes to avoid penalties. 

Make it a top priority to consult a professional, like a bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia, who can turn to for advice and tax guidance. 

6.   Automate Tasks

Make automation your friend! Invoicing and payments are some of the tasks that can automate. Remember, you have limited time, so your focus should be entirely on activities that generate revenue for you. As such, you can consider third-party outsourced companies. Time-consuming tasks can quickly drain your side hustle efforts.

Documenting your files online makes it easy for you to use and access from anywhere. It also protects you from losing important data in case your device gets stolen or damaged. 

7.   Rest

Side hustles can be a source of burnout. Unfortunately, most hustle cultures insist that sleep is for the lazy. Less sleep means more hours to work, right? Rest time doesn’t mean a delay in your progress. It actually may accelerate it.

Science shows that adequate sleep makes you make better decisions, more time-efficient, and happier.

Running a side hustle takes work, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to grow your wealth and become your boss. In these pandemic times, it’s hard to get a raise. The beauty of having your hustle is that you will never have to wait for your boss to give you one! 

About the Author

Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She frequently works with David Offen, a busy bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia.