Starting a side hustle is one of the most popular ways for Filipino employees, freelancers, and students to supplement their primary source of income. Of all the forms that a side hustle can take, starting your own business has the greatest potential to be the most rewarding. After all, nothing beats earning money from the things you already liked doing in the first place. Whether you’re into baking cookies, crafting jewelry, or creating art on commission, you can monetize your skills efficiently to secure the means to live comfortably.
Even if you don’t have a business background, you can still get significant returns from your money-making pursuit. As long as you have the right attitude and know-how, you can take your side hustle to the next level. That said, here are some tips to help you nurture your business and potentially turn it into your full-time venture.
Set Aside a Working Capital
Starting a business, no matter how small, entails shelling out a certain amount from the get-go. You may not require additional space and staff yet, but you still need to spend on raw materials such as food ingredients and craft items. If your main income stream cannot cover all recurring expenses, it may help to secure extra funding through loans. Try opting for easy-apply online loans with flexible payment terms to establish your starting capital until your business takes off. On a related note, it might help to open a separate bank account for your business transactions to make your financial auditing more streamlined.
Create a Business Plan
To get your side hustle running efficiently, you need to prepare a business plan that can help you get a grasp of your daily operations and long-term vision. Essentially, your business plan is an instrument for visualizing your goals (i.e., how many sales per week), the state of your competitor landscape, and how much you need to cover resources and potential scaling needs. Creating a plan for all these factors enables you to plot out your growth strategy and lay the groundwork for a successful business trajectory.
Know Your Target Market
One of the keys to a successful business is knowing your target market and how it behaves. To stand out from your competitors, you may want to do a bit of market research on your chosen vertical. Are you leaning towards middle-class yuppies, moms, or consumers from the masses? Knowing who to market your goods or services to allows you to gain your footing in a potentially competitive landscape and establish a solid client base.
On top of that, having a clear idea of your audience also helps you properly gauge market behavior. For example, young professionals tend to revolve their spending around their paydays, which is usually the 15th and 30th of the month. As such, you may want to launch campaigns, offers, or sales during the payday weeks to get some traction for your brand.
However, market research goes beyond merely analyzing consumer background and behavior. You also need to be receptive to comments and suggestions to know how you can offer better products. It would help to set up simple feedback forms, polls, or other ways to survey your consumers on points for improvement. The goal is to know what you can do to tailor your products around your consumers’ needs and preferences.
Be Systemic and Practice Good Time Management
All sidelines require high levels of discipline and exemplary time management skills. We all have the same 24 hours, but those with side hustles need to juggle time for primary income-generating activities, sidelines, and rest. Operating a side business can even be extra grueling since you’re doing administrative, marketing, sales, and financial tasks on your own. To optimize your 24 hours and have enough time for rest, you need to have a clear idea of what your priorities should be. It may help to use tools such as spreadsheets, organizers, and calendars that detail all activities down to the smallest task.
With all that in mind, you should remember that you need to be systemic when running a business. Biting off more than you can chew often leads to burnout, which is counterproductive to growing your business. Once your hustle starts to boom, you can start enlisting the help of business partners or virtual assistants that can handle tasks such as customer response, accounting, and inventory checks.
Explore Marketing Techniques
The great thing about the internet is that it allows you to be creative in your marketing strategies. Apart from setting up a social media page for your business and regularly interacting with prospective customers, you can also set up your shop on e-commerce websites. If you want to take it further, you can even create and polish your own website. You can set up your own using a free platform or pay regularly for the use of your own domain name.
Once you have sustained a stream of revenue, you can enlist the help of digital marketing specialists to help out in broadening the online reach of your business. These specialists are knowledgeable in techniques such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) to help you rank higher in search results and gain visibility for your brand. Moreover, you can complement your digital marketing efforts by reaching out to bloggers, vloggers, media outlets, or prominent figures such as influencers to promote your brand.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
One of the hallmarks of a good business owner is the ability to take risks. As a business owner, you must be able to anticipate downturns. For instance, you may face resource shortages or customer dissatisfaction from time to time. These setbacks are unavoidable, and you need to take them like a champ and treat them as learning opportunities. And when you feel as though your offerings are lagging behind, you must be agile enough to pivot. This means recognizing opportunities for innovating your product, applying new development techniques, or venturing into other forms of businesses if you think it’s time to jump ship.
In the end, the most important thing is to have the courage to pursue ventures without getting fazed by uncertainty. With enough preparation and a bit of luck, you can discover endless possibilities to earn big. Who knows, you could eventually transform your side business into more than just a secondary paycheck.