6 simple tips when starting a side hustle

Starting a side hustle is not an easy feat, especially in Nigeria. Forget about the loans! This post will show you how to start a second job without a loan and grow your business Africa.

What is a side hustle? A side hustle is any money making activity that you do on the side to make extra income. Most people who start a side hustle will have another job, but they are looking for ways to earn more money in their spare time.

Make a list of your skills and what you’re good at and start figuring out how to monetise.

When starting a side hustle, it’s important to make a list of your skills an what you’re good at. You can then use this information in order to find the right opportunity for yourself.

For example if you are good at cooking, you can consider several ideas like cooking for occasions, small chops , quick snacks which you can start selling to your immediate network.

In fact there is someone (Mr. OO) that started a restaurant after inviting a friend to lunch as the food  was so good that  the visitor kept asking for more. This is how the idea sparked and Mr OO started a weekend restaurant. He tapped into his love for cooking to generate income.

Figure out if there is a market for the product or service you want to offer

I am sure we are all versatile in different things. It is important you make this list and start to test out the right one that works for you as a side hustle. The thing you may be super skilled at may not be the right fit for the market, so test out and see which works best. This is called a misalignment as the timing may not be right or there are not enough buyers to make valuable returns for you. For instance, you may be good at making videos, but your target audience use basic devices that don’t support video, hmmm, your guess is as good as mine. Okay, let’s remain positive here!

I believe everything is possible and you need to test out everything and this is the beauty of starting a side hustle, you are not totally dependent on the income coming from the opportunity (not just yet). So you can keep trying to see which of your ideas is the most profitable, enjoyable, fulfilling and checks all the boxes you have set for yourself. Know what your costs are as it determines your profitability as we often make the mistake of not calculating properly our costs.

Consider how much time it will take to run this business on top of your day job

I like to look at things from a different perspective – how much time can you create for your side hustle. Can you create time after work, during weekends or early in the morning? How much time do  you need to dedicate to this thing. We tend to trivialise the importance of time and end up getting overwhelmed.

There is this lady (Miss Lara) that started a photography business as a weekend side hustle. Her main focus was events (you got to love naija owambe) and it all started well for her. No office work on weekends, so she can run her side hustle by shooting a wedding on Friday and Saturday and have Sunday to herself. Hmmm our sister found out the hard way that after photographing, she had to set aside time to edit the photos (10 minutes per photo, multiplied by 200 photos), then post production, album creation, printing, delivery and chasing client for balance payment- she ended up switching to portrait photography to suit her pace and time availability.  This is why your time is important.

How much is your time worth?

Before starting your side hustle, you need to know how to value your time in order to know what you are getting into. Let’s stick with our photography friend (Lara). Lara eventually was able to shift her business and still generated income based on her time availability among other things.

Start small

Biggest advice you should consider  – start small when starting out on your hustle.

You may think that being a successful entrepreneur is all about having the big ideas, but it’s not always as easy as you might imagine. Starting with something smaller can actually be much more effective in building up confidence and momentum to take bigger actions later down the line – so why not give yourself an easier first step? A key benefit of starting small is that you can easily switch or change focus of your business because you have the opportunity to test and if you fail (which happens often), you learn and move forward fast.

Again back to  Miss Lara and her photography business, remember that she started out wanting to work on weekends as an events photographer. After trying it out, she realised that wedding photography was taking up far more time than anticipated. She managed to switch to become a portrait photographer. Imagine if she put everything and went in big on the event photography? You guessed it right.

Your side Hustle is a business

Treat your side hustle like every other professional business because it will evolve into a profitable enterprise and you want to get it right from the start. Make sure you have a structure in place from day one including your financials, expenses, documentation, online presence, documentation and planning. One  major important point – separate your personal and business expenses from  the very start.

Get your finances in order (budget, savings account)

Have fun while at it! 

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