The idea has been around for years, but it is getting a lot more attention- the side hustle. The definition of a side hustle is “work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job.”
There are lots of things that lend themselves to this type of work and the list is growing because technology has made it easy for us to work anywhere, anytime. The work includes things such as web design, bookkeeping and dog-walking. There are lots of ideas and during the pandemic, many discovered that they could have a full-time job and do their own thing with a side hustle. The compensation varies but for some, it exceeds what they make at their regular job. The numbers are astounding. According to Yahoo Finance using a LinkedIn report, “50% of Americans have a side hustle even if they make $100,000 a year.”
For those who want to start a business and have trouble finding seed money, it can be a great strategy. When I started CK and CO, I had a full-time job teaching as an adjunct professor at a university. I did that for two years while I worked to launch my media production company. The hours were long and honestly, there were times when I felt pulled in so many directions that I questioned if it was the right approach. When the university asked me to teach a third year, I had to make a choice. Take the leap and make the “side hustle” my singular focus or keep juggling. I decided that without focusing on my passion for media production I would never be able to build a truly sustainable operation. So, I turned down the offer to teach and have never looked back. For those who are considering making a side hustle into a business, there are three key things to consider.
Can you go the distance?
Is your business idea something people want or need today? Will they still want it five years from now, ten years from now? Will you be able to introduce new or complimentary products and services? Or are you a “one-hit wonder?” To survive, you must be able to change course and adapt when the market changes.
Can you build a team?
Establishing an external team of experts is essential when transitioning a side hustle into a full-fledged business. This team should encompass legal professionals, accountants, and human resources experts. The realm of business regulations is intricate and continually evolving, making it virtually impossible for smaller enterprises to navigate independently. I’ve witnessed numerous individuals attempt to do so, only to find themselves entangled in legal disputes stemming from unintentional errors.
Can you get the cash?
Securing the necessary funds to kickstart your business can feel like a formidable task. Ultimately, having sufficient cash on hand is vital for a successful launch and ongoing operations. There are a variety of ways you can go about securing funding and it would be wise to consult with the advisors you’ve aligned yourself with when you start looking for cash for their expertise.
I explored these three elements in depth in a recent post I wrote for Entrepreneur Magazine. A side hustle can just be a way to earn extra money and do something that you love. But if you want to dive deeper, read my article and see if business ownership is a better option. I know that for me, it has brought decades of satisfaction to have a formal operation that provides employment for families and great results for customers. Ironically, I do still have a side hustle. I love to write and in 2024 will have my third book published by Career Press. Watch for details on Small Business. Big Success. How to Beat the Odds and Grow a Great Small Business.