These days, side hustles are becoming more normalized. While you may have a full-time job, starting a side business can help you earn more money and be more financially stable. However, starting a business can be harder than you think, especially when you're already working.

Fortunately, with the right planning and preparation, you can start a side hustle sooner than you might expect. Follow these steps, and you should be able to start earning extra income in no time.

Starting a Side Business with Simple Steps

Here are some simple steps to start building your side business along with your day job.

1. Do your Research

Realistically, side hustles can fall into one of several categories. Let's classify these as Extra Money, Revenue Stream, and Dream Career. Here's a quick breakdown.

  • Extra Money – These side hustles are all about bringing in some extra cash whenever you need it. For example, maybe you sell products at a festival or event when you want to make some money, but you don't do it full-time.
  • Revenue Stream – Some side hustles allow you to make passive income, meaning you don't have to work to earn money. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular side businesses that can generate a revenue stream, but there's a learning curve and quite a lot of upfront work.
  • Dream Career – In this case, you want your side business to become your full-time career. So, the more you invest in your business, the less you have to rely on your current job, and you'll eventually be able to focus on your business all the time.

Knowing which type of side business you want to do will help you focus your attention on the right industry. For example, if you just want some extra money, you should look into small businesses that are easy to start and stop as needed. Again, selling products at events allows you to work whenever you want.

2. Get into the Right Mindset

Discipline is the deciding factor between a side hustle that succeeds and one that fails. So, it's important to get into the right mindset before you devote more of yourself to your business.

For example, you need to trust the process and recognize what it will take to start a new enterprise. If you're hoping to make a lot of money in a couple of weeks, you need to readjust your expectations.

The right skill set involves knowing what you have to do and how to adapt to different scenarios. For example, you may devote a lot of time to your business and see no results, so what's your next move? If you're serious about success with your hustle, you'll have to keep at it and possibly try a new angle.

3. Make sure you can Devote Enough Time

Another reason why starting a new business is so hard is that it takes a lot of time. If you're already working full-time and have a family, you may be able to devote only a few hours per day, if that. However, with the right mindset and discipline, you can take those few hours and build something incredible.

In this case, making sure you can devote enough time means committing yourself to a certain number of hours per week. However, remember that any progress is better than no progress. Even if you can only devote two hours to your side business in a week, that's better than nothing.

4. Research your Competitors and Market Potential

Some markets can seem oversaturated, but that doesn't mean you can't succeed. For example, affiliate marketing is a popular side hustle, and it seems like hundreds of people are doing it every day, including major brands and websites. However, the market share for affiliate marketing is almost limitless because it encompasses so many industries and niches.

During this step, it's good to look at a few entrepreneurs who are already succeeding with a similar or identical business model. Feel free to reach out to these people for advice or to learn about how they made it work. Then, determine whether the plan can work for your business and how you can customize it to fit your needs.

Overall, if a market is saturated, it may take longer to break through the noise. Or, if everyone is doing the same thing and following the same trends, you can disrupt the market by doing things differently.

Another issue is not providing the navigator language of your users. Translating your website, including your cart, can increase conversations. For instance, consider using an AI automatic translation service to streamline your workflow.

5. Set up Business Goals

Clearly define both short-term and long-term business goals for your side hustle. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Regularly revisit and adjust your goals as your business evolves and the market landscape changes.

This step will help you stay organized and motivated throughout the journey.

6. Learn from existing Entrepreneurs

Regardless of your side business idea, there may be many others already working within the same industry. Fortunately, information is abundant in the digital age, so it shouldn't be too hard to learn from other's mistakes.

Here are some common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a new side business:

  • Lack of Momentum – Starting a business takes time, so you must be patient and trust the process. Many side hustlers try it for a little while, then give up because they're not seeing results. However, if you keep at it, you should see incremental success.
  • No Unique Value Proposition – If you're starting a business, the basic question you have to answer is, “Why should people buy from you?” Sometimes, it could be your story or what motivates you to start the business. In other instances, you could offer a unique take on an established business model. However, if you're just copying what everyone else is doing, you'll likely struggle.
  • Lack of Organization and Discipline – Starting a business requires discipline to succeed. You'll likely not see immediate success, which can be discouraging. An efficient organization can help you stay on track with goals, deadlines, and action steps. Otherwise, you may struggle to keep up with basic duties, and your business will falter as a result.

7. Secure Funding

Although some side hustles you can start with very little money, the reality is that you'll need startup capital. Even when running an online business, you need money for:

  • Website (domain name)
  • Email Account
  • Business License
  • Reseller's License (if you're selling products directly to customers)
  • Branding Elements
  • Marketing Budget

Each of these items costs money, and depending on your location, setting up a new business can be relatively costly. For example, in California, LLCs have to pay $800 annually to do business, while those in Georgia only pay $50 per year.

Most side businesses can be self-funded, but what happens when it's time to expand? Or, what if you've built some momentum but you don't have the time to keep your business up-to-date? Then, you'll have to hire employees to outsource these tasks. Most funding options include:

  • Friends and Family
  • Business Loans (SBA loans have better terms)
  • Business Credit Cards or Lines of Credit
  • Angel Investors

Depending on the stage of your business development, you may want to secure one or more funding options. Also, weigh the pros and cons of each one. For example, with a loan, you have to make payments every month. However, with a line of credit, you don't pay anything if you haven't borrowed any money.

8. Choose a Location and Register a Business Name

Consider where your target customers are and if the area is suitable for your type of business. It could be online or a physical location depending on the nature of your side business. For instance, to start an e-commerce business, you can choose Shopify to build your website or sell on Etsy, Amazon etc. 

Next, focus on building a reliable infrastructure. This includes the tools, equipment, and technology you'll need to run your business smoothly. Whether it's a computer for online work, machinery for a craft business, or any other necessary resources, make sure you have everything in place to operate efficiently.

Now, don't forget to register a business name. This step involves choosing a unique and memorable name for your business and officially registering it with the appropriate authorities. This not only gives your business a professional identity but also helps protect your brand.

9. Secure Licenses, Permits or Certifications 

When starting a side business, it's crucial to make sure you have the necessary licenses, permits, or certifications. These are like official permissions that show you're allowed to operate your business legally.

Depending on the type of business you're starting, there might be specific licenses or permits required by your local government. For example, if you're selling homemade food, you might need a food handling permit. If you're offering a service like tutoring or coaching, you might need certifications in your field.

Checking and securing these licenses is important because it ensures you're following the rules and regulations, avoiding potential legal issues, and building trust with your customers. It might take some research, but it's a crucial step to make sure your side business is on solid ground from the start.

10. Set up a Business Bank Account 

It's smart to set up a separate bank account for your business transactions. It helps keep your personal and business finances separate, making it easier to manage your money and track your business expenses. To do this, visit a bank and inquire about their business account options. 

Additionally, consider applying for insurance for your side business. Insurance protects against unexpected events that could impact your business, such as accidents, property damage, or legal issues. It's a wise step to ensure that you have coverage that fits your specific situation.

While it may seem like an extra expense, having insurance can provide peace of mind and financial security, helping your side business navigate challenges more effectively.

11. Build an Online Presence

Building an online presence is a key step to reach more people and grow your venture. Start by creating a professional website or using social media platforms to showcase your products or services. A website can act as your online storefront, while social media helps you connect with potential customers.

Share information about what you offer, your story, and how people can reach you. Consistent and engaging posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter can help build awareness and attract customers. Don't forget to use clear and appealing visuals, such as pictures of your products or services.

Having an online presence not only makes your business more visible but also allows customers to find you easily. It's like having a virtual shop window that stays open 24/7, helping your side business thrive in the digital world.

12. Implement Business Systems and Processes

It's important to implement business systems and processes to make things run smoothly. Think of systems as organized ways of doing tasks and processes as the step-by-step actions you take to get things done. This could include using CRM software for managing orders, keeping track of expenses, or communicating with customers. 

As your side business expands, having effective systems and processes in place will make it easier to manage increased demand and maintain the quality of your products or services. This not only makes your work more manageable but also sets a foundation for growth.

13. Create Marketing Materials and Pricing Strategy

Marketing materials are like the ambassadors of your business, helping you tell people what you offer and why they should choose your products or services. It's not a one-day task, you need to put in the effort and time. 

Create a well-planned content marketing strategy to position and promote your business. Selecting the appropriate marketing platforms, collaborating with influencers or organizing webinars can help in establishing your business. 

When it comes to pricing, think about the value of your products or services and what your target customers are willing to pay. Consider factors like production costs, competitor prices, and perceived value. Striking the right balance ensures that your prices are competitive yet fair.

A well-thought-out pricing strategy and compelling marketing materials can go a long way in attracting customers and establishing a strong foundation for your side business.

14. Start Small and Work Slowly

When starting a side business, you'll likely be the only person doing everything. While that can work at first, you'll eventually need to outsource various tasks, such as accounting, marketing, and administrative tasks.

Thankfully, it's easier than ever to find remote workers to fill these positions. You can hire freelancers from some of the best platforms like Upwork or Fiver. This way, you may not have to invest in infrastructure (like an office) to keep your business running. 

With each step, make sure you only expand as necessary. If you invest too much in expansion too soon, you'll have much stricter profit margins because you have to cover the extra overhead. As a rule, only expand when you can't handle the amount of business you're currently doing.

15. Network and Build Relationships

When you're starting a side business, don't underestimate the power of networking and building customer relationships. Attend local events, join online communities, and engage with potential customers. Building relationships is about creating connections that can benefit your business in the long run. 

Share your story and listen to others, as this helps in building trust and credibility. You never know who might become a customer or recommend your business to others.

Networking and customer relationships can open doors to opportunities, collaborations, and valuable advice. So, take the time to connect with people in your industry or community, as it can be a key factor in the success of your side business.

16. Regularly Analyze and Update

Once your side business is up and running, it's crucial to regularly analyze and update your strategies as needed. This step involves taking the time to review how your business is performing, and identifying what's working well and what could be improved. 

Keep an eye on your financials, customer feedback, and market trends. If a particular product or service is doing exceptionally well, consider why and see if you can replicate that success in other areas.

On the flip side, if something isn't working, be open to making adjustments. This could involve tweaking your marketing approach, updating your product offerings, or refining your business processes.

Staying adaptable and responsive to changes ensures that your side business remains relevant and continues to meet the needs of your customers. Regular analysis and updates help you stay ahead of the curve and position your business for long-term success.

What Steps will you take to Start your Side Business?

While starting a business can be harder than you think, it can also be hugely rewarding when you succeed. From setting a business plan to connecting with customers, each step plays a crucial role in building a successful venture.

As you navigate through the process, consider how networking, regular analysis, and adaptation can contribute to the growth of your business. In the end, experience is the best teacher, and once you get the ball rolling, you'll learn a lot of valuable lessons along the way.

Now, we'd love to hear from you! What step do you find most challenging or intriguing in starting your side business? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you have any questions or need help starting your online business, feel free to contact us!

Yes, a startup can indeed be a side hustle. Many entrepreneurs initially start their businesses on the side while maintaining a full-time job. This allows for a gradual transition into entrepreneurship without giving up the security of a steady income. As the startup grows, individuals may choose to dedicate more time to it, eventually turning it into their main source of income.

There are various ways to make some extra money, depending on your skills and available time. Consider freelancing in your expertise, taking on part-time gigs, or exploring online platforms for tasks like tutoring, writing, or graphic design. You could also sell unused items online, participate in paid surveys, or explore gig economy opportunities like driving for rideshare services.

There are several businesses you can start with minimal skills. Consider service-based businesses like pet sitting, house cleaning, or lawn care. Online businesses, such as affiliate marketing, dropshipping, or selling digital products, often require less traditional skill sets.

While small businesses offer many advantages, they also come with some disadvantages. These may include limited resources, such as financial constraints and a smaller workforce. Small businesses may face challenges in terms of competition with larger enterprises. Additionally, they might experience difficulty in adapting to changes in the market. Lastly, small business owners often take on multiple roles, leading to potential burnout and a heavier workload.