5 Common Mistakes When Starting Your Own Side Hustle
Are you an aspiring side hustler hoping to turn your dreams into reality? If the answer to that question is yes, then you’re at the right place. Starting a side hustle while keeping up with a nine-to-five gig might seem daunting at first, but knowing some of the potential mistakes that could crop up when embarking on your new venture may somewhat ease the journey ahead and ensure your side hustle comes to fruition. Here are 5 avoidable mistakes that you should be aware of when starting your very own side hustle.
1. Not choosing a side hustle that you’re passionate about.
First and foremost, if you’re thinking about starting a side hustle, remember to always go for something that you know will bring you joy. This is because investing your time and energy into something that you do not enjoy will be draining on you in the long run. Some individuals make the mistake of jumping into a side gig that they do not enjoy and end up giving up without achieving much. You do not want to make that mistake. Think of your passions and interests to get an idea of your preferred side hustle.
2. Not laying down a proper plan.
As excited as you are at the thought of starting that side hustle of yours, rather than jumping straight into it, it is important to establish a set of strategic questions (expectations, desired result, etc.) that would serve as the foundation in creating an effective plan. Ask yourself: what do you wish for the outcome of your side hustle to be?
As an example, the seven aspects that you could consider as part of your plan are:
- An executive summary of what your business is;
- A business description that entails your unique selling proposition;
- Market and competitor research to identify your target audience;
- Sales and marketing plan to get your business known;
- Financial factors such as budgeting and cash flow;
- Service and product lines that your business offer; and
- Determining your ideal management/operation/development models.
Having a realistic goal and viable vision coupled with clear priorities and planning would play a huge role in keeping you on track on a day-to-day basis as you pursue your dreams, be it a short-term project that could afford you extra income or fuel your passion or a long-term commitment that you hope to ultimately develop into a full-time venture.
3. Not implementing a budget.
One of the most essential aspects of a side hustle is finances. Depending on the field, you may or may not need financial investments. People tend to make the mistake of either investing too much money upfront or not having a sufficient budget. It is normal to not know how much it would take to get you started, especially if you’re new to this. Rather than forking out a lump sum in the beginning without prior knowledge and experience on the potential ROI, it would be better to start small and build it gradually once you get the hang of things.
It’s also crucial to conduct research and set a budget accordingly. Determine your source of investment (personal savings, crowdfunding, etc.) as well as the different categories of spendings (suppliers, marketing, software, etc.). Say if you’re looking to set up a small jewellery business as a short-term passion project, personal savings and maybe a little help from family would suffice, whereas the start-up cost would include jewellery-making supplies and perhaps a website and online ads.
4. Not charging enough for your work.
Another financial aspect to take note of is none other than your rates. Undercharging may pose a costly mistake when starting a side hustle as you may not make the desired profit even when you’re spending hours on your side hustle. Although you may be on a new venture, you don’t want to sell yourself short or undervalue your work.
The first step in determining your rates is to acknowledge your value and worth. Take into account your years of experience and portfolio as well as the time that you’re investing into your side gig. On top of that, to help you have a clearer idea, research into the amount that professionals in your field charge or you can even ask for advice from trusted individuals in the field.
5. Not taking adequate breaks.
With side hustles comes the term ‘hustle culture’, which can get pretty overwhelming over time. Working on a side hustle doesn’t mean that you have to be up before the sun is even up. It doesn’t mean that you have to invest all of your free time into it. It doesn’t mean chugging down coffee after coffee to keep you going. And, it certainly doesn’t mean working yourself to the bone 24/7.
‘Hustle culture’ is very real and can cause unwanted burnout. Instead, give yourself sufficient breaks in between all the hustle. Have yourself a little ‘me’ time and spend time with family and friends. There’s no need to work for hours on end. Fret not, you will still be able to rake in the profits without sacrificing your sleep.
If you’re planning to grow your side hustle to achieve its full potential, be sure to keep in mind the common issues highlighted above. Although it’s totally normal to make mistakes along the way, there’s no harm in taking note of the possible hurdles that you may face to minimize greater risk in the future. Although, everything aside, the biggest mistake that one could make about starting a side hustle is in fact not starting at all. You wouldn’t want to have lingering regrets 10 or 20 years down the road. Take the leap of faith and execute that idea in your head. You don’t have to have the whole thing nailed down right from the get-go, just take it one step at a time and you will be well on your way to success!
If you’d like to start making art your side hustle, check out this article on how to get started! If you’re trying to balance a full-time job while having a side hustle, read more about how to excel in your side hustle while having a full-time job.