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What You Should Know Before Starting A Side Hustle

17 July 2018
Besma Whayeb
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Do you dream of running your own business? It can seem like a daunting task, but so many people out there do it, and they do it well. So why not you?

Starting a side hustle, or a side project, is often the best way to start your own business. It means you can continue to have the same financial security that you do currently, while testing how successful your business idea could be.

The one catch is that you’ll have to invest some of your free time building this business, rather than time you normally spend at work.

If that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make, have a read of our guide to maximise your chances of starting a side hustle that will be both fulfilling, manageable, and may lead to being your own boss full-time…

1. What’s your minimum viable product?

In order to make the most of the time you’re spending outside of work to build your own business, you should start off by launching your minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is the smallest product or service you can provide while operating a fully-launched business.

Just like a car company might start out with one person in their shed working on bicycles, you need to work out what your MVP is.

An MVP will save you time, cost and effort, while creating an effective business model that you can then grow.

2. People say they like it – but will they buy it?

Once you’ve started business planning around your MVP, it’s time to see if it will sell.

It’s all well and good to share your idea with friends and family, but their support will always be more than the average customer.

There’s a big difference between saying you’ll spend £10, and actually handing over the cash!

Just like some of the biggest businesses, try soft-launching a website, or even hold a market stall with a few prototypes of your product, and see what the response is like.

Will people sign up to hear more about your product? What price do they think it should be? And if people don’t hand over the cash, find out why not.

This initial feedback is priceless, and can take your side-hustle from failure to success.

3. When’s the right time to tell work?

These days, most workplaces are open to their employees taking on projects outside of working hours. However, it’s good to inform management in the beginning, to gauge their reactions and also clear up any conflicts of interest.

Once your business is running, you may also want to start reducing your hours at work. This can be a tricky subject to discuss, especially if you’re a valued member of the team.

For some, it may be easier to start looking for part-time positions or freelance work – if that’s the case for you, definitely have a read of our guide to freelancing!

4. Maintain the workflow…

One of the most common sources of anxiety that new business owners experience is the lack of financial security. In employment, there’s a steady income, and it may be something you have to sacrifice in the beginning.

In order to mitigate any peaks and troughs in revenue, it’s worth diversifying your income sources. Essentially, don’t place all your eggs in one basket!

Even if you’re ready to make the leap into running your business full-time, consider becoming a consultant in your field, or taking up freelance work to supplement your income.

And it goes without saying, that your business and your income will benefit from a polished personal brand too.