A popular term these days is “Side Hustle”. It refers to a small part time job, hobby or product that you can turn into a money making opportunity. It typically takes just a little effort and time, and affords you some extra bonus cash. Side hustles are also something that can be done during your free time and as you know, one of the advantages of minimalism is having more time.
Side hustles are common practice as part of the FIRE movement and among the budgeting community in particular. After all, a little extra investment money now can make a very large difference later with the help of compound interest.
How do you establish a side hustle though? That’s a good question, and involves a little research and asking yourself some honest questions.
- How much money are you looking to earn?
If the answer to this question is more than your grocery money for the month, then you are not looking for a side hustle, you are looking for a second job.
- What are the needs in your area?
Sometimes the answer to this question is obvious and sometimes it’s not. A lot of towns have a facebook page; is there a common complaint or request that comes up all the time? What are the conversations at the grocery store and coffee shop typically centered around?
- How much time do you have to invest?
Side hustles are ideally flexible commitments, but they are still commitments. Whether you have every afternoon or one Sunday a month free, your hustle has to conform to your free time and you have to be willing to dedicate that time to it.
- What do you want to do?
Whether there is a need or not, what you decide to do has to be something that you love to do. Side hustles are not lucrative, they are just a little extra money. Finding the motivation to dedicate your time to something you don’t particularly enjoy is a whole lot harder when the compensation is minimal.
Okay, you asked yourself the important questions, you did your research and you have your mind set. Time to persue your hustle, but how?
- Put yourself out there.
Social media is a powerful platform as is word of mouth. Offer your services or products up at every opportunity. Join the grocery store and coffee shop conversations. If there is a community center then design a flyer for the corkboard; it’s corny but effective. Everyone still does tear off phone numbers or web addresses on flyers for a reason.
- Gauge the going rate.
Is someone else offering up similar products or services? What are they charging? If there is no comparable that you can find, then you can often let the customer dictate the value. Once contact has been made, questions like “what are you looking to spend”, or “is there a rate you’re aiming to find” can open the door to negotiating.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Thorough record keeping is a must. The last thing you want to do is double book, be late on a delivery or over extend yourself.
- Build a reputation.
When getting established, quality and reliability is of the utmost importance. Just as social media and word of mouth are powerful tools to get you started, they are also a powerful tool that could end you.
We have recently established a side hustle of our own that I will be posting about soon (no, this blog is not it), be sure to subscribe to this blog if you want to hear about it.
If you have a side hustle out there, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.