How to Start a Side Hustle
Blogging started out as a side hustle for me and then it took on a life of its own. My original intention was to write a book but I figured I’d need to start building authority online if I was ever going to selling any copies.
I got hooked on blogging. Maybe one day I’ll get back to my original intention but for now, I’m blogging is my main hustle and I’m enjoying it.
Maybe one of the side hustles in the excellent contributed post below will have the same effect on you…
Setting Up a Side Hustle as a Mompreneur
In today’s economic climate, earning an extra income from your kitchen table is becoming more and more necessary. With the advent of all sorts of online opportunities, the questionable connotation of earning an extra income as an Avon Lady has been replaced with a much more liberated and empowering “sisters are doing it for themselves” vibe with online start-ups (mostly in the form of mompreneur blogs) popping up everywhere.
The significant rise in the cost of living we’ve all experienced in recent years, from utility bills and food prices to even putting gas in our car has put many families in genuine financial difficulty – to the point where many new moms are having to work full-time jobs in order to keep food on the table, when all they really want is to be at home with their family.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to start a new business as a mom, it can often be tempting to get caught up with the next fad; however, the most important tip is to make sure your business is focused on a passion of yours – because when you are working on something that is a passion, it doesn’t feel like work, and this is a huge benefit of becoming a passion-led entrepreneur; you get to do what you love.
On that basis, this article looks at a couple of creative side hustle ideas that are ideal for busy moms in order to give you some inspiration; and then we’ll address the fundamental basics of what you’ll need in order to set-up shop.
A great option is to sell handmade jewellery on sites like eBay and Etsy. Whether you wish to make the jewellery yourself or import it from cheaper countries such as India and China; there’s a significant amount of profit to be made in selling handmade jewellery.
The great thing about jewellery, of course, is that it doesn’t take up too much room in your house and is also very light to ship – this has a double benefit, as it means your shipping costs to purchase products will be relatively low, and you can make a decent markup on charging shipping to your customers if you so wish.
You might want to check out Alibaba.com as a possible supplier of wholesale products such as wooden beads or necklace clasps.
The challenge, as with any business, is finding customers, however, there are a plethora of options that can help you do this, such as Facebook adverts or you could leverage Amazon’s incredible retargeting platform that displays your product to interested prospects.
If you’re pretty nifty when it comes to papercraft then making handmade greeting cards can be a lucrative option. It can be time-consuming, but if this type of creative endeavour is a natural passion – this shouldn’t be such an issue, and moreover, with this business, you can potentially get your kids to help out… leading to a variety of benefits such as creative development, learning entrepreneurial skills, and so on.
Within this area of creating greeting cards, there is one rapidly growing market segment, which is to service companies that are looking to provide company birthday cards to employees in order to make them feel valued and recognised.
If you can get in with a few large companies to provide handmade greeting cards, or better still, personalised greeting cards this could be a fantastic money-maker as you don’t have to hunt for customers (or spend money trying to get them to find out about you)… it could be as simple as a company’s HR department providing a database with their employees birthdate, and you sending a card on the company’s behalf. This way, the company gets a full service solution, meaning they don’t need to organise any logistics – and pay a flat fee for you to send a handmade greeting card to each employee.
Let’s say it costs you $1 to create the card. You sell the card, and associated service for $5 per employee. You might have to pay an additional $1 for postage and so on; but this is still a profit of $3 per card. If a company has 500 employees – that’s $1,500. Imagine you find five companies that would like this service; that would be $7,500 with no additional marketing costs.
If you’re naturally talented in the kitchen, you’ll be surprised by how much people are willing to pay for a decent celebratory cake. You don’t need anything more than what you probably already have lying about in your kitchen and if you were to consider catering special events such as weddings, engagement parties, and even children’s birthday parties… you can make a surprising amount of money simply baking cakes!
Getting Yourself Out There!
Now you have some idea of context, in terms of side hustles, let’s take a look at how to get yourself out there, attract customers, and start generating an income.
1. Set up a Website or Platform for your Creative Business
You don’t need to necessarily build your own website, as there are a variety of platforms such as Etsy that do all the hard work for you, and not only do they allow you to tout your wares and promote your products – they also do a marvelous job at connecting you with a self-selecting audience who are naturally looking for what you offer.
The beauty of having an online marketing platform is that people are coming to you, rather than you having to go out and chase customers.
The one thing to consider if you are creating your own website is IT security, as this is an ever increasing concern – and one of the most rapidly growing sectors within the IT industry.
As an example, if you’re expecting customers to provide their credit card details on your website, it’s imperative that you have security mechanisms in place to protect your customers’ data. One way around this is to use a secure provider such as PayPal that take care of all the security side of things for you.
2. Get on eBay
eBay is particularly good if you were to utilise your DIY skills and upcycle some creative furniture; just remember to list your items as “buy it now” in order to get the best results.
3. Leverage Others
Have you ever been to a boutique hotel and seen some quirky furniture or artwork and wondered where the owners sourced such interesting creations. Many times, hotel owners are working with local solopreneurs in a contradeal where the hotel or restaurant are provided with “free” furniture in return for advertising their business.
In summary, there are a number of ways you can generate money through a creative side hustle but the real challenge is found in getting customers. This is where online promotion comes in; but remember you don’t need to build a brand new website – when you can leverage existing platforms such as Etsy, eBay and PayPal; all of which provide a very positive cash flow dynamic, as they only take money when you make money.
While blogging I also discovered a few side hustles that don’t require you to find any customers at all. You can read about them in my first income report.
What side hustles have you started and have they turned into main hustles?