This might be the best opportunity to start your side hustle. More people than ever, and you may be part of that, are looking to start a side business to start now. Times have been extremely tough for most people during the pandemic and money is tight.
If you want to do it, you need to sit down and figure it out. Do you want to provide a service? Sell a product? Build an app or affiliate website? Blog? The list goes on and on and some things are easier than others.
Let’s break things down and take a look at the options.
One of the first things you need to decide is what kind of business you want to start. Do you want to create a local service business such as landscaping or home repairs, or do you want something online like ecommerce or affiliate marketing. It’s going to depend on what fits you and your abilities.
Let's take a look at the different options.
Online or offline
One of the first things you want to think about is whether you want to build something offline or online, or both?
If you’re not tech savvy and prefer doing things face-to-face or with your hands, some sort of local service might be better for you.
If you like computers and the internet, there are an unlimited number of options. Business online has made things infinitely easier since you can reach millions of people sitting on your couch.
Many people don’t think of small local businesses as being sexy or desirable because you always hear about tech startups with multibillion dollar IPO’s or huge rounds of funding but a local business can grow and thrive to make millions.
Even if your goal isn’t millions of dollars and you’re just looking for a side income or a way to be self-employed and pay all of your bills, local service businesses are a great way to earn several thousand a month, or more!
Here are some examples of local service businesses you can start:
- Pressure washing
- Real estate photography
- Car detailer
- Personal fitness coach
- Food truck owner
- Moving business
This is not the only businesses you can start that are local services but it gives you an idea.
This could be an online business, local, or both because there are so many marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Poshmark and also local services like Craigstlist, Offerup, and Facebook Marketplace.
There are actually a number of ways you can find products to resell. Some people go to Walmart or dollar stores and look for items they can sell online for a profit. They will literally scan items in the clearance aisle and see if they can sell it on the online marketplace for more.
Another method is to scan the marketplaces to find cheap items that you know you can sell for more. Maybe you can negotiate them down, find bundles and separate the items out, fix or refurbish items. There are lots of ways to make money reselling items and these are just a few of them.
This one has received a lot of attention in the last couple of years. A common business model of “dropshipping” has become quite popular. Just know, what you read and hear about success stories is often inflated and rare but ecommerce is a great business to start.
When done correctly, you can grow a large store and make a lot of money. The barrier to entry is pretty low, costs are pretty low compared to other businesses and you don’t need much to start.
As we mentioned, dropshipping is a great business to start. One important thing to realize is you will most likely want to use this as a test. When you prove that a product is a winner, consider ordering it in bulk to store and ship for greater profit.
You can even use what is called a 3PL (3rd party logistics) company that will store and ship the product for you. This will essentially keep the dropship model since you don’t deal with the product at all.
This was more popular several years ago but still a strong way to make money. Affiliate marketing is where you partner with businesses or people who have something to sell, you promote the product, course, etc. and earn a commission on any sale you generate.
Affiliate marketing is great if you just want to focus on marketing and none of the other stuff. You don’t have to come up with product ideas, you don’t have to build it, inventory it, etc. You just have to help sell it.
This is a great way to earn if you don’t have a lot of resources like money.
If you have a strong social media following, you can make money as an influencer. Promote and endorse products for a small fee or commission from sales.
The good thing is you don’t need a lot of followers to get started, you can start as what is called a “micro influencers.” These are influencers who typically have less than 5,000 followers. Sometimes they are more desirable because they have a very loyal following.
This isn’t to say being a big influencer is bad though. Obviously a larger following can help you get higher paying jobs. One of the most important aspects of being an influencer is having engagement. The number of followers means nothing if you don’t have good engagement.
So by focusing on creating a niche, engaged audience, you can become a powerful influencer and make a lot of money.
Freelancing is a great online service method of earning money. Easy to do as a side hustle or full time income.
Whether you want to do graphic design, copywriting, programming, video editing, consulting, etc. The possibilities are endless. It’s a matter of figuring out what you are good at or what you can learn to do.
One of the benefits of freelancing is there are a number or websites that let you find clients easily. Websites like Fiverr or Upwork let you create an account and start finding jobs.
Formation and taxes
Now, this is something people always ask about because it is very important. First of all, no matter how you file or structure the business you will need to pay taxes. It’s best to consult with a tax professional on this matter.
You may be able to run the business under your personal name and social security number but it is best to create a legal entity such as an LLC. Creating an LLC is actually pretty easy, you can go on your state government website and print the documents you need. It’s typically a matter of filling out the form, paying a few hundred dollars, and mailing it all in.
If you’re unfamiliar with taxes and legal entities, it’s best to consult with professionals to get the correct information. It can be very expensive and a big headache if things are not done correctly.
Starting a side hustle final thoughts
If you’re considering starting a side business now may be the best time. There are an unlimited number of possibilities of businesses to start, it’s just a matter of starting one. Take some time, sit down and brainstorm what you would like to do. Create a plan. Set goals. There is a lot you can do right now to get started.
People, and maybe you, usually create excuses of why they can’t start a business. It could be anything, the most famous, no time… If this is what you tell yourself, ask yourself how long you spend on Facebook, or watching Netflix, or just fooling around. You can probably put together a couple hours a day to work on your new venture.
We understand the power of planning and setting goals which is why we created our digital business planner. If you look up business planners online, you’ll probably find plans that over complicated and confusing, it’ll probably make you run away. We wanted to avoid that.
We created a planner that is simple yet offers you the important aspects of starting and growing a business. It’s a planner that is and has been used on 6 and 7 figure businesses. It works. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can see it here.