Essential tips to kick-start your side hustle

Get your hustle on!

My side hustle totally came about by chance. Two years ago, I received a WhatsApp from a former colleague asking if I’d write some social media content for her small business. I remember thinking – how the heck am I going to balance work, home, wife, mom, me PLUS work that falls outside of my 8 – 5 day?

I took the opportunity, of course. Who would say no to a chance to get additional income in this day and age? In fact, in a 2019 article, Henley Business School surveyed 1,158 South Africans and 27% responded that they’re receiving additional income from picking up a second job. Some of the motivating factors include pursuing a business idea, exploring a new challenge or the fact that their main job just don’t bring in enough income.

So, what are some essential tips to consider when taking up a side hustle?

Stay organised

It is so important to set up a good routine that fits into your work and daily routine to make sure you have the time you need to spend on your side project. Mark it out on your calendar monthly to make sure you are on top of your deadlines and that you have enough time in your day, week or month to deliver high quality work.

Use technology

Technology is there to make our lives easier. Research what works best for you, whether it be time tracking, invoicing or project planning apps. WhatsApp and Zoom keep us connected with people across the world while cloud storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox mean you can always access and never lose your hard work.

Stay relevant

Be sure to stay up to date with what’s going on in your industry. And, with sites like Udemy and so many places offering online learning, especially due to COVID, there are so many possibilities to learn. Learning keeps you relevant and on top of your game.

Build client relationships

It is important to maintain contact with your side hustle clients. Having this relationship intact means clients are open to being flexible, and go on the learning journey with you. They become your number one advocate.

Offer value

It’s always great to be able to provide your clients with some additional value. When your opinions and insights into a specific topic means that they come to you when then want to pick your brain also contributes hugely towards relationship building.

Spread the word

It’s likely you may not have the time or capacity to be on the constant look out for new business, so talk about what you do with friends, family and co-workers. Encourage them to become agents for your work and share your success stories. And, if you have the opportunity to start your own social media pages, do so, if not – call me… (Haha, see? Talk about what you do!)

Stay balanced

While the above is important to make sure you do your supplementary job to your best ability, always remember that you need to keep that all-important balance. Without looking after yourself, there won’t be that additional income if you burn out. Be kind to yourself, and stay dedicated to your schedule to make sure that nagging feeling of being behind on your work doesn’t plague you.

Family support

If you are a spouse and parent, it really helps to have the buy-in from your household. Since your endeavour will possibly take up some nights and weekends, it’s vital to have that person helping around the house and taking care of the kids during your side hustle hours.

Taking on an additional job is fun if it’s in your line of interest or hobby, challenging if it’s a totally new line of work, and rewarding when it becomes a venture that brings in that extra bit of cash every month.

If you get the opportunity to take up a side hustle, I encourage you to have a go at it, ensure your essential checklist is in place and reap the financial rewards that come along with it!

Talitha Utton
Talitha is a PR Account Manager while running a small social media side-gig called Communique. She has a client-centric focus and combines business, professionalism and PR insights to achieve the best results. She is passionate about empowering and motivating the youth and is part of a team that organises an annual Golf Day to raise funds for The Association for the Physically Disabled.Talitha’s words to live by are – ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’.