Are you curious if there’s a real way to make money from home?
If you’ve seen entrepreneurs on shows like Shark Tank, it can be tough to imagine how successful individuals like that got started. But they did start somewhere — and it usually began as a side hustle.
Want a little extra income on the side? Now is the time to learn about how to make money from home. A side hustle can provide that for you.
One survey found side hustlers make 20% of their income from an on-the-side gig.
Side hustles aren’t always easy, so it’s important to be determined and not give up easily. Plus, everyone is working from home now so there’s no better time to learn!
Below we dive into how to brainstorm ideas for your side hustle.
Ready to get started? Read on.
What is a Side Hustle?
Generally, a side hustle is an extra way to make income alongside your full-time job. It offers supplemental income for individuals to pay for a variety of things — reducing debt, adding to savings, special purchases, etc. People with side hustles usually turn a hobby they love into a way to earn extra money. Everything from beer making to soap creation and landscaping to custom painting can be considered a side hustle that earns you cold-hard cash.
A Side Hustle is a Real Way to Make Money From Home
Side hustles are the perfect way to dip your toe into a new experience that could turn out to be a good money maker. Whether you’re working full-time or not, it’s a real way to make money from home if you find something you’re passionate about. Side hustling can offer a passive income stream that goes on autopilot. Other individuals plan to turn it into a main income goal later.
People start side hustles for a variety of reasons:
- Out of boredom
- For extra income
- Out of passion
- To transition to working at home
It’s an easy way to test the waters to see if a hobby could actually become a lucrative full-time job. It also doesn’t require a big investment like a large business, either. And if you do decide to take it to a full-time opportunity, you’ll already have the starter essentials on hand!
Here’s a look at how to get started with your side hustle:
Assess Your Options
Before you go down the side hustle path, you’ll want to consider how you want your side hustle to look. Do you want to work as an employee, freelancer, contracter, or build a team?
There’s quite a difference for each, so you’ll want to consider this carefully:
There are plenty of companies that hire part- and full-time workers remotely. You can look at job sites like FlexJobs and The Mom Project for an idea of remote work options. LinkedIn is another place to look for remote work that gives you an employee status. These usually come with the same perks — like retirement — as a regular, in-house job.
Work options: Many positions can be remote — from graphic designers to call representatives — as long as you have a solid internet connection.
Freelance work comes with more options and responsibility as you’re in charge of setting up your business, marketing, and finding clients. It allows for the freedom to be your own boss and create your own schedule. You’re free to work for who you want. You can hire other individuals remotely as your freelance business grows. This can easily move out of side-hustle mode to full-time income.
Work options: Freelance work can encompass a variety of professions. From editing and writing to photography and graphic design. Check out companies like Fiverr for freelance work.
Similar to freelance, you can take work as you like. But, you’re generally working for one company as a side hustle. Contractors often have no-compete clauses they must adhere to. That means no working for competition while employed by a specific company and sometimes for a certain amount of time after you’ve left the company.
Work options: Contract work is popular in a variety of industries. Food delivery like Postmates and Shipt are in high demand right now. Driving for companies like Lyft and Uber is another contractor opportunity.
Building a team may not sound like a side hustle, but some people find great fulfillment from coaching other team members. The higher you climb, the more of a “cut” you generally get based on your team’s success.
Work options: You can find representative work with reputable marketing companies like Mary Kay, Avon, or Pampered Chef. There are a ton of opportunities for multi-level marketing out there.
Note: It’s important to be aware of work-at-home scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask to speak with other successful individuals who have worked for the company. You can also usually look up the company’s reputation on the Better Business Bureau website.
Getting Started Making Real Money From Home
Jumping feet first into a side hustle isn’t a great idea. If you actually hope to make money from it, you’ll want to do some investigative research. Consider the style of work you’d like to do (see above) and then go from there.
Once you’ve decided on a style, start looking deeper at your interests, talents, and availability. This will determine the type of side hustle you dig your heels into.
Here’s a look at the steps to finding your perfect side hustle fit:
Look at Your Skill Set
Once you’ve decided the type of work style you’d like to tackle, it’s time to think creatively. Your previous work titles are not all you have accomplished; consider what you’ve actually done in your life that requires skill.
Some ideas to get your started include:
If you’re detail-oriented and organized, a good fit might be:
- Virtual assisting
- Event planning
- Administrative assisting
If you’re analytical, a good fit might be:
- Website building
- Social media management
If you work well with others, a good fit might be:
If you’re creative or enjoy the arts, a good fit might be:
- Graphic design
- Video editing
- Website design and maintenance
Start with activities you’ve done in the past that you loved. Consider your character traits as well as skills or things you want to learn. Make a list of your own ideas of what sounds appealing.
You might even consider reaching out to others in the industry you’re interested in to see how they got their start. A lot of good-sized cities usually have networking events, too.
Update Your Resume and Portfolio
It’s always smart to have an updated resume and portfolio on hand. That way if a new potential client wants to check out your work or testimonials, you already have it set up.
Whether you’re a freelancer or for-hire, update your resume. Google Docs has some great and easy-to-use templates to make an attractive resume. Keep it to one page and concise — highlight achievements and skills — as you don’t need a full employment history. Just include relevant details.
Personalize your resume for each job application or client pitch to make it the best possible fit. Doing so shows you want to stand out and aren’t using a template.
Consider building an online portfolio on a website complete with work samples. You’ll also want to have an about me page, services, and contact information. This allows potential clients to learn about you and your services 24/7.
If you’re looking for employers or clients, do some market research right off the bat. Search for information to help you find where to apply and land the interview, or hone your marketing and products for your business.
How do you go about market research?
- Google problems you want to solve and review the results
- Search Amazon and review product results and customer reviews
- Post questions on social media for feedback
- Interview your ideal clients to see what they need
- Identify your competitors and see how you can do it better
Once you’ve identified a need, then you’ve already pre-qualified customers and potential leads. It makes it much easier to get your side hustle profitable sooner.
Additionally, the Small Business Administration has a ton of great resources to help you plan and grow your side hustle into a business later on.
Final Tips for Diving into a Side Hustle
One thing to remember as you start your side hustle is that it takes time, energy, and a lot of patience. It’s better to slowly grow it than to rush into it haphazardly and make more mistakes.
A few final tips:
- Don’t quit your day job just yet – A side hustle is a little test to see how you like a certain activity. Don’t throw in the towel on your day job too early!
- Do daily work on it – Like planting a seed, your side hustle needs time to flourish and grow. Let it take root. Do so by working on it at least four hours daily.
- Realize opportunity – If you grow to truly love your side hustle, look at it as a new chance to change your life. It’s a perfect way to step into job security.
Side hustles are worth it if you put in the time and energy. As the saying goes, “You get out what you put into it.” No statement could ring truer when it comes to diving into the development of a side hustle.
Last but not least, make sure that your passions align up with whatever side hustle you start. If you’re not passionate about it from the start, it will fizzle out before you see your first solid paycheck. Go after reasonable passion first, and the paychecks will follow.
Living on base but aren’t sure about the rules of starting your own business? Check out our post The Do’s and Don’ts of Starting a Work From Home Business on Base.
Feature image Courtesy of Unsplash