The concept of the side hustle has become a major talking point in recent years because it provides an opportunity to earn extra income, do something you love, and test the waters for a more ambitious venture. Managing a business is a serious investment in both time and money, and making it work alongside your day job requires dedication and hard work. Instead of spending your evenings on your games console or browsing social media sites, you will have to devote your free time to operating and building your business. Luckily, technology can give you a helping hand.

Operate a Successful Side Hustle

How much time do you have?

First of all, you need to be sure you have the time available to run your business without putting yourself under too much pressure. You still need to factor in leisure time and family responsibilities, so don’t forget to allow sufficient time for these important elements. There are gadgets and online tools that can record how you currently spend your day, which will give you an accurate picture of how much genuine spare time you have. You can program them to assign levels of productivity to all your activities, which is recorded daily and then gives you a figure per week for how many hours and minutes you spend on each activity, and how productively you spent your time. Once you’ve done this for a few weeks, you should be able to work out with improved accuracy how many hours a day you can realistically devote to your side hustle.

Do you have the skills required?

There will be different skill sets needed depending on your business idea, and you need to be sure you have what it takes to run your chosen side hustle. For example, building a business around making your own decorative craft items could do well if the products are skillfully designed and beautifully made; however, if your talents aren’t sufficient to make your products saleable, you don’t have much chance of success. Equally important are business skills like marketing, book-keeping, budgeting, and operating a supply chain. You need to be honest about your skills and knowledge. Otherwise, your weaknesses will let you down. If you identify areas that need improvement, look for an online course that you could take to improve your skills and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. There are many opportunities for distance learning available, including some top-quality MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provided by leading universities and colleges.

Do you need a website?

Before signing up for a cheap and cheerful website builder service, ask yourself what function your site will perform for you. It’s generally accepted that a new business needs a website, and this is generally true. However, if you’re starting with a side hustle, it could be that there are alternative ways of optimizing your online accessibility. For example, if you want to sell used books or collectibles, you might be better off signing up for an Amazon Marketplace account or setting up an eBay shop, and if you want to set yourself up as a freelance writer or digital assistant, you can register with an online agency and bid for jobs that are posted on the agency site. You’ll receive less for each sale, as the platform obviously has to take a cut, and there will be some modest operating charges each month for your seller account, but you won’t need to worry about marketing your business, and with some arrangements you need not be involved in the packing and shipping side of the venture either. That could work out to be a significant saving in terms of your time, plus higher profits overall.

Drawbacks to not having your own website

There are a few drawbacks to affiliating with a large platform to sell your products. For one thing, your market is restricted to the customers of the main business, which limits your reach to a certain extent. You will also be competing directly against all the other people selling the same products, which can be tricky as a new entrant because you won’t have the feedback ratings people rely on, and prices can sometimes be rock bottom already, leaving no room to better the existing offers. You might not have any choice on postage and packing charges either, for instance,Amazon Marketplace sellers are required to charge a set amount for delivery. Also of course, if your business is based on certain products or services, there may not be a suitable platform to use.

How a website will increase your business

If after assessing your options it’s clear that a website is going to be a valuable tool for your business, the next question is how to design it. A website builder service will let you add your information to one of a range of templates, and they can be quite flexible in terms of design parameters. For additional functionality, like including an e-commerce option on your site, you’ll very likely have to pay a top-up fee, so check what the charges will be before committing. You will normally have to sign up for a long-term contract, often two years, which means you will be tied to that platform for a considerable period of time. Alternatively, you could use a professional website design service that creates a site to your specifications and will often help you with optimizing your site for search engine rankings too. You could find a service that doesn’t tie you into a contract, so you have more freedom to change if you so wish. If you click here, you can find out more about the benefits of using a website design service and see if it would be a more appropriate option for you.

Once you’ve covered these basic steps, you’ll find there are a whole range of other tools and services that can help you run your business more effectively and efficiently. For instance, you can manage your email, social media, and text messaging campaigns with specialist management tools. With all the advances in technology that continue to be made, there’s never been a better time to make use of them to get yourself started with your own business.

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The concept of the side hustle has become a major talking point in recent years because it provides an opportunity to earn extra income, do something you love, and test the waters for a more ambitious venture. Managing a business is a serious investment in both time and money,...