Whether you’re between jobs, looking for a way to make ends meet, or interested in making more money alongside your current job, starting your own business can help. Do it right, and your side hustle could grow into a full-fledged business — with you at the helm as the big boss.
Before you start marketing your new business, you need to take care of a few basic startup steps. The following article offers some great ways to get started.
Start a business that complements your skills and experience.
To increase your chance of success, build a business that takes advantage of skills you already have. Extending existing job skills reduces the need for expensive job training and allows you to spin up your side hustle much faster. For example, if you’re a teacher, Kid.io offers a list of resources for potential education startups, from private tutoring to blogging on child education topics. Additionally, using existing resources keeps overhead expenses low and means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Know your competition to make sure your business is viable.
Once you decide on a business model, research your competition to see how your business stacks up. By studying your competition, you can take steps to set your company apart. HootSuite explains how you can use social media to conduct a market competition analysis. A market competition analysis provides data to help you understand your competitors’ actions and determine where your business might fill gaps in the marketplace.
Write an in-depth business plan.
A business plan is like a blueprint for operations, providing a complete overview of how your company operates, advertises, and markets. Marketing pros start with a business plan to lay the foundation for running a business. A typical business plan can include items such as:
- Marketing Research
- Developing a company overview
- Creating company documents and support materials
- Market analysis
- Outlining your business organization
- Determining your products and services
- Creating a marketing and sales
Determining these details beforehand lets you prepare for startup hurdles and helps get things running sooner.
Marketing your business gets new clients.
Marketing is the key to attracting customers. It’s the sales engine that keeps your business running and determines how your customers get to know your products and services. There are many valuable ways to market your business that are manageable and cost-effective for startups. Some typical ways include:
- email marketing campaigns
- leveraging social media
- creating website landing pages
- automated email campaigns
- creating a business website
- word of mouth referrals
- business blogs
- presenting at conferences or events
Marketing is the key to attracting customers. It’s the sales engine that keeps your business running and determines how your customers get to know your products and services.
Scale-up with the support you need.
As your side hustle grows, you may need help handling basic administrative tasks and operations. One way to handle time-consuming admin is to hire a personal assistant (PA). Hiring personal assistants allows you to focus on running your business while off-loading important administrative work to the PA.
Personal Assistants have traditionally been locally based and on-site. But with the introduction of more remote employees during the COVID 19 pandemic, a new breed of remote PAs called Virtual Assistants are also available for your business and becoming more popular.
There are good reasons to use a virtual assistant. First, working with a virtual assistant can conserve cash. Considering that they work from their home, you won’t need to purchase brand-new equipment or worry about office space. You also won’t have to anguish about the monetary needs of full-time staff wages, benefits, or extra taxes. If you use virtual assistants in several time zones or nations, you can even offer 24/7 consumer assistance and work output.
Establish your startup as a formal business entity
You have to declare any income from your side hustle for tax purposes. Establishing a formal business entity can help differentiate your personal and professional tax returns and simplify filing in the future. Walsh Banks Law explains that tax obligations depend on the type of business entity you form, such as a limited liability company versus a corporation.
Make sure to keep up with your tax obligations.
Once you’ve established your formal business entity, consult a certified public accountant to ensure you keep up with your tax reporting obligations. For example, businesses must usually file quarterly returns, not just annual ones, as personal taxes. CPA Directory offers an online database where you can find professionals in your area.
Is a side hustle worth it?
Side businesses can provide work that feeds your passion or feeds your family. But, of course, the best part of running your own business is the opportunity to call the shots and create revenue your way. However, setting up a business requires careful planning and attention to detail. Following the tips above will help you get through the process, but nothing beats the voice of experience. Ultimately, you may want to get counsel from a business mentor or marketing coach.
For more great tips on managing your business or digital marketing, consult our Cooperata blog. We provide entrepreneurs with the marketing services they need to get noticed in the marketplace and thrive. We also provide numerous services to get your small business marketing started.
If you have more questions about starting your side business, contact us using our handy contact form.