Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Hustle culture is taking over with many working professionals having at least one side hustle.
No matter how much you love your main job, making a little extra cash on the side doesn't hurt. However, it is important to run your side hustle like a business. Otherwise, you risk running your business into some common pitfalls that can reduce the amount of cash your side hustle generates vs the amount of time you spend on it.
Mistakes are common with every side hustle but avoiding these mistakes will help you run your side hustle smoothly with better preparation and planning. Here are the most common side hustle mistakes -
Lack of research - You get an idea for a side hustle and you jump on it straight away to make some money. Most likely, things may not work out. You need to conduct your research to know if a market actually exists for your side hustle and if you can make money out of it. Are there competitors existing in the market? What are they unable to provide? How can you fill in the gap? Take your time and do your research but don't be stuck forever in your research and planning phase.
Seeking Approval - We always like sharing things with our partners, friends, colleagues, and family. Naturally, you are excited about your side hustle and want to share things about it with them. But, your friends and family may not always approve of your side hustle. Seeking advice is good but avoid seeking validation. Not everyone will have that belief in your abilities. The best advice you would receive is from those that have already walked on your path.
Charging Too Less - We start our side hustles and notice others in our niche charging high rates and others charging low rates. Our minds move towards the ones charging low rates and we think the best way to get more clients or make more sales is to undercut competitors and charge low rates. That is the worst strategy. There will always be people who will charge less than you. You need to research the standard rates in your particular market and think if you are in a position to charge that rate based on what value you provide and the amount of experience you have. You can always start at a price lower than the market rate and build your way up by providing more value. Your potential customers need to see the value in the price that they pay. Also, remember that charging too little will also mean that you'll have to work extra hours to make decent money while the purpose of a side hustle is to do the opposite.
No schedule - If your main job has a particular schedule, you need to do the same for your side hustle. Without having a proper schedule, you will exhaust yourself between your side hustle and your main job. Set priorities right from the beginning to achieving the right balance. This may involve saying no to long working hours, or waking up an hour earlier to work on your side hustle, or even using your lunch/commute time.
Investing too much - You don't need to make heavy investments in your side hustle right at the start. We like perfecting things before we start because we look at other successful people in the field and see that everything looks so perfect. But that perfection has taken many months or years. Start with whatever you have, make small investments as you go, generate demand, increase sales, and you can make additional investments. Use the money you generate from your side hustle to work for you.
Too many side hustles - Managing a single side hustle by itself can be time-consuming and stressful. Having 2-3 side hustles at once may look cool in the Side Hustle Culture but it will not allow you to truly grow in any. Focus on one at a time until it grows to a good level.
Failing to network - Networking is super useful when it comes to building your career, business, and even side hustles. Network with those in your niche and connect with other side hustlers. You may also land a few customers along the way which in turn could lead to more referrals.
Not understanding your competition - Instead of being worried about your competition, use them as part of your research. Learn from their mistakes, understand their strategies, and get inspired by them.
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