How To Start A Side Hustle In 7 Days
"I don't know where to start."
How many times have you said that to yourself or to someone else?
I know so many people who have really cool side hustle ideas, but they have no clue (or at least they think they don't) about how to get one started.
Don't let the fear of starting something new or the fear of failure keep you stagnant for weeks, months, and years. That's why I created this quick 7 day plan to help you get something new started in just one week:
Day 1: Figure out what you're good at
The first step is deciding what your side hustle is going to be. The best way to figure it out is to ask yourself, "what am I good at?" and "what do people always come to me for?" Maybe your friends are always asking you to edit their resumes. Maybe you're the best dressed girl in your circle, and your friends always ask you to shop with them. Or maybe you've always had a way with a sewing machine and can whip up a cute dress in no time. It doesn't matter. If someone can become a billionaire making pool noodles, you can find a profitable idea.
Day 2: Pick an idea and validate it
Today you want to actually pick one idea. You may have many, but it's important to focus only on one. Don't be a jack of all trades who masters none. Once you've decided on your idea, then you need to validate it. That simply means you need to figure out if it's needed and will actually sell. If you're building a big business, that would require creating a business plan, creating a test product, and having a soft launch. But that's way more complicated than it needs to be for you right now. You can validate your idea by simply searching online to see if other people/businesses are having success with it and by asking your friends and family what they think. If one of your friends is someone who would be your target customer, that's even better. You can bounce ideas off them and see if it's something they would pay for.
Day 3: Determine your ideal audience
Now that you know what you want to offer, you need to determine who you're going to market to. If you didn't know already, having a specific audience is WAY more effective than targeting everyone. If your side hustle is going to be dog sitting, you may want to target millennials who love to travel and are never at home. If your side hustle is resume editing, you may want to target recent college grads looking for their first full time job, or people in their 50s looking for a career change and have outdated resumes. When you know who you're selling to, you'll learn how to effectively grab their attention.
Day 4: Determine your price
Money, baby. That's what it's all about, right? Setting your prices is probably the hardest part of this entire thing. It's something that even the most seasoned entrepreneurs struggle with. If you price too high, you may run your audience away. If you price too low, it's not worth your time. It's all about finding that happy balance. So, what will your price be? If you're selling a product, figure out how much you want to sell it for, taking into consideration the cost of material and labor. If you're selling a service, figure out how much you want to earn per hour. When I set my own rates, I take the corporate salary equivalent (considering my experience and education) and add extra on top of that (for my business expenses and taxes). Do some research and see what others are charging or what the going rate in your field is. Once you've got it figured out, put it in a Word document or PDF, and make that your official price list.
Day 5: Buy a domain name and build a simple website
Now here's where the party starts — putting your idea into action! Grab yourself a domain name from somewhere like GoDaddy or Namecheap. I'm a firm believer that having a custom domain will make you look more professional. You can use your own name, such as AliciaMDavis.com, or you can name it after whatever your service is, such as AliciasResumeStudio.com. Then you need a website. I understand that building a full blown custom website takes time (and money if you're hiring someone, which you eventually should). But for now, you just need something simple to refer people to. Squarespace is a great option because it has nice templates that don’t require a lot of design experience. If you're selling a product, you may opt for something like Shopify or Etsy.
Day 6: Set up your internal tools and systems
Before you get your first customer, you should already have your systems in place. How will you take payments? Will you use PayPal? How will you contact customers? Will you use a separate business email? (Hint: you should.) How will you manage inquiries? Will you set up an online scheduler? How will you organize client work? Will you use a platform like Asana or Trello? Have all of these bases covered before you promote your business. Trust me, once work starts rolling in, it will be so much easier to manage if you already have your systems in place.
Day 7: Announce your product/service to the world
It's time to tell the world! No one will know what you do unless you tell them. Add your new service to your social media bios. Add your new website in the URL section. Create a Facebook page. Tweet it out. Post on Instagram. Update your LinkedIn If you want to create totally new social media accounts specifically for your new hustle, go for it. Put your service on Fivver. Make a Yelp account. Tell your friends and family (those that you trust and actually want to see you succeed), and ask them to refer you to anyone who may need your new service. Then pat yourself on the back because you now have a brand new side hustle! Congrats!
Things to do after:
Order business cards (so you'll have a selling tool with you at all times)
Create a social media plan (so you can automate your marketing while you're busy with your full time job)
Read marketing blogs and books (so you can learn how to better promote your new side hustle)
Practice getting better (because subpar services and products won't sell)
Find a business bestie (someone to hold you accountable and bounce ideas off of)
Running your own business or side hustle isn't a walk in the park, BUT it isn't as impossible as you're forcing yourself to believe. Get up, get going, and figure it out along the way. If you spend too much time waiting to start, you'll be in the same position one year from now. And life is way too short for that.