How to start a side hustle while working 9-5?
Have you thought about starting your own business, but you can not afford to give up your salary just yet?
If you are thinking of starting your own business while employed, you are not alone. Nearly 60% of employees dream of becoming their own boss and setting up a business on the side.
By starting up a small company alongside full time employment allows employees to test out their business idea, without taking too many risks, and while continuing to maintain financial stability.
So, how to start a side hustle while working 9-5?
There is no magic formula to setting up your business, or side hustle, but one way is to begin with small ‘baby’ steps.
Everyone’s experience will be different, but I did NOT go straight into running my own business, I continued my nine-to-five corporate job while gradually building up my clients portfolio.
I worked in my own time, during the weekends or the evenings. This wasn’t easy, but in time it became doable, and totally worth it.
Let me share with you some tips from my experience and break down the process to starting a small business for you. ✅
Before starting up any side hustle
First, it is essential to list your passions and values
Finding your passion often comes down to living with your values.
Take the time to list the values that are you; think of the causes or the ‘rights’ you may want to defend, and then consider the lifestyle you aspire to. What really thrills you?
Start by brainstorming, and make a few lists as this will give you a chance to reflect on the activities you want to pursue, or places you may want to explore.
Assess your knowledge and skills
Assess your skills set, and review what you could sell as a service, or as a product.
If you feel that you need to develop more marketable skills, you can find a mentor, take some courses, view Youtube tutorials or listen to podcasts.
Study the market and find a problem to solve
Once you have discovered what you are passionate about, study the market, analyse your potential competitors and find a niche for your business.
Read reviews, send out some questionnaires, interview your target audience to find out what is THEIR problem, and how you might solve it, in a creative way with your services and/or products.
Network and get feedback
Don’t be afraid to present your ideas to your fellow entrepreneurs, or to your relatives. Ask them what they really think about your idea! Feedback is very important.
Send out some surveys and polls on Facebook groups, to your LinkedIn network, using tools like Google Forms or Typeform.
Try visiting some networking events like Meetup or Founder Institute where you can practice presenting your ‘pitch’ and sharing your ideas with other entrepreneurs.
This can be intimidating, but you will come out with new perspectives, hopefully more motivated and very proud of yourself!
Don’t be put off if you receive negative feedback: transform this negative energy into a boost!
Cultivate a good reputation
A reputation is built up over time and has to be maintained every day.
Your professional reputation
To build your reputation in a workplace, you have to show your professionalism, knowledge, and demonstrate your interpersonal skills.
If you genuinely care about your team members, by taking an interest in what they are doing, by recognizing their contribution, they will keep a great image of you, and might recommend your services to their network.
Your online reputation
It is always important to evaluate your digital reputation. If potential clients type your name on Google, what will they find?
To avoid compromising your digital reputation, remove disadvantageous content (if any) from your social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) or make your profile(s) private.
Review and organise your profile(s) with professional photos, and a detailed description of your career. You could ask your relatives to write some recommendations on your behalf.
Always have a backup plan
Leaving your job to begin your own start up doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision.
Resigning may not be the best solution, if you need to earn more than your business can pay you right now.
However, you might want to reduce your working hours so that you can dedicate more time to your own enterprise.
If you have already quit your job, don’t worry, you can always find a new one.
So you have started a side hustle… Now what?
Set some realistic goals for yourself
This is so important! You do not want to burn yourself out before you even start.
Visualise the big picture, and break it down using the SMART approach: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals.
This will help you to set a vision for your approach, to help you define your strategy and to create a to-do list.
I recommend using tools like Trello, Google Keep, the notes app on your smartphone, or even a notebook, to help you keep track of all your tasks and due dates for both work related and personal items, and try to visualise what your day/week/month looks like.
Gurvi Movement has created an 11-page checklist to help you get started with your online business. Download it, it’s FREE, and be amazed at how straighforward it is to ‘get started!’.
Practice good time management
Going hand-in-hand with setting realistic goals, you must practice good time management.
While some people work better spontaneously, I find you can become more productive if you keep track of everything to ensure that you stay on task. That way you can prevent yourself from jumping from one thing to the next, without finishing the project you were initially working on.
Set aside designated time to work on what you need to get done for the week or that day.
Show yourself as busy on Google Calendar, and manually set yourself away on Slack, or put your phone on plane mode to avoid any distractions.
It is crucial to know how to balance work, personal life and side hustle. Set a schedule and stick to it!
Showcase your products and your services
Depending on the type of message you want to communicate to your clients, you can use different media to promote your products and services:
- Create a website or a portfolio, and optimize your SEO to position the different pages of your website on alternative search engines.
- Create different social networks according to your target audience. It could be Twitter, Tiktok, LinkedIn, etc. You could create a catalog of products and sell your products on Instagram or Facebook for example.
- Use advertising on social media, Google Ads, on television or radio.
- Print media offer different options, including brochures, business cards, newspaper and magazine advertisements.
- Register your profile on freelance platforms, if you offer a digital service.
- Promote your online courses on platforms like Teachable.
Automate what you can
Automating tasks like social media posts, newsletters, auto-reply emails is another way to take the pressure off yourself, and allow you to focus on being creative or attending to administrative tasks.
Mailchimp is a great emailing and marketing service that your business could employ.
Find your crowd
Building a successful side hustle while working full time is basically a second job. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed!
They will encourage and support you and help you when you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Sometimes you could think, “what have I gotten myself into?” and it makes all the difference having people you value, whom you can turn to when needed.
Just go for it!
Starting a company is not for everyone and is not as comfortable as staying on the job.
But it forces you to try new things, to learn, to meet new people. It forces you to harness your potential and find out what you are capable of.
Finally and perhaps most importantly it offers you the opportunity to contribute, help people and make a living from your passion.
So what are you waiting for?! Success is just around the corner!
Interested in starting a side-hustle while working 9 to 5?
Check out our online business course or contact Gurvi Movement.
Hi 👋 My name is Julie. I am the founder of Gurvi Movement. French by passport, world citizen by heart, I am currently based in Mexico City.
As the travel-a-holic I am, the digital nomad lifestyle has always been calling my name.
I left France 8 years ago, and since then I work and travel across the globe.