So, you want to start a side hustle, but you just don’t have the cash for it. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of people who all struggle to get their side hustles going because they don’t have a lot of capital to back up their venture.
It’s not the be-all and end-all though. Truth be told, you can still have a perfectly good side hustle with little or no money to use – you just have to know how to be clever about it. Thankfully, we’ve got some top tips.
Check For Free Platforms and Resources
A lot of people do something which involves a skill. That much is fairly obvious – your side gig needs to be profitable, therefore you need to know vaguely what you’re doing.
Thankfully, if you’re dealing with a quantifiable skill, then it’s a lot easier to try and make it all work. What a lot of people don’t realise is that there are a lot of free resources out there. Websites, free platforms, places where you can get yourself started. There’s a lot of places like these out there on the web, and they’re all ready for you to join.
Assess What You Need to Work
Understanding what you need to actually work on your side hustle is so important.
Let’s look at a specific example. If you were a writer, what would you need to get started writing blogs or articles for people? Well, you’d need a way to type your content out – Google Docs is free to use and has a word processor.
It’s all about knowing what you need to work and finding it. There’s enough free resources for people to get going with pretty much any side hustle, so long as they’re careful about what they look for.
Build a Network
Networking has always been an important part of any career choice, and just because you are doing something smaller on the side, that doesn’t mean that you should stop networking.
If you take the time to build a network that will provide you with business contacts, then it’s possible to get things without having to spend masses of money. Offering one service in exchange for another is mutually beneficial to both parties, so building up a network of contacts is never a bad idea.
In conclusion, the amount of money that you have available to you does not dictate how well your side hustle will perform. It’s very easy to get started on a side gig without having vast amounts of capital to put towards it. It’s just about being clever and analysing potential opportunities as they come out. There are numerous free resources on the Internet which are frequented by thousands of people every day, and they can be just as effective for you as they have been for them. It’s just a case of taking the time to look at these resources and see if any of them will be useful for your needs.
Starting your own small business is a significant feat and an accomplishment to be proud of at the end of the day. It’s your chance to follow your professional dreams and offer solutions and products your customers will appreciate.
You likely have a lot on your mind when you’re first getting up and running. However, you must focus your energy on the most critical aspects if you want to stay in business and be prosperous over the long-term. There are a few tips that are going to help you get off to the right start so that you can give yourself a real fighting chance to succeed.
Set up Your Office Space
Now that you’re officially a new small business, you’re going to want to choose a prime location for your company. Search office space in the area and figure out what will be most suitable for you and what you’re selling. Consider your plans for growth and expansion and how much room you’ll need for hiring on employees and workers at your company. Take the time to make your new office space attractive and appealing so that clients and employees feel welcome and comfortable at your company.
Increase Your Online Presence
You can also get your new small business off to the right start by finding ways to increase your online presence. The Internet and technology are the way of the world right now, and you need to be present so that your target audience can find you. Consider working with a professional agency such as https://bcwebdesignlondon.co.uk/ that specialises in services such as web design and development and social media. Having an SEO strategy and running online advertisements will help you to grow your business and secure loyal customers.
Take Care of Yourself
Being in charge of a new small business is a lot of hard work and effort. As the boss and leader, it would help if you had a lot of natural energy and are healthy and capable of doing your job well. Therefore, get your business off to the right start by practising work-life balance and taking good care of yourself. Some ways to do this include exercising daily, eating healthy foods, and getting plenty of sleep each night.
Commit to Delivering Exceptional Customer Service
Your small business will take off in the right direction when you’re able to secure and retain customers over time. You must commit to delivering exceptional customer service and show your appreciation for those who are doing business with you. Train your employees so each person understands the importance of this initiative and can successfully handle all different types of customer issues and complaints.
Your business will be off to an excellent start when you put these tips into play at your workplace. Be sure to track your progress with each objective so you can quickly see what changes are working the best for you. Don’t be afraid to flex and tweak your approach as you go so you can achieve the results you desire in the end.
If you have a passion for cooking, love creating new recipes, and feeding the people you love, then you have probably considered starting a food business from home a few times. So if you can’t help but to bake bread, and your idea of joy is to find new ways to season chicken to perfection, then it might just be time to start doing what you love.
If you have a few recipes from your relatives, or you have your heritage as a source of inspiration, those niches are things that can be shared and sold to great effect. Many people like the idea that recipes, and the people that created them, can carry on through the years with hundreds (and potentially more) people delighting in the taste.
Selling homecooked food isn’t always easy, and sometimes you are going to have to do a lot of research to get it just right.
But when you have the food, the business formula, and the drive – there will be very little to stop you.
Starting a business from home can feel like a huge undertaking, but there are so many positive aspects that it can often be the ideal choice. You don’t need to have work experience, and you won’t need a background in a professional kitchen, retail, or even manufacturing food products. In fact, you can learn much of what you need marketing-wise and about starting and running a business free and online.
You get to be as wild and creative with your recipes and fusions as you like. Adding interesting twists and flavours to classic recipes, substituting different ingredients that might not be available in the country you are living in, can add interests and sparks of taste. You can introduce as many different dishes as you like.
The same creativity can be applied to things like your packaging, and creating something but beautiful, as food labels are a legal requirement, you can still make them nice to look at and on-brand – while adhering to the law.
Many businesses worry about their marketing. How will people hear about them? Well, when the food is good, people talk about it. Not only that, but as a business, we are blessed with the age of user-generated content. This means the people enjoying your food are free to take photos and share them with their friends and family. This type of marketing is a very low effort from you, all you need to do is cook your amazing food.
If you have a niche, you can talk about what makes your product unique or special. Or create dishes that aren’t common on menus, and people like to try.
Always gather feedback and act on it so that you can provide the best experience for your customers.
The idea of selling food products is something that is very straightforward, and most people can understand and tackle the model with ease. In fact, some food businesses don’t have a business plan when they first start out – because they make it, and then sell it.
But it will depend on how well your products sell as to when you will need to dedicate yourself to it fulltime.
There are some innovative ways to sell your goods now, though. Dried goods can be delivered in boxes, or even posted. Food delivery is more common than ever before too. So there are some exciting things that can be tested too.
But in general, food will be developed, cooked, and sold.
One of the best things about starting a business from home is that you are free to create your own hours. But more than that, when it comes to food, there are some peak times that you can maximize your income. The rest of the time can be spent researching, sourcing, and preparing the food. If you tend to sell breakfast style items, then you still have the option to sell every morning or extend the hours to provide an all-day breakfast option.
Even if you choose to ‘wing it’ eventually, you are going to want to have a plan that you can refer back to. This plan will help you stay on track. You will need to do some research into your target market, this will help you solidify your brand and how you are going to communicate with people.
Think about what makes your product unique and attractive to buyers, and think about where you are likely to sell your products too. And when it comes to things like delivery, you will need to factor that into the costs too.
These are just a few of the perks and considerations when you are thinking about launching a home-based food business. There is so much more to explore, so give yourself plenty of time to do so.
Financial services businesses are very popular. The main reason behind this is that you’re providing an essential service. Not only that, but you’re providing a service for both individuals and companies. Furthermore, the various financial services you provide are extremely diverse. Some people need guidance, others require you to file their tax return, etc. It’s a vast industry that leaves many doors open for you to go down.
Plus, the startup costs are some of the lowest around. Someone in the financial services industry will rarely have to fold during the first year of business due to overspending. You can run a business like this from home, with almost no overhead costs to worry about.
Instantly, these are promising signs for anyone interested in this business idea. Of course, there are some concerns – don’t assume it will be plain sailing! If you do want to start a financial services business, then please be aware of the following:
Don’t take on too much at once
In the beginning, it’s tempting to offer as many services as possible. The logic is that, if you provide more services, you open yourself up to more customers. This makes sense, but the issue is that you’re a very young business. As a new company, you’ll find it hard to try and push all these services on your target market. It will probably cost too much money trying to market all of the different services as well. Not to mention the fact that you might not have enough time or resources to carry out all the tasks.
Instead, you should start with a more conservative approach. Identify your target market, then choose a small selection of services to focus on. As an example, you might identify business owners as your target market. Then, you may provide tax or bookkeeping services for them. Your offerings are clear and concise, and you can put all your effort into them.
When your company starts to grow, and your resources expand, then you can branch off into new service territories. This helps you expand your business at a natural rate. If you go all-in right at the start, then you take on far too much, too soon. This will only end in one way; your business closing down.
Security is your top concern
All businesses need to worry about security. If you have serious security concerns in your company, then you put yourself at risk. However, security issues are magnified in the financial services industry.
Why? Because you’re handling sensitive information all the time. Every single client will provide you with data and info that’s incredibly private. This includes their personal details – people tell you where they live, what they do, and so on. But it also includes financial information. You’ll probably have bank details for all of your clients stored on a device somewhere. If there’s a security breach, then someone can gain all of this information and use it to their advantage.
In today’s world, we’re both lucky and unlucky. We’re lucky that lots of excellent data security technology exist to help safeguard your business. We’re unlucky in that hackers have access to outstanding technology as well! This means that cyberattacks are increasing, which puts pressure on your company to protect your data.
Don’t let all of your client’s information be compromised. Make sure you set up a strict security protocol that keeps everything safe and secure. If you suffer an attack, and their financial information gets stolen, then that’s pretty much it for your business. A small company will struggle to recover from this. Your reputation will be soiled.
A good website is essential
It goes without saying that your financial services business must have a website. There are three key reasons for this:
- It increases your brand visibility
- It helps you gain customers
- It improves your professional image
You need a place for people to go to learn about your company and what you offer. So, you must develop detailed service pages that tell people about your business products. What can you do for them? What services do you offer and how do they work? How will they benefit from choosing you over other companies?
Provide content that answers all of these questions for the user, convincing them that you’re the best choice. As a result, you can gain more customers.
The key behind everything is to provide a great user experience. When this happens, people stay on your site for longer. They’re more inclined to look around, and they’re impressed by how well your site looks and functions. This helps you gain more customers again, and it also boosts our professional image. You can find user testing tools for banking and finance companies that help you figure out how good the experience is on your website. Then, you can work on improving it for your users. In return, you see the benefits spoken about above, along with increased brand visibility. A great user experience improves your SEO, which helps you be seen by more people in search engines.
You should invest in the best software
You’ll remember that we spoke about a lack of overheads for financial businesses. Primarily, the only thing you will pay for – if you work from home – is the software you use every day. All financial services businesses rely on software to be productive and provide the best service to their clients.
It won’t take you long to realize that there are so many different software programs available. Some are better than others, and you should choose the best ones! They might cost more, but if they provide you with more features and let you complete tasks quicker and to a higher standard, then it’s worth the investment. Arm yourself with the right tools to make your business as good as it can be.
There’s no doubt that a business in this industry can be successful. The key is in how you plan things out. Hopefully, the points in this article have shown you some of the chief concerns to focus on as you build your business.
Are you working full or part-time and have dreams of running your own business? Not sure that you can stop working while you get your dream business off the ground? There is a way that you can set up your own business while looking after your family and continuing to work.
In this video, I discuss how to start a side business while working full time
Join the Parents in Biz Hub here.
Read more blogs post on starting up here.
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The best original ideas in business, have never gone from 0 to 100. They’ve always taken a quite linear line from a small unknown startup to a high-flying multinational company. If you’re one of the lucky people who knows and believes that you have an original idea, then you must take the same route. Thankfully, it’s been fleshed-out, and many of the ins and outs are well-known. If your idea is worth the money, investors will not hesitate to pour their own hard-earned money into it. You’ll also impress banks and various financial institutions, and they will come on the side to give you their bails of cash too. However, this can only happen if you give your idea an initial push. This inevitably means you’ll need to fund the first couple of years yourself and follow a plan of sustainable and consistent growth.
Betting your house on it
Look back throughout history, and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of people have all done the same thing. In order to give their business an initial push up the mountain of success, they’ve bet their house. So many people around the world, gain a massive boost in funds right at the beginning of their business, due to a secured loan. You might be asking, what is a secured loan? This type of loan hitches itself to an asset which is used as collateral should the payments not be made. This gives loan companies a lot of confidence and therefore, they’re more likely to give you a large loan. You could borrow five-figure loans or even six-figure loans. It all depends on the value of your home but usually, by putting it up as collateral, you could receive a loan up to 75-80% of the price. However, be forewarned, you must be prepared to accept the consequences should you not be able to make monthly payments. Make sure you have a plan that makes sense and has shown some kind of promise such as impressing potential investors at an industry event.
The second round
Hopefully, that initial large loan will last you a couple of years and help you to make real gains in product and or services development. After 2-3 years, your business should be showing signs of great reward and thus be ready to move onto the second stage of funding. Do a thorough inspection of the business’ performance. Every little detail matters. How many products do you sell, types, buyer demographics, locations, and what kind of customer feedback you received, etc. When you have compiled all the relevant facts and figures, you should make an investment opportunity report. For your second round of funding, target venture capital investment companies. By bringing your business to the public this way, you can net yourself a number of private investors. All kinds of people of varying wealth look to invest in businesses that show promise. Normal people with no investment background and professional investors alike will be taking a look at the opportunities you offer.
By now, your business will be around 4-5 years old. You’re still just a baby, but if you have shown consistent financial growth, then it’s time to join the other kids in the playground. Industry partnerships are an excellent way to bring about the third round of investment. This is one of the most crucial incremental stages of expansion as you’re working with another business. It’s entirely correct, to act as a lesser supplier and or provider for a larger business. Go around the world or nationally, to various industry events and look for someone to team up with or act as a sidekick. A large business usually has a handful of suppliers, whether it be for materials, accounting, logistics support, customer service professionals and or delivery. By offering your services and products to other businesses exclusively, you can become a part of a much larger entity for the time being. Using their vehicle, you can increase sales and public awareness.
Heading towards maturity
Congratulations, you’ve made it thus far. By now, you should be around 6-7 years of age. It’s been quite the journey but it’s about to get serious. At this stage, one of the best ways to achieve large-scale funding is to go public. An IPO is a fantastic way to gain rapid funding as millions of people have the opportunity to buy your stock. As more is learned about your business and the performance reports you release to the public are studied, more and more investment will trickle in.
Every large business you see arose due to incremental funding. If your business can show consistent growth as the years go by, you won’t have any problems moving from one round of funding to the next.
These days, it’s even easier than ever for anyone to be able to launch their own business. With the internet boom, a business can be set up in no time at all. So, it’s safe to say that it’s a smart time for people to launch their own company. However, if you want it to really work out and become something, there are things that you’re going to want to put in place, particularly within the first year. Some of these things are skills, and some of them are a different measure that will help you to run a business. Either way, it’s handy to know beforehand what it takes, so you have the best chance at success.
To start with, you’re going to find that the best thing you can do within your first year is to develop grit. You’re going to go through ups and downs, and you have to persevere even when you feel like giving up. Grit can really help you to succeed.
They can seem really boring when you’re hoping that the secret to success is sexy and fun, but systems really do help you to stay on track. When you have systems for all of the little things you need to get done, it’s easier to keep everything organized. Working with a fleet management company, managing your staff, and even keeping track of sales can be hard to do. But when you bring in the right systems and software or even outsource, it can be so much easier for you.
From here, one of the things that you’re really going to find can help you, is for you to be as authentic as possible. It’s easy to think that you need to do what big businesses do or whatever is trendy, but the thing that will help you to stand out and find success is sticking to what’s right for you. That way, you will find your tribe and be able to build a community around your company.
The next thing that will really help you within your first year of business is to have really cool and smart marketing ideas. As a new business, you want to stand out and be noticed. But that’s not always easy. You have to really try to cut through the noise. However, when you start to play around with your marketing, you should find that it’s much easier for you to get in front of your audience and really wow them.
But then also, one of the most important things you can do within your first year of business is to stay patient. You might find that you want to give up when you face adversity, but you have to be patient. Because things will happen for you when you keep going. If you’re not consistent, it will take longer. But putting the work in can really allow you to get results, but it takes time. So, the more patient you are, the better.
Have you been thinking about taking the plunge and starting up a new business? There is a lot to consider when it comes to taking the step from being an employee to being your own boss.
It makes sense that you should put your new enthusiasm to work to find out exactly what setting up on your own entails. Do some digging first and make sure you are going into this with your eyes open. Of course, each business is different and depending on the sector you are setting up in, you will need to make sure you are planning and preparing for what lies ahead.
So what exactly should you consider when it comes to starting up your own business? The best place to start is to check out how much you will need to get yourself up and running.
Did you know it is recommended that all businesses who employ staff have enough funds to cover wages for the first 12 months? This ensures you can pay your staff without having to rely on making a profit from day one.
How Much Money Will You Need?
Many startups these days can be done on a shoestring budget. But not all of them. Whether you are looking at turning your hobby into a work from home business, you need to set up an office and recruit staff, or you need to source merchandise to sell. Do your research and find out exactly how much you will need to get started.
There can be many options to consider when it comes to financing your new venture. From using your savings to taking out loans, making sure you know what you will need to hit the ground running before you start or apply for funding is essential.
If you need to apply for funding, you need to come up with a solid business plan so you can show how you plan to build your business and what the market is like for what you are offering.
What Will you Need to Buy?
Look at materials you will need, any wages you will have to pay, rents, or rentals for machinery or vehicles. If you need a car to get around from client to client or from home to a place of work, then you can look at Vauxhall SUV models at Drive Vauxhall to find something that will not only match your professionalism but also help you get from A to B when you need to.
Factor in costs for bills such as electric, water rates, and all the equipment you need to buy to be able to do your job and run your business. Things such as stationery supplies and any staff training courses you will need to enrol on.
Don’t forget about any insurances you will need, especially if employing staff members or you have a physical building, either an office or a shop, which accepts customers or clients onto the property.
As long as you do your homework and you know what to expect when it comes to how much your new company will cost, you will be able to start as you mean to go on with no nasty surprises.
As you already know, working from is rewarding. It’s one of the most amazing ways to become more accomplished at what you are doing for your career as well as what you are doing in life. Working remotely is turning out to be one of the biggest trends in business, but the biggest worries for the companies that are still behind the times when it comes to remote working is whether it will be efficient enough. Fortunately for you, you don’t have a boss: you’re your own boss, and you have chosen to have a home business.
Efficiency is still a big flashing light above your head, though, and you do need to be as efficient a possible to ensure that you are offering a balanced service. You work from home, but that means that you must keep your home and business life separate while they’re in the same space. Still, there are ways and means to ensure that your business is running smoothly, and we’ve put together four ways to be efficient:
This is possibly the most difficult thing to do when you are working from home. You have a blurred line between work and life when you work from home, and interruptions can be a problem. So, you need to create a limit and enforce it. When you are working, do so in an office separate from the rest of the family so that you can work quietly and calmly without the distractions of the family. Plan your work around those at home, and you can limit the distractions and make sure that you can keep up with your working day without a problem.
Invest In Software
Efficiency comes down to working as quickly and smoothly as possible, and that means investing correctly in the right software. Whether this is cloud computing or survey software that you need, you should invest wisely. The better the software, the more efficient you can be in your business. Software and technology are big spends as part of your budget, and you shouldn’t skimp on these to save a buck or two.
Set The Scene
The setting of your office is so important for you to be able to work quickly and efficiently. Your desk and set-up should be conducive to a positive working environment. It’s not always possible to have an office space that works away from the rest of the family, but you can still establish it as YOUR space. Your scene should also include things that you do as part of your morning ritual; so, if you always get a coffee and water before work, keep doing that to be consistent and ready for your day.
You may not go further than the bottom floor of the house for work, but you still must create a “commute” to be able to clear your head and get ready for the day. So, get to your workspace and give yourself ten minutes to think and plan your day, or listen to music, or stretch. Get ready for your day and you’ll work far better than if you skipped this step!
Starting your first business is an adventure that takes you to a new level. Whether you’ve been offering your expertise as a company employee in the past or you’re turning your passion into a side hustle business, solo entrepreneurs understand the importance of doing almost everything themselves. Ultimately, then you’re new in the business world, you don’t have a team to support your progress. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why most new entrepreneurs take a DIY approach to building their business. However, you need to be realistic. Nobody can be an expert at everything. It’s fair to say that there may be many things about running a business that you don’t know. While there’s nothing wrong about learning new skills, you should also be realistic. You can’t always make it work all by yourself. Defining how much DIY is safe for your solo enterprise is a delicate balancing act.
There’s a sense of excitement
Do you remember the days when you would make creatures and shapes out of Play-Doh and clay as a child? Of course, it was exciting! You could build your own world. Running your business taps into the same Pygmalion’s sensation. As such, it’s a wonderful experience and you, of course, want to be the one who makes it happen. With the right tools and tips, you can take control of your brand, such as by creating your designs. Indeed, not only can you ensure that your online presence remains professional – as you can manage every piece of content you share online –, but you get to give life to your ideas.
But excitement doesn’t replace expertise
Admittedly, excitement is no replacement for quality and know-how. While you are likely to get better, you can’t compete against professionals who have the appropriate equipment and training to build a business presence. You can’t build a professional presence online without the input of experts. Mass Appeal, a digital marketing agency, shares a clear message with potential clients; there is no company too small for professional services. More often than not, digital management is the key to secure your position on a crowded market.
When should you consult a pro?
When you’re at the beginning of your entrepreneurship journey, it can be challenging to figure out when you need to ask for support. After all, it is tempting to build your business alone. You’re not only in charge of what happens, but you can also make a tight budget work. However, the DIY approach can only save you money if you know what you’re doing. If you lack the necessary marketing skills, for instance, you’re unlikely to achieve any positive result. Additionally, failing to receive sufficient organic traffic or to drive your sales is a warning sign that you should invest in professional support.
Ok, but how bad is bad?
I’m new here; I don’t know how much traffic is good or bad. Launching a new business is not easy, especially if you don’t have any reference you can use for guidance. However, as a rule of thumb, a business that doesn’t grow is at risk of collapsing. A marketing agency can help you to build growth.
In conclusion, while it can be exciting to build your presence, solo-entrepreneurs need to recognise warning signs of poor DIY. Indeed, your enthusiasm doesn’t replace expert knowledge. As such, you need to be quick to react if you notice a lack of growth or a drop in your sales.