Whether you have a side hustle, or are thinking about starting one, you’ve probably considered how you plan to manage it all. It’s smart and practical to think ahead with these three ways to effectively manage your side hustle.
A whopping 45% of Americans have a side hustle, according to a recent Bankrate survey. The reasons for having a side hustle varies from having one by choice to having one out of necessity.
Whatever the reason you want or have a side hustle, how effectively you manage it can make all the difference in the level of success that you experience.
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When it comes to managing your side hustle, there are three main areas to focus your attention on. Those are your:
Manage Your Time
Time is a great equalizer. Everyone gets 24 hours each day to make what they will of it. It’s important to track the time you’re spending on different tasks, time that is both paid and unpaid, as it relates to your side hustle. Not only will this will help you better manage your time overall, it will help you identify the activities that bring value to your business and those that don’t.
Be intentional with your time. Spend time on the activities and tasks that grow your business.
If you’re looking to turn your side job into a full-time business, this is especially true. You’ll want to learn how to quickly recognize tasks and actions that have value, and those that don’t.
You may also need to reconfigure when you get things done for your new side gig. Maybe you have time to get some things done during your commute to work. (Not while you’re driving, though! Maybe on the train or bus.) Could you get up an hour earlier and devote that time to working just on your side gig?
Think about what works best for you and utilize the extra time to your advantage.
Manage Your Finances
As with any business venture, you’ll want to track your income and expenses carefully – from the very beginning. Determine what method works best for you – whether it’s a notebook that you log everything in, an Excel spreadsheet or software designed to track business earnings and expenditures. Just settle on on method and use that consistently.
Keep receipts of anything that you need to purchase for your business. Track any invoices that you send out for payment, and note when you receive payment on them. Know what you need to earn in order for your side hustle to be profitable. Your earnings should (at minimum) cover your expenses.
Finally, have the right bank accounts for your business. I have three accounts that I use for my freelance and side hustle earnings. I like to keep everything clearly separated, depending on their Those are . . .
- Checking account – This is the account that I use to receive payment for work that I do.
- Business savings account – We have emergency funds for our personal life, and I like to keep one for business “emergencies”. (Like that laptop that picked the worst time to quit working!) Having a little money set aside to cover unexpected expenditures can greatly help.
- Savings account for taxes – To be clear, this is not intended to be tax advice. But, as a freelancer I have to pay my own taxes out of my earnings. This means that I have to set aside a certain amount of money from each payment that I receive, and pay quarterly estimated taxes. Since I know about how much I need to pay each quarter, I take out a percentage from each payment that I receive and put it in its own account. Then, when it’s time to pay my taxes, the money is already there.
Manage Your Efforts
If you’re like most people, your side hustle is something that you do in addition to your regular job. And, with most side hustles, you’re trading hours for dollars, which caps your earning potential. That’s why it’s important to diversify your income streams.
Think about how you can use the skills of your side hustle and apply those to other potential revenue streams. For example, if you’re a web developer who builds websites for clients, you could also:
- Start a blog about your web design business. You could write articles about the different aspects of web design, and become an affiliate for products that you use and that align with your web design business and/ or clients. In time, this could create another income stream that allows you to generate revenue without as much hands on work as building websites. (In other words, while your making bank building websites, your blog is making bank on mostly auto-pilot!)
- Create and sell online courses. Sites like Teachable make it so easy to open an online school, where you can host and sell online courses. In this scenario, maybe you could create a course about what makes a good website design or how to build a website.
- Write an ebook. Not only are ebooks a great way to build authority about your knowledge on a given topic, they can also be profitable. Sites like Amazon, make it easy to sell your ebook. You can also sell it directly on your website using a plugin like WooCommerce, or other platforms like SendOwl or Gumroad.
What ever additional revenue streams you choose, the key is to find those that naturally compliment your side hustle business model, and that allow you to extend your revenue generating reach without expending very much additional hours of work.
Side hustles are here to stay. Once you’ve found one that best suits your skills and goals, make a plan to manage your new business venture.
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