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How to choose the best side hustle

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Personal Finance

If there is one thing that the Covid-19 pandemic and all the money woes that came along with it taught us, it is that no one can survive in the current economic climate with just one source of income. A recent study done by the Henley Business School showed that at least 27% of respondents participating admitted to having an extra job to supplement their income. Further, the study showed that although side hustles often improved one’s income by up to 25%, most people said they would never leave their primary job for a side hustle. In fact, people with extra jobs were shown to be even more productive and committed at their main job due to the discipline and the financial liberation that having a side hustle gave them.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, what used to be a luxury pass time for a selected few with enough bravery and time, overnight, turned into the difference between surviving through the month and not. However, as working South Africans increasingly come to the realisation that they need a side hustle to stretch their budget enough to cover all their household expenses, many still have no idea what they could actually do. Here are a few useful tips to help you choose the best side hustle for your lifestyle.

 

1. Find a gig that you enjoy

Everyone with a successful side hustle or even a legitimate full-time business will tell you that it all started as a hobby. Whether it be a jewellery making fetish, your out of this world baking skills (even if only your immediate circle agree to this sentiment for now), or even the way you always somehow manage to trend on social media every time you post something, everyone has a secret hobby that can be turned into an extra income. The great thing about choosing a side hustle that you actually enjoy doing is that it won’t feel like work. If you already work a 40-hour week, you find it hard to believe you have time for anything else after the daunting undertakings of your day job. However, if your second gig is something that you actually enjoy, you would always be excited about getting to it without worrying about being tired and overworked.

 

2. No free lunches

The biggest misconception most people have about side gigs is that it’s a quick buck and it will be easy money whenever you need it. That is actually not the case. Getting a side gig is the beginning of your entrepreneurship journey. As a businessperson now, you need to have a clear vision to actually achieve anything. It does not matter whether you just need to “patch” an unexpected dent on your budget or you need extra income on a regular basis, the point is, you need to set goals and draw up a path for how you’re going to achieve them. For instance, you’re one of those people that are just very popular on social media, you have a knack for getting people going, and you’ve been getting nothing but a couple hundred likes in return. Turning this seemingly purposeless pass-time into a lucrative money spinner to meet your financial needs would require you to find out how much you can actually make from all your provocative posts. Also, how long it would take, and who exactly is willing to pay for it. This will allow you to develop your business objectives as well as the strategies you would need to implement to achieve these. The same goes for a Sunday scones, antique jewellery, or party planning venture. Whatever you opt for, set goals, find out about how to get there, and go for it.

 

3. Everyone can do it

If you are falling back on your chair thinking ‘eer… maybe this is not for me, I don’t really have any real hobbies, nor do I have the time to commit to a whole business venture’, that could not be further from the truth. Depending on your goals, your side hustle might not even have to be that complex. Some of the top side hustles include selling preloved items, driving for e-hailing services, letting out a portion of your home, making lunches for people in your office block, becoming a translator, or a voice-over artist, and taking surveys, subscribing, or watching videos online.

 

4. Flexibility is your best choice

Because your side hustle is fun and brings in some income, it’s very easy to get distracted and start neglecting your main job. However, a side hustle affecting your main job, and jeopardizing your primary source of income is the last thing you need. For this reason, it is important to choose a side hustle that allows you to be flexible. Always make sure you are able to attend to all the demands of your side project outside of your working hours.

 

5. Leave room for growth

Anything that does not grow, eventually dies. Considering all the benefits that a side hustle will bring into your life, the last thing you would want is for it to shrivel up and die someday. Therefore, when choosing a side hustle, you need to consider how far you can actually take this project one day. The bigger your side hustle’s growth potential, the better. The Covid-19 pandemic has also been a great lesson for always preparing for the unexpected. You want your side hustle to be able to carry you through if perhaps you lose your job, even if temporarily. Also, if you’re close to retirement, your side hustle could turn into a full-time business to support you and keep you busy for those later years. If you’re considering turning your side hustle into a full-time job, start thinking about seeking investors, bringing in a team, and putting profits back into the business as much as possible to spearhead your business’ growth.

 

Facing reality

Before side hustles were a popular choice, consumers solved their money shortage issues by relying mostly on taking credit. It starts out as an innocent little store account, because its convenient and ‘not that expensive anyway’. Then it’s those unexpected emergency loans or credit card payments, because your car crashed, and you can’t afford the huge excess fees. In between there are also those absolute necessities like buying a house, starting a new business, or studying for your dream job. As the years go by, the economy slumps and the cost of living continues to rise. Before you know it, the downward spiral of over-indebtedness has begun and you are taking loans to pay for other loans, and it is not long before you start avoiding your creditors calls and struggle to sleep at night trying to come up with solutions. Nearly half (48%) of the 27 million credit active South Africans are right there on the same boat with you. As one of the leading debt counselling companies in the country, National Debt Advisors can help you solve your debt problem. Using the legal and regulated debt counselling service, our qualified debt counsellors can negotiate lower, actionable monthly instalments with your creditors.

Start your journey toward financial freedom by contacting us today.

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