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In recent years, the popularity of the side business has increased massively. More and more people are giving up the traditional 9-5 and starting a portfolio career. Although the sideline was originally a way of making a little extra money, it has now become a whole way of life.
An estimated 16 million Britons have a side business, and the number continues to grow every year. Especially now that the economy and companies are slowly recovering from the pandemic. The labor market has slowed down drastically so that people have to look for multiple sources of income on their own. And for many, doing a side gig in addition to their regular job is a necessity to cope with the ever-increasing cost of living.
Should I start a side hustle?
If you have creative hobbies, a specific skill, or a business idea then a side business might be for you.
The financial advantage of a side business is that it is always much safer to have multiple sources of income. When one area slows down, you have other sources of income to fall back on. Additionally, any additional money you make can be used to pay off existing debts without restricting your current lifestyle, or it can be used to add to savings, investments, or a retirement fund.
In addition to the financial benefits, starting a new side business also gives you the opportunity to learn new skills and challenge yourself in a different area of work. Whether you want to make a career out of it or simply consider it a viable sideline, there is an opportunity to learn valuable skills and gain new experience.
Manage your time carefully
Starting a new side business on top of your normal 9-5 can feel overwhelming. How do you even know where to start or how to divide your time? If you have compulsory working hours, you can devote your remaining free time to other activities. But how does it work for freelancers? Or for people who have multiple jobs? It takes serious planning and scheduling, and organization is key. Keep track of all of your projects and deadlines so you can plan your days and figure out how to divide your time appropriately.
Take advantage of all free downtime. Enhance your lunch break or catch up on relevant industry news along the way. Use every part of your day to make it useful. Remember, things like reading blogs about freelance work or watching tutorials on software are important to your business time. Even if you're too exhausted to work harder, research and relevant reading still count.
Especially if you expect your side business to grow, you need to spend time on it on a regular basis. Commit to a set minimum amount of time you spend on your side each week, whether it's 5 or 20 hours. It can be difficult to find the extra time initially. However, the more you train yourself to find free time in your pocket day, the easier it becomes.
Create a schedule that works for you
Everyone has different ways of working and obviously the same routine or schedule is not universally applicable. Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, use it to your advantage. Plan ahead and plan your time well to be successful.
If you're a morning person, get up an hour or two earlier and spend that extra time doing your new sideline. Or vice versa, if you work best in the evening. If you're still working remotely, take advantage of the time you would have spent commuting and instead devote that time to building up your sideline.
Maybe even talk to your boss and see if you can negotiate flexible hours. If you work your best in the morning, you can start work a few hours later and make the most of your morning hours at home. Or maybe you will see if you can work 4 days a week instead, freeing up a whole day to devote to your new side business.
What can you cut out?
The biggest excuse among the working generations is for not having enough time. Of course, everyone has their own independent obligations, but you can almost always spare some time if you really want to.
According to Finder statistics, we watch TV an average of more than 22 hours a week, not including what we see on streaming services. With over 14 million households subscribed to at least one of these platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV. That's a shocking number of hours we spend without thinking about how much time we're also spending on social media. Spending less television and time on social media has a drastic impact on your productivity and free time.
Side hustling with children
Childcare is a laborious job and it seems like you are running out of time. But when schools are declining, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the extra free time. Also chat with other parents and share childcare between them.
If you take turns doing everything, you have all the time and can concentrate on individual projects. Also, reach out to friends and family members who may be able to help look after your little one. Even if it's only an hour or two after school, the free, undisturbed time can help you focus on your sideline again.
Plan for the long term
There will be times when you feel like you've taken on too much and want to quit. When this is undoubtedly happening, it helps to know exactly what you want to achieve and what your long-term goals are. While it may be difficult right now, the time you invest in a side business will pay off in the long run.
Realize that success is not born immediately, despite the number of stories from people claiming that they succeeded overnight. People rarely advertise the number of hours, months, and even years that have helped build their brand and its success. It always takes time and continuous effort.
More useful reading
For more tips and advice on building a side business or freelance business, see the articles below.