by Liesha Petrovich
A side hustle can be so much more than a weekend gig.
Maybe your business is a way to pay for a cool hobby, like pottery or jewelry making. Or maybe your one tiny idea evolves into the next Apple (they started in a garage!). And it all depends on what your goal may be.
If your goal is to take the leap from weekend business owner to full-time business professional, one pathway is choosing a side business that’s scalable.
You’re Creating a Brand
It’s hard to build a brand. That takes time, strategy and consistency. But adding a new profit stream to an existing brand is pretty easy. Think of your favorite authors. Buying the first book is always an unknown, but now you pre-order books because you’re already a fan. That’s the whole idea behind choosing a scalable side-business.
Start with deciding what you want your brand to look like. It’s a lot more than choosing a logo, but that’s a decent place to start. In How to create a brand book. Guide and Examples, the author suggests adding the following visual information into your own brand book: logo, brandmark, colors, typography, photography, and any other graphics. Maybe you want your brand to be stylish, professional, fun, quirky, modest, or even sexy. Choose the right visuals to convey that image to your customers.
Once you’ve started building your brand, it won’t be so hard to add a new profit stream since you already have the major pieces of the puzzle in place. Now you’re simply adding another layer to your existing brand’s image.
Choose an Industry, Not One Idea
Let’s say you’re a writer. That may be your official title, but you’re much more than a writer. You’re also a researcher, networker, sales professional, marketer, and maybe even an editor.
In 105 Side Business Ideas You Can Start Today, Nicole Yingling lists tons of profit stream ideas including selling online courses. Here’s an idea for experienced writers to teach others how to write an article pitch:
“Not everyone knows how to do this, and they may be missing key elements when they try. This is where you come in. If other writers see that you are consistently successful in your professional writing work, they will likely pay to learn your personal tricks of the trade.”
So you start as a writer. With the right planning, you easily grow your business to include several different profit streams including creating courses, mentoring or even managing other authors. The idea is to choose a business that has lots of opportunities to branch out and allows you to sell multiple products/services within the same industry.
Build On Your Success
You start as a dog walker. But soon you’re offering grooming services, boarding and maybe a line of irresistible pet treats. Or you start as a wedding planner, and now plan baby showers, anniversary parties, and corporate retreats.
There isn’t one right way to build a business and many side businesses don’t make enough for you to quit your day-job. Yet, why stop at just one side-hustle? Build the foundation and keep adding more profit streams until you’re ready to make your weekend business your full-time profession.
Liesha’s a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. Liesha’s the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title – but it’s a metaphor mom!). She talks freelancing adventures at Microbusiness Essentials and grassroots movements at Kat Tales.