Do you have a side-hustle? Maybe your business IS your side hustle. And you know what? That is totally OK!
I recently read a statistic that made me really sad. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting.
There’s a few reasons, but one common reason is that people run out of money. (source)
I have many, many aspiring business owners coming to me for branding help, with a small amount of starting capital and plans to quit their jobs and rent office space because they believe that is the only way that they’re business will be a success.
I strongly advise against doing this unless it really is integral to your business’s success AND you have the capital to sustain the business for 3-5 years.
My husband and I are both self-employed, myself for the past 5 years, and my husband just celebrated his one year anniversary of self-employment (with no plans to return to a salaried job any time soon!)
I believe the key to our success comes down to two factors:
- We have side-hustles, which means that we have multiple sources of income, we’re not relying solely on a our main business
- We keep our costs as low as possible (both in our personal life and in our businesses).
My husband and I own two businesses between us, plus we have a couple of small online stores. In my own business, I do both project work and recurring work, so I have two different income avenues. As well as doing logo and branding and publication projects I also do graphic design on retainer, which means that I have clients that I do work for consistently each month. This means that I have regular income, so if a project has to be postponed or cancelled at the last minute, or I have a quiet month, I don’t have to panic. Before I had my daughter I used to do temping and contract work.
When I started my graphic design business 5 years ago, I had a part time job. It was tricky trying to juggle both, and it meant a lot of late nights (it was pretty common for me to be at my day job from 9-5pm and then come home and do freelance work until midnight).
I understand that it can be really hard to juggle a job and a business. And you might say that you NEED to work in your business full time, you NEED retail space and you DON’T have time for a side-hustle, and that’s totally OK. But please go back and read that statistic again:
“more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting”
That’s a really scary statistic right? And maybe no amount of side-hustling would’ve saved those businesses. Maybe they had a bad idea. Maybe they just had no idea what they were doing. But I’ll bet that some of those businesses were amazing, and they could’ve made it if they’d had a bit of extra cash coming in to keep them going just that little bit longer.
If I’ve convinced you that you need a side-hustle, but you don’t have one, here’s a few ideas:
- Sign up with a temping agency
- Uber/Taxi drive on weekends
- Work part-time or even full time and outsource lower paying work in your business
- Create an online store with dropshipping
- Teach others what you know – workshops/class/tutoring (this also shows that you’re an expert in your field)
- Expand your offerings (eg. if you have a cafe you could also offer catering)
- Create an Etsy store with “instant-download” products, so once it’s set up you’re earning passive income
- Rent out unused space (eg. if you have a cafe you could also rent out your kitchen out after hours, rent out your excess office space, garage or spare bedroom – but please check council regulations and check tax implications with your accountant before you do this!)