Side hustles are gaining a lot of momentum with people who have the entrepreneurial spirit but can’t or don’t want to quit their day job. Bills, loans and other responsibilities often are the cause of not going all in. And that’s okay. Despite what investors may think, mitigating risk to test out the waters of the startup world is often a prudent strategy. Before taking the plunge, ask yourself these five questions.
Do you have enough time?
A side hustle goes far beyond having another job. Depending on the nature of your side hustle, you can find yourself working an additional 15 to 20 hours a week or even more. And these hours aren’t spent doing mundane tasks that could come with working a part-time job. Rather, your brain is working hard thinking about strategy, vision, execution and being scrappy. You need to be honest with yourself on how much additional hours you can make available to your side hustle.
Can you afford to start a business?
All startups have costs, including side hustles. Having a job gives you the ability to build your business while having a steady source of income — and not worrying about draining your entire savings account. Also, the side hustle affords you the opportunity to make mistakes without the fear of running out of funds. So. before you begin your side hustle, you need to understand how much money it will take to bootstrap your business and then look at your disposable income to see how much money you can invest in your business.
Are you prepared for failure?
The foreboding figure that has lasted the test of time is 9 out of 10 startups fail. The good news is having a side hustle could set you up for success. Indeed, businesses that are launched while the founder is employed and only later become that founder’s full-time focus are one-third less likely to fail than those that began as full-time ventures. That said, failure is a possibility for any startup, and you need to ask yourself if you could handle it happening. If not, a side hustle may not be for you.
What is your level of commitment?
Without passion, it is almost impossible to stay committed to any job let alone the grit and grind of a side hustle. Often times you will come home from an exhausting full day of work and then have to find the energy to start your second job. To get through these trying times, you have to really want it. When tired, remember the long-term goal, vision, impact you want to make and possible payout.
What is your plan to transition to full time?
The easiest way to build your side hustle into a full-time job is to generate enough revenue to support yourself, and possibly salaried employees. To determine when you reach that threshold, build a financial model of your business and use it as a guideline to understand how and when salaries can come into play.
By Damilola Faustino
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