In today’s hyperconnected world, it’s not uncommon to hear about people who have a side job online. Many of them have full-time jobs and yet, they find time to start and grow their own business. There are thousands of apps and online tools that make it easy / easier to work on the go and even build your own brand.
In fact, more than one in four Millennials work a side hustle. Approximately 61 percent do it once a week or more. Some take this step to earn extra money. Others are looking to develop their skills and turn them into a lucrative business.
Young people, in particular, are more likely to have a side job because they know how to turn their laptop or smartphone into a money-making machine. On top of that, they’re familiar with the gig economy and are not afraid to take initiative and turn their passion into profit. Some are planning to eventually make the side job a full-time career.
The question is: how can you find time for a side gig when you’re working full-time? After all, you already have a lot on your plate. Sure, you could wake up at 4:30 am to work on your side projects, but it would drain your energy and give you headaches.
Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a morning person to run a successful side business. It all comes down t your time management skills. Here are some tips to help you out:
Nowadays, we have more options than ever before to work part-time or start our own business. The technology available in this day and age provides more flexibility and less attachment to “one way of doing things.” With so many opportunities available, you can easily find one that meets your needs.
As you would expect, some gigs require more time and commitment than others. It’s one thing to take on freelance work over the weekend, and another thing to start and run an online store or another type of business.
Be realistic about your options. How much time can you dedicate to a side gig? Is it one hour a day or one day per week?
For instance, if you have a demanding job with strict work hours, you might not be able to turn your blog into a real business. Building a successful blog takes hours of hard work. It involves time-consuming tasks like social media marketing, link building, SEO, guest posting, topic research, and much more.
The same goes for e-commerce stores and affiliate businesses. It takes time to promote your products, engage your audience, and address customers’ concerns. This isn’t something you can just do on your lunch break or before bedtime. After all, successful ecommerce stores are run by dozens or hundreds of people whose roles are clearly defined. Some cover the technical aspects, while others handle marketing activities, customer service, and so on.
Choose the Right Side Gig
Once you know how much time you can dedicate to a side gig, choose one that fits into your schedule. Assess your skills and then decide how you could use them to generate revenue.
Let’s say you love photography. In this case, you have multiple options, such as:
- Start a photography blog and run affiliate ads
- Sell your work on stock photography websites
- Work part-time as a freelance photographer
- Set up a YouTube channel for photography enthusiasts
- Create and sell online photography courses
- Provide photography workshops and classes in your area
- Join photo contests
- Sell your photos at local art galleries
Let’s say you decide to offer photography courses and workshops in your area. This is something you can do on Friday evenings or over the weekend. It’s less time consuming than starting and monetizing a photography blog, and more likely to bring in revenue than joining photo contests. It all comes down to your goals and schedule.
Also, consider the earning potential. Some gigs are more lucrative than others. About 85 percent of those who work on the side earn less than $500 per month. However, there are also tens of thousands of other people who earn five- or six-figures with a side gig. The more effort you put in, the higher your chances of success.
Once you have chosen a gig and decided how to get started, set clear boundaries. Keep it separate from your day job and don’t mix them up. Otherwise, you risk losing them both.
Unless you have a super flexible job, don’t work on your side business at the office. After all, they’re paying you to work for them, not for yourself. Sure, you can dedicate a few minutes to your side gig during lunch break, but that’s where it should stop.
Depending on the nature of your side business, think about what tasks could be outsourced to others. Let’s say you’re planning to monetize your blog or provide SEO services. Focus on the key aspects of your business and delegate the most time-consuming tasks to a VA or other freelancers.
For instance, a virtual assistant can handle data entry, customer service, video transcriptions, prospecting clients, and administrative work. You can ask her to promote your blog posts on social media, reply to readers’ comments, and identify guest blogging opportunities. You can focus on more important tasks, such as content writing or video creation.
Delegate tasks in your household as well. Let your family know that you’re trying to set up a side business. They can support you by doing housework and shopping for groceries. You could even get them involved in your business. Does your significant other have a creative side? Ask him or her to take photos or create infographics for your blog.
Use Your Time Wisely
Last, eliminate dead time and focus on what really matters. Most people are surprised when they realize how much time they’re wasting on things like surfing the web, checking their Facebook news feed, or watching TV. In fact, the average adult devotes 10 hours and 39 minutes a day to screen time.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong about taking a break every now and then. Just make sure you set your priorities straight. If your goal is to build a successful side business, use your time wisely. Install an app like Freedom (Mac, Windows or iOS) or Cold Turkey (Mac, Windows) to temporarily block social media distractions. These programs limit your access to certain websites across all devices so you can focus on the tasks at hand. If you’re not sure how much time you spend on social media, check out Moment.
With planning and commitment, your side gig could double or triple your revenue. Someday, it could become your main source of income. Treat it like any other job and put effort into it.