Setting Up a Side Hustle

In today’s economic climate, earning an extra income as a full-time mother seems to unfortunately be more and more essential.  The significant rise in the cost of living we’ve all experienced in recent years, from utility bills to food prices has put some of us in genuine financial difficulty – to the point there are many new mom’s having to work an additional part-time job in order to keep food on the table.

That said, in recent years, the amount of stay at home moms who are making a considerable amount of money working from their dining room table has grown exponentially; indeed, there are scores of empowered female solopreneurs dipping their toes into side hustles and creative online ventures – some of them making vast amounts of money by leveraging their skills and abilities… particularly when it comes to craft businesses or information marketing such as developing an advice blog.

It can however, often be tempting to get caught up and swept away in the next fad.  The reality is there’s no ‘free lunch’… and if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.  In truth, if you are looking to make a sustainable income as a stay-at-home mom, the best and most reliable way to go about this is to set up your own side business as this way you have complete control.  This is often known as a side-hustle, due to the fact it’s a lifestyle business designed to make a bit of extra income rather than a high-growth business that’ll turn you into the next Richard Branson!

It can be tempting to get caught up with the next fad; but the most important tip is to make sure your business is focused on your passion, whatever that is – because when you are working on something that is a passion, it doesn’t feel like work.  

Also, don’t worry if you don’t have all the skills you need right now, as you can always learn new skills be that social media marketing or adobe illustrator lessons.  The most important ‘skill’ you can develop is that of a positive mental attitude as in many ways in life, business and parenting; attitude is everything.

Once you’ve decided on an idea, the core challenge you’re going to face is getting the word out.  The first step is to start getting yourself out there; attracting your first few customers and nurturing a customer base that allows you to scale and grow your side hustle into a serious income generating machine!  

Let’s walk through the idea of someone setting up a creative side hustle, such as making jewellery, and consider the first three steps necessary to launch:

  1.  SET UP A WEBSITE OR PLATFORM

You essentially need a shop window, a home for your business, that is accessible to a global market.  You don’t necessarily need to build your own website, as there are a variety of platforms such as Etsy or Amazon that will do all the hard work for you (as not only do they allow you to promote your products – they also do a marvelous job at connecting you with an audience who are looking for what you have to offer).  The beauty with having an online marketing platform is that people are coming to you, rather than you having to go out and chase customers, and of course, it’s a lot cheaper than having a physical store.

  1.  GET ON EBAY

Don’t underestimate the power of eBay.  It might not be as ‘current’ and trendy as platforms such as Pinterest and Etsy, but don’t underestimate the humongous user base eBay has; just remember to list your items as “buy it now” in order to get the most sustainable results.

  1.  LEVERAGE OTHERS

Have you ever been to a boutique hotel or quirky restaurant and seen some unique furniture, artwork or jewellery hung up?  Chances are the hotel or restaurant owner is working with a local entrepreneur in a contradeal where they get provided with interesting creations in return for free advertising.  The point is, one of the best ways to frist get yourself established is to piggyback off others who are already established – the perfect example is a holistic therapist promoting a free thirty minute session at a local doctors surgery.

In summary, when setting out, you’ll need to first establish a platform where people can find out about what you offer and purchase from you – then, you’ll need to connect with people that are naturally looking for your items (Facebook Ads, albeit costly, can be a great source of customers due to the ability to target certain customer groups very precisely).

The real challenge is in getting customers, and this is where online and offline promotion comes in; but remember you don’t need to build a brand new website – you can leverage existing platforms such as Etsy, eBay and PayPal; all of which provide a very positive cashflow dynamic, as they only take money when you make money.

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Prime Aque is the back-end guy of Self-Help. He is a blogger and WordPress front-end designer. Importantly, he is a husband and a father of three wonderful kids. His firstborn are twin girls. He loves writing and sharing.