By Matisse Walkden-Brown
The slew of world changes we are all currently facing is inspiring many people to rethink the way they work and earn.
Becoming your own boss is an alluring prospect, with ideas of freedom and flexibility engrained with the term of ‘entrepreneur’.
However the road to financial independence can be steep and for most, so often the best and smartest way to strike out on your own is to start a side hustle while still securely employed.
Here are some tips for those thinking about dipping in their toe in the entrepreneurial pool.
1 – Designate Development Time Outside Of Your Work Hours
It is key to remain conscious and ethical when building your side-hustle and this includes not allowing your new pursuit to compromise the delivery of your regular work.
Chances are, your side hustle will be in someway related to the work you are currently doing now. Maintaining a good relationship with your team and workplace will ultimately be better for your future opportunities, reputation, but most importantly, soul.
Instead designate some quiet time blocks throughout the week, dedicated to building out your idea. This may require sacrificing more leisurely activities like television or socialising for awhile.
2 – Get Organised And Stay Organised
It is all too easy to get side-tracked when unpacking a new idea. Just like unpacking anything, we need to know where we to keep the pieces so we don’t get lost in the chaos.
Just like a home, having an organised headspace and workspace (that might manifest as a google docs folder) helps you stay focussed and on mission.
Before jumping in headfirst and launching an instagram, twitter or website make sure you first have all the foundations designed, refined and ready to go. This will save you mountains of time, money and energy in the long run.
3 – To Start With, Make sure You Have:
a) A Clear Understanding Of Your Consumer or Customer
In recent years, barriers for business entry have dropped dramatically. Because of that, brands & industries need to either be very loud or very tailored to be heard.
Consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages everyday. As a result, they really only connect with brands who build a relationship with them and resonate.
This revolves around building relationships with the audience. Much like a human conversation. This of course will require the business to take on a human persona. But first, we need to know who we are talking to.
b) A Clear Understanding Of What They Need, Want And Will Pay For
Shoppers will generally abandon their decision to purchase if they can’t clearly see how it directly fixes their problem or quenches their desire. In this day and age, people won’t do the heavy-lifting of figuring out how you can help them. They need it delivered on a clear and concise platter.
A study by Ehrenberg-Bass found that the average consumer spends 13 seconds purchasing a brand in-store. This is based on multiple studies of consumer product purchase behaviour. Online is not much better, with the average consumer spending 19 seconds to purchase, and the majority spent less than 10 seconds.
So we know at best, brands have 20 seconds to showcase their unique solution. Muddled words, longwinded explanations, or hard to navigate channels like websites, narrow a businesses ability to sell exponentially.
c) A Strong Reason or Intention Behind Your Brand (Your Why)
Having strong intention behind what you do, will keep those 4am nights from squashing your idea. With passion and purpose you are much more likely to go the distance. Also, you are much more likely to get your customers over the line when it comes to buying from you.
Human beings are inherently highly emotional creatures. Every decision we make is actually made for emotional reasons. In marketing, these are known as the ‘real reasons’ someone makes a purchasing decision. However humans also like to back-up those decisions with logical or value-based justifications. These are known a the ‘good reasons’. Or the reasons we repeat to other people. Psychologically it is important to only appeal to your customers instinctual pain points but also to help them back up decisions by reminding them of your point of difference, ethics or social impact.
4 – Define Clear Goals:
It’s wonderful to want to start something huge. However when it comes to execution, the best way to succeed is to start with small, step-by-step progress.
This helps you avoid getting overwhelmed or overspending in the beginning months while you are still road testing you idea.
Having practical goals that are doable for you also helps you develop positive working habits that will train you for success. A great way to do this is to you the SMART goals formula developed by Peter Drucker. SMART is the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
5 – Get Real Feedback
When starting out, most entrepreneurs are working off pretty-good assumptions. Researched guesswork regarding customer pain-points, gaps in the market and perceived value.
Use the time you have with a smaller funnel flow of customers to hone your assumptions, brand story, products and services and brand touchpoints.
Ask for opinions, suggestions and external feedback. Use the time to tighten the process and continually improve your delivery as you progress.
Most importantly, find mentors a community of people who have been there before, to give you strong and experienced critique and support.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither are great conscious businesses. Best of luck, keep going!