Juggling a full-time job and a side hustle is challenging. However, thousands of Kenyans are doing it, so why not you? As soon as you resolve to start a business while employed, you need a plan. If you are looking for a checklist as you venture into your business, here’s how to make your side hustle work for you.
- Hire an employee with previous experience, one who can run a business without supervision. Don’t hire a beginner to manage your business when you are also a beginner.
- If you don’t need someone to manage your side hustle, clear your schedule, and dedicate some hours daily to your business. For example, make deliveries and manage your social media accounts over your lunch hour or over the weekend.
- Create weekly or monthly milestones to help you evaluate your growth. Theese milestones could be related to sales, to the number of leads generated weekly, etc. For example, week 1, gain 100 followers on social media, sell 3 pieces a day on week 1.
- Hire experts for what you cannot do. It is okay to ask for help. If deliveries are hectic, engage a delivery company; if making products at home is tiresome, contact a manufacturer.
- Put some money aside from your full-time job every month as security funds to boost your hustle. You may run out of capital mid-month, or run into a new investment idea you had not planned for at the start of the month.
- Have realistic, measurable, attainable goals for your side hustle. According to George T. Doran, who authored the SMART criterion, your goals should always be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Break down your business goals into phrases that you can measure. On the same note, identity the specific thing you must do to achieve your goal. For example, for an online store, getting Facebook page likes is a specific, attainable goal. To attain this goal, you need money to run an ad or you can invite friends to like your page. To measure your success, analyse the increase in number of page likes daily.
- Set aside a day or hours to evaluate your progress. Your employees may give you a daily or weekly report, but you also need to examine the progress of your business personally. Go over the week’s earnings, expenditures and analyse any new leads generated.
- Have realistic income goals for your side hustle: your business may not make Ksh1M in the first month. Do you intend to re-invest the profits or are you hoping to use the income for your expenses? If part of your profit will go towards personal expenses, the amount you hope to take out should be equivalent to the expense you want to cover. For example, if your fashion store makes a net profit of Ksh5,000, re-invest or save at least half of this amount. Therefore, you will have just Ksh2,500 to spend. Instead of exasperating calculations, just match the Ksh2,500 to a corresponding need. Note down all your expenses and find the one that corresponds with the amount your side hustle is bringing as profit. For instance, if your electricity and water bill come to Ksh2, 500, and groceries for a month cost Ksh3,000, your store’s profit matches the electricity and water bill. This will motivate you to invest in other ventures, each to cater for at least one personal expense, and you will eventually become financially independent without depending on your full-time job.
These simple tips should help you create a practical business plan that will make your side hustle become your full-time hustle.