It’s YOUR Business: Start your small business side hustle

(NC) With the rise of e-commerce and social media platforms, starting a business has never been easier. Whether you’re interested in pursuing your passion project, creating a new product, or filling a need, a side hustle can be very rewarding with the bonus of extra income. It can also be a smart way to test the waters if you’re thinking about making a career change. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Be realistic about your time

The first step is to assess the time required; do the needs of the business match what you can balance in your life? Do a self-audit to figure out a reasonable weekly amount of hours you have available for your venture. Decide how much time you will devote to the side hustle, where it will fit in your schedule and how it will affect your other jobs. Remember, your time is money. Be sure to place a value on your time and track it carefully. This foresight will help you avoid overscheduling and burnout.

Track your income and expenses

Side hustles can be extremely helpful for meeting your financial and life goals, but it’s important to stay on top of all your expenses, income and balance sheets. Tracking your income and expenses can also help you predict the future of your side hustle and ultimately guide your decisions in becoming a full-time entrepreneur; just don’t forget to include your time as an expense.

Never stop networking

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For any stage of a personal venture, networking is key. Your network can be a great resource for landing new investors, finding future employees, meeting mentors, and reaching new customers. Obvious tools such as social media and events are great ways to network, but it can start closer to home too. Keeping consistent communication with your customers even after their purchase, touching base with suppliers in between orders and asking for feedback from other professionals are great ways to network on a budget.

Make the most of free resources

You can’t put a value on research, information and insights. Give your venture a leg up with up-to-date resources like newly released census data. This location-specific data offer information on average income and population makeup – valuable market research for any business. Understanding your customer’s needs, behaviors and preferences are essential for side hustle longevity.

Find more information about the newly released census data at statcan.gc.ca/census

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