(This post may include affiliate links. Here's my disclosure statement for more info.)
Are you strapped for extra cash? Have you made all the personal budget cuts possible and are still struggling to get by? Or you want to have more money to invest in your family’s future. Whatever your situation, there’s a way to strengthen your financial standing other than depriving yourself of every comfort imaginable. It’s called a side hustle.
In the simplest terms, a side hustle is any work that you perform in addition to your regular job. It refers to playing music gigs on the weekends, fixing computers after you get home from work, or countless other occupations that can bring in extra cash. And these days, the number of options for a side hustle is remarkable.
Through Couch Based Biz, I aim to inform and inspire creatives to make the most of their talents and skills. That’s why I’ve provided some practical advice on how you can turn your creativity into a profitable side hustle:
Assessing Your Talents and Skills
Being interested in what you do makes a big difference in the fulfillment you get from any kind of work. Being passionate is even better. But success requires more than interest and passion. You need to be good at what you do if you want your efforts to be fruitful, even with a side hustle.
So, if you have a particular idea that you want to pursue as a side hustle, evaluate your talents and skills to see if it’s a good fit. Sure, you’ll learn a lot along the way. But you need to have a knack for your craft from which to operate. For example, if you’re interested in designing websites, it’s essential to have an eye for aesthetics and basic knowledge of software.
Earning extra cash can help to reduce stress and improve your life in various ways. However, if you allow your side hustle to control your life and consume your time, then it kind of defeats the purpose. Try to strike a balance between excellence and quality of life.
Focus on keeping your customers/clients happy. Consistently producing a high/quality product, using software tools to ensure you complete your projects on time, and making it easy for people to find and purchase your products are some of the best ways to do that.
Brainstorming Side Hustle Ideas
OK, perhaps you’re like a lot of other people and aren’t 100% certain of what you want to do as a side hustle. Maybe you have no ideas from which to start. Or maybe you have so many ideas in that creative mind of yours that you need to narrow down your options. Either way, this list might help you come closer to a decision:
Selling on Etsy
If you make your own crafts, clothing, or other handmade items, you can generate income by selling on a marketplace like Etsy. A cut will be taken from each sale, but if you manage your time and expenses well, you can make a profit from doing something you love.
There is an increasing demand for writers, as companies of all shapes and sizes are recognizing the need for quality content on their websites and other publications. If you have the passion and skills necessary for writing on a wide range of topics, look into online job boards that cater to freelancers.
Web development is another in-demand field that you can enter through online job boards. And it can be the perfect side gig if you know how to code, are tech-savvy, and enjoy working alone. Plus, there’s a wealth of websites that can help you learn web development, no matter what level of knowledge you currently have.
Yet another industry that continues to increase in demand, graphic design is great for people who have an eye for design and have basic experience with design software. You can either find freelance graphic design jobs through online job boards or opt for selling on print-on-demand (POD) shops. If you go the route of POD shops, you’ll essentially upload your graphics or photographs to a website; those graphics or photographs are then virtually placed on a wide range of products that consumers can purchase.
Preparing for Taxes
Once you have an idea of what you’ll be doing as a side hustle, it’s time two prepare for some of the not-so-fun stuff. For instance, you need to choose a business structure.
Many creatives choose to operate as sole proprietors. But there’s a better option available: forming an LLC. Along with protecting your personal assets, LLCs can yield various tax benefits. Plus, it’s easier to set up and provides more flexibility than a corporation. That said, rules and regulations vary by state, so be sure to research before jumping into the process.
Finally, make sure you’re ready to handle taxes for your side hustle. After all, the last thing you want is for the extra cash you earn to become a burden. Plan to allocate 22 to 35 percent of your side hustle income toward taxes in a singular savings account. This will help ensure you have enough for both your income taxes and self-employment taxes. While you’re at it, you may want to open a separate checking account that you use only for your side hustle expenses. That way, it’ll be easier to add up all your business expenses when the time comes.
Side Hustles = Extra Cash
Strategically starting a side hustle could improve your financial situation. Choose something that can bring you both fulfillment and success. Remember to focus on your health and well-being in the process. Determine the best business structure for your needs, and come up with a plan for your taxes. Then, you’ll be in a pretty good position to dive into your side hustle!