WTFinance?! Turn side gig into your day gig

Saw our post on turning your hobbies into money? Our WTFinance series is all about helping you become smarter around spending, saving and, of course, making mo’ money!

If money is always tripping you up or you’re spending it faster than you can say “WTFinance”, then this series is for you.

Money is the one topic that causes most people massive anxiety or guilt. Let’s figure out how to manage it wisely. 

Last time, we asked you to guess how much it would cost to get your side gig started. Here are the results!

14%

said less than $1,000

57%

said $1,000 to $5,000

29%

said $5,000 to $10,000

TL; DR

When your side gig starts growing, you might face some important decisions; should you quit your day job? Do you need a business plan? Remember that many businesses take months to turn over profit so you’ll want to do some planning before handing in your resignation.

This time we are talking about how to get your side hustle up and running.

Side hustles are not just for the rich and famous. Anyone can start a small business and earn money online if what they offer is valuable to their audience.

That’s how your favourite influencers got started. They turned something they loved doing in their spare time into projects with paying clients.

You don’t have to quit your job (unless you want to!) because you can run a side hustle in your spare time. (That’s why they call it a “side” hustle.)

Getting your side hustle started

So, you’ve turned your hobby into a side hustle, people are starting to place orders, and you’re getting some traction through social media.

Wondering if it’s time to scale up and turn your gig into your full-time job?  We answer some burning questions with tips from Michelle Hon (@thechillmom) because who better, right?

Should you quit your day job?

Your business is running smoothly and money’s coming in. But you can only work on it after hours and on the weekend. Is it time to quit your day job and go all in?

Before you type up your resignation, you need to weigh up the pros and  cons of keeping your job vs. focusing full-time on your gig:

  • Can you handle sacrificing that monthly pay for revenue that might fluctuate?
  • Have you made enough money consistently from your business over the last 3-6 months to pay your regular bills?
  • How soon before your business can support you and your family?
  • Can you go back to your job or get a new one quickly if your business fails? (Sadly, more businesses fail than succeed.)

While being a full-time business owner may sound glamorous, the truth is you’ll work even harder than you do at your day job. When you own a business, the buck stops with you. You’ll wear all the hats to keep it running smoothly – director, craftsperson, salesperson, marketer, accountant, IT support, social media and content creator. At least in the beginning.

Many businesses also take months to show profit (money left over after all the expenses have been paid) so you might be unable to draw money out to pay for personal bills until you’re in the black.

If you’re still keen to turn your side gig into your main source of income, try taking some time off from your job to work on your business. If it doesn’t work out, you still have a job to go back to. But if it does work out? Woohoo! You can continue doing what you love.

Michelle Hon’s tip (@thechillmom) for business owners is that you need to learn how to manage your time and energy.

“You don’t have to spend a whole heap of time and money to make your business a success. Just be intentional with how and where you spend your time.”

Michelle Hon (@thechillmom)

Do you need a business plan?

‘When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail’ – it’s a common saying that really applies to business.

Put some time aside to think about where you see yourself and your business in ten years, and set a clear direction with S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) to increase your chances of success.

It’s also worth completing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to uncover how you can set yourself apart from the others in your niche and what you offer that they don’t.

Decide if you’ll rely on one income stream or if you plan to create multiple products or services in the future.

Creating a strong business plan from day zero will guide your decision-making and help you create a stronger business. Don’t ignore this crucial step when you’re considering turning your gig into your day job.

Start small; keep your expenses under control until you’re turning over a profit. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn and then move forward.

Be creatively strategic

Be creative in how you approach your business. Don’t feel you have to do everything by the book or copy what other business owners are doing.

If you want to keep running costs low, can you barter your skills for something you need? Maybe you could exchange your photography skills for your friend’s social media savvy.

Join local business networks or ask trusted friends or advisors to help you figure it out. Find people who believe in your vision and business so you’re not struggling to do it all.

Michelle Hon (@thechillmom) says partnerships are important in creating a successful business. Always think about how you can scale up to reach more potential customers and make more sales.

“Partner with other people who are serving your target audience to reach even more people.”

Michelle Hon (@thechillmom)

If you’re serious about making money, treat your side hustle like a proper business from your very first Instagram post or product listing. Commit time to work on it and don’t be afraid to encourage friends and family to spread the word. If you’re always professional, people will take you seriously.

So, what’s up next?

Does financial FOMO hit you when scrolling through your Instagram feed?

Next time, we’re talking about something BIG. It’s financial FOMO and how to tackle those really awkward, very uncomfortable conversations about money with friends and family. Stay tuned for some great tips on how to have these conversations without wrecking friendships or relationships.

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Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

COVID-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to the tourism industry, affecting the livelihoods of millions of workers. One of them was Komsan, an assistant chef in a luxury hotel based in the Srinakarin area.

As the number of tourists at the hotel plunged, he decided to sign up as a GrabFood delivery-partner to earn an alternative income. Soon after, the hotel ceased operations.

Komsan has viewed this change through an optimistic lens, calling it the perfect opportunity for him to embark on a fresh journey after his previous job. Aside from GrabFood deliveries, he now also picks up GrabExpress jobs. It can get tiring, having to shuttle between different locations, but Komsan finds it exciting. And mostly, he’s glad to get his income back on track.