We are living in one of the most volatile period over the past few decades, where it feels like a series of black swan events arises back to back (to back). However, as investors, we know that in every crisis lies great opportunities. Some of us will try to time the market, and rest of us will DCA (Dollar Cost Average). All of us wants to invest when the market is low and reap theHus profit when the market recovers.
In times where price of goods are high and employment income stays relatively stagnant, how do we allocate more capital into our investment portfolio? In this article, we will explore the best ways to start a side hustle to complement your investment capital and how to make it successful.
What Is A Side Hustle?
Side hustle is simply a second income that you can generate to help you to be financially free. A side hustle is any type of business that you can run while you are working on a full time job. Side hustles can be a small business that you run from your house, or they can be a big business that you run from an office.
You can start a side hustle with minimal initial investment. It can be anything from selling your own crafts, to selling products on marketplaces, to providing a service to paying clients.
A side hustle is a great way to make some extra money, learn new skills, and network with interesting people.
Now let’s look at the 4 stages of side hustle.
1. Choosing A Side Hustle (Ideation Stage)
There’s no shortage of ideas for a side hustle. The challenge is finding one that’s a good fit for you and that you can be successful with.
Here are a few tips for choosing a side hustle:
- Start with something you’re interested in or that you’re good at
- Find a need that isn’t being met and fulfilled
- Think about what you can offer that others can’t
- Start small and grow your business gradually
2. Building An MVP (Creation Stage)
Once you’ve chosen a side hustle, the next step is to get started. This is where the rubber meets the road.
This is where you need to start thinking about your MVP. What is an MVP?
An MVP is your minimum viable product. The idea is to build a simple product that can be tested and experience by potential customers. Even though your MVP is not a finished product, it is the first version of your product.
The goal with an MVP is to test your idea, market, and product to see if they are viable. One of the most painful experiences is to invest your heart and soul into a product that no one cares about.
3. Getting Customers (Acquisition Stage)
This is where things get tricky. How do you get customers?
Getting your first 10 paying customers can be difficult. Here are a few ways that you can experiment, but bear in mind that there is no one-size-fit-all solution.
- Find individuals and businesses that are in need and ask them to try your service or product,
- Work with a local business and get them to try your service,
- Post your service or product on marketplaces like Fiverr, Shopee or Lazada,
- List your service or products on the social media,
- Offering a part of your service or product for free to build trust and credibility.
You may also consider building a community around your service or product.
Your community will be made up of people who are interested in what you sell. As you build a community around your product, you will be able to recruit people interested in your product.
4. Growing Your Side Income (Expansion Stage)
This stage is optional. You may treat your side income as a real business that may one day replace your full-time job, or, it can also be a side project that let’s you earn a comfortable side income while doing something you love.
However, should you want to grow your side income, you may want to strengthen your process within your business/company from end-to-end. You may no longer rely on your notebook and your memory to handle the increased number of transactions within your business.
There are plenty of digital tools from book-keeping to human resources to customer relationship management software. You may also want to look at business automation software that can help you with your business.
Having a proper process in place is important because it allows you to delegate your work systematically should you wish to hire employees to help you with your business. Having a clear process makes it easier for you to monitor your team’s performance and causes less confusions between you and your employee.
Protecting Your Hard Work
Last but not least, let’s not forget why do we want to start a side hustle – that is to increase our investment capital. Building multiple streams of income help hedge against the sudden change of events.
However, when times are good, remember to invest for the future. You will never know when do you need to use it.
To sum up, investing in a side hustle can be a great way to supplement your investment capital. In return, you can get a second income that will help you to be financially free.
About the Author
Marshall Wong is a financial planner holding licenses from the Securities Commission Malaysia and Bank Negara Malaysia. He can be contacted via email at Marshall@plannerd.io