How to turn your idea into a side hustle

It’s easier than you think to start a part-time business
Amal Alshamsi
by 
Amal Alshamsi
How to turn your idea into a side hustle

For many of us, there’s always been an idea at the back of our minds that we keep returning to– that one idea that we think could help a lot of people and make money. But the most common obstacle is that there isn’t enough time to start a business and taking the leap to becoming a full-time entrepreneur can feel too intense. Another obstacle is that you might not know where to even start. 

You're not alone. Plenty of aspiring entrepreneurs launch their businesses as side hustles to earn a steady income while still working on what they're passionate about.

Here are five steps to turning your idea into a thriving side hustle:

Take stock of your skills and goals 

Think about how you’ve come up with your idea and how it relates to your passions and your strengths. Find ways to leverage those talents and interests as you build your business. 

For example, if your idea(s) is a recruitment software service that pairs freelancers with remote jobs, you should consider your expertise and/or passion in HR, recruitment, and website development as well as your connections in the field. It’s totally valid if you don’t have the expertise just yet, but it’s important to be passionate enough to learn about the field. 

The next step is to think about the ideal end-goal of the side hustle, do you want to keep it on the sidelines or is it something you hope to turn into a full-time venture? Your answer to this can change at any time, but it’s crucial to have a general sense of direction as you start. 

Talk to your potential customers and start networking

 

A successful entrepreneur looks for problems to solve, not businesses to start. The equation is simple, the more intensely people need your product, the more likely they are to spend money on it. Consider what problem your idea is solving and if that problem is a papercut (mild but annoying), headache (uncomfortable), or broken leg (urgent). 

 

Then, talk to people who may face this problem and figure out if they’d pay for your solution. Start networking with communities or businesses in the niche to gain trust and credibility. 

 

Start small 

 

The reality is that you don't need a lot of money to start a business, and there can be little to no upfront investment needed. People often assume that you need to have everything from the start, a logo, complete business plan, and a working solution, but that is a big mistake. 

 

Starting small is the key to turning your idea into a side hustle even on a budget and with limited time. The first step is to figure out what your value proposition is and get initial feedback from friends and family or other customers, then launching a simple prototype or MVP that simulates the imagined final product. It can even be just an explainer video or a landing page. 

 

Just do the bare minimum to start with, guage interest, figure out what works, and do it consistently. Now your business is starting to feel more attainable even on a part-time basis, doesn’t it? 

 

Be open to changing your mind

 

Your first side hustle may not be the one that turns into a full-fledged business or turn considerable profit. That doesn’t mean that it was a waste of time or effort. It just means that something wasn’t quite working (your target audience, value proposition, or timing) and you should take a step back and learn from that. You can use those lessons, the skills you’ve built, and the connections you’ve made to start another side hustle. 

 

Success relies on your ability to adapt to change and keep an open mind to new directions. If you started a dropshipping business selling athletic wear that didn't work out, then you may want to turn into a similar but different direction of a fitness blog or coaching service. Or go into another field and explore other pain points, as you’ve now got into the groove of making business decisions. 

Talk to someone who has been in the same place

Running a side hustle business is an effective use of your time and energy, but it’s just as challenging as starting a business. There is no playbook or official guide of how to be successful, as it depends on the type of product you’re offering and the specific niche you’re catering to. 

So, it can be majorly useful to talk to someone that has built a business in your specific field and learn about the steps they took. You can follow their example (and come up with new directions together!) to avoid the mistakes they’ve made in the past. Working with someone who has been in your shoes allows you to always stay a step ahead. 

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How to turn your idea into a side hustle

It’s easier than you think to start a part-time business

For many of us, there’s always been an idea at the back of our minds that we keep returning to– that one idea that we think could help a lot of people and make money. But the most common obstacle is that there isn’t enough time to start a business and taking the leap to becoming a full-time entrepreneur can feel too intense. Another obstacle is that you might not know where to even start. 

You're not alone. Plenty of aspiring entrepreneurs launch their businesses as side hustles to earn a steady income while still working on what they're passionate about.

Here are five steps to turning your idea into a thriving side hustle:

Take stock of your skills and goals 

Think about how you’ve come up with your idea and how it relates to your passions and your strengths. Find ways to leverage those talents and interests as you build your business. 

For example, if your idea(s) is a recruitment software service that pairs freelancers with remote jobs, you should consider your expertise and/or passion in HR, recruitment, and website development as well as your connections in the field. It’s totally valid if you don’t have the expertise just yet, but it’s important to be passionate enough to learn about the field. 

The next step is to think about the ideal end-goal of the side hustle, do you want to keep it on the sidelines or is it something you hope to turn into a full-time venture? Your answer to this can change at any time, but it’s crucial to have a general sense of direction as you start. 

Talk to your potential customers and start networking

 

A successful entrepreneur looks for problems to solve, not businesses to start. The equation is simple, the more intensely people need your product, the more likely they are to spend money on it. Consider what problem your idea is solving and if that problem is a papercut (mild but annoying), headache (uncomfortable), or broken leg (urgent). 

 

Then, talk to people who may face this problem and figure out if they’d pay for your solution. Start networking with communities or businesses in the niche to gain trust and credibility. 

 

Start small 

 

The reality is that you don't need a lot of money to start a business, and there can be little to no upfront investment needed. People often assume that you need to have everything from the start, a logo, complete business plan, and a working solution, but that is a big mistake. 

 

Starting small is the key to turning your idea into a side hustle even on a budget and with limited time. The first step is to figure out what your value proposition is and get initial feedback from friends and family or other customers, then launching a simple prototype or MVP that simulates the imagined final product. It can even be just an explainer video or a landing page. 

 

Just do the bare minimum to start with, guage interest, figure out what works, and do it consistently. Now your business is starting to feel more attainable even on a part-time basis, doesn’t it? 

 

Be open to changing your mind

 

Your first side hustle may not be the one that turns into a full-fledged business or turn considerable profit. That doesn’t mean that it was a waste of time or effort. It just means that something wasn’t quite working (your target audience, value proposition, or timing) and you should take a step back and learn from that. You can use those lessons, the skills you’ve built, and the connections you’ve made to start another side hustle. 

 

Success relies on your ability to adapt to change and keep an open mind to new directions. If you started a dropshipping business selling athletic wear that didn't work out, then you may want to turn into a similar but different direction of a fitness blog or coaching service. Or go into another field and explore other pain points, as you’ve now got into the groove of making business decisions. 

Talk to someone who has been in the same place

Running a side hustle business is an effective use of your time and energy, but it’s just as challenging as starting a business. There is no playbook or official guide of how to be successful, as it depends on the type of product you’re offering and the specific niche you’re catering to. 

So, it can be majorly useful to talk to someone that has built a business in your specific field and learn about the steps they took. You can follow their example (and come up with new directions together!) to avoid the mistakes they’ve made in the past. Working with someone who has been in your shoes allows you to always stay a step ahead. 

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