It's not uncommon for students to pick up a part-time job or find ways to make a bit of extra cash on top of their studies, but more and more students are taking the side hustle route, putting their hobbies and skills to good use.
If you're keen to take your side gig to the next stage and launch your small business, you're not alone. In a survey of small business owners by Hiscox , 76% of current businesses developed from side hustles.
Here are a few tips on how to ensure you're successful when growing your business idea, whether you're building it up alongside your studies or in preparation for when you graduate.
Separate your business income
It's important to manage the profit you make from your business and keep it separate from your main account, which will make your life easier when it comes to submitting your tax return.
Opening a business bank account will help you manage your income more efficiently and will help you keep track of what you've made each month, which can be difficult to do if you're accepting payments from a range of platforms. It can help to separate your business finances entirely, so it's recommended to open an account with a different bank to where you manage your current account.
As a student, time is precious, so you need to make sure your processes are as efficient as possible to maximize your time. Technology can ease the burden of running a small business, enabling you to automate tasks or streamline them to save time.
The right tech also makes you look more professional to your customers, showing that you're a reliable and trustworthy company. Think about how you're going to accept card payments from customers, how you'll attract new customers to your business and how you'll keep track of your products or services to keep your company well-organized and running smoothly.
Grow your brand
You may not have put much energy into growing your brand when you were working on it on the side of your studies. But now you're building up your business to a full-time operation, you need to get the word out about what you can offer your customers.
Work on growing your social media channels, utilize email marketing and establish a network of customers so that when you do take the leap into full-time entrepreneurship, you have a solid foundation to work from.
Make sure that your branding is consistent across all platforms and that you maintain a clear tone of voice so as not to confuse or alienate your audience.
Build your skillset
When you're a small business owner, it's necessary to wear a lot of hats. So, you may want to build your skillset to accommodate the different tasks you'll need to complete to run your business. From managing sales and developing digital marketing strategies to understanding branding to the importance of negotiation skills, building your abilities in various areas can help you grow your business more efficiently and successfully.
It will boost your confidence in handling the different aspects of running a business and can also help to keep costs down in the early stages of growing your brand when funds are often at their tightest.
Business owners need to be able to pivot and adapt, and as someone already hustling on the side and preparing to develop your idea into a small business, you already understand how important flexibility is.
No one can predict the future so it’s helpful to have a plan B in place when you need it, whether that’s altering your products or services to meet new demand, changing up how you provide your offerings to customers or using different skills. By staying flexible, you’ll be able to manage your risk more effectively as you won’t find yourself caught out by less than desirable circumstances.
Starting a business is an exciting time, especially if it’s building on something you’ve been passionate about for a while. Working on your business full-time requires plenty of planning and research.
But by developing your side-hustle, you already have a good understanding of what you can offer customers and confirmation that your business idea is worthwhile and will be well-received, by your existing customers and potential clients alike.
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