Six Things to Consider When Starting a Side Hustle

Six Things to Consider When Starting a Side Hustle
For many entrepreneurs, side hustles are a part of the journey to building a business. Side hustles can provide an extra revenue stream and give you the freedom to experiment with products and services that don't have a place in your current business.
by Deborah Findling, Nina Godlewski Sep 06, 2023 — 3 min read
Six Things to Consider When Starting a Side Hustle

For many entrepreneurs, side hustles are a part of the journey to building a business. Side hustles can provide an extra revenue stream and give you the freedom to experiment with products and services that don’t have a place in your current business. According to a 2022 survey by Zapier, 40% of Americans reported having a side hustle and 36% had launched a new side hustle that year or were planning to. This significant increase from years past indicates that while a side hustle might not be for everyone, many are finding success. 

But how do you know where to start, which side hustle is right for you and your company, and how to add it to your current revenue streams? Take our quiz for guidance then read on to learn how you might implement a side hustle. 

Identify the right side hustle for you.

Finding the right side hustle for you might take some time, simply because there are so many options out there. Like any existing business or job, you have to consider how much time you can dedicate to a side hustle and the resources and tools available to you. Take our quiz below to get a better idea about which side hustle might make a great additional revenue stream for you.


Do market research.

Whether you’re thinking of adding a side hustle to your existing business or not, you’ll need to do some market research to ensure there’s a demand for it. The last thing you want to do is spend time getting a side hustle up and running only to find that there is already a business down the block doing the same thing. 

Utilize web searches, social media, and even ask around to see if there are others who are also offering the same service you want to offer with your side hustle. If they are, take note of what exactly they’re offering, whether they seem busy, the type of branding, and the way they position their brand. This will give you valuable insights into how to approach setting up your own side hustle.

Find your first customers.

If you’re attaching your side hustle to an existing business, you’re going to have an easier time finding your customers. For example, if you run a bakery and decide to start a side hustle offering online baking classes, you’ve already got a great foundation with access to potential clients right in your bake shop. 

For those starting a side hustle without an existing business to help bolster it, these startup stages might take a little bit longer. In the beginning, keep it simple and find your customers by talking to related businesses in your area, building an audience online, and reaching as broad an audience as possible, especially if your side hustle will exist primarily online. The cost of acquiring a customer can range. Leverage a side hustle to test and determine that number before you scale.

Ask for testimonials.

Once you do get those early happy customers (like we know you will!) ask them for testimonials. These can go a long way in helping others make the decision to choose you and your side hustle. Having testimonials to share can actually increase purchases by up to 34%, according to VWO.

You can ask for these testimonials via email. Just make sure your customers know how you plan to use their words to help promote your side hustle and that you have their permission to do so. You can keep the ask simple and be honest with your customers. Let them know that their positive opinion goes a long way for your business.

A good testimonial is typically only one or two sentences. It should be to the point and make it clear how your service positively impacted the customer and why they would recommend you to someone else. Then you can feature these testimonials on your website, on social media profiles, in promotional emails, and anywhere else you’re connecting with potential customers.

Set your own schedule.

A side hustle can offer flexibility to set your own hours and work on your own time. Having control over your schedule means you are not bound to a common 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work schedule. You can work late at night or early in the morning, taking your time to build out your business. Depending on the side hustle you choose, you may even have the option of working remotely. Having control over your hours allows you to work a full-time or part-time job while bringing in an additional source of income.

Experiment with different products and services.

If you’re passionate about a potential product offering or service but you’re not sure what to launch with first, a side hustle can be a good opportunity to experiment in small batches and test what works with your potential customers. This may give you more control over the upfront costs to your business and an opportunity to start with a small set of customers or a small-batch run of products.

In recent years, new business creation has been on the rise. In fact, in the last three years an average of 4.9 million new business applications were filed, up 89% from 2005–2016. As more and more people dip their toes into entrepreneurship, the ability to diversify a business’s revenue streams can be critical to managing risk. Side hustles can not only provide an opportunity for additional income, they can also open up a path for that supplemental income to become your primary income.


Deborah Findling
Deborah Findling is an Executive Managing Editor at Square. She also writes about investment, finance, accounting and other existing and emerging payment methods and technologies.
Nina Godlewski
Nina Godlewski is an editor at Square covering all things technology and using storytelling to help businesses succeed and grow.


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