South Africa
Starting a side hustle
Start your business 13 Sep 2022

Starting a side hustle

Starting a side hustle is a smart financial move if you want to start your own business, but you’re not quite ready to take the plunge or can’t yet afford to focus on it full time. And with more people experiencing the limitations of a single source income, it’s become a popular (in some cases, a necessary) way to ease financial pressures and grow wealth.

Before you dive into it, make sure you’ve got the basics covered. Here are some fundamentals about starting a side hustle.

What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is work or a project that you take on outside of your normal work to gain additional income. People start side hustles for a variety of reasons, from supplementing their salary to pursuing a passion, or wanting to be their own boss. The benefits range from supplementing your income, doing what you love, and having more flexibility.

Don’t quit your day job
The beauty of starting a side business is that you don’t have to quit your day job to do it. Building a business while you have the security of regular employment protects you against the risks that come with starting a new business. This gives you time to grow your side business into a thriving (and potential) full-time business, but still enjoying the security of a consistent income.

Does your employment agreement allow it?
While your employer might not have the right to limit you from starting a side hustle, it’s important to check what your employment contract says to make sure that there are no conflicts of interest. Also, ensure that your side hustle won’t negatively impact your job performance or use resources from your place of formal employment.

How much will your side hustle cost you?
What will you need to be successful at this side project – will you need to buy equipment, stock or ingredients? In addition to funding your start-up, think about how much time your business venture will demand.

Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day and while you want to make the most of it, you shouldn’t overextend yourself. Prioritise your schedule and remain disciplined so that you’re able to make progress on your side hustle without it affecting your main employment or your personal life.

Get your finances in order
Whatever business opportunity you decide to pursue, first test the waters. Don’t invest everything you have in it and try to keep your costs to a minimum. Open a separate account for your side hustle and have a specific budget dedicated to your business. Keep a record of all your expenses and be sure to check your tax status. You might qualify for tax benefits, but it’s also important to keep track of your income so that you don’t get hit by a big tax bill.

Starting and running a side hustle is hard work, but it gives you plenty of opportunities to expand your income and learn new things. Pursuing your interest and putting in the work could see you becoming your own boss and your business thriving.