Planning, planning, and planning. And for those at the back and talking and not listening…. PLANNING. Seriously though, planning is key to a side hustle success. Without a good plan, you may just as well be down the pub then trying to make it a success. You’re almost guaranteed to fail. Yes, there will be some people who planned diddly squat and managed to be millionaires overnight and probably have a book out on how they did it with their eyes shut and you can too …if you buy the book. If you want to increase your chances of success (and who wouldn’t?), then you need to flash out your ideas and make them plans and lay down a solid strategy.
You know your self the best so you will know your strengths and your weaknesses better than anyone. If you say you’re not good at planning, then you better think of a way to move ‘planning’ to your strengths column. If you feel like you can’t do it alone, then don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.
Ask them to help you brainstorm your side hustle strategy. As the saying goes, two (or more) heads are better than one. Do a brain dump and write down everything you can think of, even those you think are absurd. You’ll have the opportunity to edit your ideas later on.
Lists vs. mind maps
To organize your ideas, you can use either a simple linear list or you can use a mind map.
With linear lists, it can be hard to make sense of if you’ve got a very, very long list. You’d need to scroll down, and it can be disorienting and overwhelming at the same time. If you’ve got ideas that are similar to each other, it’s hard to show that on a linear list.
Mind maps, on the other hand, provides a more logical and more organized way to view your ideas. Its free and non-linear format allows you to easily move ideas around, connect similar ideas and group them together. It’s also so much easier to get a bird’s eye view of your strategy on a mind map.
To sum up, mind maps are much better tools for the planning process than an old-fashioned linear list. There’s plenty of mind-mapping software out there. You can try out an app like Bubble or Mindomo. Their free-forever versions allow you to create up to 3 mind maps.
One very important thing you need to consider when you plan out your side hustle strategy is your competitive advantage.
What is your unique selling proposition? What do you have that your competitors don’t have? Why should anyone do business with you instead of your competitors?
Find out the answers to these questions, and you can use that as your selling point when you go out into the world and start reaching out to potential clients. They’re going to ask those tough questions, so you need to plan your answers beforehand. And it’s super important to believe in those answers!
You can’t just say you’re better than the competition because that’s what your parents or your spouse told you. No, you need to do better than that. Think outside the box if you need to, but you need to give a solid and foolproof reason why people should give you the time of day.
Branding your side hustle
Another thing you should consider is your branding. Now, you may think this isn’t all that important. You may think you’re just starting a “little” side hustle, and you don’t need to think about this branding stuff. Well, that’s what you think!
If you want to see your side hustle succeed and you want people coming to you instead of you going to them, then you need to learn how to brand yourself as someone your target audience is going to want to do business with.
If you manage to do branding right, then your marketing efforts will be so much easier. People will come to know and trust your brand. In the overall scheme of things, branding just may be the secret ingredient to your side hustle’s success!
It’s all about the details
There’s a popular saying that goes, the devil is in the details. At this point, you may think you can skimp on the details and just figure things out as you go along. However, if you decide to follow this route, then you may be in for some nasty “surprises” along the way. Surprises that could have been avoided if you’ve only taken the time to plan things out.
You want to minimize obstacles and challenges. You want to be prepared when they do happen, that’s why you plan things in advance. If you don’t, you’re just going to end up derailing your path to success. And that’s not what you want, right? You’re reading this guide because you want to succeed, not fail.
It’s all quite simple really – you can either be proactive or reactive. As you probably know, prevention is better than cure. So, it’s better to be proactive and to prepare for whatever may occur than to react as and when things happen.