Whether you’re dominating corporate America, creating a legacy as a seasoned serial entrepreneur, or hitting the books as a full-time student, you more than likely have a side hustle. That could be writing papers, catering, blogging, personal training, and so on. Whatever it is, you should be monetizing off of it and treating it as is if it’s an actual business.
In college, I wrote papers, revised résumés, and worked as a personal assistant, all while being enrolled in school full time and working two jobs and an internship. I looked at these extra activities as just simple ways to make money instead of taking them seriously as extra viable sources of income.
One of my goals for this year was to have several streams of income. Below, you’ll find four ways to make your side hustle and your money work for you!
#1) What’s your motivation?
Let’s get clear about what your motivation is. Are you looking to pay down debt? Want to stash some extra money into your savings? Or save up for that overseas excursion you’ve always dreamed of? Whatever it is, be clear about it. Getting serious about your motivation and writing down your annual, monthly, and weekly goals with actual (realistic) deadlines is a surefire way to keep you accountable and focused on what exactly you want to do. After all, a goal without a deadline is just a dream!
#2) Treat your hustle as a Fortune 500
If you’re wondering what I mean by that it’s quite simple. If you were running an actual Fortune 500 company, you would spend time laying the proper foundation to make sure that all bases are covered. Those “bases” will vary depending on what type of business you’re in and what service you’re providing. Make a checklist to be sure that your brand is intact. From logo to continuously updating your business plan, to proper compensation for employees to making sure that you’re complying with all federal rules and regulations. If you want your business to be respected as a top-tier company then treat it like one.
#3) Commit to making your network your net worth!
When is the last time that you’ve logged in to LinkedIn? Remember all of the connections you made on there years ago and left them unattended? Well, it’s time to dust off that keyboard and get back to your network! Even if that isn’t LinkedIn for you, it could very well be the hundreds or even thousands of virtual friends you have on your social networks combined. Guerilla-style marketing is still a very effective way of reaching your target market, but it became that much easier once social media allowed us to reach the masses at the click of a button. Find (and study) your demographic and cater your business around what interests them. Keeping your network and potential customers in mind at all times will catapult your net worth.
#4) Customer service is everything
Let’s be honest, if your customer service sucks then your business sucks. There is really no reversal to this rule. How you treat your customers is very contingent on how well your business will perform. Nurture your customers and adhere to their needs and watch as your demand grows. Remember that communication is key when it comes to running anything successfully. In most cases, when a customer believes in a brand, loves its products and services, and they love the way they’re treated…they’ll keep coming back for more.
This year, no matter what you’re hustling’ for, commit to being the best that you can be. You know what they say; “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”