In our previous blog post, we discussed starting a side hustle to ease any COVID-19 cashflow woes. Now that you’ve got your amazing idea on the front-burner, the next logical step is making it happen, right? If you’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring out the window, wondering what the next steps are, now’s the time to focus and get out of the starting blocks.
Step 1 – Your name
What do you want to call your new side-hustle? The first lap involves brainstorming a name. Think of a few catchy, clever or bold ones and veer away from Stephen’s car wash, or similarly dull options.
Step 2 – Registering a domain (your website address)
Next up; pop over to www.domains.co.za to register your website name and claim a .co.za address. Not all name options are available, which is why we suggest coming up with a few alternatives. This will cost you a whole R79 a year, which is only 21c a day, which is almost free. The guys and gals at domains.co.za also offer a service to build your own basic website and host it for under a R100 a month which is less than you spend on disposable facemasks nowadays 🙂
Step 3 – Your brand and logo
Now it’s time to get creative.
A logo isn’t vital, but boy oh boy, will it take your side gig to new heights and give your hustle a professional edge with very little effort. The good news is that you don’t have to know much about graphic design nowadays.
Even your neighbour’s 10-year-old could design a pretty fantastic logo [without any graphic design experience] using the likes of:
- www.picmonkey.com at a bargain cost of under R150 a month
- www.canva.com for under R250 a month… you can also use this platform to create exceptionally cool posters, and (stand out from the crowd) social media posts.
You’ll use your logo on your website, your social media pages and when you set up your invoice template and in your email signature.
Step 4 – Building your website
Having your own website is important because it’s like having a store on the internet. Millions of people are on the web, browsing for services and goods, and if your store doesn’t have a “open for business” sign dangling in front, opportunities are going to pass you by.
Building a website doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a number of different options online for “newbies” who want to give their online businesses a ‘face’. If you can manage to attach a file to an email or drag a folder across your computer desktop, you will manage with:
- www.wix.com – they allow you to build a website for free, gratis, mahala. And besides the joy of it being free, it’s easy to navigate and super well supported by their techies.
- www.weebly.com – this is another option to have a look at.
Step 5 – Setting up your Social Media pages
Why is having a social media presence so important? The short answer is because everyone is on their phone these days.
The trick is to not try to conquer all platforms at once (Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Pinterest). Maybe start off by using Facebook.
Once you’ve set up your Facebook account then share, share, share. Tag friends, ask questions, run polls and ask your growing audience to vote on something. Do a giveaway or run a competition that requires people to ‘share’ your post. These are all great ways to increase your followers.
You can also set up a Facebook shop which also costs zip. The only cost is in the time it takes to load your products, and we all have a little of that spare, especially if you’ve already fully committed to your new sideline gig.
Facebook offers affordable ways to boost your posts, so more people see them and become aware of your offering. You can even specify areas and ages of people you want to target and expand your reach to more future customers. If you spend R35 a day on coffee, why not make a cup of instant and use those bucks to boost your posts instead.
Step 6 – Sign up with Google and get a suite of cool business applications
Did you know that Google offers a free, full business suite of easy-to-use applications?
Start off by setting up a Gmail address (one that has the name of your business in it). Once you have done that, you’ll have access to all their other features like Docs, Sheets, Drive and Meet. If you take the time to investigate how to use the different applications, in no time at all, you will be able to knock out a professional business presentation, put together your first sales forecast sheet and set up a conference call hosted online with prospective clients.
It’s free, you just need to invest the time.
So now that you’re armed with helpful tools and a semblance of a plan, there are no more excuses not to begin your side hustle. Put on that leopard print costume, climb onto that springboard and dive right in; you have all the tools you need now to progress.
As Dory, from Finding Nemo, repeatedly reminded us; Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming’ until you reach the ‘sales water’, which we will get into next time.
We’d love to hear your comments or bright suggestions, so please drop us a line….
The Wise About Life Team