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Money Hacks

How to Start A Side Hustle

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2022-08-24 00:00

Estimated reading time
5 min

In this article

  • Steps to consider when starting your business
  • Plan your spend and build a budget
  • Government advice to get you started

Have you just invented a new jewellery line? A miracle skincare product? A set of keys that finds you when they’re lost? Well then – this article might be for you.

Whether you’re the next industry disruptor or just want to be your own boss, turning your side-hustle into your full-time career can feel like a daunting project.

But with a little support and planning, the romance of doing something you truly love for a living can become a reality. Every successful entrepreneur is proof that it’s possible.

Here are some things to consider when making the switch from day job to dream job:

  1. Fantasy or feasible?
  2. Not every hobby was designed to become a fully-fledged business. So, while dreams are great, it pays to be realistic if you’re wanting to do it full time – you have to ensure your idea will work as a functional business plan after the excitement has worn off. To get started, our SWOT analysis (PDF) is a helpful tool to thoroughly analyse your idea and get it off the ground.

  3. Make a plan
  4. From conducting initial market research, through to giving it your full-time attention, planning each step before you take it will reduce risk and help keep your idea focused. It sounds boring but is important. Completing a business plan is a necessary part of starting any new business and an essential planning tool for any new enterprise. A business plan can also help set you up if you ever need to look at lending options down the track, and will make it much easier to get your banker up to speed. Make your start by filling out a business plan template (PDF) to guide you through the steps.

  5. Put it in your budget
  6. Unfortunately, your idea is unlikely to start bankrolling itself right off the bat. So, you’ll need to factor your pet project into your personal budget. Think of it as an element in your regular monthly spending. This will ensure that you can grow your idea each month while you still have a steady stream of income. Plan your spend and build out a detailed budget with our Budget Planner tool. You might find our cash flow forecast checklist (PDF) a handy tool to help you here too.

  7. Start at home
  8. The less you’re spending on rent, the more you can put back into growing your business. And luckily, working from home is the done thing these days. Instead of hiring out a studio or office, there are clever ways to create a functional workspace at home – from buying modular benches that can pack away once your work is done to revamping the garage as a permanent solution.

  9. Take it slow
  10. Just like in romance, rushing into business isn’t always a method that wins in the long run. It’s good to do your homework and make measured decisions for long-term success. For example, create achievable production and sales goals that don't require large outlays of cash to get started. Big ideas don’t come around all the time, so make yours last.

  11. Lean on a partner
  12. Going independent doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Consider turning your friend, sibling or romantic partner into your business defacto. Making a side-hustle workable sometimes means that you might need help balancing some of your other commitments, or need a sounding board to hold you accountable. If you’ve got a million-dollar idea, you’ll have no problem finding help from the people around you.

  13. Cost your time
  14. Once it becomes more than a hobby, accounting for the time you spend working on your idea isn’t selfish or conceited – it’s a way of ensuring your business is viable. And it’s especially important if it's going to be your sole source of income. Initially there’s bound to be a lot of pro bono work, but the more you realistically value your time, the more you’ll learn about your idea’s financial viability.

  15. The serious stuff
  16. Before pressing go on your side-hustle, you should also seek appropriate independent advice from your accountant, tax adviser, lawyer and/or business advisor. The Australian Government has a great site packed with advice to guide you through each step of starting your small business.

Building a business of any size can give you independence, confidence and a little extra cash in your pocket. If you back yourself and have a solid plan, you’re one step closer to your self-employed dream.


How to Start A Side Hustle
Financial Wellbeing Coach

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