Starting your own small business or side hustle from home can sound like a lucrative idea. Maybe you already know what kind of business you want to run, or maybe you're completely in the blue - but you love the idea of ditching the boss and making some dosh. Either way, this is the blog is for you!
What makes a good small or side hustle business idea?
If you're starting completely from scratch, the first problem you'll be looking to solve is deciding which type of small business you actually want to run.
Not all small businesses are created equal. Some, like MRR can be set up in a few days, with little to no money - and can generate sales within the first week with little help. Others, like an at-home daycare centre, require more planning, set up costs and tasks (like insurance and DBS checks), and trust from your audience.
Odds are, if you're reading this article - you're looking to set up a low-cost business that you can start making money from relatively quickly, and doesn't require you to leave your home. Let's have a look at what actually makes a good at home side hustle - one that's worth the hassle of creating it.
1) low set up costs - a side hustle is exactly what it says on the tin, a little bit of hustle that adds on (at least initially) to the side of what you're already doing. As a result, you likely wont want to invest too much money into setting it up. As a ballpark, I wouldn't suggest investing more than around £600. This should include all the nessesities, like web-domain, hosting platform and any digital resources you need to invest in.
A few good resources to start your business:
Web Domains - GoDaddy
Hosting Platform/Store -Wix
Micro-hosting Platform/Store - Stan Store
Digital Products (to sell) - holler. Academy
2) Is based online - Another great attribute for an at-home side hustle to have is being based completely online. Setting up a business that can be run on your personal computer means zero commute time, and zero tricky overhead renting costs. Giving you more flexibility over your time and personal/work life.
3) Requires little to no supply management or physical collateral/inventory - The less supplies you need to run your business and sell to your cutomers the better. Having a physical product business can be a great idea, especially if you're a creative. But bare in mind this will come with more costs (like storage and postage), and more time (e.g. making, packaging and sending). One of your best bets for online sales, is to provide a digital product or service! If you really want to sell physical products but you want to keep the time and price down, you could consider either try drop-shipping, or keeping your product inventory to small batches, selling on a drop-by-drop basis.
4) Can be managed by just you, or very few people - Lastly, if you're considering starting up your side-hustle alongside your own job or family matters - you may not have the time or funds to hire and manage a team. Therefore, you should look for businesses that can be run by you alone, or with the help of a few outsourced freelancers.
How to start your small business at home
Now you have your business idea, how the heck do you actually start this thing? Here's how:
1) secure a domain
2) decide on your software/sales platform
3) set up your socials
4) decide whether you'll be an LLC or Sole Trader
5) create a business plan
6) start selling!
Securing a Domain
To look professional, you'll want to secure a domain (a website name that belongs to you). There are many sites that provide this, but the one I've always gone for a trusted beyond means is GoDaddy. If you choose Wix to set up your website or shop, you can also purchase your domain directly through here - which is another good option.
Decide on your software/sales platform
Shopify, Wix, Wordpress, oh my! So many online website hosts and online stores to go with, but which is best?! Ask anyone, and I'm sure they'll give you a different answer.
I've been hosting websites and online stores of my own for 7 years now - and the two I trust beyond all belief, are Wix, and Stan. Wix is the best option if you want a lot of pages, or more complex, branded website. Stan is the better option, if you want a quick-to-set-up online store! (You can sell on both!)
Set up your Socials
Decide which mix of social media channels you want to use, and set them up! Different social media platforms are better for different reasons. When choosing which social media channels you want to use, consider your ideal customer/client (who they are, what social media they use), and what your main aim of each social media is (is it sales, building. acommunity, building an online presence? Stick to three channels as a maximum. This way you wont overstretch your resources and overwhelm yourself. For me personally, I pretty much only use Instagram - however I also have a small presence on LinkedIn and TikTok too.
Decide whether you'll be an LLC or Sole Trader
Next, you'll need to set yourself up to legally be able to accept sales and pay tax in your country of residence. This will change depending on where you're based, but if you're based in the UK - you'll have to choose whether to register as an LLC or a Sole Trader. There are different pros and cons to each, and if you're setting up a single-person side hustle - it's most likely you'll register as a Sole Trader. I myself am a Sole Trader, that may change in the future - but that works for me now.
I don't feel qualified to give you extensive advise on this particular aspect of setting up your side hustle - and so, I'd like to suggest a resource from a trusted source Mazuma: https://www.mazumamoney.co.uk/news/sole-trader-vs-limited-company-whats-the-difference/ <- tap to read!
Create your Business Plan
Planning really is the key to success, especially when it comes to business. This is especially important if your new business requires investors to get going. In this case, you'll have to provide a business plan, including your market positioning, competitive advantages and financial projections to secure this.
Not sure how to draft a business plan? No problem. Use our one-page business plan here.
Now, start selling!
Once you've completed all of the previous steps, it's time to start selling your product or service online! This will require more than just publishing the sales page though, if you really want to sell online - you need to know how to market your product to other people!
Need help marketing your product online? Why not download our FREE Digital Sales Blueprint