Working a side hustle along with your full-time job is a great way to earn some extra cash every month.
By Gaurav Belani
Not to mention how it facilitates the learning of useful skills, networking, and personal branding. The usual “side hustles” such as writing e-books, dog walking, affiliate marketing, and what have you, require a little-to-no financial investment to get off the ground. They are more time- and labor-intensive than capital-intensive.
But if you’re aiming for something bigger, such as a mobile app, SaaS product, or an e-commerce storefront, you’ll need to spend a considerable sum before you start seeing returns. Because essentially, you are bootstrapping a small business that can someday turn into your full-time gig.
So, you have an innovative idea and don’t lack motivation, but what you do lack is the funds to kickstart your venture. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to fund your side hustle apart from saving a slice of your monthly paycheck (from your full-time job) in a piggy bank. In this post, we look at five of the most effective ways to raise capital fast.
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds if you are planning to build an exciting or useful product from the ground up but lack the money to do so. The concept is simple: propose an idea that people would love to endorse with small monetary contributions. If you’re able to get a lot of people to buy in, you raise a lot of money. What’s more, this way you’re able to validate your idea and place your product in place of hundreds or even thousands of potential clients before you actually start investing your time and effort in building it.
In exchange, your backers will be offered rewards in the form of early-bird discounts, goodies, and more. Crowdfunding will work well if you have a very specific project and a time frame in mind. Now, there are many crowdfunding platforms available today, but the biggest ones are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Both have their own set of pros and cons (service fees, card processing fees, etc.) and there’s a lot to factor in before you decide on one for your project. So, take some time to evaluate which platform suits your needs better.
Collaborate with like-minded individuals
Sure, you might be gifted in your field, but you’re no expert at everything. No one is, and that’s okay. Your lack of experience or expertise in certain areas doesn’t mean you have to pass up on lucrative opportunities. Instead, what you need to do is collaborate with professionals who have skills complementary to yours.
If your side hustle idea involves a big project or landing clients with deep pockets, you can’t possibly hope to accomplish that by going solo. Plain and simple. There are numerous benefits of collaborating strategically with the right people, apart from the obvious benefit of pooling in financial resources. Consider these, to name a few:
- Their strengths and experience can compensate for your weaknesses and together you form a stronger value proposition to attract bigger clients.
- You can tap into a bigger market or take on bigger projects that pay handsomely.
- You get to grow your professional network and build meaningful relationships that can pay dividends for years to come.
So, if you’re exceptionally good at design, but don’t know how to code, why not partner up with a developer or two to build that app? Sharing a slice of the bigger pie is better than gobbling a smaller one all by yourself. Keep in mind, however, that as collaborations can last for several months or years, the partners you choose to work with are reliable and share the same goals as you.
Adopt a minimalistic lifestyle, at least for a while
Do you actually use that gym membership to it’s fullest (or at all)? Do you really need to feast in a fancy restaurant every weekend? How about cutting your cable service and using Netflix instead, or better yet, watching nothing and using that time to work on your idea?
You can very well get (or stay) in shape by jogging outside instead of on a treadmill and lifting inexpensive weights at home. You can choose to enjoy a good home-cooked meal on weekends and stop impulsive shopping on Amazon. Moreover, you can de-clutter your home and sell off the stuff you don’t use or need anymore.
Understandably, you may not want to give up on many of these everyday luxuries and minimalism is not for everyone. But these little cutbacks can quickly add up to a sizeable amount which you can invest in your side venture.
Work a part-time job
You may not like this idea, but working a part-time job in addition to your full-time job is a surefire way to raise those much-needed funds. Try to take up part-time jobs or gigs within your industry so you get extra practice, hone your skills or learn new ones, and even connect with potential clients, all on top of earning extra cash.
Once you have amassed a sufficient amount from that side gig, it’s time to quit it and invest all that dough into your actual side hustle idea. If possible, as an alternative, you can work overtime in your existing full-time job, too.
Consider short-term loans
Finally, if your project idea is a time-sensitive one or you’re worried it may be implemented by someone else by the time you raise enough money to get working, you might want to consider a quicker way to get that cash.
There are plenty of options if you need an instant influx of capital. The obvious first option is to turn to a family member or close friend who might have some cash lying around which they could put into your business idea. But this might not always be the case and may land you in an awkward situation down the line.
The next option is to apply for a microloan. These can range anywhere from $500 to $50,000 and you don’t need a perfect credit score. However, the interest rates are typically higher than normal loans and there may be some extra (even hidden) fees involved. So, be sure to read all the details carefully before you take the plunge.
A perhaps better alternative to a microloan is a short-term payday loan ― you can get cash transferred to your bank account in as less as an hour. Short-term payday loans are loans from direct lenders that can be tailored to suit your specific needs. Again, and as a general rule of thumb when taking a loan, make sure to go through all the details meticulously.
Break a leg
Don’t overthink it. If you have an amazing idea or simply an urge to do more and be more than your humdrum 9-5, go for it. Starting a serious side hustle is the best way to experience entrepreneurship first-hand. Ultimately, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do instead of the ones you did and failed at, so stop hesitating and hustle hard!
Gaurav Belani is a Senior SEO and Content Marketing Analyst at The 20 Media, a Content Marketing agency that specializes in data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in Digital Marketing and loves to write about Blogging, Link Building, and Content Strategy to help clients grow their search visibility. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and listening to music. Connect with him on Twitter: @belanigaurav.
Side hustle stock photo by Michelle Patrick/Shutterstock