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Three Steps to Launching a Profitable Side Hustle: Moving Beyond the Traditional Time-for-Money Exchange.

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Many individuals successfully operate high-earning side businesses from their homes or using their smartphones.

Starting your own can be just as straightforward if you know the initial steps. This insight comes from Kathy Kristof, a blogger who has analyzed over 500 side hustles, and Cody Berman, co-founder of the online course Gold City Ventures, which guides people in starting online ventures.

These professionals affirm that anyone can launch a side hustle and assess its success potential in three clear steps:

Step 1: Identify Your Monetizable Assets
The inception of any side hustle begins with identifying what you can monetize, advises Kristof. To be successful, a side hustle should leverage your existing interests, skills, or resources.

For instance, if you’re interested in guinea pigs, you might create and sell innovative pet enclosures. Being academically adept could lead to a tutoring service. Alternatively, platforms like Sniffspot, Swimply, or Neighbor allow you to earn from your property, such as houses, pools, or backyards.

Once you’ve pinpointed what to monetize, consider the time commitment required. With gigs like Uber or delivery driving, income depends on the hours worked. Conversely, Airbnb-type ventures are more passive but necessitate resources, time, and money for maintenance.

Fully passive income streams, such as earning through ad revenue or content sales, may take time to establish but can generate income even when you’re not actively working.

Berman emphasizes that earning potential isn’t limited to direct time-for-money trades. Creating successful digital content, like a compelling blog post, YouTube video, or podcast episode, can yield ongoing income after initial efforts.

Step 2: Choose Between Independent or Platform-Based Operations
Kristof suggests considering how much of your business you want to manage independently.

Building your own audience is profitable but challenging and time-consuming. Many opt to leverage existing platforms, even though they may take a portion of the earnings, like Rover’s 20% cut for dog walking services. Airbnb and Etsy also deduct transaction fees.

However, these platforms come with competition and fluctuating search algorithms that can affect earnings. Success may require unique strategies, like targeting specific customer groups.

Step 3: Test and Refine Your Idea
The crucial step in starting a side hustle is to actually begin, according to Berman.

Many people get stuck in the planning phase. Berman advises creating your first product and testing it, even if it’s not perfect. Use this phase to gather feedback from friends and family and to gauge your own commitment and customer service skills.

Kristof highlights the importance of impressing customers for repeat business, while Berman notes that perseverance is key to success in most side hustles.

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