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How to Build a Successful Side Hustle from Home

See also: Developing a Business Idea

As the COVID pandemic continues to cause restrictions on everyday activities, many of us are finding ourselves stuck at home with a lot of time on our hands.

Whether you just want to make a bit of extra money from your existing talents, or you are looking to start something that will eventually become your main source of income, now could be the perfect time to launch your own business.

We look at some of the important steps you will need to take to build a successful side hustle from home.

Woman writing in a notebook. Working at home.

Image: Pexels

Pick the right idea

The best side hustle ideas are based on a skill or hobby that you already have, and which don’t require too much financial investment or additional equipment.

The other key factor is offering a unique selling point in the right niche — you either need to choose something completely new without any competitors, or you need to be able to offer something better than your competitors. This will make it a lot easier to stand out from the crowd.

If you’ve already got an idea for your side hustle, then do some research to figure out whether it’s really viable. Find out if there are any other businesses doing the same thing, and if there aren’t you need to research whether there’s any demand for what you want to offer. If no one’s doing it already then it could be a great opportunity, but it could mean that people aren’t interested in it and so you’ll struggle to find customers.

Start with a plan

A business plan is vital if you want to build a successful side hustle, no matter how small you might be starting out. This is where you can bring together your market research and competitor analysis and come up with a plan for how you’re going to set up and grow your business including marketing, operations, and finances. You’ll come up with goals and targets that help guide you and give you something to track your progress against.

A clear business plan will also allow you to work out how you can scale your business operations as it grows. And it will be important to show to potential investors or business partners further down the line if you decide to take it to the next level.

Use the right tools and apps

You have to find ways to streamline how you work to build a successful side hustle. With limited time and resources, you need to be focused on using your time effectively and maximising productivity.

Working on your own you’re going to have a never-ending to-do list so set yourself up with one of the best task management apps that can help you to manage your workload. Take a look at this list of GetBusy’s recommended apps for 2021 to find one that will work for you. You need to be able to prioritise what you’re working on so that you’re meeting deadlines and focused on the right things.

You’ll also want to automate as much of your side hustle as possible — you don’t have time to waste on repetitive or important but low-value tasks. Use accounting software to keep track of your incoming bills, automate invoices, and generally manage your finances.

And when it comes to marketing there is a whole range of tools you can use to save time and increase your reach. Digital marketing is going to be an important part of how you raise awareness and attract customers for your side hustle so it’s important to focus on using the best tools. Take a look at Sprout Social’s list of digital marketing tools to help you grow — it covers everything from social media scheduling and email marketing to retargeting ads.



Don’t expect overnight success

Building a successful side hustle is going to be a long process. Don’t expect to be able to give up your day job after a couple of months.

You need to commit a serious amount of your spare time to your side hustle — it could be up to three or four hours of extra work each day during the week, and as it grows it’ll probably take up most of your weekends as well. While you need to be prepared for how much time you’ll have to invest you also need to be aware of finding the right balance.

Working full time and spending every other waking hour on your side hustle isn’t sustainable for a long period and you’ll end up burnout and one or both of your jobs will suffer. Schedule a set number of hours for working on your side hustle, but also book in some time for other activities that are non-work related to give yourself a break and maintain your wellbeing.

Track your progress and adapt

It’s essential to learn from your mistakes as you’re building your side hustle. You should have clear goals and targets set out in your business plan and you need to check up on your progress regularly. Some of the key metrics you should be tracking are:

  • Return on time invested — Keep track of exactly how long you spend working on your side hustle compared with the revenue you’re making. Over time this needs to increase for you to start seeing success.

  • Profit — The amount of money that you’re bringing in (revenue) can be quite high, but if you’re spending more than that in the first place then you’re going to be losing money. Keep a close eye on your actual profits.

  • Repeat customers — you need to focus on building up a loyal customer base. It costs too much to consistently focus your efforts on attracting new customers, so keep an eye on the number of repeat customers and find ways to keep them coming back.

It’s also important to keep a close eye on your marketing strategies and how well they work. A few key things to monitor are the number of visitors to your website, where the traffic is coming from, engagements with your social media accounts, and the number of opens and clicks from your email marketing. If these numbers aren’t changing, then you need to adjust your strategy.


Starting a business at home takes a lot of hard work and long hours. But with a lot of planning, the right tools, and keeping a close eye on your progress will ensure you’re on the right track to building a successful side hustle.


About the Author


GetBusy is new task management software that integrates with multiple project management tools to ensure its users get their tasks done without having the need to follow up manually, allowing you to organise your team with unmissable tasks.

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