As I write this post, I’ve been running my side hustle building and managing websites (which is now a legitimate side business), for over two years now.
It’s gone from an idea in my head to a real source of income for my family, making over $15,000 in 2018 and on pace to make over $25,000 in 2019.
This isn’t baller money or anything, but it does provide an extra level of security for my family and helps us save for our daughter’s college, and who knows what it will eventually become.
As things stand right now, I have almost all of the things that people think of when they think of owning a business – business cards, a logo, a checking account, etc… (I still don’t have office space, and don’t plan to) but it wasn’t always this way.
I started out with one single client (that I still have to this day). As I learned more and more, I developed processes that made things more efficient, then I was able to add more clients while continuing to serve the existing ones.
From there I got a logo designed, set up billing and accounting automations, set up a business checking account, an LLC, built standard procedures, and many more things that go into running a business, but it took A WHILE to do all of that.
I’m a little embarrassed to say I didn’t have a business checking account for almost two years. I have one now, but there was no need. It was a detail that didn’t matter yet, and it worked just fine.
And there are still plenty of things I don’t have set up yet… but I do have what matters, a bunch of happy clients and extra money for my family.
You only really need one thing, revenue.
If you have revenue coming in from either selling a product or providing a service, you have a side business. That’s the most important thing. Provide something people want, and make some money. Once you figure out that it’s working, the rest can develop along the way.
A lot of people like to “play business” and they end up getting stuck in the details, overwhelmed, and in debt before the business even makes its first dollar. Some people even lose thousands of dollars by trying to move too fast.
They do things like start an LLC, buy fancy equipment, buy inventory, get business cards, pay for advertising, get a logo designed, hire contractors, open a business bank account, rent a building (gasp!), and more.
But what’s missing from that list? Making money!
None of those things will earn you any money without paying customers, and you don’t need any of those to get customers.
Use your network to first prove your idea. See if you can get a few people paying you to do the thing you want to do. If that works out, then you can worry about building your business up to be more legitimate.