A side hustle may be the solution during tough times

South Africans are looking to supplement their income by starting side hustles. Picture: Karen Sandison/ANA

South Africans are looking to supplement their income by starting side hustles. Picture: Karen Sandison/ANA

Published Feb 14, 2023


Johannesburg - Typically, successful people have multiple income streams and starting a side hustle is an excellent way of generating extra income.

With the high-interest rate, and the rising cost of fuel, food, and electricity it is becoming harder for most people to make ends meet with just their salaries. Many are looking to supplement their salaries by starting some type of entrepreneurial venture or side hustle.

The Henley business school defines ‘side hustlers’ as individuals having one or more of the following:

- A job and a business in different spheres

- A job and a side business in different spheres (including activities not perceived as formal businesses)

- A self-employed business and a ‘side business’ in different spheres

- Secondary job in a different sphere from their ‘main’ job.

Before starting your side hustle it is important to be aware of what your employment contract says about taking on work outside your working hours, as there may be a conflict of interest.

According to Claire Klassen, Consumer Financial Education Specialist at Momentum Metropolitan and Hiten Keshave, working and maintaining a side hustle can be tricky, and requires effective time management.

“If you get the go-ahead to start a side hustle, then you need to set boundaries and practice self-discipline so that you don’t neglect your daily duties.”

“Balancing your full-time job and side hustle, won’t always be easy, particularly in the beginning, but managing your time wisely using techniques like timeboxing can help. Time management is one of the key challenges because a failure to dedicate specific time to getting the wheels off the ground in the early stages of a side hustle can lead to limited traction and frustration,” she said.

We look at some key factors you need to consider before starting your business:

Play to your strengths

It is important to very early on ascertain what you are good at, and what your strengths are and think about how you can leverage them to your advantage. Additionally doing something you are passionate about will make it easier for you to push on even when you are faced with challenges.

“First, you need to examine what you can offer as a service that comes naturally to you and that you are good at and passionate about. This approach will ensure that there is little to no capital required to hire a resource, train the resource, and pay their salary,” said Klassen.

Embrace these tough times

The challenging economic landscape should not deter you from starting a business. Your product or service could be exactly what consumers are looking for. It is often during tough times that creative and innovative solutions are required.

Starting during a time of economic uncertainty also means you are faced with fewer competitors entering the market, which will give you an advantage in the long term.

Create a strong support system

Starting a business is not easy and will take a toll on both your mental and physical well-being. This is why you need to know that you have a strong group of people you can rely on to support you when it is needed. Mentorship is also vital to the success of any entrepreneur.

Nhlanhla Dlamini, the founder and CEO of Maneli Pets, which supplies pet treats to over 12 countries all over the world, reiterated the importance of having a mentor.

Founder and CEO of Maneli Pets, Nhlanhla Dlamini. Picture:Supplied

“Find someone or a group of people to support you along the way, those in your personal space, at home as well as your friends and professionally.”

“My dad had a small shop, still has a small shop in Soweto but I never really spent much time in the shop learning from him the ins and outs. What I could have done is found other entrepreneurs or business owners who had started businesses themselves and figured out what were the big mistakes they made in the first 3 or 4 years, and what I could do to stay on course correctly. (You) don't learn in the saddle for the first time as an entrepreneur,” said Dlamini.

You can also leverage your friendship and family connections to support you or spread the word about your service or offering to their networks so as to help you expand your reach.

Use social media to your advantage.

Social media affords everyone the opportunity to advertise for free. Even paid social media advertising is a great way to spread the word about your business as it is not as expensive as traditional advertising channels.

“Use social media platforms to advertise your business to create a following and interest in your product or service. Social media followers or members of community WhatsApp groups will share their opinions, and you can use the opportunity to send out a survey to determine what type of service is lacking in the area,” said Klassen.

Be ready to fail

Failure presents you with an opportunity to learn, what is important is to fail forward. Take whatever lessons you can from your failures so as to avoid repeating the same mistakes in future. Every entrepreneur has failed at some point or another the difference is that they did not give up but instead took the learnings from their failure

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