Side Hustle Success: 5 Things To Consider When Getting Started | Ben Hawes | Skillshare

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Side Hustle Success: 5 Things To Consider When Getting Started

teacher avatar Ben Hawes, Side Hustle Coach

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Getting Started

    • 2. The Passion

    • 3. Market Fit

    • 4. Pricing Potential

    • 5. Startup Costs

    • 6. Time & Effort

    • 7. Class Conclusion

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About This Class

In this class, we'll talk about the 5 things anyone should consider when starting a side hustle (or an actual business). We'll learn about the following topics:

  1. Measuring your passionĀ 
  2. Market Fit
  3. Pricing Potential
  4. Start-up costs
  5. Time & Effort

Take the class and let me know if you have any questions! You can find me @therealbenhawes.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ben Hawes

Side Hustle Coach


Hey everyone, it's Ben! Your favorite side hustle coach here to help you leverage your unique skills and talents to find, start and grow your own side hustle. Take my side hustle courses here and follow me on instagram for free tips around side hustles, small business and entrepreneurship. 


Visit my website for 1:1 coaching services:

See full profile

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1. Getting Started: Hello, everybody. Welcome to my class. My name is Ben Hawes. And today I'm going to be teaching you all about the five things to consider when starting your side hustle, I have a side hustle. I love side hustles. I consider myself to be an expert when it comes to the topic. And I'm so excited to be teaching this class and get into a little bit about the five things that you should consider when starting a side hustle. So before we get started, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit more about me and who I am and why I feel like I'm kind of this expert inside hustles. My name is Ben. I've lived in New York City for about five years and I work at a startup doing HR. I love planning events. I love doing all kinds of things that make people happy at work. But the number one thing that I love in life when I go to parties when I go to events is I just really, really, really love photo booths. I'm the guy who is always in the photo booth. I love standing in the photo booth and taking pictures. I loved doing it with friends. I love doing it by myself, and I love getting the prince. I love getting the digital files. I am someone who is just very passionate about photo booths. So in 2018 I started my own side hustle because I wanted to make a lot of money. And I wanted Teoh have a lot of fun working on a project outside of my day job. And so I started a company called Rent My Booth and this is my side hustle where I have my own photo booth and I rent it out to people at parties like company parties, corporate parties, holiday parties, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, all kinds of things like that. And I actually go to the events and work them and have a good time kind of just getting set up. So I actually, in my first year in business, made over $10,000 which I know sounds super sales e and super like like a commercial for how to get rich quick. But I really found it to be extremely crazy that I was able to create something that made $10,000 in one year because I had never thought that would be possible. I've had a lot of different side hustles where they failed, and it's crazy to me that I finally built one that actually worked eso I have now become very passionate about the whole topic of side hustles, and I wanted to build this class to really just teach everybody how they can also start their own side hustle. So today we're gonna talk about the five things that every side hustler should consider when getting started with their own side business on. And I, like I said, I have a ton of thoughts and I'm really excited to get into it. And before we go any further, I just wanted to say to everybody that if you have any questions, if this is something that you're really excited about and you want to reach out to somebody and get some advice, I would love for people to reach out to me and ask me for any tips or perspectives or insights, because it's really truly a topic that I'm really passionate about. So feel free to follow me either my photo booth account or my personal account at round my booth on Instagram at the real Ben Hawes on Instagram and on Twitter because I'd love to get in touch. I'd love to have these conversations, and you can always message me on skill share as well. 2. The Passion: All right, so let's do it. So you have clicked into this class. You want to start a side hustle? The first thing that you need to pay attention to is are you passionate about the topic? So this is something that's just absolutely important for a few different reasons, and I'll go over it. But you really need to make sure that you are excited about the work that you're going to be doing. Because if you're not excited about the work that you're gonna be doing, it's gonna end up being really boring. And it's not gonna be fun for you to do the side hustle. So make sure that if you're pursuing a side hustle, it is something that you actually feel passionate about. Away toe gauge that is asking yourself if you actually have perspectives on how something could be done better so for me, I love photo booths, and I had a lot of ideas on how things could be better in the photo booth world. So one of the things that really always got me about photo booths was I felt like the person in the photo booth was always rushing me along and I felt passionate about that because I do not. I do not like to be rushed along in a photo booth. And so I felt like I could bring something to the table by having a photo booth where somebody was not being rushed along. I also know with side hustles it's gonna take a lot of time out of your day. So you want to make sure that if you're doing something that's a side hustle and you're really passionate about it, that you would actually be okay spending 20 or 30 or 40 hours working on this thing outside of your normal day to day job I, with my photo booth, end up, do spending this amount of time working on it to make it work. And it's the kind of thing where you are going to have to spend a lot of a lot of time working on your side. Hustle if you want it to be successful. I did make $10,000 over the first year of my side hustle, but I spent countless hours working on it, so it's not gonna be the kind of thing that you can decide you want to do. something, and then all of a sudden you make $10,000 in the year, it's gonna be something that you have to be passionate about it enough to actually get in there and spend a lot of time working on it. Another way to gauge this is can you talk about it all day? A side hustle is something that's gonna be really exciting in your life, and people are gonna want to know about it if it starts to become successful. So just ask yourself if it's something you care enough about to talk about. If it's not something that you feel like you could talk about all day, or at least for a few hours at a time that it's not gonna be something that's going to be successful. And then the last thing is, I just want to say that if you're not passionate about something, it's gonna be very hard to do and it's gonna suck the life out of you. So it's really a waste of time to get into something that you're not passionate about, because if you're not passionate about it, you're not going to do the work and you're not gonna get the rewards of the work. And so, before you even get started in creating your side hustle, just ask yourself these questions and figure out if it's something that you truly care about enough to do. 3. Market Fit: The second thing that you need to figure out before you get started is Is there a market fit? You got to make sure that there are actually people out there who will pay you for what you want to do. If you don't have people out there who are willing to pay you for what you want to dio, then you aren't just kind of wasting time because there's not a customer out there. So you got to really think about who your customer is going to be. Um, what are the demographics of that person? What do they do with their time? Who are they one of their age? Where do they live? All of that stuff is a really great thing to start brainstorming and start to figure out and ask yourself what you can offer to those people. A good way to do this is to ask yourself if you seen this done before, So if you're making jewelry, if you're trying to become a deejay, look at other people who have done this and see who their customer is. The other thing you need to do is really, truly ask yourself. Sit down, take a second and ask yourself, What is the need that you're really feeling? Why is the world going to be a different place because you started this side hustle? It's really important to understand that if you're not filling a need, you're not going to get customers. And if you don't get customers, you're not gonna make a lot of money. And then another way to think about this is are there going to be people who will not only by your thing once not only pay you one time to do your side hustle, but are there going to be people who would be repeat customers for you? Because if that's the case, that's going to really grow your side hustle. So that's why I'm having a market fit is extremely important. 4. Pricing Potential : The next thing you need to be really conscious of and really aware of is pricing potential . And I would say this is the most important part of this class because it's going to give you the most power in your ability to make a bunch of money. So as you think about setting up your side hustle and as you think about getting everything ready to go and ready to be on the market, make sure that your pricing sets you up for success. And really think about how much you can charge one of the things that held me back to the beginning of the time that I was starting right? My booth is I was too hesitant with my pricing, and I didn't do enough research into finding out how much I could truly charge, because I just assumed that all of the competitors were extremely expensive. I don't know if you know this, but like to rent a photo booth in New York City is like $1,502,000 for a good one, and sometimes it gets up to 34 even $5000 I figured that my price could just be like $500 because if I was, if it was that low that I would get a bunch of customers and it would take off. But what I learned over time is that I was actually a little bit too timid with my pricing , and people were treating my product like a no brainer, and you won't be ableto actually think about your product. Make sure it's valuable to them. And if they're gonna buy it, make sure they're buying it at the right price. Another thing that you can dio is just check to see other people and how much they're charging. So, for example, if you're going to sell, let's say necklaces on Etsy. Um, look at how much other people are charging for products that would be similar to yours because you can actually get a lot of different information about that pricing and figure out how much you want. Teoh price Your product at the other thing is that pricing can really help you with competition in both ways, in both directions, so you could make your product to the same quality for a lower price and potentially make a lot more money because you would make more sales. You could also make your product a little bit more exclusive through your pricing and charge a little bit more, leading people to believe that your product is a little bit more exclusive and it's a little bit harder to get. And so then they will buy it and you'll make more money just because of your branding in your pricing. You can also start thinking about the structure of your pricing. So for me, there's a lot of different structure that goes into my pricing. It's not like I'm just selling one thing for $20. I have a bunch of different packages where you could rent the photo booth itself. Or you could rent a photo booth with me to come along and run the photo booth event for you . Or you could rent that package plus printing on. And so there's a bunch of different options and how you can pay me for my service. But the biggest thing that I want to say about pricing potential is that you really should think about your variable costs, and you should really think about your profit margin. I watched a show called Shark Tank It's one of my favorite shows, and Shark Tank is a show where entrepreneurs go on and pitched to investors their business . And one of the things that the investors are always looking for is a good margin. And so how much money does it cost you to make something? So, for example, if I was making cupcakes, it might cost me $2 to make the cupcake, but I can sell it for $6 and that means that my margin is $4 now in rent my booth in my company. Sometimes I charge up to 8 50 the only cost that I have is to get the photo booth from one place to another. So sometimes that could cost, let's, say, $50 in car rides to different locations. So if it costs me $50 to run the event and I get paid $850 that means that my margin is $800. And so I have to make a lot fewer sales than the person who's selling cupcakes. At the same time, someone who's selling cupcakes might be able to make a bunch of sales because they're selling something for $6 whereas I'm selling something for $850. So with the idea of demand and pricing and supply and all of this, you can leverage different prices and different costs to make a lot of money. But you really have to think about if you want to become the business who sells a ton of things for a low margin, or do you want to sell fewer, bigger things for a larger margin? They're both good business models, but you have to think about it in terms of your own business. So really, consider your profit margin and then also really think about your variable costs so you're variable. Costs are going to be the cost that happen every time you make a sale. So, for example, if I sell a photo booth event, it's gonna cost me $50 in transportation fees to get to that event. That is a cost that I have because I made a sale, and so when you make more sales, your costs are going to go up. And so it's really important to be aware of those costs because in the end they can end up costing you more money if you're not smart about how you're setting those things up. So really, consider the pricing potential and this whole topic, because pricing is going to be a huge factor in how much money you ultimately make from your side hustle. 5. Startup Costs: The other thing that I've learned from doing side hustles for so long is that you really want to keep your start up costs super, super low. When you're starting up your business, it's going to cost you some money, and that's effect. But sometimes what I see when people start a side hustle is that they spend so much money that they dig themselves into a hole and they ultimately have to make way more sales in order to Rick. Even you want to break even as soon as possible so that you can become profitable as soon as you can just tryingto calculate how much you can spend, um, to still be profitable in a reasonable amount of time. Eso, for example, when I was in college and I started a net see store where I sold wallets made out of candy wrappers and comic books and all kinds of cool stuff, one of the things that I did and this is really small scale. But one of the things that I did was I bought business cards and they were really nice business cards with a glossy finish and double sided and full color, and I spent $120 on the business cards because I figured marketing is important and I wanted to get the word out. What I didn't think about was that I was selling wallets for $5 on etc. And it costs me like $2 to make every wallet. So I was making $3 per wallet. So imagine how many wallets I had to sell just to break even on those business cards. And also the business cards didn't really work because it was an Etsy shop and most of my business happened through the Internet. So the first thing you want to do with start up costs is really just consider how long it will take you to get out of the negative from your start up costs, because the faster you can do that, the faster you're gonna have more money to grow your business. So when you start up a business, this is something that I did challenge yourself to a maximum spend to start the business. So I was lucky because I started my business when I was 26 I already had the photo booth because when I was 25 I bought my photo booth for a birthday party that I was having and it sat in the back of my closet and I just didn't do anything with it until I decided that I was going to start my business where I rent out the photo booth. But I didn't want to start my business and kind of getting a whole like I did with my wallet business. I wanted to make money right away. So I told myself that I would start the business for a total of $20 I know that's extreme, but I knew that I could do it s so I only bought a euro for my website. I spent money on a extension cord for the photo booth. I, um I laminated some instructions on how to set up the photo booth, and I did start the business for $20 which was really, really fun because I achieved that goal. But I do have an idea here. So one thing you can do if you know that your business is going to cost more money than $20 or $40 or whatever you have in your pocket is, um see if you can get presales because if you can get pre sales, you could actually get money up front, which kind of act like funding. And you can fund the business before you actually have to deliver on the promise of what you said you were going to deliver on. So a good example is, in high school, I wanted to make T shirts, and this is just a little side hustle that I did. When I was 16 I made shirts and I made the design. And then I texted all my friends and I said, Hey, I'm gonna make these shirts. This is the design. This is exactly what it would look like. I'm going to get them in two weeks. Would you be willing to pay me $15 for the shirt now and I'll order it? It's kind of like a Kickstarter if you think about it, but just doing it within your friends are doing it within your the customers you know you're gonna have, but just kind of like, see if you can raise money ahead of time so that you can deliver on whatever you promised you would do when I was starting right, my booth. I put it out on Instagram. I said, I have a photo booth. I'm willing to rent it out. I'm excited for new customers, and somebody actually rented it without me actually having to invest in it. And once they actually paid me for the photo booth, I went and reinvested that money into the business because I knew that I wanted to make sure my photo booth was better and make sure that it was ready for customers. So the biggest thing that I did was that I didn't spend a lot of money until I actually made a sale. And if there's any way that you can do that, I definitely recommend doing that because it's gonna be really, really helpful. And you're not going to go into debt to start the business. And with side hustles, it's really ideal if you could not go into debt. I think sometimes when people are starting life businesses, um, it makes sense to invest way, way too much of your money into it. But with a side hustle. One of the cool things is that you should be able to do it without spending too much money so really think about your start up costs and make sure they're as low as possible and think about creative ways that you can keep them low. 6. Time & Effort: the last thing that I want to talk about, and this is kind of related to the passion point. But I really want to talk about the time and effort it's gonna take you to actually execute on your side hustle because you want to make sure that you are kind of making as much money as you can by doing the lowest amount of work as possible on there's an art to that. And it's something that's really, really important as you create your side hustle and you make your business plan because you want to make sure that you're optimizing for this kind of equation, where you're making a lot of money and not working that much. So one of the things that I always like to say to people when they're starting a side hustle is ask yourself kind of like what time of day are you gonna be able to work on this for me? My photo booth business works really, really well as a side hustle for the sole reason that all the events take place at night and over the weekends, and that works really, really well for me because I have a full time job, and that full time job is actually pretty demanding. So I can't just be working on it during the day, like I have to come home and work on it at night and work on it on the weekends. And it works out really well because not only can I do the work, like the back end business work of it during the nights and weekends, but the actual events where clients are hiring me to come and work the event. Those usually take place on nights and weekends, and if they don't I do have vacation time. It might work, and I can take a day off here and there to go work in event. If I so choose the everything that I like to say when people are starting a side hustle is , Are you going toe end up in a room, making something, sewing something, gluing something for hours and hours and end up just feeling like it's kind of a sweatshop ? I think commonly people want to start a business where they sell necklaces or wallets or signs or whatever it is, and maybe they're going to do like an Etsy store or something like that. And the thing is, it's really fun to do those things when you're making three or five or sometimes 10. But if your business does take off and you're gonna actually be making a lot of these products, are you going to end up being somebody who is just working in your apartment tirelessly building these things kind of manufacturing these things, or are you gonna be able to outsource? Are you gonna be able to get other people to build these for you? Are you going to get friends to help you? Are you going to be able to hire somebody? Ultimately, the goal here is being able to scale your business and understanding when it's going to be time to scale your business. So when I started my wallet company, I ended up hating it because I was getting so many orders, which technically, is really great. But then it required me to sit in my dorm room in college and just tape these wallets together for hours and hours and hours, and it was not worth the time that I was spending to sell these $5 wallets. So one of the things that I learned from that is you have to make sure that the time and the effort that you're spending is worth the amount of money that you're charging because, like I said, there's so much that goes into the pricing power, the pricing decisions. But you got to make sure that your side hustle aligns in that way where you can spend a low amount of time and a low amount of effort, if you can, to make a lot of money. So when you think about your side hustle, think of it that way. What is the thing that I can do that's gonna fulfill that equation? 7. Class Conclusion: So that's my first course. I'm gonna be doing a lot more classes on side hustles and getting your side hustle started up and managing your side hustle the different tools you can use how you can actually get customers. So I'm really excited to get started. This is my first class. I hope you enjoyed it. I'm gonna wrap up here, but I want to say one more time if you have any questions If you feel like you want to know more about how to get started with your side hustle, please. Please, please feel free to reach out to me again. My instagram for my photo booth is at rent My booth and my personal instagram and my personal twitter is at the reel bed. Hawes, you can also message me here. I would love to hear in the comments what you're planning on doing on by really, really, really appreciate your taking this class. If you have the chance, please follow me eso that I can update you with my future classes because I think I'm gonna have a lot of fun building these classes on skill share. So thank you so much and feel free to reach out to me. I actually prefer that. You let me know what you thought of this class. So thank you so much. Have a great day and good luck with your side hustle.