Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur, the founder and host of Side Hustle School, a daily podcast with more than 2 million downloads a month. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup.
The book Side Hustle – From Idea to Income in 27 Days was released in September 2017; is packed with ideas and detailed how-to’s in building a side business. The aforementioned 27 days is divided into 5 weeks, where the steps for Week 1 through Week 3 are described in the post here. In this post, we shall continue with the steps drawn by Chris Guillebeau for Week 4 and Week 5.
First, let’s recap the main activities of each week as stated in the previous post:
Week 1: Build an Arsenal of Ideas
Once it has been decided that you would like to run a side hustle, Week 1 is when you brainstorm on the possibilities, your interests and solutions of existing problems that you can provide. It is also important to nail all these exciting ideas with a forecast of projected profit to ensure that there is an objective view for each idea.
Week 2: Select Your Best Idea
In the second week, you will be selecting the best from your arsenal of ideas. Chris Guillebeau had outlined the parameters to abide in selecting the best idea as your side hustle. In Week 2, you will also package your idea into an offer.
Week 3: Prepare for Liftoff
In the third week, you will start working externally on your side hustle idea. This means that you will begin to create social media accounts for your side hustle, setting up the payment options and designing your workflow. In short, your idea is no longer just in the form of grey matter in your brains, but it is a packaged solution waiting to meet its customers.
Now that we have gone through the summary of Week 1 through Week 3, let’s begin with the exciting journey of a side hustler in Week 4 and Week 5.
According to Chris Guillebeau, the best time to launch a side hustle was yesterday. It is imperative to begin prior to all set up and product is perfect as it is more important to improve as the side hustle blooms, rather than selling a seemingly perfect product that nobody would buy. In Week 4, the purpose is to generate sales and the benefit of this purpose grows by twofold when customer demographic is also learnt.
Chris Guillebeau recommends setting up a Facebook page just to see the data on who engages with its content. This is an easy and quick way to discover improvements that might be required. Guided with the data derived from the first few customers or from the Facebook page, organise an a/b test to see which customers tend to select between the two. In performing an a/b test, these are the factors that need to be played with:
- The product or service
- The offer
- The price
It is also best to only run one a/b test at one time. For example, an a/b test to see which is more appealing to the customers: free shipping or a 10% discount. This shall provide insight on the customers’ needs and how much they are willing to pay.
Once a sale is made, frame that first dollar as it is an exhilarating experience to be making money! While it is important to stay frugal, celebrating and investing in yourself boosts self-esteem, which creates more energy, eagerness and edge to do more side hustles.
In Week 5, the side hustle is up and running therefore the important thing to do now is to find ways to raise the game. In this week, go through the tracking of sales and find out the most crucial metrics that contributed to the sales. On the other hand, it must also be tracked on how much time has been spent running the side hustle against the profit and growth it had generated. This is because if the side hustle is taking too much time but is not making much money, it is probably a good idea to abandon it and start afresh. Focus on what works by auditing the side hustle and see if there is any part of the work that can be automated or find ways to generate more money with less time.
This is also the time to review the side hustle from a different perspective. Is there any chance for horizontal growth? For example, running Uber as a side hustle made good money but is it possible to generate more money without sacrificing your Uber time? What if there had been a manual of Do’s and Don’ts by an Uber driver for other aspiring Uber drivers? Could you be the one who sell this manual? These are all questions to be asked when reviewing a side hustle as there is always a possibility of finding money under a rock.
Also in this week, every detail of the side hustle should be documented. It is tempting to let everything stay inside your head, but seeing your workflow, contact management and bookkeeping filed for reference makes expansion for the side hustle much more manageable. By Day 27, any side hustlers would have realised that a side hustle could provide many opportunity and freedom. Even though Day 27 is marked by Chris Guillebeau as the final day in the book Side Hustle – From Idea to Income in 27 Days, but is it really an end or a beginning?
The choice is up to you