Nine Simple, Low-Risk Ways To Test Whether Your Side Hustle Is A Viable Business Idea

Having a “side hustle” can be a great way to test the waters of entrepreneurship. A side hustle is a great way to express yourself creatively and learn new skills. However, it can also provide steady income. 

You may wonder if your side hustle could become your full-time job. How do you know if your side-hustle is worth it? 

Nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council have provided some steps to help you answer that question. 

1. 1.

This could be done in person or online (think local Facebook groups). Your trajectory will be different depending on what you’re selling. For example, if you have an artistic side hustle, then you can sign up to exhibit at a local craft market. You can engage with the public, get feedback on what you’re creating and see if you can actually generate sales. Follow the same principles for your side hustle if it’s online. Find people in your community who would be interested in your product or service, and pitch it. If they’re interested—or better yet, they buy what you’re selling—then you can see firsthand whether your side hustle does indeed have merit. Start small and test the market before you invest in anything. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.

2. 2.

Is your side hustle expanding? You may have had to put in a lot of effort and time to build your business from the beginning. You may find that the work is coming in steadily and that you could even use a break from the day job to keep up with the demand. This is a sign that your business can be a viable career option. But give it time—say, six months or more—to ensure that the growth you’re currently seeing is sustainable long term. If your business’s growth fluctuates with the seasons, it could indicate that you need to wait longer before your business becomes financially viable. But sustained, steady growth indicates that you’ve struck oil, so to speak, and can invest more into your business without risking everything. – Brian Greenberg, Insurist

3. Imagine You as the Customer 

You can test your side-hustle idea without spending too much by simply imagining yourself as the customer. Would you purchase the product you want? Is it equipped with enough features and unique qualities to make it worth your consideration? Does it offer a solution to your problem? If the answer is no, you should not move forward. You need to stand out in a saturated market. If you feel that your product will fail before launch, it’s best to stop and make something you are proud of. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Test Your Brand’s Success On A Low- Or No-Cost Platform

There are many platforms and systems available for testing business models, with minimal investment. You can build your brand using social media, YouTube and blogs. You can sell physical products on Amazon, Shopify and Etsy. You can offer services through a website, or on freelancer platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. These low-cost services have the advantage that you can start slowly and keep your job or existing business. You can easily scale up and make adjustments as needed. If your original idea doesn’t work out, you can pivot in another direction with minimal loss. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

5. Run An Inexpensive Ad

You might consider running a low-budget advertisement with the best mockup possible. Even if it costs you more to render than to have a batch made, it is still cheaper than buying a batch. Find out what the response is and adapt your decision-making accordingly. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

6. 6.

It is crucial to test your side hustle before you go full-time into entrepreneurship. This is why it is so important to do thorough market research. Reach out to companies that are similar to your idea and ask them about their experiences, what they would do differently, or any advice on how to get started. Talking to people who have done the same thing as you can help to reduce the learning curve associated with starting a business. You’ll know what to expect when getting started and you’ll be able to prepare ahead of time, which gives you a huge leg up on the competition. – Codie Sanchez, Contrarian Thinking

7. Impress A Small Client Base

You should make a list of the things you are capable of doing to a level that people are willing and able to pay for. Next, focus your efforts on looking for opportunities in this field. Start small and see if you can make a difference. Once you get a few good reviews, this is your proof-of-concept to future customers. It is also a proof of your business’s great idea. Solomon Thimothy from OneIMS

8. 8.

When customers start asking for specific features, you’ll know your side hustle is worth it. This is exactly what happened to me and my coworkers’ businesses. I started by creating a product that was not available on the market at the time. I discovered that my customers needed more customizations and that people were asking for my help. I then gave my “side hustle” my full attention and it is my main business today. If you are having trouble managing customer support, product feature requests, or other customer issues, it is worth looking into. There’s a good chance that your product is great and you should give it all your attention. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

9. Take a look at whether you have the passion

If you’ve got a side hustle or a side passion, that means you have something you care enough about to want to make it profitable. If you put passion into it, it will always bring results. I love yoga, traveling, animals, and nature. These are my passions. So I took one of those passions—yoga—and made it part of my career. I was able to combine my love for events and that passion into a business plan. You should already have an idea of whether it is a viable career option if you are already interested in something. Don’t be afraid to do your research and trust yourself. It’s not “risking everything” if you go in with the necessary tools for success. Research and passion are two of the most important tools. Kyle Michaud – Experience Expositions

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