Six Hours to a Side Gig that Makes Money – and Makes You Happy

Really? I can start a business in six hours. Yes. VentureMom Holly Hurd will show you how even in our new normal environment.

Hour One
Figure out what you like to do and who you like to do it with. Think about where you spend your free time and with whom. Do you find yourself looking through gardening magazines and perusing the nurseries for your landscaping ideas this Spring? Are you often gathering ideas for window boxes and photographing interesting plantings when you travel? Maybe you’d love a business around gardening.

If you love to write. Maybe an college essay assistance business is for you. If you’re always scanning Pinterest for the latest fashion and find yourself on fashion websites in your spare time, maybe you want to provide online shopping for others or help them create outfits out of what they own.

Think about what you do well or enjoy doing that others would pay you for.

Hour Two
Develop a simple business model around what you’ll offer. Do you want to offer seasonal plantings that include window boxes, pots, and holiday décor? Will you offer online tutoring? Can you teach beginning piano or flute? Maybe bridge is your specialty or Power Point. Many people will pay for that one on one screen sharing experience with someone walking them through it.

How will you charge for you services? Maybe you’ll charge an hourly fee plus materials. Maybe you’ll charge by the size of the window box, garden or planter. If you become a personal shopper, maybe you’ll charge for a three-hour block of time. Lay out a pricing plan and specific description of what you’ll deliver.

Research what others charge in your area and price yourself similarly.

Hour Three
Name your business. If you can come up with a catchy cute name, great. Think of something that relates to what you’re offering. Winny’s Window Boxes, Elaine’s Essays, I love alliteration. But if that doesn’t work, come up with something that’s meaningful to you. Maybe you love daisies, so you call your planting services, Garden Daisies. If you can’t come up with anything, use your own name. Susie May’s Essay Assistance, or Amanda Smith Fashion.

Hour Four
Brand your business. You have an hour, so be simple. Pick two colors that you love and get the pantone numbers, so you use the same ones all the time. Pick a font. If you’re not the creative type, look at other people’s sites to get some ideas. You can go so far as to use a free logo builder online.

Hour Five
Develop an email. This will be a short letter with bullets points telling your friends and family what your new side gig is all about. Be specific and provide contact info and pricing. For example, “Hi Everyone, Most of you know how much I love to write and that used to be an editor in my past life. I’m taking my passion and skill and turning it into a business called Sue’s College Essays. I’m offering my services starting now.  I charge $100 an hour and expect each essay project to take about 3 hours. Please reach out for a consultation and pass this along to your friends and followers. I can’t wait to work with this year’s college bound students.”

Hour Six
Set up a Venmo account so you can get paid. Send this email to everyone you know. Use your branding in the signature. Field calls and emails from interested clients. Done.

Now you can get paid doing something you love to do! Share with us what side gig you start.

If you need help figuring out a side gig, click on Work with Holly to get help.

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