If you want to start your own business, but aren’t ready to jump in feet first, that’s OK. You don’t need to when you start a side hustle with this tactic.
Some dream of becoming self-employed. Some are brave enough to jump in feet first. But others need to wade into the deep end one step at a time.
For those who want to try running a business without substantial risk, use free or cheap resources to design a micro business that’s both profitable and professional. Then slowly grow your business into the real deal.
Create a digital product
Side hustles need a great product or service. It’s the most essential aspect of your part-time business. But it has to be something people want or need.
You can create an e-book, PDF, app, game or video. Don’t skimp on the quality. And you don’t have to invest a lot of money to make a high quality product. Use the following resources for help:
- e-book Evolution
- Infinite Monkeys
- CamStudio Open Source
Set up shop
Having a website to sell your products is essential, but you don’t need to spend a large amount of time or money to have your own site.
With a little technical knowledge you can use WordPress. Or you could use one of the drag and drop website builders like Wix. You’ll need the e-commerce plan at $19.90 plus the PayPal transaction costs to sell your work.
Alternatively, you can use an e-commerce solution like Selz. It’s free to set up, and you only pay a small fee per sale. It’s designed for non-technical entrepreneurs. Selz is easy to use, has a great streamline checkout, and can be used to sell securely from almost any website.
Build an email list
An email list a great way to stay connected to your new customers. You can send them a monthly newsletter, upcoming sales or announce a new product.
Mailchimp has a free option that lets you build an email list up to 2,000 subscribers. It has great tutorials, and templates to help you get started. Plus, if you choose Selz for your e-commerce platform, you can integrate your Mailchimp account into your Selz store.
Focus on guerrilla marketing strategies
Guerrilla marketing uses low-cost and sometimes unconventional means to market your product. Marketing can be expensive and the outcome is always uncertain. Try a few different methods and tactics before you make a substantial investment in marketing your digital product.
Create a strategy with these resources:
- Sales copy: 12-Step Foolproof Sales Letter Template
- Advertising: 5 Step Formula Based on Work of David Ogilvy
- Video ads: Viddyad or Visible Spectrum
- Graphics and infographics: Canva or Visual.ly
- Content marketing: Crush Content Marketing in 2014: 5 Outside-the-Box Techniques That Get Results
Keep the risk low, but not your expectations
You don’t need to risk your life savings to start a profitable side hustle. (Click here to tweet this quote.) It’ll take a lot of work, sure. But running a business is challenging, regardless of its size.
If you start small, you can test your digital product to see if it’s a winner. You can get input from your customers and make adjustments if needed. You can get all the kinks out without taking a huge risk.
If you’ve got a great idea for a side hustle, you don’t need to wait for the perfect moment. If you’re willing to invest your time, you don’t need to invest a lot of money.
Liesha Petrovich is the creator of Micro Business Essentials, a unique business blog exclusively for micro business owners. If you’re looking for fast, affordable, and effective tips to help your business grow, click here to grab a copy of Micro Business Essentials Toolkit: Free and Low Cost Resources.