Financial Wellness Article Series: Would a “Side Hustle” Work for You?

November 6, 2018
By Shannon Crow, Financial Wellness Program Coordinator

So, what is a “side hustle”? It is defined as a money-making project you start on the side usually while keeping your day job. So, what does a side hustle look like? It could be as simple as starting a dog walking business, a lawn mowing business in the summer, or baby-sitting. It could be as complicated as mobile car wash, software development, online tutoring, or selling your arts and crafts.

Why would you want to start a “side hustle?” The main reason is usually to make more money to support your life. However, many people start a side hustle to use talents and skills they enjoy but are not applicable to their day job. There is much to recommend starting this small business as long as you can enjoy what you are doing so it won’t become a burden. While you are in school, it could help you pay for your cost of living (that budget I keep talking about) so that you don’t have to borrow as much money on student loans. Or if you already have student loans, you might be able to start paying them down. Once you complete seminary, you could use the extra income to support your family in a bi-vocational pastorate or as a way to pay your student loan without using your main income. So, this would be business funding ministry, and it could also be business as ministry.

How do you get started? The first thing is to look for opportunities that you could use to create a small business. Do you see children that need something to do in the summer? What about a summer camp? People who travel a lot with animals need someone to pet sit or even house sit. What about supplying a large office building with premium hot coffee? Many students could probably use tutoring help in languages, math, or science. New mothers could use a baby sitter while their child is young for a few hours a week or even all week. You could start a blog with a new lesson on a specific topic every day. Advertise that you will organize a person’s life, house, or office. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

You need to analyze your ideas to see whether they are marketable in Waco. You will need to determine how you will market your services and what you will charge. You also need to forecast your potential revenue and all of the expenses involved to see what your profit potential could be. Is there enough profit potential to take on the extra work? Can this venture be flexible enough to work around your ministry or school work? What is your backup plan if you have to study for a test? What kind of accounting will you have to do? What are the administrative procedures to start a small business in Waco.

There is much to consider, but don’t let this get in the way if you have found something that you think will work for you. I will be glad to meet with you and help you with a business plan. Just come by my office or email me at shannon_crow@baylor.edu to set up an appointment.

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