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How South Africans Can Kickstart Their Side Hustle
South African's are no strangers to tough economic times and with the way global markets are reacting it's likely it will continue in this fashion and perhaps get worse. Making ends meet with a single income is a luxury many people no longer have access to and they need to start diversifying into additional income streams.
The millennial generation has been hit the hardest with very stringent rules to access capital which is why cash flow side hustle businesses are becoming so popular. Young South Africans are finding ways to trade their free time for additional income and leveraging other skills apart from their primary income-generating skills.
Side hustles are a great way to dip your toes into the entrepreneurship pond without having to go all in. You can maintain your steady job, use your free time to grow your business with little downside risk, build up a client base and see if your services are valued within the market. Some may choose to keep both income streams while others may feel their time is better suited to going all in and becoming a business owner.
If you're planning on starting a side hustle, here's how to kick-start your business in South Africa.
1. Register your company
Registering your business is not a requirement for a side hustle, and you can get started tomorrow without having done any paperwork and run your little business. The idea around registering your company is to reserve the name you want to use and trade under and additionally to open up a bank account in your businesses name and not conduct your business transactions with a private account.
Business banking also gives you access to a host of benefits that private banking will not, so having a registered company comes in handy. Also if your side hustle will have B2B clientele they may need your official paperwork to add you as a vendor for payment, so don't start jeopardising the ability to get those invoices sorted as fast as possible.
If you require more information on registering a business, you can find a step by step guide on how to register a South African business here.
2. Create a logo
Again, not a need but its always a good place to start. Don't fret too much on the logo or the colours this can change over time; no brand keeps the same logo forever, the important thing about a logo is to have something customers can recognise in an instant and associate it with you and your service.
People are visual creatures and the more they see your logo, the more they remember it, its the foundation of everything McDonald's, Coca Cola and Nike have built their brands on and that's not bad company to keep when following a business strategy.
If you're not the creative type then hire a graphic designer to create a logo for you or use one of these new AI-powered logo makers to generate one for you based on certain requirements.
3. Create an internet presence
Customers are using the internet to find a host of goods and services online, so it's important to have an internet presence by being visible in Google search as well as social media sites. The ideal setup would be to have a branded company website, but when you're starting out you don't want to be distracted by building a website as it does take a fair bit of capital and effort.
If you're strapped for cash or don't feel ready for a website you can always use local web directories, create a free mini-site with nichemarket, register a Google My Business page and in conjunction with your social media have multiple touchpoints for customers to find you online.
You ever hear the expression you got to spend money to make money? Well, most of that money will have to go to marketing. Once you get going, you may have some initial success with word of mouth through friends and family but if you don't leverage that momentum into your social media, classified ads or search ads your stream of clients will quickly dry up.
In some cases, you may need to offer your services at discount rates to get yourself in the door or even for free. Also, you could look to collaborate with other businesses and offer complementary services as a packaged deal to provide value ads for other businesses who don't have your skillset or expertise.
The more clients you meet and successful jobs you complete the more of a track record you will have and the more success stories that will help convince new customers to come on board.
5. Create tangible branding
A side hustle doesn't mean you shouldn't be as professional as possible and as I mentioned earlier regarding your logo, the reason you want one is so that you can embellish your branding, so customers remember you. It doesn't mean you should be creating branded swag like hats, T-shirts and bags, although that does help with brand recognition and seeing you as a living embodiment of the brand but it can be simple branding exercises.
Use your logo to tie your digital and physical efforts like your website, social media pages, business cards, invoices, quotes, price lists, packaging and more. Creating these tangible branding assets go a long way to driving customers biases to use your service and even recommend you to their network.
6. Keep track of your product or service offering
So many sides hustle or side business fail because people don't keep track of what's actually going on in their business, managing money going in and money going out.
Keeping track of your expenses and making sure you're collecting income, invoices are coming in on time. That you're using that money wisely to grow your business with marketing and improving the product or service can all be reviewed by a simple spreadsheet.
7. Track customer sentiment
Taking criticism can be one of the hardest parts being an entrepreneur, but this feedback can be used to proactively grow your business. Listing to your customers, finding out what they like, what their needs are and figuring out what they want more of or want next is what's going to take your side hustle to the next level.
The more needs you meet, the more likely your customers are going to return for repeat purchases, and these customers are how you build a sustainable business, not by constantly chasing new ones. There are many ways to solicit customer feedback, but the simplest way is a post-purchase survey, where they are not in front of you and have the freedom to critique you honestly.
You can also collect customer feedback in places like your nichemarket profile, Facebook Profile or your Google My Business listing, this way you create an online reputation for your business and the more ratings you have, the more legitimate your business looks to prospective customers.
Get your side hustle in full swingTry not to overcomplicate your side hustle and focus on tasks that either bring you customers or tasks that satisfy customers. Don't overthink it and don't be afraid to make mistakes, you'll learn what works and what doesn't as you progress. Entrepreneurship is all about risk and failure, and if you're not willing to accept that from day one, you're likely not going to make a success of it. The most important part of a side hustle is you're in full control, so remember to enjoy what you do and the rest will all fall into place as you continue to pursue it.
If you would like to know more about marketing for your business then don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us
Are you looking to promote your business?
South African small business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.
If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on side hustles.
- 5 Tips for Funding Your Small Business
- Small Businesses That Can Go Digital During The Lockdown
- 10 Retail Market Secrets That Every Small Business Should Know
- Don't Ignore These 4 Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
- 14 Ways To Leverage Facebook As A Small Business
- Alternative Funding Solutions a Small Business Needs to Know
- How South African Small Businesses Waste Money