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Startup Business

How To Start a Side Hustle While Working Full Time

Posted by Jason Olson, and Sara Morrow on Monday, May 17, 2021

Learn how to start a side hustle while keeping your full-time job with our checklist.

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How To Start a Side Hustle While Working Full Time

You don’t have to give up your full-time job to pursue your entrepreneurial spirit. There are a number of reasons why you might be considering starting a business on the side:

  • You want to explore a potential career change, but don’t want to risk losing your full-time income.  
  • You are passionate about something, or you want to turn a long-time hobby into a business.
  • Or you simply want to supplement your income with some extra cash.

There are many different side business ideas with varying degrees of flexibility when it comes to picking your own hours. If your passion is dogs, you may choose to start a dog grooming business in the evenings. If you are a photographer, you could take pictures at events on the weekends. Some more flexible options include ridesharing or grocery and food delivery.

Owning and operating a small business takes a lot of dedication and hard work, especially if you are doing it in addition to a full-time job. You may have to put in long hours at night and on the weekends to reach your desired level of success. Our side hustle checklist can help make sure you have everything you need to get started.

The Side Hustle Checklist

Check With Your Full-Time Employer

If maintaining your full-time job is the priority, you will want to make sure they are okay with your new business venture before you get too far into the process. If your business is a conflict of interest with the company or if they are concerned with your side business getting in the way of your work, they may not be okay with you taking on this business venture.

Find Out How To Pay for It

Some side businesses require very little investment upfront. For example, if you’re starting a dropshipping store online, you won’t need to make an upfront investment in inventory and your store will be entirely online. If you need equipment to operate your business, however, you may need explore financing options.

Connect With the Experts

No matter the size of the business you want to start, you will need to make sure you are doing everything right so that you can be successful and keep everything above board. The best thing you can do is work closely with a team of experts, including:

  • A Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Even the smallest business has some tax and legal ramifications to consider. Your CPA can work with you to make sure you are set up with the correct business structure, know how to file your business taxes each year and more.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA): If you’re starting a business, you’ll want to do your homework to determine if you will be profitable. The SBA has a team of professionals who can help you work through this question. They can help you write a business plan, work through your startup costs and explore your competition in the area to make sure your small business is set up for success.
  • A commercial banker: Commercial bankers aren’t just there to issue you loans and open business bank accounts. They can be your sounding board so you can bounce ideas off them and tap into their experience helping other small business owners get started. If you do need financing to cover your startup costs, they can help you with that as well.

Start Networking

The most important piece of any business is the customers. You can start with your close friends, family and acquaintances, but if you want your side hustle to grow, you will want to branch out. Here are some ideas for getting your products and services in front of new eyes:

  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce: Your area’s chamber of commerce can help promote your business within the community and with other business owners and community leaders. Some communities even offer welcome kits and host ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new businesses and chamber members.
  • Join niche organizations: Getting involved with clubs and organizations that can support your business is also a good idea. For example, if you are a dog groomer, reaching out to dog clubs in your area will help you make connections and reach potential customers.
  • Spread the word on social media: With billions of users worldwide, social media has made promoting small businesses in a community easier than ever. In addition to creating digital ads that target potential customers in your area, you can make announcements in community groups on Facebook and connect with other business professionals on LinkedIn.

Financial Tools for Starting a Side Hustle

Your commercial banker can help you make sure you have everything you need on the financial side. They can set you up with business bank accounts to keep separate from your personal accounts. If you have a business partner, they can turn it into a joint account so you both have access.

Read more: Why you should keep your personal and small business bank accounts separate

Northwest Bank has a checking account for businesses of every size. We can start you off with a simple account and then grow your account with new features as your business grows.

When it comes to financing any startup costs, we can help you make the right choice. If your startup investment is small, like leashes or dog shampoo for a grooming business, or a new camera for a photography business, we may just recommend a business credit card to get you started. Or if your startup costs are higher, such as needing a new vehicle for a delivery business, we can help you get set with the right small business loan.

If you’re ready to take your first step toward turning your passions into a side hustle and need some friendly advice on how to get started, contact a commercial banker at a Northwest Bank branch near you today!

Small Business Financing for the Next Step

You’ve worked hard to build your business. Now make sure it continues to thrive. Local businesses are vital to the community, which is why helping yours grow is our priority.

Talk to a Business Banker Today                                                                                       

The Authors

Jason Olson

Jason Olson

Director of Treasury Management, VP

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Sara Morrow

Sara Morrow

Loan Portfolio Manager

LinkedIn Email

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