If you’re looking for a side hustle, having a small business on the side can be the perfect way to bring in extra money without diverting too much attention to your main career. Your first instinct might be to go with a broad, generic business that reaches as many customers as possible. But in fact, opening a niche business is the best way to attract attention and build a loyal customer base. When you open a niche business, you’re filling a specific need in the market, rather than just throwing out everything and seeing what sticks. You’ll be able to focus on what you’re good at, so you can perfect your craft and bring even more sales to your business.
This might sound intriguing, but maybe you’re not sure where to start. How do you turn your skills and knowledge into a profitable business? Here are some tips on figuring out how you’re going to make a big splash in the marketplace.
1. Figure Out What You’re Good At
Because of your unique worldviews, experience, and knowledgebase, you can bring a fresh set of skills to the marketplace. Think about what you do for a living, what your hobbies are, and where your knowledge lies. For example, you trust someone with heavy equipment experience when you are looking to buy used semi trailers for sale. If you’re an English major who enjoys writing, you could open a site advertising your skills as a copywriter. Everyone has their own unique skills and talents that nobody else can replicate.
2. Decide How Big You Want Your Business to Be
Do you want your business to attract thousands of customers across the country, or do you want to stay local and work with people in your neighborhood? Think about how big you want your business to be and what kind of customers you’re trying to reach. This will help you figure out how to market your business. If you’re shooting for big profits, you’ll want to invest a lot of time and energy into advertising your company; if you’re working with people you know, you’ll probably stick to Facebook posts and word-of-mouth.
3. Create an Online Presence
If you know a lot about coding websites, you can start from scratch (in fact, you could even make coding projects your side hustle!). If not, plenty of websites offer templates that you can build from. But either way, you’re going to need to find a website to host your content. Some websites have free options, but they typically have clunky URLs and limited access to their marketing websites. You can purchase a subscription for a clean, simplified URL and access to their full range of marketing and website building tools.
For businesses with a physical storefront, you don’t necessarily need a separate website. You can use a simple Facebook page to give your customers the information that they need and keep them updated on sales and events. However, running a website does make your store look more professional and established.
4. Decide How You’re Going to Market Your Business
Your website might be set up and ready to go, but you’re not going to attract customers if they don’t even know that the page exists. You’ll need a marketing platform to attract business to your website and help spread the news through word-of-mouth. For small local businesses, you can buy Facebook ads, tell your friends and family members, and take out advertisements in the local paper. If you’re operating a larger business, you can buy online ads that reach wider audiences and set up social media accounts to market your company. Never underestimate the power of social media sites like Twitter and Instagram–these websites have massive followings, and if you run a good marketing campaign, you’ll start racking up followers and customers in no time.
If you’re selling physical products, invest in a professional photographer to take pictures of the items you have for sale. When people are shopping online, the picture quality can make or break the sale. Would you buy a handbag if the only image you saw was blurry and grainy? Invest in a set of professional photos that make your products look as appealing as possible.
If your business is focused on services, find groups of people online that need that kind of service and suggest your business to them. For example, if you work as a freelance editor, join writing groups on Facebook and offer your services to writers looking for an editor.