Committing time to your side hustle was a big decision. The hours and resources you spend need to pay off in a tangible way. But are you really sure that what you’re putting in is actually producing what you need?
The way smart business owners ensure that they’re investing their time and money resources well and actually winning in their side hustle is to measure the right numbers.
Your goal is to create revenue with the lowest investment of resources possible for you and your business. In some cases, that might mean adjusting work hours to accommodate the flow of customers. In others, it might mean subcontracting and temporarily increasing expenses to maximize personal productivity.
1. Clients or Jobs
The number of clients or jobs you take in your side hustle has a direct impact on how much money you can make. It’s vital to keep track of what you’re juggling so you can be realistic about what you can take on next. With this metric, also track the type of clients you’re working with, how big or small their projects are, and what type of work each entails. Tracking your jobs for a while will allow you to see what’s most popular with clients. Then you can create a package offer that new clients will like.
Tracking your time on each job may be cumbersome if you’re not used to it, but this metric will have a huge impact on your business vision. If your designing time is completely taken up with projects from only three clients, you can’t add any more. But what if those three projects aren’t providing enough revenue to pay for your software, website hosting, and continuing education—and still leave you any profit? Then your business model needs to be adjusted so you can take on more clients.
Related to time tracking, productivity measures how much you get done in a given time period. If you drive for a ride share, for example, your productivity metric will reflect how many rides you complete per hour over the course of your week. Your productivity will rise and fall in different situations, but if you track it for a week or two, you’ll be able to see patterns. Maybe you’re most productive with short-term fares for errands and least productive when you pick people up from the airport. This info can help you plan your ideal location for the day and target your most productive times.
If you’re not tracking how much money your side hustle is bringing in each month (revenue), now is the time to start. The goals with tracking revenue are to be clear about how much you’re earning and to recognize seasonal patterns. Perhaps winter is slower for you than summer. In that case, you can set aside more of your income in the summer to pad your finances come December. Diversifying your revenue streams is vital to safeguard the health of your side hustle. Look for opportunities to spread out the source of your revenue over multiple customers and offerings.
Tracking revenue is only part of your side hustle’s financial picture. You need to see how much money you’re spending in order to earn all that new money. If you’re investing too much, you won’t make a profit. Expenses include things like taxes, software, website hosting, advertising, babysitting to free up your time, subcontracting, and overhead for your vehicle maintenance or office utilities.
Metrics like these can give you a clear picture of how successful your hustle is now and how you can keep it growing in the future.
Find the right gig for you by trying the ones that appeal to you, but also be open to new experiences. You never know what might pay off.
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