Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide

Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

color business bar

How to Start a Side Hustle on a Shoestring


When you’re starting a new business venture, it’s easy to get excited and reach for your credit card right away. 


You find a domain name that works perfectly with your concept, and you’re so happy that it’s still available that you purchase it. Next, you want a website and email service. Since these are the first few expenses, you decide to splurge for top-quality Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. Why not, right? Only the best for this genius idea. Next thing you know, you’ve spent nearly $200 on your brand new side hustle before bringing in a single penny. That’s okay, right? This is going to be the big one! This is the idea that’s going to make it so you don’t have to work your day job anymore. Give it a couple of years, and you’ll be on the beach sipping a beverage, wondering why it took you so long to get there.


The problem is that a side hustle is supposed to bring in money on top of your regular income; it’s not supposed to be a money pit. So before you get carried away, it might be a good idea to take a step back, devise a careful plan, and watch your budget. 


Here are two crucial concepts to help you start your next side hustle without breaking the bank; once you begin operating by them, you will be in a better position to achieve success in your venture.


Go Easy on the Website Expenditures


Yes, it’s awesome that you found a domain name that works for you. Be judicious when you purchase it. Sure, there is common Search Engine Optimization (SEO) wisdom that says you should buy a domain name for more than one year at a time. But you can sort all that out later; for now, you just want to own the domain. 


Some domain registrars will try to automatically set your purchase up in increments of two or more years at a time, but you should be able to select - from a dropdown menu - a purchase period of just one year. First things first.


Second, there are website platforms that will help you set up a professional-quality website with a minimum of knowledge and design skill on your part. Squarespace and Wix are examples of this. However, if you look at what those platforms cost, you’d likely be spending in excess of $100 a year for the website. Your website may become a crucial portion of your side hustle’s brand; for now, remember that you want to keep your spending to a minimum. Look for a free hosted website, such as Tumblr or Blogger, and point the domain that you purchased to that website to your free blog. There’s no shame in this. It will do for now - until you’ve actually earned money from your side hustle to re-invest back into your venture.


Don’t Splurge on Tech Yet


The second concept to embrace is also budget-related. You’re so excited about this new hustle that you wake up earlier and stay up later every day thinking about it - planning and scheming. Then you start to linger over laptop ads, and you’re thinking it might not be the worst idea to start your business venture with a fresh state-of-the-art laptop. But step back for a moment. A thousand dollars is a lot of revenue for a side hustle; are you sure you want to start out that deep in the red?


Instead, try to make due with the tools and the tech that you do have. If you need to purchase something, try to figure out how to do it inexpensively. For example: Did you know that you can buy used office equipment? There are brands like X-Digital that sell used office printers. Do your research before maxing out your credit card on setting up your side hustle.


In closing, it’s important to note that a properly-executed side hustle can be a beautiful thing. It can enhance your quality of life and provide you with meaning and purpose outside of your day job. Your hustle may even turn into the thing that you do full-time. But don’t put the cart before the horse. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Believe in yourself, but don’t reach for that credit card just yet. Choose the business expenses you spring for wisely, and you’ll be rewarded in the end. Invest in quality products, but find ways to spend that are within your budget. And keep hustling.


Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2022, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.