Looking for a new challenge without risking the security of your day job? Now could be a smart time to consider a second business that generates extra income. But perfect side hustles aren’t always immediately obvious – and where do you begin? Here’s how to turn your big idea into a bank-account booster.

Choose an Industry That’s Booming

Most of us know about the classic perfect side hustles that many people could start tomorrow with just a little bit of research and know-how, like affiliate marketing, dog walking and online tutoring. But it’s also worth considering industries that have experienced a surge in interest in the last few years.

Household furnishings and decor purchases are on the up, so now may be the time to start selling homewares on platforms like eBay, Instagram and Etsy. If you’re skilled at social media marketing, many new businesses that don’t have physical shopfronts are relying entirely on the internet to get their message out there.

Do What You Love and You’ll Love What You Do

How to make money by starting a business from home: perfect side hustles.

“Start by asking this very simple question: what do I like to do for fun?” suggests financial planner and wealth coach Jeremy Britton. No matter what you love doing, someone, somewhere is being paid to do it. Decide what your passion is, do a search to find out how people are monetising it and get on board. “Do something every day. Record a video, write a short blog or social media post or submit an article to a local news source,” he says. “And remember that ‘overnight success’ comes after 12 to 18 months of consistent daily activity.”

Ask Yourself What Makes Your Idea Different

“Define the point of difference and be sure to understand what 'problem' your product or service will solve, or how it will add value to your customers’ lives,” says Catherine Cervasio, who runs natural skincare brand Aromababy. “It's critical to have a strong point of difference, which will need to constantly evolve as the market (and competitors) catch up.” That’s not to say that you can’t consider starting a beauty brand, even though there are thousands of beauty brands in the market. But ask yourself what will make yours unique, whether it’s the formulation, its ethics or the market it’s targeting.

Be Aware of the Financial Commitment...

We all know the saying “you have to spend money to make money”, which means that starting a new business almost always comes with a cost at first. Financial adviser Jessica Brady says that a good rule of thumb is to consider what your costs will be over the first 12 months of the business and make sure you have that in the bank before you get started.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Guide: Tips for Working from Home

...And of How Much Time a Side Hustle Can Take

Starting an online business from home could be the perfect way to make extra money.

By day, Chantelle Ellem runs the successful blog Fat Mum Slim. By night, she runs boho curvy clothing company Ada + Lou with friend and business partner Rebel Wylie, a side hustle the pair began in September 2019. Chantelle warns that the days can be long but it’s worth it. “We’re both still working almost full-time alongside running Ada + Lou and parenting our kids, too,” she says, estimating that she puts in around 15 hours a week on this business on top of her other work. “Most of the time we’re exhausted, and the juggle of switching hats between real work, Ada + Lou and mum life is really hard, but we can see the bigger picture and how happy our customers are, so we keep at it!”

Take Advantage of Free Resources

Aromababy’s Catherine recommends the free online listing space at Small Business First, a business-boosting initiative started by celebrity finance guru David Koch. State chambers of commerce could also offer free seminars and workshops. And Chantelle suggests you approach people who have gone before you and simply ask for tips. “Starting out, we asked if we could take people in the industry to morning tea to pick their brains and we got some really invaluable advice,” she says.

Don’t Forget the Legal Side of Things

It’s not the most exciting part of starting a business, but it’s important. Depending on the area you’re moving into, Regie Anne Gardoce from business law firm Sprintlaw suggests you get good advice about ABNs, insurance, liability protections and contract constraints, particularly if your side hustle is in the same industry as your main job, which could cause conflicts.

* This is general information only and does not constitute taxation or legal advice. Other requirements under the law apply. Seek professional tax and/or legal advice.

What to Try

This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated.