Want To Start a Side Gig? 7 Questions to Answer First

In this article: Questions that can help you choose a lucrative side gig that fits your schedule, interests and budget.

by Andrea Norris-McKnight, AI Editor

Start a Side Gig photo
Starting a side gig can be an exciting and rewarding way to earn extra income or pursue a passion. However, you should consider several factors before diving in to ensure success and avoid potential pitfalls.

Here are some things to think about and questions to ask before starting a side gig:

1. How Much Time Can You Commit to a Side Gig?

Maintaining a side gig can be demanding if you want to see success. Assess how much time you can realistically dedicate considering your full-time job, family and social life.

Time management is crucial to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Once you start your side gig, establish boundaries and allocate specific hours to focus on it without compromising other aspects of your life.

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2. What Is Your Skill Set?

Evaluate your skills and strengths to determine what kind of side gig best suits you. You don’t want to choose something with a steep learning curve if you hope to generate income sooner rather than later.

For any side gig you consider, identify gaps in your knowledge and determine whether you need additional training or resources to succeed. If money is an issue, try these resources for learning new skills on a tight budget.

3. Is It Something You Are Willing To Do Long-Term?

if possible, choose a side gig that aligns with your passions and interests. Doing something you genuinely enjoy will make staying motivated and committed in the long run easier.

4. What Is the Market Demand for Your Side Gig?

Once you narrow your side gig choices, research the market and competition to determine if there is a demand for your product or service. If no one is doing what you want to do, there is likely a reason.

Also, consider how you might market your business to find customers or clients. Unless you choose a side gig for which there is an online platform that provides jobs, such as freelance agencies or tutoring platforms, you’ll have to know how to find work on your own.

5. What Are the Startup Costs?

Calculate the initial investment required to launch your side gig, including equipment, supplies and advertising. Determine if you need any required licenses or permits. Next, evaluate whether you have the funds to cover these costs without jeopardizing your financial stability.

And think twice about borrowing to cover these initial costs. If you can’t generate enough business with your side gig, paying back a credit card balance or loan might be difficult.

6. What Are the Legal and Tax Implications?

Familiarize yourself with the legal and tax requirements for running a side gig, such as registering your business, obtaining necessary licenses, and filing taxes. Consult a legal or financial professional if necessary.

7. What Is the Side Gig’s Scaling Potential?

Consider whether your side gig has the potential to grow over time. If you plan to eventually turn it into a full-time venture, evaluate the scalability of your business model and the steps needed to achieve that growth.

Still Not Sure Which Side Gig To Start?

Look at this list of side gigs other Dollar Stretchers have started to get inspired. You can also find thousands of ideas and tips online.

Just make sure you ask these seven questions before choosing one. You want your side gig venture to make you money rather than cost you money.

Reviewed January 2024

Editor's note: Some of our articles, such as this one, are researched using automated technology and then edited and verified for accuracy, allowing us to continue providing free content.

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