V. Analyze and Validate Your New Justle Idea
Breaking away from the comfort of your day job is a scary thought, especially if you’ve never once attempted to do something so radical before. Or, perhaps you have, but you failed.
Well, there’s a way you can minimize failure, and that is by analyzing and validating your side hustle idea. This technique will help you cross out the side hustles which aren’t going to be worth spending your time on merely because they aren’t going to be profitable.
Depending on the side hustle you choose, you may need to spend some money to validate your idea and see if it will work out or not. This means you may need to buy (or rent or borrow) some tools and resources so you can do your testing.
Keep your expenses to a minimum for now. You don’t want to go all in and spend thousands of dollars on equipment that you’re not going to have any use for later on!
Analyze your competitors
What are your competitors’ doing? What are their products? Their marketing strategies? Why are people buying their products or using their services? What can you do better? Can you beat them at their game, especially if they’ve been around for years?
Ask yourself this question, if you were a customer, would you buy your products? Or would you go over to the competition and buy from them? Why or why not? Based on your answer, you should have a pretty good idea on where you stand.
If your competitors are active on social media, don’t be afraid to follow them. It’s not illegal. After all, they’re pretty much posting on a public domain. Research which types of content get the most engagement from their followers. Then create a list of what you need to do so you can do better.
At this point, you may feel like David going up against Goliath. Don’t worry, just take it all in stride. You’re doing this analysis because you don’t want to waste your time competing against other businesses when you never stood a chance. You’re doing this because you want to increase your odds for success. You don’t want to spend months and years working on a side hustle only to find out that you just don’t have what it takes to succeed!
Get feedback from your target audience
You should clearly identify who your target audience or clients are. You want to maximize your efforts. You can’t afford to waste your time and money trying to put your offer in front of people who just aren’t interested. Instead, you want to get your offer in front of the right people, those who will actually invest and do business with you!
So, to make sure your target audience is going to like what you bring to the table, then you need to get feedback from the people who fit your target demographics.
Say, for instance, your target clients are small businesses in California with 1-2 employees. You can try looking for people in your personal network who fit that profile. You can also post your question on social media and/or relevant forums.
Present your offer and ask them if it’s something they would be interested in. If yes, why? If no, why not? Getting detailed answers is going to help you improve your offer and increase your chances of success.
Don’t forget to thank people for their time. You’re trying to build a brand, and you should always look for opportunities to put your brand at the top of people’s minds.
Do a ‘soft’ launch
You don’t want to go all out at this point since you’re still in the process of validating your idea. So, if you’re selling a physical product in your store, then you may not want to order or create hundreds or thousands of items.
What’s going to happen to those if your target audience doesn’t bite? That will literally translate to money down the drain if you don’t get to sell your inventory.
This is especially true if you’re doing eCommerce as a side hustle. You want to make sure there’s a real and sustainable demand for your product. Otherwise, you could be wasting your energy on something that’s never going to pan out.
Now, if your launch turns out to be successful, then you’ve most probably got a profitable side hustle on your hands. However, if not, then don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Don’t think of it as a failure – you’re doing these tests to find the most suitable and most profitable side hustle for you!