“I want to start a business”. Many of us have said this. Life coaches all over the internet have encouraged you to give it a go. The thought of being your own boss, that’s the game-changer, right? We’ve also heard that if we put the same amount of effort into our own businesses as we do at our current job, we can really make the venture fly. But the small business game is a tough nut to crack. It’s far more difficult to get off the ground than what you may think. What to do, then? Start with a side hustle, of course!
South Africans are looking to get their small businesses off the ground for many reasons. This may be in response to having lost a job, needing an extra income or finding a platform to showcase and promote an idea. The web is filled with online side hustle ideas, and many of these can be done from home! The biggest requirements are just to have a reasonable internet connection and a professional email address.
The tools you’ll need to kick off your online side hustle:
- Have a great quality website for your business.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and that you have an SSL certificate installed to show browsers that it is safe to do business with you. Also ensure that your domain name is memorable and as short as possible.
- Ditch the old Gmail address! If you are going to get a domain name, you will have access to a unique, private email address such as email@example.com. Take pride in your digital presence, your customers will appreciate your effort! A personal domain name will make you look professional and trustworthy.
- Be social, but not too much. Social Media is a great way for you to market your business. It gives you a platform to communicate with your prospects right where they are. Be careful not to overload your Facebook page with strictly sales and promotional material. Take the time to write educational content as well, keeping in mind that most people don’t check their Facebook accounts for the latest deals.
Three great side hustle ideas – website design, the reselling of web hosting services, and affiliate marketing.
Website Design as a side hustle
If you’ve managed to pull together a decent website for yourself, then surely you can do it for other startups too? Perhaps you have more than one business idea and you need to create separate websites? You can use your own designs as part of your portfolio. You may also choose to create a website for a startup as an investment. There are many ways to carve out a place for yourself in this competitive market. Learn as much as you can through free online tutorials and use your network to look for prospects.
See how easy our Website Builder is to use.
What do you need?
- Website Builder Tools (Average cost per website R109/month)
- Website Hosting (Average cost R89/month but free if you take this website builder tool)
- Domain Name Registration Provider (Average cost R99.99/year)
- An up-to-date blog (Free, you just need to write the content)
- Facebook Page (Free until you decide to get into paid advertising)
Resell Web Hosting Services
This one can work as a standalone hustle or as an enhancement to other business ideas. Web hosting is basically the service that allows a website to be accessible to the public. Every website needs it. Reselling web hosting means that you will buy one big web hosting service and create sub-accounts for each of your customers. This is a great service to offer if you are going to provide web design or an IT support-related service.
What do you need?
- A reseller hosting account from a web hosting provider (Average cost R300/month for standard hosting or R720 for more powerful VPS hosting)
- Your reseller hosting account will come with a dashboard where you can manage your customers from.
- Note that domain name registrations are not included with reseller hosting accounts, so you need to buy a domain for each customer you sign up.
- Basic email troubleshooting and website publishing skills.
- Use a hosting company that has a tech support centre that you can call, email or chat with.
The more you dig into website design and online marketing, the more you will discover a myriad of possibilities for making extra cash. As an affiliate marketer you can use your own website and allow other service providers to advertise on it. Most online businesses have an affiliate programme. You create an advert for that business with a unique link on your website. If someone clicks on the advert and buys something, you get paid. Even while you sleep.
What do you need?
- A website that already has some traffic.
- Sign up for affiliate programmes.
- Keep track of how many clicks and sales are being generated.
- Keep your own website fresh with new content.
- Most affiliate programmes are free.
Side hustles are a great way for you to move towards starting your own business. Some of them are easy to start and require minimal startup costs. Take the leap!