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Day 22: #BlogLikeCrazy – How to Start Your Side Hustle

Money, Money, Money, Money. They say you can’t live with it, and you can’t live without it.

With inflation currently ruining the economy and our usual way of life, many of us are looking for more and more ways to increase our income.

So today, for Day 22 of #BlogLikeCrazy, we are going to shift gears to discuss “How You Can Start Your Side Hustle.”

Circa 2015 – 2017, I had no idea #KeyInspires would be what it is today. To be clear, I don’t make millions, but my “side hustle” generates a fair amount of profit.

Honestly, it generates the profit of having a part-time job.

When #KeyInspires began, I had no intention of growing the business to be some huge operation.

I genuinely had a passion to help others, I realized that passion could be profitable, and eventually, I decided to start my business.

There was no super complex thought behind it and I did not quit on my career.

I had a gift and that gift just so happen to turn a profit, so I decided to use that to my advantage.

Contrary to popular believe and assumptions, I have zero experience in Human Resources.

Literally zero.

So, when I look over the growth and progress of #KeyInspires, I am reminded that it was truly God ordinated for me to serve people in this way.

I spent roughly a year transforming the resumes of my family and friends.

As time went on, I began to charge $25 per resume.

The more I studied, the more I learned, the more I developed my business.

There was no roadmap, only research.

I’m saying all of that to say, DON’T OVERTHINK IT.

The most difficult part about starting a business is GETTING OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.

Fear is crippling but allow your FAITH to speak louder.

I am living proof that even with no experience someone needs what you have.

So, let’s talk about how to get started.

Please keep in mind, the steps below are a mixture of my own journey and what the Small Business Administration recommends.

USE YOUR OWN DISCRETION and do what works for you.

Here WE Go.

Step 1. Conduct Market Research.

Starting a business without understanding the market you are entering into is and will forever be a terrible idea. Save yourself the time, money, and resources, by doing the research on the front end. Research your competitors in any way you can. That includes but is not limited to reviewing websites, patronizing businesses, studying their pricing and products, etc.

Step 2. Write a Business Plan.

Business plans are a pain but more than necessary if your business will need outside funding. Research business plan formats to establish what would be best for your business or seek the help of a professional to create a business plan on your behalf. Your business plan should be detailed and error free.

Step 3. Fund your Business.

Determine HOW you are going to fund your business. Earlier, I mentioned when starting Key Inspires, I did not quit my job. That is because anything that was needed in my start-up phase, I PAID FOR. That isn’t the case for every business created so take the necessary steps to determine how your business will be funded. Your business plan should include the projected numbers of any start-up costs you will incur.

Step 4. Pick your Business Location.

Location is important. Even if you have no plans to create or hold a Brick-and-Mortar space, your business location still needs to be determined. That location address will follow you on all registration paperwork. So, if you are not comfortable using your personal address, research local virtual business addresses that you can use.

Step 5. Choose your Business Structure.

When selecting a business structure, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Even if you are the sole owner of your business, I would not recommend a Sole Proprietorship. If you are asking yourself why, remember, do your research. It is important to understand the liability that you hold as a business owner depending on your selection. It is also important to know for tax purposes.

Step 6. Choose your Business Name + Name Reservation.

Name selection was not at the top of my list simply because it is one of the easiest yet hardest things to do. In writing your business plan, you may have already selected your business name and that is perfectly fine. What is important here is to reserve the name of your choosing. You will have one year to formulize (register) your business after you’ve reserved the name.

Step 7. Business Email Address + Social Media + Website.

I placed these three items at Step 7 as a means of preparation. If you’d like, you can absolutely wait to complete but the sooner each is established the better. People will need a way to contact you and review your business. Even if your website is just a one pager, it will still help with business notoriety.

Step 8. Test the Market.

You may wonder why I decided to drop this in before officially registering your business and the reasoning is simple. Starting a business can be challenging, I personally accepted clients (only family, friends, and limited referrals) before I “officially” registered Key Inspires. I used the year with my name reserved to test my theory and success. It also allowed me to work out kinks before officially launching. Depending on your industry of choice, it is a great way to put feelers out.

Step 9. Register Your Business.

Register your business with your applicable state. Nothing fancy to add here as how you register your business will vary according to your location. Do your research. In many states, your business registration, licenses, and permits can be completed at your city courthouse.

Step 10. Obtain Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Your EIN will serve as your business social security number and will be needed to start your business account. You do not have to wait until your business is registered to obtain this number. It can be applied for at any time.

Step 11. Apply for Business Licenses & Permits.

Applying for your business licenses and permits is usually a seamless process. Your business license is what will allow you to fully operate in your city and county legally. The licenses and permits you need will vary by industry, state, and location.

Step 12. Open a Business Account + Establish an Accounting System.

We are NO LONGER testing the marketing so go ahead and start that business account. It is time to separate church and state so that you can learn the habits, expenses, profit, and all the things money concerning your business. When selecting an accounting system, be sure it can be linked directly to your business account. In doing so, you can review your business habits much easier. QuickBooks is commonly used but there are many others.

All the above are steps of what I know, what I’ve learned, and what I’ve researched. Your process is your business, but these are steps that can help you along the way.

Starting a business isn’t always as complicated as we make it.

Until Next Time, #KeyInspires


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