How to Start A Side Hustle in 2019
Military spouses face a unique and difficult challenge when it comes to pursuing their professional aspirations. According to the 2017 Bluestar Family Report, fewer than half—47 percent—of military spouses are employed. Frequent moves, the high cost of childcare, and lack of employment opportunities near military bases can all create barriers to work.
A side hustle is the perfect way to either explore professional aspirations or earn supplemental income to support your family. What’s more, many side hustles can be done remotely, which offers freedom to work from any location (or base), and job security upon relocation, making it easier to hold down income, no matter where you go or what you do.
With a little initiative and resourcefulness, you don’t even need experience. If you’re not sure where to begin, follow these simple steps to start a side hustle in 2019.
Assess Your Background and Expertise
First, take a look at your educational and professional background. Have you had any formal training? Have you held any part or full-time jobs? Many past jobs might directly translate to freelance work. For example, accountants can take up part-time bookkeeping.
Take stock of any skills or abilities that might translate into a money-making opportunity by making a list of tasks you enjoy or can do well, any assignments or projects you’ve completed at past jobs, programs you know well, or courses you’ve taken. If you’re still not sure how your skills apply to side gigs or freelance work, head to a site like UpWork. Search basic skills like, “typing” and see what comes up—this may give you an idea for what you can do.
Once you’ve established your strengths, it’s time to look and apply for side hustle gigs. If you’re just starting your career, you might need to get crafty, literally (more on that later), so don’t worry if you don’t feel you have any obvious applicable skills just yet.
Explore Freelance Admin Work
Administrative freelance work is a great first side hustle because many projects require little to no prior experience. You simply need to be organized, good at communicating, and willing to take on small tasks and projects that require quick learning.
To find an admin gig like this, create profiles on freelance websites like Hubstaff or Upwork, then sift through admin job posts. Time-poor employers are often in need of simple administrative tasks like customer service (answering emails or calls), basic online research, email management, dictation, or other entry-level virtual assistance tasks.
Platforms like Upwork are especially useful for new admin freelancers. Applicants search, bid on, accept and get paid through the Upwork system. Your freelance rating increases as you complete more projects, which will then make you a more attractive candidate, essentially building your virtual portfolio on the site.
If you’re wary of heading online right away, consider whether you have friends or family that own their own business. They may be willing to pay you an hourly wage to take a few tasks of their plate.
Monetize Creative Skills
For those that are artistically-inclined, or enjoy making crafts, consider parlaying those talents into a side gig by selling your handmade items. If you don’t know which crafts will sell best, think of on-trend items that you can market as handcrafted and, artisan. Ecommerce experts at Selz suggest 10 simple things you can make and sell online:
- Picture Frames
- Bath Bombs
When you know what you want to sell, it’s time to create your website, where you’ll list all your products. This serves as your “digital business card” and ensures that online shoppers can find your products easily. Etsy can be a great, inexpensive place to start your business!
Try On-Demand Jobs
If you’re not sure about your professional skills and don’t want to make a product, consider on-demand jobs that serve as the perfect side gigs.
- Car owners over the age of 21 with a clean record can drive for Lyft or Uber.
- Animal-lovers can earn side income as a pet-walker or sitter with services like Wag or Rover.
- Those living in large cities that have electric scooter sharing services like Bird or Lime can make money by picking up scooters and charging them at their house.
- If you’re handy or like running errands, create a profile on TaskRabbit, which connects you with people in your neighborhood that will pay for tasks.
With the advent of these peer-to-peer services, businesses need people like you who want to make cash without the structure of a full-time job or regular schedule. In every case, you can work when and where you want.
Tap Into Your Military Network
All branches of the military offer family resources, whether it be Family Readiness or Work-Life Programs. Once you’ve figured out your side-gig, reach out to them for help with networking, which may help with promoting your services or finding additional opportunities.
Bookoo is an online yard sale website, similar to Craigslist but unique in that you can search by a specific base, instead of cities. It’s predominantly used in military communities across the U.S. and abroad. Bookoo sites are a great place to look for part-time side hustles or list your skills and services for hire, directly within your local military community.
Finally: Get the Business Details
Your side hustle may start bringing in income right away, but so get the business details specific to your line of work sooner than later. Start by consulting with a financial professional about the taxes you’re required to pay as an independent contractor; a CPA can advise you on this and keep you on track all year long.
Don’t forget to ensure proper licensing and insurance as well. For instance, if you’re selling baked goods out of your home, does your state require a food permit? Set up your side hustle on the proper foundation for success so you can be successful for many years to come.
Earn More in 2019 With Your Side Hustle
While our nation’s military is proud to serve, the second highest concern of active-duty service members is their spouse’s access to employment, according to the same BlueStar Family Report. Ease your worries by finding a side hustle, allowing you to earn income with the ultimate flexibility and stability needed to manage the unique challenges of a military family.