Get your side gig making you more money

Everybody in Nigeria has a side gig, from selling diesel, events planning or just taking a cut from making the right introductions. As a Nigerian the ‘hustle’ is in our blood, but in this challenging economic climate our side gig has gone from being a nice ’extra’ to a much needed additional source of income.

So how can we can maximise our hobby or side gig? Here are some tips and ways to grow your income:

‘Scale’ the business:
If your business is only serving a few friends and family, think about what you need in order to be set up to cater towards a larger customer base and therefore make more money. For example, for someone who imports and sells bags to friends and family on request could consider investing in a bigger stockholding, advertising on facebook and stocking his goods in a local shop. Whilst this takes investment – his revenue will grow from ‘Scaling’ to selling to customers outside his network. Think about what you need to invest in to take your business to the next level.

Sell, Sell, Sell Yourself
People buy off people! What might have started as a hobby has the potential to grow into a fully fledged business. Word of mouth and referrals will be your cheapest and most effective marketing tool, as the face of your business ensure you impress people with a great first impression and professional outfit: Business cards, professional linkedin profile and even a small company brochure pricelist – let people know you mean business.

Track your progress, are you worth it?
Start keeping accounts of what you’re spending and earning. Get clear visibility of the profitability of your business. You may be pleased with the cash in hand but if you counted up the hours and effort you spent on the job you may quickly see that though you enjoy it this isn’t going to reduce your retirement age. Alternatively, you could find that your business is very profitable and offer a real opportunity. Simply using an excel sheet take your revenue made from the job, less any money spent delivering the goods and then divide it by the number of total hours – this should give you an hourly rate and show quite clearly whether this activity is worth your time.

Keep Innovating, be different!
The benefit of being a small business is that you can be flexible and competitive with your customers. It is maybe your innovation and creativity that has attracted your existing customers. Use this to grow your business, by being creative and inventive in your offering not only do you stand out from the crowd, but you begin to build a reputation for imagination in a competitive market.

Listen to all feedback, even the complaints
No one likes someone telling them they did a bad job or their product wasn’t any good, but if you want to stay in business you have to learn to win over your biggest haters. Two reasons: you want to ensure the customer doesn’t continue badmouthing you to other people and ruin your reputation and secondly you want to keep innovating and making sure your product is the best, competitive and quality. If no-ones complained yet (to your face) send out a survey or ask in conversation with your popular clients – ‘if I could make my product/service better what could I do?’. Most importantly contact the clients that haven’t returned to you and ask them what you could have done differently.

To Freelance or not to Freelance?
You may be in the position where your side gig and your full time job are they same, this way you have a great opportunity to outsource your professional skils. There are many freelance websites available for project, contract and short term work to advertise your skills on. We at SHORTLIST promote freelancers – allowing employers to view freelancers for project and part time work, so sign up with us today for FREE.

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