So, I asked on Instagram what topics you would like me to share my little knowledge on and many mentioned ‘Side Hustle’. I love this because this is the type of community I want to build: Young people ready to secure the bag and of-course, that means we can learn from each other.
As you may already know, I have a 9 to 5 and also run my “growing empire” – Arewa Scarves but before now, I have had several side hustles along side my education from college to help me “LIVE MY BEST LIFE”. So, I will be sharing lessons I have learnt from all these and hope it helps someone looking to start a business/ side hustle:
1.HAVE A STABLE SOURCE OF INCOME:
I can’t stress this enough. Having s table source of income especially at the beginning of your business will save your business. Although, this stable source of income isn’t a reason to relax and not put in the work or push yourself to work smarter.
Yes, I know it isn’t the same rule for everyone and some people take the risk of quitting their job at the start of their business which eventually works smooth for them [If you check well, they prepared for this moment]. Before taking that big step of quitting your job, ensure you have either good savings, no monthly bills you can’t afford if you have no sales (Nobody prays for that but that’s the reality of running a business), residuals from investment to fund your bills/needs or you have a sponsor willing to cater for these responsibilities.
Having a stable source of income will put you in a peaceful healthy space where you can plan, strategies and manage your business accordingly.
2. LEARN ABOUT THE MARKET YOU ARE GOING INTO – SECRET TO STANDING OUT AS A BUSINESS
Please do your research and learn about everything in the market you are going into. I know before starting Arewa Scarves, I literally took my research up as a “University project”. You will surely not know everything before starting but you should try to know as much as you can then you can continue to learn along the way.
Knowing your market will give you the opportunity to spot gaps in the market which you can then fill up by providing suitable products or services.
Someone wrote an article about Arewa Scarves stating: “What caught my eye with Arewa is their specialty in silk, patterned scarves which is very on trend……Arewa features women wearing the scarves in unique ways, emphasising that modest wear brands are not only for hijabis” – That is exactly how I want people to see Arewa Scarves. I reaserched the scarf market and spotted a niche I wanted to serve.
3. PRESENTATION MATTERS: QUALITY, BRANDING & PACKAGING
The way you present your brand matters, especially if you are targeting a particular class of people. You need to pay attention to your product quality, logo design, reputation or packaging. These are the areas you actually want to invest a little bit of your capital/budget. And if you are very skilled and have a lot of free time, you can DIY a few of these things with the help of apps like CANVA.
There is a reason why some people prefer Zara to Primark even though they are both high street brands. Having a well thought-through branding will easily position your brand in the right market-level meeting the needs of the right customers who are willing to pay your price.
4. INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS ESSENTIALS
I think every business person should definitely invest in some essentials for their business as soon as they can. Make a list of the little things that makes your purchase experience great when you shop from top brands.
Personally, I will advice you invest in a good printer, thank-you card, address label and seasonal add-ons. A printer is a life-saver. You can use it to print your receipts, address labels, special notes and more.
Everyone loves that extra touch and add-ons in their order. A little Christmas card in every order during Christmas can go a long way. Or, imagine having a heart shaped cookie in every package just because it’s Valentine.
As a business person, you need to always think ahead and take advantage of every celebration/holiday to impress your customers.
5. CREATE YOUR OWN CONTENT
Please do not be that brand-owner using other people’s content to sell their products even if you are selling exactly the same product. This isn’t only just a big offence (Intellectual property theft) but it’s wrong for you to deceive your customers.
Take advantage of this content creation moment to show different ways your customers can use your products or services. Put idea’s in your customers mind and give them every reason to shop your product because they need it.
*People are watching – If you lift contents from another brand, people will actually find out eventually and this can hinder your chances with potential customers.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Please share post with your friends and families across your social platforms. Remember to leave a comment in the comment section below, I would love to read your thoughts – why not share 1 or 2 tips too…
Maryam Salam xoxo….