Side hustle 101

With the help of technology, side hustles are a great way to diversify your income.

A side hustle is a secondary source of income, outside of your full-time job. It also gives you the chance to test the waters of your new business whilst minimising the risk of running your own business full-time. This has been made easier due to advances in technology and the continued growth of online shopping. Businesses like Yuppie Chef, Spanx and Whatsapp all started as side hustles and are now some of the leaders in their respective industries.

Why you should start an e-hustle

An online side hustle (e-hustle) is a chance to create something you have always been passionate about via an ecommerce platform (i.e. online store) and promoting it through digital marketing. From 2019 to 2020, we have seen an increase of 530% of small businesses beginning to trade online.

Improved access to affordable online tools in an environment of growing ecommerce sales has been instrumental in helping businesses scale. It has also become more convenient for businesses to give seamless payment experiences while staying connected to their customers on various customer relationship management (CRM) channels. If you’re still on the fence about starting an ecommerce business, here are a few reasons why we think an e-hustle is great:

Ecommerce helps reduce your business costs

Depending on the business you want to start, all you need is a phone, laptop and strong internet connection. An ecommerce business could have minimal start-up costs and overheads. This minimises your financial risks, lowering your costs and potentially making your product competitive within the market.

Better marketing opportunities

Your website is one of the best marketing tools. Marketing through social media, email, search engines like Google will allow you to speak directly to your customers establishing a relationship, trust and loyalty. Digital marketing is also one of the most cost-effective and direct ways to market your business.

Easy and convenient

An online business allows you the flexibility to work around your schedule. You can scale your business at a pace you’re comfortable with. Your ecommerce store can also accept purchases 24/7 unlike physical retail stores.

Transaction safety

Ecommerce businesses are safe and reliable. With the changes in technology, consumer behaviour and buying patterns, payment gateways like Peach Payments ensure the online safety of both merchants and their customers.

Tap into a global market

One of our favourite things about an ecommerce business is the ability to tap into global markets. Competing in a global market is great as it opens you up to new opportunities and always pushes you to constantly improve and innovate your business to keep ahead of the competition.


What is my business idea?

A great starting point is figuring out the problem you are trying to solve. Start by writing down a few ideas about how you could viably address the problem you have identified. Do industry research to establish if there is a gap in the market for your business. We suggest conducting a SWOT analysis of your internal and external environments to help give you a better understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the industry.

Not every business idea needs to be unique - focus on improving existing processes and understanding the needs of the customer. You can ask yourself these questions to start with:

  • How can I improve this?
  • What can I do differently than the current competition?
  • How am improving the lives of my customer and making a lasting impact?

Once you identify your business idea you can now start assessing the resources needed to start.

Does your side hustle require training or certification?

Some side hustles do require training and/or professional certification before you can begin. Many of these certifications can be done online, and are available part-time. Getting certified can help verify your knowledge and expertise. Udemy (which also started as a side hustle), has hundreds of affordable courses you can take to help you upskill.

Is there a demand in the market?

Research is crucial and the next step to consider before starting your business. Researching the market, your competition, your customers and ways in which to reach them is vital. If you want to trade online internationally, also think about the rules and regulations other counties may have that could impact your product or service.

Try analysing the market by answering these 5 points:

  1. Who are my customers?
  2. Who is my competition?
  3. What is the size of the market?
  4. Are there any buying patterns that my audience has that I can use to my advantage?
  5. Is this profitable and scalable?

Is my side hustle profitable?

Finding the balance between investing capital and making a profitable return can be difficult, and many businesses will struggle initially as they refine their product and respond to their customers' input.

One question that you should seriously consider is: how much money goes into my side hustle before you can make money out of it? Many businesses struggle to make a profit by spending too much early on and not getting the right financial advice to deal with the ups and downs of running a business. Side hustles can take time to make money so you need to invest wisely, do market research and listen to needs to your customers. Keep focussed and good luck! We’ll always be there to handle your payments, safely and securely.

Useful resources:
Peach Payments
The trusted African payment gateway with easy ecommerce integrations and personalised multi-channel support.
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