It’s never been easier to start a side hustle thanks to tools like Intuit QuickBooks, which give new businesses confidence their financial information is always up to date, so you can focus on building your passion project.
Following your heart in business
Start small, have patience and back yourself: these were the three key messages shared by two successful ‘side hustlers’ at Intuit QuickBooks’ most recent webinar, held to coincide with NSW Small Business Month.
As QuickBooks Australia vice-president Natira Drayton explained at the start of the event, we are in the golden age of the side hustle – which is a start-up project you can embark on in addition to your regular job.
“So many people were stood down from their role or had a small business that was impacted by lockdown. This kick-started my obsession connecting those starting a business with the people who can help them set up solid financial foundations and turn the lemons of lockdown into the lemonade of a booming income stream. I was also thrilled to find out sound financial foundations was one of the themes of NSW Small Business Month,” she explains.
Inspiring others to open a start-up
The first side hustle star of the session was YouTube sensation Natasha Rose, whose channel has more than 200,000 subscribers. She uploads DIY and craft projects each week, after initially setting up the channel while she was at school.
Natasha says it’s essential to have a genuine passion for your side hustle, to give you the impetus to push through when you hit a roadblock or when times get tough.
“I didn’t initially intend to start a business. But I’ve loved craft projects since I was a kid. Then in year nine I was given a laptop and started recording videos and uploading them. I was so softly spoken in my first video, but I have built my confidence over time.”
Although YouTube is the main vehicle for her videos, Natasha has more recently extended her business to Tik Tok. Her tip? Make sure you optimise your content for the different platforms you use.
“I film my videos on different tripods for YouTube and Tik Tok, which is much snappier and faster paced. As a business, you have to move with the times and embrace new media,” she explains.
After initially using spreadsheets to manage her finances, Intuit QuickBooks now powers her financial records. “It’s great for storing all my financial information; it’s really set and forget, which has been so important to me.”
Natasha relies on Final Cut Pro for video editing, software she says is used by most YouTubers. “It’s visually pleasing and intuitive to use.”
Her message to other aspiring side hustlers is to pick something you’re good at and for which you have real passion. “Also choose something that’s low risk financially. I already had craft supplies when I started so I didn’t need to spend a lot of money initially and I used the free versions of software before paying for subscriptions. That allowed me to figure out what I was doing before investing and gave me the confidence I would be successful.”
Start small and build on your success
Our other side hustle hero is vintage t-shirt entrepreneur Lachlan Limit, who turned his passion into a booming business, Hooked Vintage, after losing his job in lockdown. While he has since found another full-time role, each evening he goes home and works on his business for up to five hours. “I enjoy it so much. I feel my day starts again when I get home from work.”
Social media is hugely important to the success of Lachlan’s business and he has built his following, and sales, through Instagram. He also uses Google Ads and Facebook Ads to reach his followers.
Lachlan also uses Intuit QuickBooks as the backbone of his financial system, as well as Shopify as his e-commerce backbone and Adobe to produce and edit the photos he uses on his web site.
His message to people thinking about setting up a side hustle is to just give it a go. “Also be prepared to be patient. I initially invested $500 and then took the money I made from this and reinvested in the business, which created a snowball effect.”
Service NSW is also a great resource for anyone starting a business. On its site you’ll find:
- A business concierge and online tools to help you navigate the start-up process.
- Information about licensing requirements, registering a business, work, health and safety obligations and insurance.
- Instructions to create your own business profile.