I always say how much I hate the notion that a side hustle is just for a bit of extra money. Sure, they’re great for that. But, just because you happen to be working full time at the same time, doesn’t mean your business is any less legit, simply because it’s prefaced by the word ‘side’.
A big part of growing your side business into something more than extra coffee money, is reinvesting the money you make back in. It can feel icky and counterintuitive at first – why am I doing all this extra work if I’m just spending it on boring stuff?
Shake the mindset of a side business only being successful if it brings money in to keep. Reinvesting money back into your ‘thing’ can help you scale your business and earn more in the future.
Here are some of the biggest investments I’ve made in my side businesses to prepare for growth and new earning opportunities.
Since I’m currently freelancing on the side of my full time job, I’ve found myself getting lazy when it comes to growing that arm of my side business. I’m working with mostly referral clients at the moment, so I’m not really marketing myself.
A rebrand and new website has been on my to-do list for ages, and I’m finally getting around to it now. Just because I’m not actively looking for clients right now, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be protecting my personal brand and keeping that door open for the future.
I’m working on a new website for my copywriting services now, and finally registering a different business name that isn’t just my full name!
Cost: $70 on upfront registrations/domains, and then $50 a month on hosting.
I get photos taken professionally every 3-6 months, for this blog, for my copywriting profile, and just to have on hand for whenever I need high quality imagery of myself.
Cost: $250-$450 per session
New blog website
I went self-hosted at the end of 2019 and paid a web designer to redesign my blog website and a landing page for my eBook. It’s worth it for a better user experience, stronger SEO and being more in control of what I can do with the site.
Cost: Site build, hosting and landing pages ~$5000
I filed my Australian trade mark application for The Broke Generation earlier this year, and despite being one of the dullest expenses I’ve ever paid, I know it’s necessary. Plus I feel like a total grown up.
For anyone else who’s looking to trade mark, I went through Jamie at Pod Legal. Highly recommend!
Cost: Trade Mark application for 2 classes + lawyer fee – $1200
I’ve heard many a time that Pinterest is great for blog traffic, but try as I have, I cannot be arsed with doing it myself. So, I hired a Pinterest specialist to do my business account setup and monthly management.
Cost: $400 upfront, and $200 monthly ongoing.
I signed up to Sophie Cliff‘s The Joyful Everyday 1:1 coaching program at the end of 2019, and I’ve been loving working with her. I’ve seen such a difference in my mental clarity, and my attempts to find a work life balance. When you’re working a side business with a full time job, everything blurs into one sometimes. I find myself going through the motions and scrambling to work on things just ‘because’. Having Sophie coach me has helped me get much clearer on my ‘why’, and work much more intentionally – plus, it’s similar to therapy in that talking things out is a nice release. In comparison to seeing a therapist, I feel like it’s a similar process, but focused on the future rather than the past. Would recommend.
My ex-colleague is now my go-to graphic designer, whether for freelance work or for blog-related resources. She designed my Be Better With Money eBook, for example, and that was a big grown up move for me, as I’d agreed to a $1100 invoice before I’d made a cent from the eBook.
I’m SO glad I did, though, because as professional designer, she did a far better job than I ever could have. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about doing it myself, as I’d already burned myself right out writing the eBook ready for my New Year launch.
Cost: $65 per hour
I’m in the process of hiring a blog assistant on a freelance basis, to help me with some of the more niggly sides of running my site. Things like updating links, naming files, writing meta info and keeping up with SEO is all super time consuming, and as I work full time, I figured it was better to get some help. Plus, it’s been a great opportunity to offer some income to someone who’s been laid off as a result of the Coronavirus.
Despite working full time, there are some days when I work on freelance/blog work all day. Long weekends, holiday shutdown periods and any random leave days I take are sometimes spent in coworking spaces, as I find I can bunker down there and get a ton done much quicker than if I were distracted at home.
It felt weird at first, paying money to do work. But what I’ve come to realise is that by getting more done in less time, I free up more time to make more money doing other things (or to chill out, recharge my batteries and therefore perform better on other jobs).
I tend to buy multi-pack passes for day access, as monthly access is just more than I need at the moment.
Cost: $30-$50 per day
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