Hey Friends! We've got some new content coming at you this season. It's all about the thinking and doing behind starting, launching, running and growing a Side Hustle Business. We work with two camps at Cleveland Flea: Side Hustlers and Bosses. Side Hustlers are running more part-time businesses / hobbies that bring them some money on the side and Bosses are running their business full-time or at least they're nearly there. They're committed to doing that one thing and are working toward their launch date. We work with each of these groups slightly differently, based on their immediate needs, growth experiences, desire to grow and particular hurdles that they're facing.
I'll first introduce myself. My name is Stephanie and I make your business my business. In other words, I'm a business coach. My world is dedicated to supporting the people I call Dreamer/Doers. They're the people who want to build a passionate business or bring a passionate idea to the world.
I'm also the founder of two startups- Cleveland Flea and Indie Foundry. My particular role within The Flea is to set our mission and steer us toward that evolving mission yearly. I'm also a nerd about business operations and marketing, so that's what Indie Foundry is dedicated to. Being a founder of two fast-growing startups has taught me a lot. And particularly one thing it's taught me is that business ownership is not for everyone. But I do believe that people have a mission. A passion. A purpose. And I'm here to help them make that a possibility.
Many of our vendors at Cleveland Flea are part-time business owners. They run a creative side hustle. And either they like their day jobs or decide that having a full-time job works for them. Maybe they have a family and want to only dedicate a small amount of time to their craft. When you run a side hustle, it's almost more necessary that you spend time and money wisely, because you have less of it than bosses. Which is weird, because you don't always learn what you need to be efficient with time and smart with money until you run your business for a good amount of time. It's an interesting mix of figuring out who you are, what you're selling, upleveling your products, expanding your knowledge in sales, marketing, social media, product development, website design, taxes, financial planning and more while you also have another job.
Because running a side hustle means running a limited-energy endeavor, we decided to create a content series here that will deliver our side hustlers some educational resources and practical tips from us and a handful of local vendors.
YOU DON'T NEED TO QUIT YOUR JOB TO BE A BUSINESS OWNER.
Like I said before, many of our vendors run side hustle businesses. They have full or part-time jobs or families (which is obviously a job in itself). They have limited time to explore their passion, but it's worth it to them. It (hopefully) gives them life. It brings them joy. And with some side hustle business development, it can deliver you money, too. Here are 3 tips for becoming a successful side hustler.
TIP NO. 1 for a Successful Side Hustle: Have a great product that provides big value to customers.
Cleveland Flea customers are eager to embrace quality, innovative ideas and products. But they're also used to the best of the best. So, to make sure you shine, you've got to deliver a great product to them. If you don't have a great product, neither marketing or salesmanship or a fancy brand will give you longevity. People will quickly find out the truth.
TIP NO. 2 for a Successful Side Hustle: Maximize your time / effort at home and on-site.
Cleveland Flea is an ideal place for people who take their Side Hustle seriously. It's not the best place for people who just dabble or aren't fully committed to themselves. Because The Flea only happens once a month, time commitment is low during the event with a high amount of people attending. But that also requires that you make site setup, branding, signage and customer service a priority. It's not just about how great your product is. There are typically 10,000 people who walk through our entrance every Cleveland Flea outdoor event. What that means is that lots of people are introduced to your business, so if you can bring the on-site savvy, you can not only sell a lot you can do a lot of other important stuff on-site that business owners will want to do.
Set aside time every single week that you work on parts of your side hustle and don't let it take the back seat. You can't ONLY focus on production or sourcing. You've got to step back and think about quality of product, evolving yourself, understanding who your Dream Clients are and how you can deliver what they're looking for. All the time. Otherwise, you'll end up plateauing long-term.
Tip NO. 3 for a Successful Side Hustle: Figure out what you don't know.
I can attest to feeling inadequate because I didn't know how to create a balance sheet or figure out if I should be an LLC or S-Corp. Sure, it's intimidating. But typically it's just about identifying what you don't know and looking into it. Someone has the answer, and most likely it's online in some version and then it's also available from a real person. People specialize in all sorts of business resources. Just make sure you're asking someone who understands your type of business and isn't someone who typically only works with big business. It might end up being the type of advice that makes no sense for you or is totally off the mark.
Stephanie Sheldon is the Founder of Cleveland Flea. In addition to being an expert in the growth and development of creative makers, she also works with creative consultants at her first startup, Indie Foundry. The Side Hustle Series is a content series dedicated to the growth of creative side hustle businesses and the support of their business owners.