How to identify and exploit gaps in the marketplace to turn your side hustle into a 9-5

In a world where it seems like everyone has a side hustle, it’s important to remember how much time is invested in dreaming and facilitating a successful idea. There is no textbook formula that results in instant success! Often, personal experience can influence a business idea that takes off, adds value to the world and ultimately is highly sought after from the consumer.

The key to turning a side hustle into your 9-5 is to make sure you’re following your true passions. At the end of the day, you’re the one putting in the hours so loving and believing in what you do is essential.

Here are my top 10 tips on how to detect market gaps and utilise insight rooted in personal experience to set yourself apart.

1. Reflect on your childhood

Having lost my mother when I was two years old, my father remarried and my childhood became a dark place. Because of this, I was inspired to nurture children’s lights by creating a product I wish I had when I was a child.

2. Have a strong why behind your business

A strong WHY is the backbone of your business. Spend adequate time nailing down what this is for you.

3. Understand your target audience

The most important target audience is your consumer. You need to know their language, their likes and dislikes, needs and wants. The customer must always come first if your brand is going to be successful.

4. Take the leap

Do not leap halfway. Plan, believe and then thrust yourself wholeheartedly into your business. If you second guess, you will miss the boat.

5. Keep going

Rome was not built in a day. If you want your side hustle to become a brand that is unique and that lasts, push through the failures and don’t sweat the small stuff. Just keep going.

6. Progress over perfection

Being a perfectionist has caused me to take too long on the most straightforward tasks. I have learned small progress is much more critical, little by little. Every single baby step takes you closer to your goal.

7. Utilise YouTube

For small businesses with small budgets YouTube is a fantastic learning tool. My web designer couldn’t do a lot of what I wanted, so with the help of YouTube I built most of the site myself without any qualifications.

8. Be adaptable

The coronavirus pandemic has changed my entire business strategy. When a situation is out of your control, be flexible and creative. Try and take advantage of the situation. I used the current climate to pivot and create a digital and downloadable colouring book. There is always something you can do.

9. Outsource

I use Vistaprint Australia for all of my labels and stickers. I love the brand because I can see what my stickers will look like before they arrive. The stickers add a special touch to my packaging with beautiful detail that sets my products apart from other brands.

10. Love what you do

Running your business is your life, you are your own boss. Hence, you really have to love what you do as you are the one putting in the hours.

Remember no one can ever do your business idea quite like you. Utilising your personal experience will help mold individuality into your business.

Charlotte Ziff, Founder, SunChild

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