How to turn your side hustle into a full-time job

Millions of Australians have a side hustle – whether it’s mowing lawns, creating art, or cleaning ovens – a growing number of them are eventually turning that side hustle into their full-time job.

I started my very own side hustle with two strangers while I was Uber driving in between a career change. Yes, that’s right – two strangers. We found a missing gap in the market and created a free app that reminds people when to shop around and save money before service contracts and documents are due to expire.

A year on, I left my job as an Uber driver and jumped in full-time. Since then, my colleagues and I have expanded to create RepeatBooking, a service that helps SMEs reach out to past customers automatically to generate new business and increase cashflow.

Here are nine tips to create a side hustle and how that will end up becoming a full-time job.

  1. Customer service: Focus on customers and deliver outstanding service. In a competitive environment, every business is looking for the advantage that makes them “stand out”. Ensure that everything you do is focused on the needs of your customers.
  2. Existing customers: Remember them and reach out to them now and again. The cost of a new customer lead is more expensive than generating business through a past customer and often can be a lot quicker.
  3. Renegotiate with suppliers: Times are tough for so many Aussies at the moment – so I’m sure there’s some sort of understanding from your supplier. Get in touch with each of your suppliers to renegotiate your rates. A simple phone call could ultimately save an average of 25 per cent.
  4. But second-hand equipment: Many businesses can save more than 50 per cent by buying used computer equipment, machinery and tools. Always keep an eye on Facebook marketplace and your local community groups for these bargains.
  5. Local networking events: a lot of these were moved online due to COVID-19 but many are now starting back up again face-to-face. Join local business groups to meet up with or take time to chat with them online.
  6. Testimonials: ask existing clients for testimonials that can be used in a newsletter, social media post or on LinkedIn.
  7. Support a local charity: Identify a local and relevant charity or community organisation and get involved, support them in ways that demonstrate your business’ value.
  8. Collaborate: Find other small (local) businesses to partner with, and actively refer customers to each other.
  9. Word of Mouth: Offer incentives to employees of existing customers for referrals to their network.

David Wareing, Co-founder, GetReminded and Repeat Booking