How to Choose Your Perfect Side Business

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Ready to start your own thing?

Stuck trying to decide which of your ideas you should pursue?

Trying to figure out which one is best?

Well, guess what?

There are NO perfect business ideas.

Ok. So, you probably already knew that.

But, even with this knowledge, so many would-be side hustlers still get caught up in seemingly endless “research” and countless brainstorms, trying to pin down the big idea – the one idea, the ultimate idea.

They talk a lot about starting a side business.

But, they never actually do.

You are not married to your idea.

The truth is, no matter how painstakingly you research your ideas, no matter how much time and care you take in selecting the “right” one, the odds are very high that the first side business idea you choose to run with will evolve and develop in time anyway.

As a result of taking action and bringing your idea to life, new doors will open and new ideas will spring up.

Your network will expand.

Your perspective will open up.

You’ll learn what you like and what you dislike, what works and what doesn’t work.

And, you will change.

Your life and goals and dreams will change. So, your business goals will shift accordingly.

So, if everything changes and picking the “perfect idea” feels like trying to hit a moving target, then how should you go about picking a business to start?

Given you have a few ideas that you’re excited about, skilled at, and you’ve determined there is a demand in the market for them, there are actually some simple and straightforward questions can use to evaluate and narrow your options down to a business idea that will take you where you want to go.


The key is to go with the side business idea that is the “perfect” one for now

Ask yourself,

Why do I want to start a side business?

What are my short-term income goals for my side business?

What is my longer term plan for my side business?

How soon do I want to begin earning income from my side business?

How much time do I want (and have) to spend working on my side business?

Where will I work on my side business?

What resources do I currently have available for use in building my side business?

Answer each of these carefully, projecting the next few months to the next year of your life, being sure that what you truly want is represented.

Take the time upfront to get clear on what you want.

When I got the idea to start a Virtual Assistant business, I jumped right in. If I had I taken the time upfront to ask myself these questions, I would have seen the time commitment required (vs. what I had to spend) and the income potential (vs. what I wanted to make for my time) as issues right off the bat.

Maybe I would have refined or positioned my business idea a little better? Maybe I would’ve done something different altogether.

A few months into my VA business, as I was looking for ways to package my services and to bring in new clients, I had the sinking realization that I didn’t actually want more clients. The thought of it made me sweat and feel slightly sick.

That’s when I knew something had shifted for me. And something needed to change.

After a lot of (to use an overused term) “soul searching” and a few marketing courses (another avenue I was exploring), I decided that what I actually wanted was to become a coach.

It’s worth noting here that coaching would never have even crossed my mind if I hadn’t worked as a VA for a career coach with a podcast!

And, low and behold, coaching holds up against my criteria very nicely.

Remember, this is not the last decision you’ll ever make.

Because I love spreadsheets and because I’m on a mission to do whatever I can to “game-ify” as many of the “serious” elements of my coaching as I can, I took the liberty of popping all of what I consider the “heavy hitters”, the main criteria I use when helping my clients select a side business idea, into a fun little evaluator tool.

Download a copy below for free, try it out, and please let me know what you think!

Download your copy here (no email address required)

This tool is meant to take some of the stress and the endless deliberation out of making the decision on which side business idea to choose. It’s meant to make the choice more of a “no-brainer” vs. a “do or die” type of choice.

I had a client tell me earlier this week that it made the decision a lot easier for her to make when she saw how all of her business ideas stacked up according to how they fit the criteria she had defined for her business.

This sort of approach (the geeky spreadsheet approach) may not appeal to everyone and I realize that.

The point here is really just that the sooner you can make a solid decision on a side business to start based on what you can offer, what people want, and what you want, the quicker you can get into action.

And we all know that this is when the real fun starts!

So, what side businesses are you considering?

Drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Still struggling to find a great side hustle idea? The team here at Hustle & Grind have put together a free resource with 60 different ideas that will help you find the idea that could change your life. Download now.  

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