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This will be the final part of the Side Hustle Summer series! If you missed the first two parts on starting a side hustle and organizing your side hustle, make sure to give them a read:
It can be hard to know exactly when it is time to take your side hustle to the next level. So today we will go through how you know it’s time to scale and some steps you can take to take your side gig to the next level.
The answer to this question will look different to each business owner. The first sign that you have room to scale is consistently hitting the goals you set for your side hustle or finding yourself booked out. Some of you might want to keep your side hustle on the side, but maybe it’s your goal to make your side gig your full-time job. So ask yourself what your goals are, how much time you want to devote to your side hustle, and
Trademarks and copyrights protect businesses. Things you might want to trademark or copyright are your business name, logo, taglines, and any other designs or processes that you want to be protected.
Copyright laws were created to protect intellectual property, like music, literature, graphic designs, art, etc. You can easily register for copyrights online using the Copyright.gov website. A standard copyright application costs $65, but you can find a list of all fees on the Copyright.gov website. You can also use an online service like LegalZoom or a lawyer to ensure everything is covered in your registration.
Applications for trademark registration start at $350. You can trademark a word, phrase, logo, or combination of design and phrase. Trademarks protect your business from copycats who might steal your tagline, slogan, or logo. You can file a trademark yourself at USPTO.gov or have a lawyer or online law service help you out.
Part of scaling is finding funding for your business. There are various ways to receive funding, including venture capital, grants, and crowdfunding.
What is venture capital?
Venture capital is one of the most popular ways to fund a business venture. It is a form of financing from investors, banks, and financial institutions. Venture capital can help small businesses get off the ground and set up the potential for growth and scaling. You can look for venture capitalists at local events, online, or by researching financial institutions that provide capital to small businesses. For example, I Fund Women is a funding platform, coaching resource, and freelancer discovery tool for female entrepreneurs.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project by raising money in small amounts from many investors on the internet. Some crowdfunding websites include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, Crowdfunder, and GoFundMe. When you fund your business venture with crowdfunding, getting the word out about investing is essential. Crowdfunding is best for businesses that want or have an online presence.
What grants are available?
Another lesser-known way to fund a business venture is to apply for a grant. If you identify as a member of a group that is traditionally underrepresented and under-resourced, you can also find additional resources that may be available! You can read about 8 popular business grants for Black women here.
In addition to finding grants and funding, I have looked for resources and networking opportunities for Black-owned businesses on my journey. In the process, I have not only found opportunities to scale my side hustle, but I’ve also discovered some incredible entrepreneurs and businesses to support. Continued education is key to scaling your side hustle. When there are opportunities to learn, get certifications, and make connections, take them! Last year I was a part of the She’s Next in Fashion, a networking program for women entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. There are potential local opportunities for networking as well. Look for events from groups that support startups, or you could even look into joining your local Chamber of Commerce!
A great way to get your brand out there is to attend in-person events and pop-ups. Look for local markets for small businesses and vendors where you could set up a booth. Or you could even create your own pop-up shop!
Looking for new products to grow your offerings? Try shopping wholesale websites like Bulletin and Faire. You can connect with creators and manufacturers that create products you can sell retail.
Another way to scale is to create a product that you accept pre-orders for. You will get funding for your new products ahead of time, easing the effects of production on your wallet. Read more about pre-order models here.
Etsy is a great platform for getting handmade products in front of a large audience. It is easy to set up an account and start getting orders. If you are currently creating small batches of handmade products and selling locally or on social media, Etsy would be a great platform to scale your business. Learn more about the selling fees, tools available, and how to set up your account here.
Amazon has an even more extensive reach than Etsy! Of course, you will need to have your copyrights to apply, but selling on Amazon is a huge opportunity right now. Amazon has a super helpful Beginner’s Guide for how to start selling here. There are lots of educational opportunities provided by Amazon as well, events like Amazon Accelerate, Seller University, and the Amazon Selling Partner Blog.
Build a community around your brand. You can create content for Instagram, Tik Tok, and Pinterest that introduces your business to a new audience. You could even work with UGC (User Generated Content) creators who accept products for content if you don’t have the budget for social media collaborations yet. Don’t expect every creator to accept trades, though! Many social media influencers and creators have set rates for projects.
Pietra is an excellent option for warehousing and fulfillment if you want to launch quickly and work with a warehouse. They also offer a marketplace for suppliers, eCommerce tools, and workshops that help you learn useful skills for scaling.
Knowing when to ask for help is important and thinking about the tasks you’re uniquely positioned to do is another great way to scale your business. For example, you could hire contractors and freelancers to help you get through busy times. This might mean using Taskrabbit for packing help as needed, hiring a social media manager, or outsourcing your emails.
I hope you have enjoyed the Side Hustle Summer series and that the tips I’ve shared will help you start, organize, and scale your side hustle! Want to chat 1:1 about leveraging a side hustle? Book a call with me here.