According to the 2019 Global Digital Report, 54% of the South African population are internet users - that's 31 million people all searching for products and services online every day.
This presents the ideal opportunity to bring your small business idea to life and earn a bit of cash on the side. The world of business can be quite overwhelming, but a good way to dip your toes in the water is by starting an online side hustle.
“Starting a business on the side can be risky and requires sacrifice, but it also has the potential to grow into a full-time job that can generate a steady income each month,” says internet entrepreneur and head of local hosting company 1-grid, Thomas Vollrath.
Thomas Vollrath, internet entrepreneur and head of local hosting company, 1-grid
Even if it doesn’t turn into your main income stream, a small business is an effective way to earn some extra cash to help make ends meet at month end.
The internet has become the ideal space to start a side gig. Whether you’re selling household cleaning detergents or offering a dog-walking service in your neighbourhood, taking your hustle online allows you to target potential customers and manage your business in ways that are highly effective, affordable and time efficient.
As with any new venture, Vollrath advises that you plan ahead before getting started.
“Make sure your business is something that you’re skilled in and decide how much you want to invest in it,” says Vollrath.
“A side hustle shouldn’t break the bank, but it’s important that you set aside money for necessities like web hosting, branding and online marketing.”
"When it comes to business ideas for learners (university students), the biggest tip I can give is to look at your circumstances and environment and try to identify where the biggest challenges are," says Jalal Ghiassi-Razavi, association director at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation...
Getting a small business off the ground takes time.
“Technology has made things a lot easier, you can outsource certain services for efficiency and there are a number of online tools that can help you automate processes like invoicing, analytics and project management. Once your business grows, you can look into expanding by employing others that can complete tasks beyond your skillset,” says Vollrath.
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