Transforming your side hustle into a viable business is tough. I know; I’m trying to do it. I’m hitting Speed bumps, detours and traffic jams.
Moving Through the World is complicated enough without adding the challenge of a new business.
That new business you’re trying to reach critical mass with is going to face speed bumps, detours and traffic jams.
This isn’t going to be easy. Just because during Covid that side hustle looked like a viable option doesn’t mean that it really is. In fact, it’s going to take a huge amount of time and effort to make it a success.
You’ve got to slow down for the speed bumps, navigate the detours and have the patience to work your way through the traffic jams.
Effort and focus!
Transforming your Covid hustle into a legit business is not that much different from getting back on your motorcycle after a hiatus of a couple of years. You just need to refocus your effort, and your attention when driving down roads new, forgotten and even those remembered. In my neck of the woods there is a thing called frost heave which wreaks havoc on the roads. Frost heave is responsible for creating new potholes and requiring serious remediation work on an ongoing basis. The roads you remember change in a season.
Have you changed?
Some of your muscles are stiffer than you remember, your hand-eye coordination is a bit jerky and suspect. All those reactions for shifting and braking that you once thought had become autonomic responses need to be practiced and practiced until your muscle memory kicks back in. You’ve also forgotten, or at least gotten out of the practice of moving, driving and riding with all your safety gear.
Moving through the world by motorcycle as a responsible rider does mean you need the safety gear. Helmet, eye protection, gloves occasionally, a decent jacket, long pants or chaps and good riding boots are the basics.
Awareness of the differences between driving a car and driving a motorcycle need to be paid attention to.
Pay attention; things are different
You can’t just reach for the radio dial on the dashboard to tune into your favourite station, or to turn the music down. There’s no air conditioning knob, or heat switch, nor are there windshield wipers. There’s not a Bluetooth connection to your phone unless you’re wearing suitably configured earbuds, or you’ve got one of massive custom windscreen fairing thingees with the built-in stereo system.
Riding the motorcycle has limitations and rules, one of which is to be prepared and preplan how you are going to ride.
A critical thing we forget as riders is our vulnerability in traffic because our visibility is not the same as a four-wheeled vehicle! Can they see us?
Things on a macro level have changed
Building a new business after all this time is a lot like that. What have you forgotten about, misremembered or not considered? The business and economic landscape has changed. Do your old moves work with this new reality?
Can the market see us? What do we need to do to make us more visible than we were when this was just a small side hustle?
Oh, and what about new shoes?
Do you have the right amount of funding?
Capital? Do you need extra capital to scale this opportunity? Is this opportunity scalable?
One of my side hustles that I am driving towards commercial viability really would benefit from an investment in a technological upgrade.
The seriously restricted networking opportunities in the past 2 years wreaked havoc with my contacts list and the word of mouth about my availability and skillsets. This necessitates a huge investment in reconnecting with the people I used to know and follow on social media, or meet for coffee, lunch or just bump into at conferences and other networking events..
My other new and improved income opportunities need an investment of time in marketing and finding the right distribution channels, like etsy, like piggy backing on Amazon, or a new website that showcases my work.
My freelance writing opportunities have taken a huge hit because of the number of new freelancers who are entering the marketplace.
Actually, I suspect that my leads have dropped off because I got lazy about maintaining my network. I’m having to backstop my pre-Covid sources for leads. I’m now looking at lead generating internet sites like Bark, Fiverr, UpWork, and others. I’m even investigating Shutterstock as a place to display some of my work.
On average 150,000 new small businesses start every year in Canada, according to The GoForth Institute. What’s going on in the rest of the world?
That’s going to create a bit of a traffic jam.
One of the other things that has affected how much I ride my motorcycle is the amount of construction and infrastructure refresh underway out there. I once used my motorcycle to commute to my job. There is so much work being done to update and refresh the local and provincial infrastructure which makes it kinda tough moving through the world. At least there appears to be a push to complete some projects by Labour Day.
Labour Day here is the defacto end of summer holidays and the return to work and school and ‘business as usual’.
The refresh and rebuild being done on the economy throws up unexpected roadblocks and detours as we try to build something new, using older, established paradigms as the foundation.
Innovation is the key to the future of small business.
Labour Day doesn’t signal a return to business as usual because so many of the business models have changed irrevocably during the pandemic.
Wish me luck as I navigate the road blocks, detours and traffic jams!!
Check out one of my business opportunities; Woodpecker Drone Services.