Online Business: Starting Your Side Hustle

Side hustling and starting online businesses is becoming more and more common, as people are drawn to the idea of following their creative pursuits, whilst enjoying more flexible working conditions.


And to be honest, why wouldn’t they? We’re blessed! Advances in technology have made it easier than ever before to set up a business from the comfort of your own couch.

In saying this, I’d encourage you to keep in mind that whilst business-ownership is accessible to everyone, it is definitely not easy. I side hustled for over three years before I went full-time with Pop Your Career, and even then it’s been a hard slog. If you’re interested in finding out more about some of the steps you need to start an online business, this is the post for you!


If you want to have a successful online business, you’re going to need to have an effective website. Of course, you can enlist a professional web designer, but that can be super expensive. Most of the time, investing a lot of money upfront just isn’t necessary. It’s best to test your minimum viable product (MVP) in the market before you start making it rain with dollar bills and invest a lot of cash.

Personally, I’d recommend DIYing your website, especially if you’re a little tech savvy. To do this, you can use one of the website building tools that are available online today. Most of them are fairly straight forward and they all have their own pros and cons. I use WordPress, but I understand why a lot of other new business owners use other platforms – WordPress can have a bit of a steep learning curve.

When setting up your website, you’ll want to keep it simple to start with. Remember that you need to balance visual appeal with conversion ability and it’s definitely worth doing some research in this area to make sure you’re getting it right.

Some helpful resources to consider when building your website:

rent your tech to avoid high expenses

You’re going to need a good computer, a reliable Internet connection, a smartphone, and maybe even a printer. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need (or want, let’s be honest…) a number of other gadgets and techy tidbits. This can quickly end up being very expensive and like I’ve already mentioned, when you’re starting out, you want to keep your spending to a minimum.

Instead of splashing cash or getting into loads of debt, you might choose to rent your appliances, which you could do through a company like Renting is great for cash flow and also gives you the opportunity to try out different options to see what works best for you and your online business, before you eventually make a purchase.

Some of other equipment you might want to consider include:

  • A digital camera for taking your own website and social media images
  • A tablet or eReader for reading ebooks and doing work on the go
  • Desks, office chairs, filing cabinets and other storage

keep your existing job for as long as you can

While you are starting out, it is always a good idea to keep your existing job if you can, as this will give you a bit of extra security. I’ve talked a lot about my journey growing Pop Your Career and moving from a side-hustler through to a full-time entrepreneur.

Side hustling gave me a brilliant opportunity to build my business and grow my income from Pop Your Career, whilst still having the stability of a full-time job. As Pop Your Career grew, I was fortunate to be able to reduce my hours at my day-job, so that I could spend more and more time working on my passion. After a little over three years, I got to a point where I knew I couldn’t grow Pop Your Career any further without investing more time. This is when I knew it was time to take the leap and go full-time in my business!

I’ve shared some other posts about side hustling here and here. But it’s important for you to realise that everyone’s journey is different and that nothing is guaranteed. Your business might take off like lightening, or it could take years to grow. Either way, it’s nice to know that you aren’t putting too much pressure on your passion project before it’s ready.

Some other resources about side hustling include:

  • byRegina – I won’t lie. Regina is the main reason I started a business in the first place. She is #goals. She also gives away a tonne of information that could help you get started with your online business.
  • Ruby Lee – Ruby is a side hustle coach and is absolutely incredible. She grew her business quickly, predominantly through LinkedIn video!
  • Miss Bizzy – If you’re starting a product based business, you need to check out Miss Bizzy’s YouTube Channel. Kayla, aka Miss Bizzy, started her cult brand Tribe Skincare a little over 12 months ago and has been hugely successful. Now she is sharing her secrets!

assess the feasibility of your idea

Passion is great but it is not enough. We talked about testing your MVP and this is exactly what I meant. You don’t want to dive right in until you have made sure that your idea is feasible and is going to work in reality. Check out this website from the Australian government for some for some advice on this.

There are lots of ways that you can test the market to find out whether or not your online business idea is worth pursuing and these could include market research, surveys or pre-selling your idea.

Some resources you might want to check out for more information include:

  • Mariah Coz’s Your First 1K – if your product is an online course, you should definitely consider this program. I purchased it when it first came out and it walks you through the process of testing your idea and pre-selling it before you create any of the content.

  • Dan Norris’ 7 Day Start-up – this book is a must-read. There’s no two ways about it. Dan doesn’t beat around the bush when he shows you how to come up with your MVP and get it to market within 7 days to test its feasibility.

To conclude, hopefully you now feel more prepared when it comes to setting up your own online business. Starting Pop Your Career changed my life and although it has been lots of hard work, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Do you have an idea for an online business? Have you been thinking about starting a side hustle? Let me know in the comments!


About the Author


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.

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