How To Kick Off Your Side Hustle With Just $5,000 In The Bank

PEDESTRIAN.TV have teamed up with VOLCOM to celebrate their #thisfirst competition. They’re generously giving away $5,000 to 15 different folk from around the world who are ready to make their passion (their ‘this’ as VOLCOM has dubbed it) their paycheck. Each winner will be also flown to Austin, Texas to party at The Volcom Garden. All you gotta do is answer their question: “What’s your ‘this’ and what would it mean to you to put #ThisFirst?” HERE.

In a time when home ownership and financial stability are looking more like a charming fairytale than a reality, getting yourself a side hustle looks like a bang on idea.
get rich or die tryin has never rung so true
The term ‘side hustle’ gets bandied around a fair bit these days. It basically refers to that thing you do outside of your normal work hours that you’re really passionate about. The thing you live for. The thing you want to make your day job.
It could be a raw vegan food business. Maybe it’s a dog walking business, a lá Daniel Radcliffe. It could even be an Instagram meme page devoted purely to Shane Warne that you’re looking to eventually monetise.
But taking that first leap of faith, saying sayonara to a stable pay packet and becoming a business owner is hard yakka. 
It’s true that 60% of small businesses in ‘Straya close before blowing out the candles on their third year anniversary cake. On the upside, being your own boss is a privilege a brave few get to experience, and it’s one way to create a life for yourself that you love to live.
Having some cash is important before starting a business – but you don’t have to make like Trump with “small loan of a million dollars” from Daddy to get a start. 
There are some things you can do with just $5,000 that can bolster your chances of taking your wet dream and unleashing it into dry reality.
Yup, a bucketload of entrepreneurs will tell you they didn’t learn that much in school or uni. Rather, they’ll say they learnt more in one day’s work than they did for their whole educational careers. While there’s definitely some truth in learning on the job, there’s value is up-skilling.
Let’s say you’re wanting to start an online jewellery business. You could take a course in the art of fine jewellery making and hone your craft. You could take a course in coding and make your own website. You could even enrol in a little after-hours commerce course to get a handle on the cashflow side of things.
You don’t have to spend the money on a typical university-syndicated course, either. TAFE colleges all around the country offer short courses you can do at night.

No, not a romantic one. No time for that.
One of the biggest advantages of tag teaming your way into a business is assets. Two minds are better than one, and so are two bank accounts. If you both throw your cash together to get your puppy off the ground sooner. $10K gets you a fair bit further than $5K. Plus, many hands make light work.
How do you find a solid partner? A classic rule of thumb is to not go into business with your mates. 
That’s probably true of mid-tier friends (you know, like the mate you see most weekends with a whole group of other people) but not necessarily for your best friend. They’re your best friend for a reason, and if you happen to have the same interests and chemistry, you’ll likely work well together.
If you look at your best friend and automatically know it just wouldn’t work with them, acquaintances go alright for the opposite reason. If it all turns to shit, at least you’ll only be losing money and time, not your breast bud.

If you’ve got $5,000 in the bank ready to use to get your business cracking, the last thing you probably want to do is spend time doing things that don’t earn you money; like researching.
But researching is absolutely crucial in starting a business. It’s probably the most crucial part.
Follow competitors on Instagram (get a private account for this if you have pride issues). Follow the competitors your competitors are following on Instagram. Try their goods. Go into their restaurants. Read the comments people are leaving on their posts. What do people respond well to? What don’t they respond well to? What are these other businesses lacking, and how can you provide a service that blows theirs out of the water?
After you’ve done a fair whack of researching, lock down your business name and grab the handles and web assets you need. This is where having a unique but memorable and easy-to-pronounce business name comes well in handy. Something like ‘Cool Cakes’ ain’t gonna cut it – @coolcakes ain’t available on Insta or Twitter
Spend a chunk of that $5K on a solid domain name (with a .com if your aspirations are global), an email address, business name registration and other legalities. It’s a solid place to start and a good way to make your business look well-oiled from the outside.
(You could even buy yourself a personalised number plate like CKE LVR. If you’re into that kinda thing.)
I’m going to keep on with the vegan cake hypothetical, partially because it works and partially because I’m hungry.
If you want to be the best in the business, you need the right tools.
Look at your Uber driver next time you’re riding. If they’re worthy of 5 stars, they’ll probably have a phone cradle, reliable GPS, power pack, multiple chargers to save the likes of you from a sticky situation, tissues, ample water and some Eclipse mints, no less.
It may set you back, but you’re serious about your side hustle, it’s worth investing in the finest tools to get your job done. If you buy the best quality tools and you’re in business for years, it’ll cost you less in the long run. Return on investment is real.

You’ve read the above. You’re ready. 
VOLCOM want to give 15 lucky punters a $5,000 cash injection to help them take their passion and make it a reality. In addition to the cash prize, you’ll also be flown to Austin, Texas to check out their new creative space, The Volcom Garden, with the other winners. All you gotta do is enter their comp by answering “What’s your ‘this’ and what would it mean to you to put #ThisFirst?”

Make like RiRi and enter HERE.
Photo: Trainwreck.