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How to turn your side hustle into a booming business

So, you’ve ventured out past your day job and started up a lil' biz that's about to set the world alight. Or maybe (let’s get real), you’re sorta kinda looking into doing it, and are curious about how to get started. Whether you have just a brilliant idea or a few businesses under your belt, it's an exciting and scary time. My side-hustle became a much bigger beast than I ever thought possible, and I'm still very much learning new things as I go along (aka, winging it).

Here are some great tips I wish I had heard from some of the best up-and-coming businesses around! These gals seamlessly and successfully turned their side projects into fully-fledged business ops:

  1. Back your ideas

    Have courage and self-belief. If someone tells you no, look at it as an opportunity to ask why. Ask yourself and remind yourself every morning why you are doing what you do. Make sure you have enough passion and drive to keep going and find it within. No one else will understand your dream and that's ok, it's not their dream to follow. My favourite mantra is 'Feel the fear and do it anyway' and 'Everything you need is within you'.
    - Jackie Dunn, Founder of activewear e-tailer

  2. Act like a boss

    Treat your hustle like big business. Create a business plan, a marketing plan and get it out there. Set business hours have clear pricing which reflects the value of your business and is sustainable should it become your full-time occupation, be consistent, believe in yourself and what you are doing.  If you treat it as 'something you do on the side', you are unlikely to dedicate the time and passion needed to make it a successful business.
    - Kylie Travers, CEO + Motivational Speaker

  3. Just Start.

    Take as much action as you can and do it NOW. Most people, including myself, can let self-doubt tempt them into hesitating before they take that next step. Every action you take gives you feedback to help propel you forward. If you wait until you feel you are ready, you could miss out on that amazing opportunity! As General Patton said, "A good plan executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."
    - Natalie Hayes, Social influencer and boss lady at

  4. Prioritise

    Get clear on your priorities - you're more time poor than most biz owners so you have to be really strategic about how you work. Focus on revenue generating and scalable activities so you have cash coming in when you are ready to step away from your day job!
    - Elle Roberts, Creativity Coach + Business Mentor

  5. Be Prepared

    I was working so hard on my business in every free moment I had while I had a full-time job. By getting your website up and running and by networking, you give yourself a massive head start when it does come time to run your own show. Don't be overwhelmed by how much you still need to do to get set up, just commit to taking baby steps every day!

    - Kady O Connell - Graphic Designer, Stylist and Photographer

  6. Create positive experiences

    Go above & beyond with every single customer interaction (from commenting on social media, customer enquiry emails, personalised thank you messages, delivery, customer feedback etc). Create positive experiences to encourage repeat business and drive advocacy. In early days of business you might not have big advertising budgets so getting the customer service experience right is invaluable. Also be consistent and 'on brand' with everything you do.

    - Kate Willbourn-Trevett, CEO

  7. Don't compare

    Don't compare your entrepreneurial journey to anyone else's, especially not to entrepreneurs who had the luxury of working full time on their start-up! Also, don't look at failure as failure, look at it as a learning curve and an opportunity to improve.
    - Steph Taylor, CEO

  8. Fake it till you make it

    "We all know that the entrepreneurial journey can have us soaring one moment and crashing down the next. It's what we do at our lowest points when we want to hide under our doonas, that matters most. I think of this quote in those moments - I add my 'lipstick' (my armour, my 'fake-it-til-I-make-it') and I get out there! If you're sad, add more lipstick and attack" - Coco Chanel.

    -  Annaliese Allen, Founder of resort wear

    kaboompics.com_Eating fresh breakfast and reading book in morning 4

  9. Don't be scared to outsource

    ask for help /delegate in the areas that are not our strengths. We often put our egos first and like to believe we know it all and can do it all. But the reality is, no one can. There aren't enough hours in the day and to attempt to try, leaves us disheartened, exhausted and frustrated when things don't work out. In gaining support in business, we also end up supporting ourselves, our health and our stress levels.

    - Janine Watkins, Holistic Nutritionist and boss lady at

  10. Get your imagery on-point

    Have you ever bought anything that looks ugly in photos? Didn't think so. It doesn't matter if you sell toilet roll, donuts or luxury cars - imagery is the most important touchpoint between you and your customers. There's heaps of youtube tutorials on how to make beautiful product photography - so take some time to learn the basics. If you don't have the time or resources for that, see point 8, or book yourself into this workshop. I promise it's worth every investment.

    - Yours truly. Blogger (duh), Author, + Founder of

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Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, is studying a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and is the author of two cookbooks: Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017) and Meal Prep Plan (Murdoch, 2019).