Imagine arriving in Canada, full of ambition and a desire to build a new fulfilling life yet facing the challenge of limited Canadian work experience. Or maybe, now that you’re starting fresh in a new country, you’re eager to develop new skills or turn a long-held passion into a tangible venture. Starting a side hustle in Canada can be your gateway to not just financial stability, but a journey of personal and professional growth.
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll outline important considerations when starting a side hustle, and provide tips at each stage.
Step 1: Identify Your Passion and Skills
This is the most important step in launching your side hustle. By identifying your passion and skills, not only are you more likely to be successful but also more likely to sustain the energy required to follow the project through until the end.
What do you love doing, and what are you naturally good at? Try setting some time for reflection. Think back to what you enjoyed doing as a child – what made time stop? Maybe you loved helping your mom in the kitchen. Maybe you loved helping your friends organize their rooms. Maybe you were always the friend people turned to for advice. Try to get as many things down on paper as possible – you could either set out to write 10 things or set a timer for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Find a Coach or a Mentor
None of us reach our goals completely alone. While you may possess some skills, you often need a little support. Find someone who has walked the path you want to walk.
Fortunately, today — there is no shortage of resources. There may even be employment services in your area that offer coaching for free! You could try searching “entrepreneurial support” and the name of your city, joining Facebook groups for networking events, or doing a quick search on LinkedIn.
Step 3: Research the Market and Legal Aspects
Conduct thorough market research to identify potential gaps, opportunities or a niche. Canada also has its own rules and regulations for business construction, development, and management. You need to ensure that your side hustle is compliant with them, for which you may – depending on your role – need licenses or permits. Familiarize yourself with local, provincial, and federal regulations to avoid legal mess-ups further down the road.
Step 4: Create a Business and Financial Plan (You Could Do This With Your Coach or Mentor)
Everything needs a plan, from your daily chores to your important appointments. Develop one that is clear and concise, and outlines your side hustle’s goals, target audience, revenue model, and marketing strategy. Having a roadmap will guide your actions, provide clarity, and attract potential investors or partners.
Establish a separate bank account for your side hustle to track income and expenses. Keep meticulous records for tax purposes and consider consulting with an advisor to manage your finances effectively.
Step 5: Establish an Online Presence
In today’s digital world, it’s super important to be online for your side hustle to shine. You could make a cool website that looks professional or set up social media accounts. The main idea is to find out where your audience is gathering and meet them there. Depending on your niche, this could be in Facebook groups, LinkedIn or Instagram.
You also need to establish the habit of creating content. Depending on your business, that content could be images, videos, quick tips on LinkedIn, or blog posts. Remaining consistent is the most difficult part, so schedule some time in your week specifically for content.
Step 6: Start Small, Learn, Iterate
Start your side hustle on a manageable scale. Learn from initial experiences, gather feedback, and iterate your approach accordingly. This agile method allows you to adapt to market dynamics and improve your offerings over time.
Embarking on your side hustle journey in Canada holds the promise of not just financial stability but also personal and professional growth. By identifying your passion, finding a mentor, conducting market research, adhering to legal aspects, and establishing a strong online presence, you’re laying the foundation for a successful venture. As you take small steps, learn, and iterate, remember that the journey is as crucial as the destination.