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I’m a money expert – six things you MUST do before launching a side hustle

WHATEVER your salary, most people would agree that a bit of extra cash coming in every month wouldn’t go amiss.

Launching a side hustle could be the answer – but it’s not as simple as setting up your small business and raking it in.

Crunch founder and CEO Darren Fell has said there are six things people must do before launching a side hustle

There are several hoops to jump through before the money can flow.

Accountancy experts at Crunch have compiled a must-do list for any budding entrepreneur.

Founder and CEO Darren Fell said: “We’ve all seen those case studies where someone has thrown in their day job to pursue their side hustle full time.

“While it’s certainly possible for some, leaping from permanent employment to focus purely on your own business venture isn’t always viable.

“The reliable income from a 9-5 is something that only a few can spare to ditch, especially amid the cost of living crisis.

“But the extra income and fulfilment that can come from pursuing a side hustle or small business idea are nonetheless attractive.

“For the best of both worlds, follow these tips for setting up a small business while remaining employed at your day job.”

1. Check your employment contract

Before you do anything, make sure you read your current employment contract from front to back, Darren says.

There may be clauses and policies that state you can’t pursue your own business during your tenure as an employee.

You also need to confirm if your idea might be perceived as a conflict of interest.

The last thing you want is to risk termination by inadvertently – or deliberately – breaching your contract.

Give it a thorough look through and raise any questions with your HR department.

2. Be aware of your rights and benefits

Having two jobs can be a challenge.

If you overwork, both endeavours will suffer; if you devote too much time and energy to one, you’ll hinder the other.

Thankfully there are several ways to strike a balance, according to Darren.

Firstly, you have the right to request flexible working from your employer.

That said, remember you only have the right to make a statutory application.

Your employer is within its rights to deny your bid if it has a legitimate reason.

Secondly, you could propose working part-time, a reduction in your contracted hours, or even on a job share basis.

The third option – and the one most moonlighters go for – is to just manage your time very carefully, and be aware of the impact on your well-being and productivity.

Darren said the trick is to find a balance that works for you, leaving room for downtime to spend with loved ones and rest.

This might be devoting one weekend a month to your new business, or perhaps weekday evenings.

3. Tell HMRC

If you’re starting your own business, as either a sole trader or limited company, you’ll need to let HMRC know.

This is so you can file your Self Assessment on time and pay the correct tax on your income.

It is a legal requirement to inform HMRC once you start earning more than £1,000 extra a year.

Darren said: “Don’t create any additional worry or concern for yourself by not having your taxes in order.”

You can find out more about additional income on the government website.

4. Be respectful

Darren said he understands that starting a side hustle can be exciting and it can be easy to plough all your time and energy into it, but it’s important to remember that you’re still employed.

“Never use company time working on your business idea,” he added.

“And if you do decide to focus on your own thing full time, try to leave your day job on good terms.

“You’ll thank yourself for doing this if you ever need to call on your former boss or colleagues for support.”

5. Set realistic goals

Structure your precious time well and you’ll find your productivity levels soar – so set realistic goals and stick to them, Darren said.

For example, you could look at what you want to achieve over a 30-, 60-, or 90-day period and build a week-by-week checklist.

But don’t be too ambitious with your targets as you obviously want to be able to tick them off and not get disheartened, he warned.

6. Seek support

Darren said: “With so many resources to help you with your side hustle, there is no need to go it alone.”

These range from funding, grants and crowdsourcing to identifying a few flush friends for peer-to-peer lending.

Networking is key, so don’t shy away from local events, he added.

Your city’s Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start.

Having two jobs can be a challenge but there are ways to strike a balance

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