The side hustle is a thing: books have been written about it, podcasts have been recorded about it and blogs have evangelised it. The idea even has a hashtag with nearly 800,000 posts.
The thing about side hustles is, with the right amount of guts and grit; eventually, they step out of the side and into the front. With scaling up a growing business, comes a whole heap of challenges and considerations.
Here’s what aspiring side hustlers need to know about taking their venture to the next level.
Stepping Out of The Side
For most side hustlers, the juggle is real. In between holding down a regular source of income, getting your hustle off the ground ain’t always sunshine and roses. In between juggling marketing, manufacturing, operations and logistics, it can be hard to find the time or the bandwidth to keep the wheels on the wagon.
But all side hustles start somewhere, and as the adage goes – from little things, big things grow.
For enthusiastic entrepreneurs and hardcore hobbyists, one of the major challenges this phase brings is controlling costs while growing your customer base. While it may sound like common sense, time-poor side hustlers are often tempted to cut out the little things which can make a significant impact on customer experience. One of the biggest obstacles for growing eCommerce businesses is finding the right scalable software, systems and infrastructure to minimise growing pains without lessening the customer experience.
Aside from feeling as though you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, here are some key challenges that come with the territory:
- Balancing the hustle: if you feel swamped by how much you have to do in little time, you’re not alone. Without processes or automation, even the simplest of tasks is a nightmare.
- Luxury customer experience without the cash flow: a budget helps, but the principles of customer experience aren’t going to break the bank. It’s about consistency, connection and finding opportunities to delight.
- Cost effective shipping: if you’ve just started, chances are, you’re not getting the best shipping rates out there. With most carriers offering volume-based price breaks, getting bang for your buck, and leveraging multiple carriers can be hard to navigate.
- Maximum customers, minimum budget: acquiring new customers on a beer budget isn’t an easy feat; this is where effective marketing comes into play. With the right content, strategy and messaging you can use social media to organically grow your following with minimal funds.
- Managing pick, patch and dispatch: with orders flooding your inbox, you need to know which ones to prioritise. While first in, first out seems like the logical place to start, courier cut off times might paint a different picture. This is where an automated shipping platform can lighten your logistics load.
Sort Your Ship Out
Acquiring the customer is one thing, giving the customer an experience that brings them back is an entirely different challenge. This is where shipping acts as a differentiator and can take your customer experience to the next level. ECommerce businesses taking the leap from side hustle to growing business need to play to carrier strengths to increase their customer experience.
For most side hustlers sending ad-hoc orders, shipping costs aren’t always going to be the most economical for the business. Until volumes increase and you’ve got leverage to negotiate better rates, shipping costs can quickly eat into profit margins.
Sure, you could manually calculate the cheapest, fastest way to send an order to Perth, but who’s got time for that when you’re trying to scale a business. That’s where a shipping platform can help. With the automated smarts to help you cut out repetitive tasks, a shipping platform can help you find the reliable, easy way out of most shipping problems.
With so much at stake during the early stage of building a side hustle, every little choice can make a big impact on how you grow your business.
How Shippit can Help you Grow
Without blowing our own trumpet, we think we’ve got what it takes to help you scale the ship out of your side hustle. With access to discounted shipping rates and easy integrations with most shopping carts, we’re a no-brainer. The best part is, the platform is smart enough to cherry pick which orders need to go with which courier, so you don’t miss courier cutoffs, or overpay. Centralised tracking for you and your customers means fewer questions, faster shipping and happier customers.