Entering 2021, my goal for the year was to have a side hustle(s) of my own aside from my 9-5 job. Unfortunately, typical of the way most resolutions go after the first day of January, the flame kinda fades away what with the sudden surge of workload in my main job and the self-limiting belief I have that I’m not built to have my own side hustles and work more than I already am.
But then I realised something… hey, I’ve actually tried a few side hustles and managed to make money off them, though only as one-off things.
So here’s what I’ve tried thus far, pre-Figuringgitout days.
1. Selling flower bouquets
How did I get into this? I was helping a friend to sell flower bouquets for a graduation event. It’s not my own side hustle business per se, but I learned a lot from it.
If you are interested, let me share with you the process, at least the way we did it –
- find out what kind of flowers/bouquets/packages you want to offer and sell, make a sample for each type, take pictures, fix the pricing by checking market price
- find florists that sell fresh flowers cheaply that can be your flower suppliers, and shops that sell all the other accessories that you need like ribbons, wrappings, note cards, etc. (most times, florists also sell these)
- learn how to manage and maintain fresh flowers (can’t give advice for this, I really don’t know)
- open orders (online or whatnot), get all the details, e.g., date and time, any notes, recipient, delivery process, etc.
- work on the bouquets, arrange, arrange, arrange away (not easy at all for first-timers!)
- make delivery (can be stressful when you’re chasing delivery times in traffic jams)
The above is a simplified process. It’s actually quite challenging especially for first-timers with not-so-creative hands (me) – arranging one bouquet to make it perfect and aesthetically pleasing while at the same time maintaining their freshness could take hourssss.
But I tell you what, it’s a rewarding business! The cost to buy supplies of flowers and bouquets accessories is cheap. But the final product – made flower bouquets? Can be exorbitantly expensive! Based on my one-time experience, the profits were more-or-less ten-fold.
It is also not hard to market, considering that flowers are always in demand for every kind of celebration.
Why don’t I continue doing it? Let’s blame pure laziness and lack of passion.
2. Selling clothes
This was an accidental venture. I discovered KWC Fashion Mall (Kenanga) and Times Square Mall and was shocked to find out that most almost-generic-looking but-in-trend clothes that are being sold online are actually cheap and easy to get. So just for fun, I bought a dozen of a few trendy pieces and sold them on Facebook and WhatsApp chat groups that I was in. My price was below retail price but with quite a margin of profits.
And I cleared my small stocks within a week!
But then I decided not to continue. I didn’t feel good selling such low-quality clothes when I knew very well that you could get them somewhere near very cheaply.
I guess that’s why I’m not rich yet. A weak heart capitalist, blergh.
3. Providing transcription service
So easy for so much money! Don’t have to buy and maintain supplies and stocks, or worry about the quality of the products. Just type out what you hear and that’s that.
I did this a while ago after my freelancer friends passed some jobs that they didn’t have the capacity to take up. Just imagine I was once paid RM800 for a one Saturday afternoon transcribing task. Syiok! Plus I’m a fast typer so this is like a no-brainer job.
As much as I want to continue doing this, I don’t know how to find my own clients. I tried shooting out marketing emails, didn’t work.
4. Working at a cafe
Won’t consider this as a side hustle but this is a funny story. After SPM, I once worked at a cafe. FOR ONE DAY! I ONLY LASTED A DAY!!! Geez. For a broke kid, I was really spoiled.
I swear it’s a tiring job! I have mad respect for people who do this for a living, and I hope that you guys get paid more and rude customers don’t exist. And thank you for your services!
If you’re considering this (working for other people’s cafes) as a side hustle aside from your main job, it can be quite a stretch. If you have a 9-5 job, it would be more practical to cook/bake and sell them online as a side income.
5. Answering paid surveys
Not sure if this should be included here because it’s so difficult to find legit ones. Even when you do, it’s quite hard to find surveys you are qualified to answer and get paid for.
I have tried this and made a couple of ringgit from answering online surveys. Mind you though that those paying surveys rarely came by and they’re only like a ringgit or two per survey.
Maybe there are more out there that I don’t know of.
MY PERSONAL VIEW
I would love to continue doing #1 and #3 above because they do generate extra income. Unfortunately, I’m not passionate enough to arrange flowers or transcribing audio after 6 pm.
And let me be honest, I have dedicated most of my waking hours working that if I want to work some more, I want it to be on projects and works that I’m passionate about. I know I’ve talked before about my aspiration of not putting all my eggs in my 9-5 job which was the main push for me to have a side hustle, but… oh man, I really want it to be something that I LOVE to do (which at this point of time, have not been figured out yet).
So let’s continue figuringgitout.
P/s: I must point out here that whilst I can put my wants and passions into consideration, many can’t – it’s a systemic problem – some just have to have side hustles and make that extra income to make ends meet.