Some side hustles seem like great money-making opportunities. But in reality, many require hefty investments of time, money or both, and deliver limited returns without a serious commitment. Here are some red flags to watch out for when considering side hustle opportunities and gig work.
Hustles That Require Licensing or Certification
Salon services, real estate sales and certified accounting and tax prep services are often touted as top side hustle ideas. While these fields can be very profitable, you must have the required education and licensing or certification. To get this, you’ll spend anywhere from $500 to $10,000, or more, to complete your initial education, plus pay initial and annual licensing fees in most states.
If you’re hoping to build a career in these fields, this investment can be worthwhile. However, it’s a considerable time and cost commitment with no guarantees if you just want to make extra cash.
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Schemes
MLM companies are skilled at convincing you of easy money and big profit potential, and there certainly are many who do well in this model. However, you should carefully research any MLM opportunity’s required costs and product investment—which can be hefty—and examine their sales and profit model. In most cases, you’ll only profit if you build a large team of downstream salespeople, and that takes ongoing time and effort.
If high-pressure sales are your thing, an MLM side hustle might work for you. But if not, you might end up with a stack of unsold items that you can’t return, and no profits to speak of.
Side Hustle Coaching Programs
As you explore various side hustle ideas, you’re sure to stumble across coaching programs that tout untold profits and promise to help you quickly succeed. This is another group of skilled marketers who know how to convince you to pay $100s or $1000s for their “foolproof” system. While some coaching programs offer sound techniques and good advice, none are a ticket to quick riches.
Before paying for any coaching program, explore YouTube, Google and Kindle Unlimited to find free videos, how-to articles and e-books for the side hustles ideas that interest you. In most cases, you can find plenty of free information to help launch and grow your side hustle.
Side hustles are a great way to earn extra income, pursue a passion or launch a new business in your spare time. With so many side hustle opportunities, it’s wise to explore the options to determine which hustles fit your skills, goals, budget and available time. No side hustle is a guaranteed success or get-rich-quick scheme, despite what some clever marketers and coaches claim. Like any business, a side hustle requires attention, commitment and follow-through. But done right, they offer great profit and growth potential, and can even turn into a full-time gig.