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By Ruzanna Hernandez, Ed.D.

Are you a busy parent trying to grow a side business?

Do you want to grow the business but are unsure how to get started?

Do you need some organizational tactics to help move your side business in the direction you want in the coming year?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, this article and the strategies in it are for YOU!


What is a Side Business?


Having a side business, or a “side hustle,” is very common. You’ve probably started one yourself, or know someone who works a side hustle around their day job or household responsibilities. According to a 2019 survey, 57% of Americans have a side business, with 65% of them being in the age group 18 to 34.


Starting and growing a business is one part of the American Dream.


We know that if we have an idea for something that people need and want, we can turn that idea into a business as long as we work very hard for it. 


According to, side businesses could include things like:


  • Selling on eBay
  • Driver for Uber, Lyft, or Postmates
  • Renting rooms on Airbnb
  • Selling services on Fiverr
  • Managing social media for businesses
  • Tutoring
  • Blogging
  • Babysitting
  • Cleaning houses
  • Tutoring
  • Selling on Etsy
  • Pet grooming
  • Mobile car washing
  • Personal training
  • And more


Why Should You Start A Side Businesses?

Notebook,pencils, 4 steps to starting your side biz


Most people begin a side business because they have a job that pays for living expenses that they can’t quit but want to earn extra cash by having a side business. The side business generates extra money and serves as a creative outlet. In an article published by


  • 55% of people would like to turn a hobby into a side business
  • 61% of people say a side business is necessary to generate more money to live on
  • 39% predict a side job will be the norm of the future
  • 42% say they have a side business and would like to grow it


If you have a passion that you have turned into a side business, you can help make it grow and become prosperous. Your goal might be to make the side business into a primary source of income one day. You might also want a profitable side business to be the primary source of income based on your lifestyle – especially if you are a stay-at-home mom, have health issues, or other reasons why you cannot do the 9-5 type of job. Having a business can afford you the luxury of working your own hours and days.


How Should I Plan On Growing My Side Business?


Every business is a little different. Some require you to do selling and marketing, like real estate and insurance, while others do not, like Uber and Lyft.


Some need the business owner to invest money initially, like those who make products to sell on Etsy, while others require no money or very little money, like virtual assisting.


No matter what type of business you have, visualizing, goal-setting, planning, and organizing will help set you on the right path to success. 


4 Key Steps


A new year brings new beginnings! Growing a side business is especially difficult for those who already have hectic lifestyles; full-time moms, full-time employees, full-time students, or combinations of all these! It’s all about visualizing, setting goals, planning, and getting organized to help take your business to the next level.  


Here are specific ways to address each of the four steps involved in successfully maintaining or growing a side business, written specifically for very busy people.


food on table, 4 steps


1. Visualizing


The easiest way to visualize a goal is by imagining you are an outside person looking at your life now, then looking at your life one year from now.  Ask these questions:


  • Where are you now?  
  • Where is your business now?  
  • In one year from now, how do you look and feel if your goals for your business were met?


Here are ways you can answer the questions:


  • In one year, I see myself sitting on my sofa with a feeling of content knowing I reached my goals.
  • In one year, I see myself looking up at the sky, feeling proud of my accomplishments.
  • In one year, I see myself on a getaway trip somewhere, sipping a drink, and thinking about how proud I am of what I have accomplished. 
  • In one year, I see myself looking at my bank account feeling accomplished.
  • In one year, I see myself smiling and taking deep breaths of joy knowing I achieved what I set out to do.


Visualizing means seeing what you want to feel, think, and see in a given period of time in the future if you achieve success with your business.  In other words, saying something like, “I want my business to succeed,” is not necessarily enough.  Use your imagination to capture that feeling of achievement in the near future.  You can visualize success by seeing yourself happier in one year or having the feeling of being satisfied in one year but being as specific as possible will help take you further.  


2. Goal Setting


When setting goals, you just have to give yourself a specific date and specific numbers to work with.  Here are some examples:


  • In one year, I see myself having $5,000 more in my business checking account than what I have now.
  • In one year, I see myself getting a part-time assistant to help with my side business.
  • In one year, I see myself having grown my client list by 30 more people.
  • In one year, I see myself having sold 500 products.
  • In one year, I see myself breaking even with my business costs (unlike this year when I lost money).


You have now taken your vision and given specific ways in which you can achieve that vision.  If today is December 31st, you are giving yourself until December 31st next year to make your vision come to life? You must ask yourself, will having $5,000 make me feel like I achieved my financial goals?  Will getting a part-time assistant mean I grew my business to a level where I can now afford to get an assistant? Will that make me feel proud and happy? Will selling 500 products give me a sense of having succeeded in my small side business?  Be as specific as possible with your goals, much like SMART goals, to make achieving them a reality. 


The one thing to be careful about is making the goals realistic. This is especially true if you have a busy and hectic life. For example, do not set a goal to make $100,000 in one year if you know that’s going to be extremely difficult to get given your current situation.  Set goals that you know you can actually achieve. Also, know that adjustments may be needed along the way.  You might set a goal to sell 500 products but if life gets in the way, adjust the goal.  Make it 400 products or 250 products instead. Life can be unpredictable, and you just have to roll with the punches sometimes! This means, adjustments to goals may be needed when unexpected twists and turns come your way in life.


3. Planning


After the goals are set, some more specific planning must go into place. The best time to plan is the beginning of the fiscal year, and by using an electronic or paper planner. Having a planner helps set consistency and efficiency. Planning tells you what you should do, when, and where, to help make the business goals a reality. Here are examples:


Goal: At the end of one year, my side business will have generated $2,000 in revenues. Here are my plans for making that happen:


  • Advertise my product or service once a week on social media.
  • Join a local chamber of commerce and attend meetings and mixers twice a month.
  • Visit 50 homes in my neighborhood in three months to drop off business cards.
  • Contact 5 past clients every 3 months to ask for referrals.
  • Start a website and post content once each month.
  • Send each family member and friend business cards and ask for referrals.
  • Send a text once a month to all contacts to let them know about the product/service you offer.


Planning helps to have specific tasks that can be done throughout the year on a consistent basis. All of the specific tasks listed here have a specific time to complete. Write those dates in your planner and cross them off as you accomplish them. This helps you become task-oriented as a business owner.


4. Organizing


Your goals and plans will not become a reality without a certain amount of mental and/or physical organization. You can have a vision. You can write out goals, and plan on how you tend to achieve those goals. But until you get organized with how you spend your time, energy, and other resources, you will have a difficult time obtaining the type of success that you are seeking with your business. 


What do we need to organize to succeed in having a small business or a side business?


  • Finances (business and personal)
  • Time (how much we can invest each day or week into the business)
  • Spaces (work areas vs. non-work areas)
  • Marketing and sales 
  • Social media
  • All other factors affecting the business


When you are organized, you quickly and efficiently achieve tasks – going from step one, to step two, to step three, etc. At the end of each year as you reflect and set your vision, plan, and goal for the next year, take time to organize every aspect of your life – especially how you spend your time. Managing and planning a very precious resource, like time, will help to move you from one step to the next.




Growing a side business, or even maintaining one that has already been established, can be challenging for busy people. The four-step process described will help to take a vision and make it a reality in a given length of time. 


Visualizing what you think means success to you for your business, given your hectic schedule, is the first step. Some business owners go as far as making vision boards. By making the boards, they are manifesting their thoughts and dreams – or bringing them to reality.  


Setting some specific goals is the second step. A business owner can have one big goal, or 3 to 5 small goals.  How many goals you set depend on how much time you have to invest in the business you are running. 


The third step is planning, which involves coming up with specific tasks and telling yourself when those tasks must be accomplished in a given time frame. Just like step 2, planning also involves knowing how much time and energy you can invest in the business in the upcoming year. You cannot plan to complete 20 tasks each day when, daily, you only have 30 minutes to invest in the business. Planning helps you to become organized, efficient, and consistent given the time and money you could put toward the business.


The last step is organizing. Having organized systems around you is one of the key components to achieving business success. It’s something that is not often discussed but is important. Organizing use of time, use of workspaces, use of financial resources, and other finite resources, is critical to success.


Key Takeaways


It can be done! You got this!


Visualize success by a certain time. 


Set specific goals. 


Start planning and start organizing. 


Thousands of moms have side hustles and businesses in addition to their main jobs. If your goal is to have this as a side job forever, or to one day make it your full-time career, you can do it. Just continue doing what works best for you to get clients, follow the steps and strategies, have a support system of friends and family members, and you will get there!  


Be sure to adjust your goals and plans as needed throughout the year, but do not give up on your vision. It’s better to adjust than to give up on a goal that you set for yourself. In the long run, you’ll be happier and prouder of yourself for not giving up.  Adjustments are necessary, especially for people who already lead hectic and busy lifestyles.


About the Author:  Ruzanna Hernandez is an educator, public school administrator, writer, blogger, and business owner. She credits her successes to establishing efficiency and organization in her daily routines, which she writes about on her website  Her book entitled Efficiency and Organization is available on Amazon.