Millions of people work a side hustle these days. There are tons of options. Companies like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and more have blown the market wide open and helped create a gig economy of temp workers. However, many still choose to work on their own to make money on the side.
The Hustle and Bustle of a Side Hustle
- House cleaning
- Washing and detailing automobiles
- Making jewelry
- T-shirt making
- And more
The thing is, running a hustle on the side isn’t free. Even though often the overhead is relatively low, there are going to be costs. Selling online requires fees. Shipping costs are an issue if you sell a physical product. Even services oriented hustles like cleaning will require supplies.
How Do You Fund a Side Hustle?
There are a number of options when it comes to funding for this type of work.
In the beginning, bootstrapping is the obvious choice. Basically, this is when you do it yourself. By definition, a side hustle is something you do in addition to your regular job. So, it can make sense to invest an initial amount to get started from funds already available to you. Then, continue to use most of your proceeds to purchase more of what you need for the hustle.
Hopefully, eventually you break even and then produce a profit.
If you want to expand with newer or better equipment, say a new embroidery machine, baking molds, or a new vinyl cutting machine, consider asking friends and family. They can make great birthday or holiday gifts. You could also ask them to borrow the money, or even sell them equity so they become angel investors if it grows into more than just something you do on the side.
If you have good personal credit, you may be able to find good terms on a credit card to fund what you need short-term. Still, financing a business with personal credit means using a high percentage of your credit limits. This is called high credit utilization, and it can lower your personal credit scores.
What if You Decide to Turn Your Side Hustle Into More?
If you decide your hustle is strong enough to take on a life of its own, consider setting it up as a separate business. Even if you keep your day job, doing this opens up many more funding opportunities.
How to Set Up Your Side Hustle to Be Eligible for Business Accounts
Once you see your side hustle taking off, go ahead and name it. Your state may require for every business name to be unique, so check with the Secretary of State’s office. Get a business phone number. Then, get an EIN using the business name, phone number, and a physical business address where you can receive mail.
You can do this for free at IRS.gov. Note: Do not use a P.O. Box or an UPS box as your business address. You can use a virtual address, but some lenders will not accept those.
You also need a separate, dedicated business bank account. Even if you aren’t bringing in a lot yet, this is still a good idea. You will need to report the income to the IRS, and this will help you keep track. Beyond that, if you want to apply for vendor accounts and other forms of business credit, this is often a requirement.
Also, if you want to be able to take credit card payments, you will need a merchant account. You cannot get a merchant account, without a business bank account.
These are just the first steps in setting up a side hustle to be eligible for business funding.
Pay Attention to Details
As you do this, don’t neglect the details. Small inconsistencies can cause big problems. For example, if you use an ampersand in your business name when you get your EIN, be sure to use the ampersand and not the word “and” when you open your business bank account.
This type of seemingly small detail can cause big problems when you apply for business funding later on.
Funding With the Big Dogs
Taking these simple steps in the beginning will ensure you are ready to roll when the time comes to expand and grow your hustle. It takes funding to do that, and these steps will help you qualify for funding in the name of the business.
One of the easiest ways to start is to apply for business vendor credit. But first, use the business information you set up to apply for a D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet. You can apply and get one for free on their website.
Then, you can apply for credit from vendors in the name of your business. This will allow you to buy items needed to fill orders before you get paid. Items like jewelry-making supplies or tools and materials for handyman work can be bought ahead of time using vendor credit. You won’t have to wait to take orders. It can also make it possible to pay for advertising materials, like ad designs and banners, or even print ads.
You can’t just start applying for business accounts with any vendor you want right away and expect approval, however. If there are vendors that offer personal accounts and sell what you need, that is fine. However, it’s wise to work with some vendors that will extend net accounts in your business’s name, and report them to the business credit reporting agencies like Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.
Then you build business credit for your hustle. Business credit opens up many more funding opportunities for the future.
Business Vendor Accounts
There are a few vendors that will do this even if your business credit score isn’t great, or is currently non-existent. They use other factors to determine creditworthiness. This includes whether your business is set up the way described above, as well as time in business, and more.
These are not revolving accounts. Rather, they are net accounts, meaning you will have to pay off the total balance at the end of the net term period. However, this can be a way to get the materials you need to run your business before your customer pays you. You can expand and grow your side hustle without depleting cash reserves, or even if you have no cash reserves.
Building Business Credit
The fun part about doing it this way, instead of just funding your business with your personal credit, is that you can build on those initial vendor credit accounts and eventually have even stronger business credit. All you need is 3 to 5 initial accounts reporting to be able to apply for more advanced accounts.
Other Funding Options
For both of these kinds of financing, you get slightly less than the full value of any outstanding invoices, but you get it a lot faster!
Another great option when it comes to funding a side hustle as it grows is the Credit Line Hybrid.
Credit Line Hybrid
A credit line hybrid is a form of unsecured funding. Our credit line hybrid has an even better interest rate than a secured loan. You can get 0% business credit cards with stated income, and many of these report to business CRAs. That means you can build business credit at the same time. You get access to even more cash, and with no personal guarantee.
You need a good credit score or a guarantor with good credit to get an approval. In this case, that is a FICO score of at least 700. There are no financials required.
The Sky’s The Limit
Your side hustle can be as large or as small as you want to make it. You can keep your day job, or you can grow it into a full time gig and be your own boss. Regardless, you’ll need funding to make it happen.