How to start a Side Hustle Business for Beginners: Creating an Action Plan to Execute


How do you create an action plan for your side hustle business?

What steps do you need to take in order to validate your side hustle business idea?

How do you execute your action plan once this has been created?

These are the questions that I'll be answering in this post as I set out a 3 step process for:

  • Developing an action plan for your side hustle business that you can execute by simplifying the process of getting started;
  • Breaking down your validation goal into clear action steps; and
  • Clarifying your thinking around execution and experimenting with your side hustle business idea.

I’ve also put together a free guide to help turn your goals into concrete action steps so that you can stay focused and on track as you go through the process of setting up your own side hustle business.

This is the third post in the Side Hustle Series, where I break down the steps to help you start your own side hustle business.

Check out the previous posts in the series, which help you:

1. Reverse Engineering

Although results are never guaranteed when you set out to build a business, you do have control over the actions that you take.

At this stage, you have chosen an idea for your side hustle business, decided on a business format, and set a validation goal.

The next step is breaking the validation goal down into attainable steps. How do you do that?

By reverse-engineering the goal and breaking it down into simple action steps that you can start to take right away.

By doing this, you’ll be able to develop a plan with a clear set of actions for you to execute in the weeks and months ahead.

Keep in mind that your time is precious, so look to simplify the steps as much as possible.


Based on my skills and experience, I’ve decided to launch a blog.

My validation goal is traffic and I’ve decided that over the next 3 months, a target to validate my blog idea is to gain 500 readers. This validation goal will give me some confidence about the future of the blog as a business.

The key for me is to work backward from my validation goal and figure out what I need to have in place over the next 3 months in order to achieve that goal.

To get to 500 readers in 3 months, I need:

  • A website domain and web hosting to host the blog
  • A simple blog setup which can receive traffic
  • Google Analytics to track the number of readers
  • Publish content for readers to engage with
  • Traffic sources to find my first readers - some options I can experiment with include social media, YouTube, and guest posting

If your chosen format is selling a service, you’ll need to think about a website with details of your service, a clear pitch & value proposition and you need to carry out a lot of prospecting.

If you’re selling a physical product, you’ll need things like an online storefront, a waiting list for pre-orders, and lots of traffic sources.

While you're going through the process of deciding what you need to have in place in order to hit your validation goal, be aware of the temptation to add more to your plate than is reasonable to achieve within the timescale that you have set yourself.

2. Developing an Action Plan

At this stage, you might be unsure of the exact steps that you need to put in place to take action or where to start, and that’s ok.

With my first business, I spent a lot of time researching without taking any steps to move my business idea forward, as that was the only step I knew at the time.

However, the internet has since flourished and you can find the answer to pretty much any question you type into Google (and Youtube).

The key is being resourceful and using your initiative.

By doing this you’ll learn things as you start making progress in developing your side. hustle business idea and the next actions you need to take will start to become clear.

To help with this you need to start with a plan. Remember that the plan you start with will change over time as you learn.

Think of your plan as a living document that will adapt to how things are in the real world as you go through the validation process for your idea.

The free guide that I've prepared will help you develop an action plan which turns your validation goals into actionable steps.


With my blog example, the first four weeks of my 3-month plan would look something like this:

  • Week 1 - Decide on my business idea and how to position it;
  • Week 2 - Set up my blog and Google analytics. Set up my social media channels if I don’t have any;
  • Week 3 - Research and publish 1 blog post, share the post on social media; and
  • Week 4 - Research and publish 1 blog post and reach out to other blogs and offer to write guest post articles.

3. Iterating and Experimenting

When it comes to validating your side hustle business idea, you have to remember that your results are going to be unpredictable.

Validation isn’t a guarantee of success and you need to be open to making changes and iterations to your initial idea, the more you learn about the process of launching your business.  

Finding out what works, and what doesn't and getting feedback from your potential audience are all valuable steps in the process.

A good way to prepare for this process is to think through some of the challenges you might face in advance, and what changes you may need to make as a result.

Remember that your goal is to achieve the validation of your idea, not to flawlessly execute each action in your plan.

If something starts to work for you early on in the process, double down on that rather than focusing on the next action in your plan for the sake of it.

Likewise, if something is not working, identify this as soon as possible and make changes to your plan until you find something that does work.

If you’re unsure about what potential challenges your side hustle business might face, ask Google to help you get better prepared.


With my blog launch, some of the challenges and changes I might face include:

  • Will I be able to publish one post a week every week? I might have to adjust my publishing schedule or look at my day-to-day work and personal responsibilities and see where I can carve out some additional time to make sure that I can stick to this schedule.
  • Will any or all of my traffic sources be successful? Instagram might bring more traffic than Facebook, or I might not get any traffic from social platforms but a lot of traffic from guest posting. The more options I try, the better my chances of finding the right traffic source for my blog.

Remember that while results are never guaranteed, you do have control over the process. The daily and weekly actions you take to work on your side hustle business will increase your chances of finding the right formula for success.

Next Steps

You’ve got your action plan.

You’re aware of some of the challenges that you might face and what you can do about them and you’re executing your plan.

Now it’s time to get some feedback and talk with some prospective clients and customers.

Check out this next post in the Side Hustle Series which is all about finding your target audience and getting feedback.

In the meantime, don’t forget to download your free guide which summarizes the steps in this post to help keep you on track.