Here's a 5-to-9 idea: Keep it mobile
Bring your skills to the people
I have a quick one today for all you 5to9ers and it’s inspired by a recent trip to the grocery store…more on that in a bit.
The hard part about writing about 5-to-9s and side-hustles is that eventually you’re going run out of ideas. I am, after all, just one person with limited time and resources. I can’t possibly test every side-hustle out there.
I thought to myself the other day, What are other people doing besides running “online” 5-to-9?
I hopped on Twitter and searched around to see what other people were saying about their “side hustles” (“5-to-9” hasn’t made its way into everyday vernacular yet). After browsing for a while, something caught my eye.
Do you see it:
Did you see the trend?
Mobile. Bringing service to the people.
Here I am trying to figure out all the different ways people can make a decent side income online, while hard-working folks are out there doing good ol’ fashioned entrepreneurship.
At first, I thought it was too good to be true. Then I went for a grocery run and on the way, I saw it in action: a mobile car wash.
There on a stretch of open Baltimore sidewalk was one of those tents you see at the beach. It was big enough for a car to fit under. A nicely printed sign with prices ($10 and $15) directed the cars where to park for a wash. A small trailer with water and cleaning supplies was parked nearby for quick access.
Elegant. Simple. Genious.
After seeing mobility in action, I continued to see other examples online:
Mobile nail salon
Mobile car detailing
Mobile yoga classes
Mobile fitness boot camps
Mobile pet grooming
I humbly admit, I thought the easy way to build a 5-to-9 consisted of a laptop and good WiFi. As it turns out, if you have skills and can bring them to the people, you’ve got yourself a budding 5-to-9.
(Editor’s note: I understand we’re in a pandemic, so some of this might not be applicable at the moment. But it’s something to think about when everything opens back up.)
How to create a mobile 5-to-9
Let’s keep this simple.
Identify your skills - What are you good at doing? Do you have any past job training you can use?
Take care of legal barriers - Does your city or state have regulations? Do you need to apply for permits?
Figure out logistics - How exactly are you going to physically bring your skills to people? Do you have transportation? Do you need to carry equipment?
Get attention - Do you have a social media presence? Are you documenting your ventures?
Get out there - Go do your thing.
A mobile 5-to-9 will look different for everyone. Some will be customer-based, others client-based.
Customer-based 5-to-9s will need eyeballs which means getting to public spaces and making yourself and your services visible (again, please check your city/state regulations).
Client-based 5-to-9s will need appointment tracking and organizing.
Both will require you to accept payments. (My recommended tools: Invoice2Go, Azlo, PayPal)
This may sound painfully obvious but these are the details that matter. Don’t drag your feet with the superfluous. What exactly do you do? How will you do it for other people?
Let’s test this idea
Okay, let’s give this mobility idea a proper test. Grab some pen and paper and start listing out all the things you are good at doing. For experimental sake, write out the most original ideas (example, I’m really good at scrubbing out tough stains on baking sheets).
Come up with 10 to 20 ideas.
Now go through your list and rank them on a scale from 1 to 10 according to their “mobility”. In other words, a 10 rating means you just have to show up, a 1 means you need to lug around a lot of supplies.
Next, create a separate rating on profitability, again using a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most profitable and 1 is breaking even.
Finally, rank your list according to excitability. What things do you enjoy doing the most? Again a scale of 1 to 10 will suffice.
Now take your three rankings and multiply them all together. The highest potential rating is 1,000 (10 x 10 x 10) and the lowest is a 1.
Ideally, you’re looking for a mobile 5-to-9 that is mobile, profitable, and actually something that you want to do. It’s not perfect, but this exercise is intended to draw out those factors and look at them from a concrete perspective.
So how did you do? Email me your results or leave a comment on the Substack page.