Build a side business

What would an extra $1000 per month do for you?

Whether you’re saving for a holiday, school fees, or to cover the bills, starting a side gig outside of your career can be profitable, creatively fulfilling, and fun.

Some people build a side gig because, while they enjoy their job, they need some extra cash. Some are keen to take the leap into full-time self-employment but want to minimise the risk by first testing the waters. Others are looking to use their time within school hours to develop their hobbies or use their talents to bring in some cash. Whatever your situation, building a side gig is a smart idea.

‘Jobs for life’ is no longer the norm. With increasing job insecurity, the casualization and mobilization of the workforce, and an increasing number of contract roles, developing essential skills in marketing, branding and promotions is a smart move. The hard and soft skills we develop in this course can be applied to your current and future jobs, enabling you to be more flexible, more resilient, more creative and capable.

Some great enterprises that started as side gigs include Messina Gelato, Dinosaur Designs, The Skater App and, of course, Facebook and Apple Computers.

With Brook McCarthy, digital marketing trainer & business coach

Brook McCarthy

Course content


Market research and testing your idea

The two biggest mistakes people make when starting a business is they don’t do any market research and testing, or they get lost for (weeks? months? years?) doing far too much. In our first session together, we look at the different types of business models that are most suited to different types of people and skillsets. We learn how to do effective market research within time constraints. And we set up a series of mini experiments to test our idea, reduce our risk, and increase the likelihood of our success.

Launching with a minimum viable product

It’s GO time! Looking at the principles of Eric Ries’s pivotal book, The Lean Startup, we launch our minimum viable product using tools such as email, Eventbrite, Meetup, Facebook, Instagram and websites.

Marketing and promotion

Marketing and promotion are essential if our idea is to fly. We examine essential marketing techniques, including a bare minimum marketing plan, and no-cost digital marketing tools to get our side gig in front of people. Session three covers copy writing, social media marketing, and email marketing, plus how to harness our network to help get the word out to the right people.

Boundaries, productivity and self-care

Good boundaries are the difference between stress and satisfaction, overwhelm and calm, no cash and a thriving bank balance. Good boundaries reinforce your value and professionalism and create positive cashflow, which enables you to create a winning first impression. Together, we set up structures to better manage your time, automate as many processes as possible, and ensure that your business is sustainable.

Branding and building

Our final session together looks to the future – together, we craft a plan for growth, so you can continue to build your side gig and increase your earnings, while having a life! We look at essentials of branding and building your reputation, through search engine optimization, publicity, video and blogging.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will have:

  • Launched their side gig!
  • Essential skills in Facebook marketing, Eventbrite, Mailchimp, Meetup and other low-cost and no-cost digital tools
  • A good understanding of the essential components of running a small business
  • Understood the process of setting up a website and best practices to ensure it’s found by Google
  • Written a marketing plan
  • Written a basic business plan
  • Terms and conditions in place to minimise stress and maximise efficiency
  • Understood the basics of outsourcing and how to do it effectively and ethically

This course is taught through Sydney Community College