Side Hustles for Surviving the Bootstrapping Phase of Your Startup

The bootstrapping phase of a startup is probably the most difficult one. Your startup idea is yet to find its wings and there’s very limited external funding or resources. It's a challenging but inevitable stage. The decisions made and actions taken during this period can lay the foundation for future growth. Given the challenges an entrepreneur faces in this phase, having a side hustle can prove to be beneficial.

On a financial level, a side hustle can provide a secondary source of income and lend financial stability and security.

By working hard on these side hustles, you learn to make money honestly, a lesson that will prove to be of tantamount importance in your career as an entrepreneur. 

A side hustle can also provide an opportunity to develop new skills, network with people in different industries, and gain valuable experience.

Here are a few ways in which side hustles can help you survive the bootstrapping phase of your startup.


1. Freelancing

Freelancing is a great side hustle for people with skill sets such as writing, graphic design, web development, or marketing. 

Freelancers can offer their services on a project basis rather than working on a daily basis, giving you the flexibility to work from anywhere at your convenience.

It is crucial for freelancers to have a well-defined set of abilities, a professional portfolio, and a clear understanding of pricing and negotiation. 

Freelancing can offer a good source of extra income, allowing you to utilize your skills and work on projects that interest you.


2. Taking Care of Pets

Taking care of pets is a popular side hustle for those who love animals. You can offer your services to neighbors and take care of their pets while they are away. This side hustle can be flexible and offer a good source of extra income. You can advertise your services through word of mouth, social media, or local classifieds websites. 

Before starting, it is important to have a good understanding of animal behavior, safety, and first aid. Having liability insurance may also be necessary. 

Pet-sitting and dog-walking can be fulfilling jobs, allowing you to spend time with animals and earn money at the same time.


3. Delivery Services

Delivery services can provide a flexible and convenient side hustle for those looking to earn extra income. 

As a delivery driver, you can choose the amount of work you do, and fix your own working hours. All you need is a reliable vehicle, a valid driver's license, and insurance. 

Delivery services are in high demand and offer a good source of income for those who enjoy driving and working independently.


4. Renting Out Extra Space

Renting out extra space in your home can be a beneficial side hustle for those with spare rooms in their home. 

You can rent out a room or even your entire home to travelers or those in need of temporary housing. 

Before getting started, you need to have a knowledge of the local regulations and laws regarding short-term rentals, as well as the necessary insurance coverage. It's also important to properly prepare the room for guests, including providing clean linens, towels, and essentials like toiletries. 

Renting out a spare room can provide an additional source of income and can be an innovative way to meet new people.



Side hustles can bring numerous benefits during the early stages of a startup. They can provide support, reduce financial risk, and may also be an opportunity to test and validate business ideas. 

Invariably, you will gain valuable experience and skills, build networks and may also find a loyal customer base.

All of these will help you formulate strategies for your startup.

Moreover, a side hustle can provide a platform to pursue personal interests and passions and earn additional income as you have the security of a full-time job.

The side hustles listed here are some fun and rewarding experiences you can try for a side hustle.

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