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5 Important Steps To Take in 2023

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5 Important Steps To Take in 2023

If you want to know how to start a delivery business, then now is a good time to start.

It’s no secret that the trend of online shopping has skyrocketed during the pandemic and continues to do so.

Organizations like the National Retail Foundation (NRF) say that the increasing demand for online shopping is mostly due to its convenience.

After all, everybody appreciates the luxury of placing an order from the comfort of their homes and receiving it directly to their doorstep with minimal delivery fees. It’s because of this that delivery services are booming these days.

However, with industry giants like FedEx, USPS, and DHL, you might wonder how to start a delivery business with a bang and outpace your competitors.

But don’t worry. If you’re someone who’s seeking a guide on how to start a delivery business then this article is just for you!

In this post, we’ll talk about everything you’ll need to know to start strong and staying firm in the competitive delivery business world.

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Hone Your Idea

Every business begins with an idea. You brainstorm about a business type and assess the opportunities it has in store for you. Sometimes, your passion for a business may cloud your judgment.

Here’s how to start a delivery business that will actually be a good investment and make you money:

Why? Identify an Opportunity

The global market size of courier and express services is projected to grow at 4.9% by 2027. Another stat reveals that 63% of shopping occasions begin online.

With millions of people purchasing online, from household products to personal care items, and books to groceries, the delivery service market has the potential to let you dream big.

The soaring demand for online shopping (an $8.1 trillion dollar industry) is enough to consider a delivery service business. Because more people purchasing online products translates to a proportional increase in your target audience and business demand.

Who? Identify Your Target Market

Finalizing your target market depends on your personal preferences. Maybe you want to partner with a local flower shop or collaborate with popular pizza places.

Likewise, cake shops, household furniture stores, and fumigation services could be other businesses to work with.

As a rule of thumb, opt for a market with high consumer demand. For instance, the demand for online grocery shopping has surged in the past few years and is potentially one you could target for your business.

Turning to and targeting an audience more likely to drive your business sales and discarding the rest will boost your chances of success.

Step 2: Create a Business Plan

The second step in how to start a delivery business after honing your idea is to develop a business plan.

The experts at Harvard Business Review believe that the biggest factor in the success of a business is whether or not it has an efficient business plan in place. Therefore, it’s essential to have one in place before getting started.

Here’s how to start a delivery business with an effective business plan:

Define the Scope and Pricing Strategy For Your Delivery Business

What do you want to offer your customers, and how do you plan to price your delivery services?

Without thinking about and addressing these problems before getting started, there’s never going to be a guarantee of your survival in the highly competitive business world.

Define the Scope of Your Delivery Business

Free Man and Woman Checking the Packages Stock Photo

Another important question you’ll need to address when brainstorming about how to start a delivery business is the scope of your company.

Not all delivery services are the same. An efficient one tracks the order from when it’s dispatched to when it’s delivered. 

It keeps the customers in the loop to make deliveries more predictable. So, what do you plan to offer, and how far are you willing to go for the customers?

Considerations that will define the scope of your business.

  • Will you take responsibility for damaged products, or do the customers bear the loss? 
  • How about when the order gets delivered past the delivery date? 
  • Are you only going to work on a local scale or do you plan to make your service a national or international service? 

Develop a Pricing Strategy

After determining the scope of your business, another thing you should be on top of is your pricing strategy.

Here’s how to start a delivery business with a pricing strategy that works for you and your customer base:

  • Conduct customer base surveys to understand your target audience and how much they’re willing to pay for delivery services.
  • Study and examine your competitor’s pricing model.
  • Take into consideration the demographic factors of your service area.
  • Carry out A/B testing to check your pricing model and design the perfect setup for your business.

Develop a Marketing Plan and Establish Your Brand Identity

Business without marketing is like a car without an engine. It will exist, but it won’t work.

Here’s how to start a delivery business with an effective marketing plan and build a reputation in the industry.

Create a Marketing Plan

Free Man in White Polo Shirt Using a Tablet Computer Stock Photo

With over 4.26 billion social media users, social platforms serve as excellent marketing tools. A robust social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter will catch your audience’s attention.

Free Person Holding Iphone Showing Social Networks Folder Stock Photo

Instagram, with its one billion active monthly users; Twitter, with over 368 million active users; and Facebook, with a whopping 2.69 billion active users, present countless opportunities to target your ideal audience.

From enticing images to catchy headlines, anything has the potential to go viral. Make sure you hire a skilled copywriter and graphic designer to make your ads stand out.

Top Tip: you can also go the traditional route – hanging flyers in public areas and giving business cards and coupons to local businesses.

Establish Brand Identity

Staying active on social media is one thing, but you must also establish your brand identity to add credibility to your delivery business and gain customer trust.

Starting with building an appealing, professional logo to give your business a unique brand image.

Additionally, you must also develop your delivery business website. Publishing high-quality, SEO-optimized content is bound to drive traffic.

Adding customer testimonials and reviews to it is also a good idea as new customers may find it a reason to pick your business for the next time they need something delivered. After all, 95% of consumers read reviews and use them to make decisions before buying.

Top Tip: Read – Brand Guidelines: Waste of Money or The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make?

Identify and Evaluate Your Competition

When developing a game plan, the next thing is to learn about your competition and the secret strategies that give them an edge in the industry.

Conduct comprehensive market research and use forums and social media to derive helpful insights. You can also reach out directly to customers to learn about their preferences and tweak your strategies to align them with their interests.

Determine Your Start-up Costs and Create a Financial Plan

Sorting finances is crucial to ensure your business doesn’t fail before it gets off the ground. 

Here’s what you should consider and figure out before you start wondering about how to start a delivery business.

Determine your Start-up Costs

Free Gray and Black Laptop Computer Stock Photo

The primary business expenses include vehicles and insurance. The vehicle doesn’t need to be snazzy, but it must be reliable and capable of handling deliveries regularly. Secondly, you’ll need commercial auto insurance for delivering packages.

Other startup costs are relatively minor, usually costing only a few hundred dollars. They may include the following:

  • Equipment costs
  • Fuel costs
  • License fee
  • Marketing expenses
  • Software (fleet management software, accounting software, and website builder)

Create a Financial Plan

Write down your goals and see how much you can afford to achieve them. As a rule of thumb, begin small and climb the ladder eventually.

A smart business owner creates an effective financial plan to manage finances like a pro. For instance, you can use your personal vehicle to minimize upfront costs. 

Once you make enough profit, you can always purchase a business vehicle.

Top Tip: Consider opting for free marketing strategies like social media and door-to-door marketing if you’re a bit strapped for cash in the early stages of your business.

Develop a Growth Plan for Your Delivery Business

Free Crop faceless man packing box with scotch tape Stock Photo

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Business growth sounds enticing, but you must have a robust and realistic growth plan to flourish.

Here are a few tips that might help when coming up with a plan for starting a delivery business.

  • Always try to retain existing customers. The Harvard Business Review highlights that acquiring new customers is 5-25% more expensive than retaining an existing one. So, save your money by making existing customers happy.
  • Keep conducting regular market research to stay ahead of trends. It helps you maintain a customer-centric approach and identify growth opportunities. Staying abreast with the latest trends will always benefit your delivery service business.
  • Stay active on social media. When nothing else helps, social media does. It’s a place with your target audience; you only have to grab their attention. Be relatable, informative, and helpful; the audience will be yours.

Top Tip: Read 9 Best TikTok Ads That Can Help You Level Up Your Marketing.

When wondering how to start a delivery business, the last thing anyone wants is to get sued or stuck in legal matters. Complying with the legal requirements is crucial for a smooth business operation.

Your needs and preferences will determine the legal business structure you want to pick. The popular ones include the following.

  • Partnership. It involves two partners who own the business and shares the risks and profit.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC). This setup is where the owner isn’t directly responsible for liabilities and debts. It enables business owners to manage new investments and risks easily.
  • Sole Proprietorship. This holds you liable for debts and liabilities since you own all the operations. The only perk is that you get to keep all the profit.

Check out our ZenBusiness review to learn about a great service you can use to get this done!

Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

You cannot just own a vehicle and expect to run a business seamlessly. Most regions and districts require additional licenses, like a commercial driver’s license (CDL) besides a driver’s license.

So be sure to reach out to your state’s specific authority, like the Department of Commerce or Secretary of State, to learn about the administrative legalities and clear any hurdles that may keep you from operating your business smoothly.

Obtain Insurance Coverage

Another administrative point is getting insurance coverage from a legal business entity. It is worth noting that your personal vehicle rarely covers insurance for business purposes. So you’ll need additional coverage for a successful delivery service.

Business insurance is another consideration. It protects you in case of damaged and lost packages.

Register for Taxes

You’ll also need to register for various state and federal taxes before you start your business. To begin with, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

The business structure you pick will determine the precise taxes. For instance, some LLCs can benefit from being taxed as an S corporation.

Registering for taxes is crucial to building authority as a business and fulfilling your responsibility as a citizen.

Protect Your Intellectual Property

Guarding your intellectual property is essential to reap the rewards of your creative business efforts and keep people with malicious intent from stealing your work.

A reliable way to protect your intellectual property is to enforce your ownership rights by registering it with the government.

Top Tip: You can also protect your intellectual property by documenting your discoveries, creating strong credentials, and using rights management.

Open a Business Bank Account and Credit Card

Opening a business credit card and bank account is essential to protect your business assets.

When business and personal accounts are mixed, your personal assets are at risk in the event your business gets sued.

Plus, building business credit from the get-go can also help you avail of other financing options and credit cards in your business’s name further down the line.

Step 4: Choose the Right Vehicle and Equipment for your Delivery Business

Without the right tools, you’ll struggle to load and transport parcels. This means reduced business and more complaints.

Free Delivery Man With Boxes next to a White Van Stock Photo

Determine Delivery Needs

Do you plan to deliver small and mid-sized items or larger products? Generally, a pickup truck is suitable for small items. However, appliances and furniture require heavier items like a cargo van or a box truck.

Research and Compare Vehicle Options

The Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, Nissan NV, Chevrolet Express, and Toyota Prius are some popular names in the industry.

Before purchasing a delivery vehicle, make sure you consider the size, loading capability, and fuel efficiency before purchasing a vehicle. That’s primarily because these factors will affect your running business costs, and whether or not you’ll be able to make short-trip deliveries or long-haul routes.

Invest In Necessary Equipment and Supplies

Buying a vehicle is only one side of the story; you must also purchase numerous pieces of equipment to keep your business up and running. These may include items like:

  • Stretch wrap
  • Moving blankets
  • Ratchet straps
  • Bungee cords
  • Forklifts
  • Dollies
  • Packing materials (based on the products you want to deliver)

Maintain Vehicles and Equipment

Vehicle maintenance ensures safety on the road and boosts fuel efficiency. It also helps maintain your vehicle’s value and makes up for timely deliveries.

The same goes for other equipment needed to get the job done. Ensure your equipment is in shape and available for efficient delivery processes.

Step 5: Build and Manage an Effective Team

Teamwork makes the dream work; the same goes for your delivery business. Hiring capable members is one thing, but you must train them to help them stay on top of the latest industry trends.

Using a Delivery Service vs. Creating an In-House Delivery Team

The problem with using a third-party delivery service over an in-house team is that it doesn’t give you quality control over your business.

So, in the event the third-party messes up, the blame will be yours to take. This means a mistake on their end can take a toll on your reputation.

Plus, it won’t help you save much money either because your income will be shared with a third party.

Building an in-house team gives you greater control over quality and lets you keep all the profits in your wallet – a win-win.

How to Train and Hire Staff

Here are a few tips and things to consider when hiring employees if you’ve decided to opt for the in-house delivery team route.

Develop a Job Description and Hiring Process

Highlight all the roles and responsibilities of delivery drivers and other employees in the job description. These may include the following.

  • An understanding of navigation systems
  • A valid driver’s license
  • An understanding of handling materials safely, like chemicals and food items
  • Punctuality and time management
  • Physical strength to load and unload cargo
  • Excellent vision to drive safely

Establish Clear Expectations and Policies

Every business has its unique policies. Ensure you share your business policies and salary structure during the hiring process. This will eliminate misunderstandings down the road and leave no room for confusion.

On top of that, it’ll help you form a healthy workplace relationship with your employees, which naturally boosts their performance.

Measure and Evaluate the Performance

Have your employees been making timely deliveries? Did they pick and pack the correct order? Was the delivery made to the right address?

Finding out the answers to these questions will help you evaluate their performance. You can also hold weekly training sessions to share valuable tips and help them hone their delivery skills.

Eye-Opening Delivery Business Stats

Free Man and Woman Checking the Packages Stock Photo

Still on the fence about whether or not the delivery business is a good fit for you? Maybe these statistics will help you realize the potential of this industry.

Key Takeaways

  • With more consumers turning to online shopping, the demand for delivery services is accelerating.
  • Creating a business plan is likely to contribute to your business growth and boost sales by roughly 30%
  • With over 4.26 billion social media users, popular social media platforms can serve as excellent marketing tools for aspiring delivery service business owners.
  • Knowing your competition is important to thrive in the competitive business world.
  • Vehicle, equipment, fuel, and marketing costs are primary business expenses.
  • Retaining existing customers is 5-25% more expensive than hiring new ones.
  • Building an in-house team gives you greater control over quality and lets you add to your revenue.

That just about sums up how to start a delivery business and thrive in the industry!

Remember, the success of your business significantly depends on the effort you put into the new venture.

So, be sure to take everything you’ve learned in this article today and start applying it with determination to build a strong foundation for your delivery service business.

Next: Read our 21 Tips for Starting a Profitable Furniture Flipping Business.



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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

True story: Recently, my daughter was at a major brand car dealership with her boyfriend, intending to purchase a pre-owned car. Note I made up the numbers for the sake of my daughter’s financial privacy, but the takeaways are still the same.

The dealership asked for, let’s say, $26,000 “all in” for the car, but my daughter had already decided that $20,000 was the most she would pay. There was a lot of ground to cover to actually make a deal happen. After some discussion, the salesperson did his best, dropping the price to $25,000. But that still left a big gap, so he told her, “Let me go check with my manager and see if he has any ideas.”

After five minutes, the salesperson and his manager entered the room together. The manager explained that at $25,000, this was a great price; it was already well below their MSRP, and the deal was “very thin” as it was for him. He then used the famous line, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do to get you into this car today.” The manager pulled out a piece of paper with revised numbers that showed his price now at $23,995. He explained to my daughter that this was the absolute best possible price. He was “all in;” this was his “best offer,” and he told her to take it or leave it. For the grand finale — keeping in mind that this is a 100% true story — the manager took out a big red ink stamp and smacked it down on the paper. The stamp read “FINAL” in bold red ink. $23,995. FINAL.

My daughter responded, “Thanks, but I’m sorry; it looks like it’s not going to work out.” Without hesitation, he immediately blurted out, “How about $22,500?”

When my daughter told me the story, I had a wonderful laugh. After the big show, the manager held his price for a full six seconds. And the idea of the red final stamp just made the story even better. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s actually quite a lot to unpack here regarding sales tactics, psychology and effectiveness.

Related: 3 Unconventional Sales Tactics That Will Close More Deals

I’m not in the car business, and I’ve never sold cars, but I can see some familiar sales tactics (and mistakes) playing out here:

Playing the waiting game

All this went down after my daughter had spent hours on the lot. It was getting late in the day on a Saturday, and the manager knew she was hoping to get it done. At some level, the manager was wearing her down and playing out the clock, playing the “waiting game.” It didn’t work in this case, but often, this notion of using time as a weapon can be very effective. Utilizing time as a strategic element in the negotiation process can be effective, but it must be used carefully and respectfully. Pushing too hard on time constraints can backfire.

Closing the deal by changing the sales lineup

When the salesperson reached his personal negotiation line or felt he would lose her, he brought in his manager. In addition to adding some time to the clock, this step created a new opportunity for a new dynamic. The dealership never really wants a potential buyer to walk out the door, so if one person doesn’t get the job done, it’s always worth trying someone else. Involving a manager or company administrator in the negotiation process can create new dynamics and opportunities for closing a deal.

Proposing your best and final offer

Although I laughed hysterically when I heard about the red stamp, I soon realized it was actually a smart move. Once upon a time, I’m guessing some sales and marketing people sat in a room, and someone said, “I have an idea — let’s make a red stamp that says final and use that during negotiations.” Everyone probably laughed, and they would have said, “No, I’m serious!” And then everyone thought about it and agreed, as funny of an idea as it was, it actually made sense. It’s one thing to tell someone something verbally, but when it’s “official” and in red ink on paper, it’s human nature to believe it and take it as indisputable. Using psychological sales tactics to create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) effect, such as a “Final Offer” stamp, can be effective in conveying seriousness and finality, but you have to honor your word, or you will likely lose credibility.

All the tactics I outlined above were smart, but here’s where I think the dealership dropped the ball:

Trying a shutdown move too soon

The manager came in cold, and rather than take some time (again, time is on their side) to talk about the value, create some alignment, and build some rapport, he went straight for the kill. That tactic may work, but I felt it was too aggressive. He would have been better off discussing the pain points and goals concerning the product, coming up with some extra incentives, etc. Understanding the customer’s needs, discussing the product’s value and building rapport and trust can be crucial in successful sales.

Related: How to Master Your Sales Success — Why Every Answer and Rejection Matters

Putting an out-of-reach offer on the table

The manager decided to go for the close in a fairly aggressive way. In some cases, that tactic makes sense. But he played it all wrong with the numbers. He knew they were a full $5,000 or 20% off, and he decided to put it all on the line at $23,995. Obviously, given how fast he dropped another thousand, he had plenty more room. If he was going for the hard close and “FINAL” offer, he should have made it more compelling. By putting on the big show and then immediately dropping his price, he completely lost credibility and lowered the odds of closing. In this case, he lost my daughter’s trust and the sale. In negotiation, it’s important to understand the other party’s budget and limits before making an offer. Being aware of their constraints will increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

Saying your offer is “final” when it’s not

If you offer something of value at a good price and tell them it’s “final” (which I personally don’t recommend as a sales tactic), then stand by it and mean it. Your word has to mean something. Once he realized his “final” price was not going to work, rather than lower it, he could have thrown in some additional valuable incentive, perhaps some amount of free service or some kind of special financing. If a “final offer” is presented, standing by it as your final word is essential. If adjustments are needed, they should include additional incentives or value to maintain trust and credibility.

Sales is an art, no doubt about that. A great salesperson builds a relationship, asks questions and listens, understands the client’s pain points, is honest and transparent, and operates with integrity. Of course, strategies, techniques, incentives, and a lot of human emotion and psychology are at play, but all of them can happen successfully without losing your credibility.

So, the overall moral of my story? Choose wisely before using the big red stamp!

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

Apple entered the AI game last month with Apple Intelligence, a suite of new features designed to bring AI straight to iPhone, iPad, and Mac screens. Apple’s AI has a catch though: it only works on the newest iPhones and it could be the reason why millions of iPhone users with older models seriously think about upgrading, say Morgan Stanley analysts.

Morgan Stanley analysts named Apple a top-pick stock on Monday, after which Apple shares jumped to an all-time high, per Bloomberg. Apple Intelligence is a “clear catalyst” for iPhone upgrades and will enable Apple to sell nearly half a billion iPhones in the next two years, analyst Eric Woodring stated.

Apple Intelligence is expected to come out this fall for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max — older iPhones will not have access to Apple’s AI. The update offers AI-generated emojis, a smarter Siri, and direct access to ChatGPT, though some anticipated Siri AI upgrades may arrive next year.

Related: Apple Is Expanding What The iPhone Can Do. Here’s What’s Changing Right Away.

“We believe that there is record level of pent-up demand entering the iPhone 16 cycle later this year,” Woodring noted, adding that Apple Intelligence delivers “unique-to-the-Apple-ecosystem” value.

Morgan Stanley previously forecasted that Apple would sell around 230 million iPhones in the same time frame, making the new prediction more than double the previous one.

Apple is also uniquely positioned to be the AI “base camp” for its customers, “just as it has done for digital content (iPod) and social media (iPhone),” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Ananda Baruah.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple’s 5th Avenue store. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Other analysts at different firms have made similar predictions. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Reuters in June that more than 15% of existing iPhone users could buy the new iPhone Apple is expected to release this fall.

Related: Apple Labels These 3 Iconic Products ‘Vintage,’ and Soon-to-Be ‘Obsolete’

Ives estimated that 270 million iPhone users have not bought a new model in the past four years.

More than half of Apple’s overall revenue in the second quarter of 2024 came from iPhones; Apple has the majority of the market share for smartphones in the U.S.

At the time of writing, Apple was the largest company in the world with a $3.584 trillion market cap. Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, and Amazon followed.

Related: Warren Buffett Had to Work From His iPhone After Telephone Lines Went Down at Berkshire Hathaway: ‘I’m Glad We Didn’t Sell All of Our Apple’

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan shared how he started AppSumo, a “Groupon for software,” in one weekend in a new podcast episode. The startup cost was $60; AppSumo earned $80 million last year and Kagan is still its CEO.

In 2010, Kagan was 28 years old and had already experienced what it was like to be the 30th employee at Facebook and the fourth employee at personal finance app Mint.

“I think I just felt insecure at some of these places,” Kagan told fellow entrepreneur Jeff Berman in a June episode of the “Masters of Scale” podcast.

Kagan was fired after nine months at Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg and later fired from Mint, too. He realized that dedicating his time to his day job carried a risk — another person could decide to let him go at any time.

Related: The Author of ‘Million Dollar Weekend’ Says This Is the Only Difference Between You and the Many ‘Very, Very Dumb People’ Making a Lot of Money

“I think I wanted to prove that I’m smart or prove that I’m successful or prove that Facebook when they fired me, and then when Mint fired me, [that] I can do it,” Kagan said.

The idea for AppSumo, a marketplace of software deals for small business owners or solopreneurs, was born when Kagan thought there was a way to promote software tools and also get paid for it. He saw that the site MacHeist gave Apple users discounts on software bundles and wanted to try making the same type of discounts available to a broader audience.

“My interest was letting the geniuses create software, and my skill and my excitement is promotion,” Kagain said.

The business came together in about 60 hours. First, Kagan found software he wanted to sell: the image-sharing service Imgur. He cold-emailed Imgur’s founder on Reddit and got approval to sell a discounted version in exchange for a cut of sales.

Related: Here’s Why Reddit Turned Down an Acquisition Offer From Google in Its Early Days, According to Cofounder Alexis Ohanian

The next piece was meeting with Reddit’s founding engineer to ask for free advertising. He got that too.

The final part was paying a developer to create a website with a PayPal button and purchasing the AppSumo.com domain name.

What was the total cost to launch the business? $60 and one weekend of his time.

AppSumo made $300,000 in the first year, and $3 million in the second, Kagan said in the podcast. It brought in $80 million in revenue last year.

Kagan now has a net worth of $36 million.

Kagan said that the crucial part of business was being invested in the problem and getting excited about it.

Related: This Flexible Side Hustle Is Helping Millions Earn Extra Cash — and Might Be ‘More Attractive’ Than an Office Job

“I think that’s the thing in business people are kind of missing out,” Kagan said. “They’re chasing AI now or chasing being an influencer. I think find areas [where] you’re like, I don’t know if I’m going to ever get tired of this.”

Starting a side hustle or finding an extra source of income has an upside — according to Kagan, you have more control over your future.

“If you can just give up 30 minutes a week, if you can just give up one Netflix show a week, if you can give up one thing a week, and you keep doing it weekly, eventually you can have that business,” he said.

Related: This Is the Winning Formula for Starting a Successful Podcast, According to a New Analysis

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