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People often are referring to the same thing whether they call it a side hustle or a small business. Although they can be similar, they are usually completely different ways to earn money. Side hustles are usually something you do in addition to your regular job, while a small business is usually a full-time company that you start and put all of your energy into. Take a look at some of the characteristics of each. 

Time

When you have a side hustle, you put extra time into it. You might do it after work or on the weekends, and it is a great source of extra cash. Your small business will be far more consuming. It will be a full-time job and then some. You also have more expenses with a small business, so you have to work to make sure that you meet them. 

Initial Investment

Another difference between the two is the initial investment that is needed. Side hustles require very little investment. You might be a freelancer or walk dogs. There are different jobs you can do, and most are service oriented, which doesn’t take a financial investment. A small business often requires startup investors. You can minimize the costs by reducing your labor needs, but you need to use money to make the money you need to get started so that you can earn a profit. 

Commitment

You need to be committed to either of these business models if you want to be successful, but there is much less commitment involved in a side hustle. You can do it when you have time, but you don’t need to stay focused on it all the time. However, with a small business, you need to be committed all the time. You have more at stake, and you need to rely on the business to turn a profit and earn an income.

Planning

You can make plans with your side hustle, but you don’t need to. You can do it for a while and then move on to something else. However, with your small business, you need to plan. You should have a business plan and know when you expect to turn a profit. It usually takes years, so there is a lot of planning to do.