Her Ice Cream Bike Side Hustle Became a $20K Income Stream

This Facet Hustle Highlight Q&A options Katherine O’Brien, proprietor and founding father of Cream Cruiser, a Baltimore, Maryland-based firm that distributes handcrafted frozen desserts and supplies full-service and drop-off catering for occasions. She can also be the founding father of Bike Enterprise College, a web based course for entrepreneurs who wish to make the most of the bike enterprise mannequin.

Picture Credit score: Elizabeth Rodenhizer Images. Katherine O’Brien.

When did you begin your facet hustle, and the place did you discover the inspiration for it?

My facet hustle journey has been two-fold. I began my ice cream enterprise, Cream Cruiser, in Could of 2015 form of on a whim. I used to be working a daily 9-5 however at all times knew that I wished to create one thing that was my very own.

On the time, I used to be strolling to my 9-5 job by way of the Inside Harbor of Baltimore, which, over the summer time, was at all times full of plenty of guests and company commuters reminiscent of myself. Some days, there could be so many individuals that you possibly can hardly navigate by way of the crowds. I used to be continuously considering to myself how superb an ice cream cart could be on a scorching, sunny day.

Additionally, presently, the cell meals trade had actually began to achieve traction. I wasn’t enthusiastic about beginning an ice cream truck due to the funding. I wished one thing smaller and easier. After some analysis and telephone calls, I discovered a small enterprise that manufactured customized meals bikes. And inside minutes of talking with them, I knew it was for me.

I received the complete enterprise up and working for below $10,000 and launched in just some months. I began at a neighborhood farmers market, and it wasn’t lengthy till I received into catering weddings, company and faculty occasions, and so forth.

Picture Credit score: Elizabeth Rodenhizer Images

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I labored a full-time job and offered ice cream through the summer time for over three years to have the ability to put each penny again into the enterprise. Lastly, in 2018, I give up my job to go all in on my ice cream enterprise. Presently, I additionally expanded into wholesale and even personal label.

The second a part of my facet hustle journey got here into play after a troublesome few years from 2020-2022. As a small enterprise within the meals and beverage and occasions trade, I felt like I couldn’t maintain my head above water and knew that one thing wanted to vary.

As occasions had been launched again into our lives, my little catering enterprise began to take off. Impulsively, I received my hearth again and had an awesome earnings stream that I had been lacking over the previous two years through the pandemic. In the direction of the tip of 2022, I made a decision to cease specializing in the wholesale and personal label and return to doing what I liked, which was promoting ice cream from a motorbike at occasions.

This led me to half two of my facet hustle journey. I created Bike Enterprise College to share my love of this ice cream bike enterprise mannequin with as many individuals as potential. It is easy, it is inexpensive, and it is enjoyable! My objective is to make the bike enterprise group simply as huge because the meals truck group.

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What had been a few of the first steps you took to get your facet hustle off the bottom?

The very first thing I did was begin my Ice Cream Bike Girl social media accounts. I started sharing my journey and what I liked about my ice cream catering enterprise. I used to be additionally utilizing this time to be taught extra about digital advertising and marketing and find out how to train others what I had discovered over time. I wished to assist them keep away from a few of the classes I discovered the laborious approach. Fairly rapidly, I began connecting with folks everywhere in the nation on the lookout for a mentor to assist them get began and, most significantly, maintain them accountable for bringing their enterprise to life. So, I continued listening to my viewers and created what they had been asking for.

Picture Credit score: Katherine O’Brien

What had been a few of the largest challenges you confronted whereas constructing your facet hustle, and the way did you navigate them?

Because of the challenges that got here with the pandemic, for some time, I struggled with feeling like I had failed — that I did not have what it took to scale my ice cream enterprise to what I had initially envisioned after I first went full-time with it. However in actuality, these challenges had been the perfect factor that ever occurred as a result of they compelled me to refocus my objectives and introduced Bike Enterprise College into my life. It took me some time to be okay with the truth that change is wholesome, and being an entrepreneur, it’s extremely vital to adapt as wanted.

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How lengthy did it take you to see constant month-to-month income, and at what level did the facet hustle’s earnings surpass your full-time job?

I launched Bike Enterprise College earlier than I had even created it. I had an thought of what this system would appear to be and had began creating the backend, nevertheless it was removed from prepared. I wished to ensure it offered earlier than I dove in 100%, so I did a pre-sale. Throughout the first week, I had offered over $10,000 in programs. I’m very grateful that it didn’t decelerate after that, and nearly instantly, I changed my full-time job’s earnings.

You have turned your facet hustle right into a full-time enterprise. How a lot common month-to-month or annual income does it herald now?

Presently, I common $20,000 per thirty days with Bike Enterprise College. With the latest development, I’m projected to double that by the beginning of summer time 2024.

What’s your recommendation for different side-hustlers who hope to show their ventures into profitable companies?

Begin earlier than you’re prepared, and belief your self sufficient to know that should you’re obsessed with what you are doing, you’ll determine it out as you go. It is okay to make errors. It is okay to be taught classes the laborious approach. It is okay to adapt and make modifications as you could. Simply maintain going and continue to grow.

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Additionally, be taught on-line abilities. The web and social media could be extremely highly effective once you perceive the alternatives out there. Nothing brings me extra pleasure than promoting ice cream out at occasions, however having a web based facet to my enterprise has been a complete game-changer for me — and offered me with an uncapped earnings that will not be potential solely from ice cream gross sales.

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