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How to Identify a Target Market for your Side Hustle

Written by

Brianna LeCompte

I still remember attending my first Trivia night back in 2013. A group of my coworkers were discussing some options for happy hour venues and when we saw that a spot down the street was hosting a Trivia Night, we decided to go for it. I was instantly hooked. When the opportunity arose to join the Last Call team, I was ecstatic. Working with a talented and creative team to spread my love of trivia across the country-what could be better! I currently manage sales and outreach in our west coast areas. Outside of work, I love to travel and am also an avid equestrian and Disney movie lover.All Posts

You’ve almost made it through the planning stage of starting your Trivia Night side hustle. The last step to take before you start pounding the pavement is to select your initial target market.


Keep in mind that as your Trivia Night side hustle grows, you can continue to expand your reach, but your best bet when starting out is to narrow your focus as much as possible. This will allow you to take advantage of positive word of mouth and name recognition to quickly gain new clients. Below are some questions to ask yourself when identifying an initial target market.

What connections do you already have?

By reaching out to potential clients with whom you already have a connection, you are able to leverage the existing trust you have built. This can go a long way towards convincing a prospect that the service you offer is high quality and worth the investment.


First, consider any direct connections that you have to owners or managers of venues that are a good fit for Trivia Nights. If none come to mind, think of connections that other members of your network (friends, family, colleagues) may have. A reference from a trusted source is the next best thing to a direct relationship.


Starting with locations where you already have trust established gives you a lower barrier to entry. Once you start your first show, hosting a quality Trivia Night and generating extra revenue for the venue will allow you to easily translate the value that your service will bring to similar locations.

Bar discussion conversation people table 2

Where are your competitors not going?

It can be tempting to target areas where Trivia is already popular, but you will likely find more success by focusing on where your competitors are not located. By identifying trends in the locations without Trivia, you can tailor your service to better fit their needs. 


As a side hustler, you have the unique ability to offer customization that larger Trivia companies can’t accomodate.

For example, let’s say there is a college in your town, and none of the bars close to campus have a Trivia Night. Approach the owner or manager of one of the bars and see if Trivia is something they’ve considered adding to their event schedule. It’s possible that they’ve just been overlooked by your competitors, but what if the manager says Trivia is not a good fit for their venue? Ask open ended questions to see why they think Trivia won’t work for them.

What kind of entertainment options do your customers enjoy?


What night of the week is slowest for your bar?


What are other things you’ve tried to increase your business on slower nights?

By learning more about the preferences of your prospects, you uncover clues to help determine if Trivia doesn’t work for their bar, or if one-size-fits-all Trivia doesn’t work for their bar.


In the example above, since their clientele is mostly college students, maybe they prefer light-hearted entertainment and Trivia feels too much like a test. Offer to focus your Trivia Nights at their venue on movies, music, television, etc, to keep the more scholarly pursuits out of their beer drinking hours. As a side hustler, you have the flexibility to accommodate these kinds of tweaks that a large Trivia company doesn’t have.

bar owner restaurant inventory call busy multitasking

Who do you mesh with?

Regular Trivia players tend to develop a relationship with their host. Similar to the connections regulars at a bar make with their favorite bartender, interacting with you will become the highlight of the game for some of your players.

If you have an interest or quality that will give you an automatic “in” with the customers at a certain bar, your shows will have an extra level of entertainment. This will help ensure that your Trivia Nights get a steady repeat crowd. It will also create a following for your brand, with your regulars visiting new venues that you sign on other evenings. That instantly adds value to your service for any locations considering Trivia Night.

So, what kind of “in” might you have with a crowd? If you’re a music buff, venues that regularly offer live music would be a great fit. For sports aficionados, sports bars are the obvious choice. Based on the types of bars and restaurants in your area, decide where your personality will best shine.

The takeaway

Selecting an initial target market will save you time and hassle in the early days of your Trivia Night side hustle. By focusing on a small set of locations where you have the best connections and chemistry, you can focus on knocking your first Trivia Nights out of the park. Which is, of course, the key to earning more business in the future.