Selling My Side Hustle

Income Report Q1 2023 From My Food Photography Side Hustle

April 7, 2023

I'm Amy! I'm a small business educator who got hooked on entrepreneurship after starting a cleaning business in college. Since my Clorox days, I've built many businesses. I've sold businesses. And I've helped small business owners do the same.


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An Overview of My Side Hustle Income Report

You may not know this. But this side hustle obsessed girl, has an actual side hustle herself. I mean, how could I not? And I’m going to take you through the income report for my side hustle. I run a part-time food photography business, Lemon Squeezy Studios, LLC. I have been pursing food photography on the side of my corporate gigs for 3 years now. Food photography has blessed my family in so many ways, including helping us pay for our first home and our backyard wedding.

I was able to take my food photography business full-time in June, 2022. And it ran as my full-time gig for about 5 months before I realized the full-time business model exposed me to a lot of risks. For example, if I wanted to take time off, my revenue stream completely stopped. Or worse, if there was a medical emergency, there would be no way to collect income since my hands were the only way revenue flowed into the business.

In October of 2022, I decided to make the business part-time, focusing on my online business Amy Schmidt Company and hire part-time contractors for Lemon Squeezy. I hired (2) contractors to shoot for the company in 2022 and (3) more in January 2023. Hiring contractors has required more hours from me each week during training but has introduced security. I know now that income can flow into the business, even if I’m not shooting each week.

When it comes to my side hustle, I really had to look at things differently and how to earn more income without adding more hours to my plate. That’s where I learned how to boost my existing profits, instead of creating more work for myself. Download my FREE Profit Boosting Cheatsheet right here. This free download will walk you through how to start earning more income from your existing offer(s) instead of adding more hours to your schedule.

Quarter 1 2023

Quarter 1 did not go back quickly. I felt very in touch with this quarter as I onboarded (3) new team members. The biggest difference between Q1 2023 and Q4 2022 was the inventory I created. Due to my attention being on training new employees, I drastically cut my personal workload. This is the workload that I see the biggest profit from and less loss. This did hurt financially but was seen as an investment for the company to have a team in place.

side hustle income report
side hustle income report food photography


The income report for my side hustle during Q1 2023 doesn’t show a lot of investments. I didn’t need my attorney for anything and I choose not to invest in equipment. My major investment in Q1 was in my team of new hires. On average, it costs me about $630 and 6 hours to hire and train a contractor. This investment pays me back after 10 recipes are sold that they cook. Today 2 of 3 contractors have paid for themselves and starting to add profit to the company which is a huge win.

Cost of Goods Sold

My side hustle carries very little overhead each month. It costs less than $150 to run my business each month. However, my expenses are extremely high due to the cost of goods sold. This is mostly groceries from myself and contractors. I do categorize the two differently so I can track everyone’s average grocery spend per recipe (including myself).

I also include labor and bonus pay into my cost of goods sold. This is usually a large part of my expenses, over half.


There are only 2 ways that the company receives revenue. Through the Lemon Squeezy Shopify store and through PayPal invoicing. PayPal invoicing is reserved for when pre-sale orders are placed. This is when a client purchases a recipe sight-unseen.

The company’s revenue did trend up in Q1. However, compared to 2022, it is behind. My revenue goal for Q1 2023 was $32,000 which is about $10,000 less than achieved. Looking back, I can see how this revenue goal was probably unrealistic due to my workload. I drastically cut my own inventory back and launched a large project for Amy Schmidt Company.

Clearance & Sales

Each quarter inside Lemon Squeezy, I have a major blow-out clearance sale. This is where I collect a lot of revenue from unsold inventory. When a recipe goes unsold, I remove that recipe from the shop and put it in a holding phase until the next clearance sale.

Q1 clearance sale happens over St. Paddy’s weekend. This was especially good because the company did have a large number of unsold inventory from contractors. And when a recipe from a contractor is unsold, the company eats that cost fully. This clearance sale was a way to earn back that lost revenue.

This sale listed 20 unsold recipes at a super-discounted price. 18 of the 20 recipes were from contractors. And 19 recipes sold. The sale generated $1,843.00 which recouped about 100% of cost of goods sold. However keep in mind, recouping COGS doesn’t mean you’re earning a profit. My labor hours were not recouped, just income spent.

Company Profit (Pre-Tax)

The company’s profit did trend up as well. My income report shows that January’s profit was extremely lower compared to other months. This was due to the cost of hiring and me not being able to cook as much. I believe I also took a week off.

After taxes, March’s profit came out to about $4,356. This is a fantastic profit for the company and comparable to 2022.

Lessons From Quarter 1

There were a lot of lessons that I learned this past quarter. Even though my side hustle has been around for almost 3 years now, I feel as if I learn something new each month. Here’s a breakdown of my takeaways from my side hustle income report, highlighting what I did right, and where opportunities were.

What I did right:

  • I got 2 of 3 contractors in the green (the investment has paid off)
  • I kept contractors’ grocery cost lower, having them use the same ingredients for multiple recipes
  • I streamlined my payroll system and created a bonus program based on full-price commision
  • I found various success niche’s of recipes myself
  • I took on more life-style projects that excited me and my clients!

Where my opportunities were:

  • I failed to get ahead on admin tasks
  • I allowed contractors to cook too much when they asked
  • I failed to meet a few delivery dates due to accepting too many recipes at once
  • I failed to retain a client due to a cookie recipe that wasn’t tested enough

My side hustle income report is always eye opening to look at. And there are some parts that I don’t look back on too fondly. However, that is what running a business is. And the best thing I can do is learn.

Tracking Your Side Hustle Numbers

I’m extremely grateful that my food photography side hustle earns the income that it does. But believe me, this wasn’t always the case. It took me a couple of months to see the green and truly be profitable. And then it took years to truly grow the revenue to where it is today.

I love tracking the numbers inside my business. Even when the numbers are red. Understanding exactly what is moving in and out of your business is one of the only ways you can grow the company. It’s important that we understand receiving income doesn’t always mean you’re profiting. And until you truly understand your numbers, you run the risk of losing income inside your business.

If you’re wanting to start tracking the numbers inside your business, explore my $9 Profit / Loss Google Sheets Template here. It’s the same template you see in this blog post. As you can see, I use it every day inside my business and love it that much. My own accountant gave it 5 out of 5 stars!

And if you’re a lover of spreadsheets like me, I have a few more for you! Explore all of my spreadsheets here for your side hustle, including my Email Marketing Analytics and Business Analytics spreadsheets.

Stop leaving money on the table when it comes to your side hustle. Grab my FREE Profit Boosting Cheatsheet right here and learn how you can start earning more income from your existing offer(s).

Are you and your side hustle ready to amp-up your income? I can help with that! Explore my Power Hour coaching calls right here! These are 60-minute a la carte business coaching calls where we dive into your business, your goals, and a plan of action.

I'm Amy Schmidt

Hi there!

I'm a small business cheerleader, strategist, and course creator who loves seeing others earn income in unconventional ways. I started a cleaning business in college and have side hustled since, selling my latest part-time business for $151,000.


I'm Amy Schmidt, your new business strategist!

I'm a small business development and sales strategist who loves seeing others earn income in unconventional ways. I started a cleaning business in college and have side hustled since, selling my latest part-time business for $151,000

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