Today, most people have dreams of starting a small business on the side and growing it to a level where they can quit their day jobs and live completely off these self-established businesses or side hustles as they’re popularly called. Whether you have just an idea in mind or a few projects already under your belt, this process not an easy one to start. However, with careful planning and execution, you could turn your side hustle into a full time business that gives just as much return as your day job does.
Several entrepreneurs have found success via this means. Studies show that businesses launched while the founder still has a day job were less likely to fail than businesses started full-time by their founders. While not everyone can manage a side hustle alongside their day job, if you have one that you’re passionate about and are interested in scaling, you don’t have to quit your day job to get it off the ground. These tips show how to make your side hustle a full-time business.
- Lay the right foundation: Starting is definitely the hardest part, but you can reduce the risk by covering your bases and having a proper plan in place before you start. Side hustles have the benefit of giving a chance to test and prove how profitable a business idea is before committing everything to it. Work out how much money will be needed to sustain you comfortably if you are to quit and just how much you need to make from your side hustle to consider it “successful”. This definition of success will be your guide when tracking the progress you’ve made and will indicate just how sustainable your business idea is.
- Be ready to dedicate your time: When starting at first, most of your hours will be spent on your new venture, but it would be a little easier to deal with if you are prepared for it. Things like hanging out with friends after work and on weekends will have to go – at least temporarily – because these times(after work and during weekends) are the times you will be dedicating to your new venture. Though it will get less difficult with time, the first few months will be grueling. This is also an opportunity to check just how dedicated you are to making your new venture work. If you’re not comfortable with spending all your free time on your side hustle, then you might want to reevaluate the business and consider other ideas you wouldn’t mind putting everything into, even though they may fail at the end of the day.
- Get a larger online audience: Whatever your business is, having an online presence is always a plus, the simple reason being that this current era of ubiquitous connectedness has brought everyone online – including your target audience. Online marketplaces and social media sites will be essential to getting your work out to a wider audience. Tell your story, get praise, suggestions and feedback through this means.
- Reach out to fellow creatives: When making a career out of a side hustle, it’s easy to stay isolated – especially if it’s based online and doesn’t involve much face to face contact with customers. Make a point of getting out from time to time to socialize and meet not just other creatives, but people whose connections you could benefit from one way or another. Networking is always good, regardless of profession or platform – online or not.
- Document your projects: Whether it’s through photography(for visual projects), written documentation or voice notes. When you document your work with as much care and consideration as you put into creating it, it will make referencing in the future that much easier. Remember you no longer have the manpower and tools formerly available to you at your day job at your disposal. Take documentation very seriously indeed and make a habit of having backups of all your content – in time you’ll be glad you did!
- Scale wisely: When growing a business, you will be tempted to pour in a lot of money into the venture in an attempt to make it grow faster. Resist this temptation. Though the idea of investor support is touted by startup culture, growing a company slowly is often the more rewarding path to take. Test different variations of your original idea and watch closely to see what works. Avoid unnecessary spending and debt – if you can and grow your company slowly when opportunities present themselves.