So, you’ve been operating a side hustle for a little while alongside a fulltime job. It may have initially helped ends meet or been a genuine passion of yours that you couldn’t make a decent living off. But now the tides have turned, and you are seeing the real potential to take it full time.
If this is you, you probably have a significant amount of fear attached to this ‘what-if’. What if it only performs averagely, and you end up taking a pay cut? What if the cost-to-income ratio is negative, resulting in you taking same-day loans to get by?
These are real possibilities, whether your model is in goods or services. However, keeping these following tips in mind may drastically promote taking your side gig full time.
What constitutes your business plan and structure?
If you don’t sit down and outline your gameplan, you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance. It wouldn’t make sense to quit your job over a vague business premise. You should take some time out to identify your structure and what your business plan is.
Start by identifying your niche. Ideally, you already know who you’re catering to. Whether it be an age demographic such as a service to help the elderly or a population demographic such as veils for brides, you should identify this.
Doing this will then help you to gain an understanding of who your stakeholders and consumers are. You can simultaneously make notes of who your competitors may be. These details come in handy for better catering to your audience, along with what approach you take to scaling.
Another point worth considering is what your structure is. Many small businesses, unless started between friends, begin as sole proprietors. However, there are many other business structures to choose from, depending on business size, predicted growth, and various personal circumstances. Ensure you do the proper research to work out what is right for you.
Establish your brand
Establishing your brand means a good logo, website and socials to reflect what you’re all about. This is the bit that may be slightly more fun than the rest, especially if you are a creative person.
If you’re not artistic or tech-savvy, you may want to consider paying to have these services completed for you. However, if you have a website built for you, ensure you learn how to use it and update it yourself. You don’t want to be utterly reliant on somebody else just to update a blog or change listed information.
Unfortunately, people tend to judge the book by its cover, which means you’ll need to pay attention to your aesthetics and personal brand. If you are putting your name on the company, consider hiding your personal social media if you believe it may hinder your business success.
Finally, social media has never been so important. Your consumers want to see what you can do, so staying active on social media is a great way to increase your visibility and consumer base. If you don’t already have socials, it’s time to reach a larger group of people. Again, this may require some research if you are unsure how to do this well, but it will be time worth spending.
Scale and transition
Before you quit your job, you will want to scale your business intensely if it is not already earning you enough to live off. This may mean hiring a remote employee to conduct simple tasks while you are at work. Push as much content, creations, or services as you can in this time to prepare yourself for the switch. If you need more funding to achieve this, you may need to look into family or bank support or potential crowdfunding.
If you don’t already, you may want to begin research on investing in advertising. Whether this is social marketing, free content sharing, or paid advertising through google. Whatever you can do to get your brand out there will most likely aid your shift away from your traditional job.
You are then going to want to create a transition plan. You may not be able to quit your day job instantly, but making a transition plan might mean deciding to slowly ween yourself off your nine-to-five. You could drop down to part-time and see how this impacts your side hustle before pulling back. Regardless of how you choose to transition, it is worth ensuring that you have an adequate emergency fund in place in case the plan goes awry.
However you go about the process of taking your side gig to the next level, you should be aware that you may end up putting most of your time into work. Where possible, consider how you are managing your work-life balance and don’t forget to take the appropriate breaks to avoid burnout.
Taking your side-gig fulltime is not easy, and not everyone can do so. You may be quite fearful of failure, but you will never know if you don’t try. If upscaling is in the cards, give it your best shot, and good luck for the future.