How to Make Your Side Hustle Your Full-Time Gig
You know the drill. You switch off your work computer at 5pm and power up your own computer because it’s time to work on that side hustle. You’ve got emails to respond to, content to plan and bookkeeping to do.
And you daydream about your side hustle becoming your full-time gig.
Scaling a small business as a solo entrepreneur can be a difficult task, especially if you are still working full-time somewhere else while you try to do it. But it’s the dream for many small businesses and solopreneurs. And we’re going to help you inch every bit closer to your goal with our complete guide on how to make your side hustle your full-time gig.
Starting a small business comes from a place of passion so it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement but it’s important to remember it’s a business and as such you need to plan like a business and operate like one.
This means the first step in making your business plan for expansion is to examine your ingoings and outgoings.
You need to look at all your expenses, your time spent and your gross profits. The answer to the question of ‘how long you need to keep your full-time job’ lies here. A good rule of thumb is to have 6 months of living expenses and business expenses saved up before you even consider quitting your day job.
And while savings are important, in order to successfully scale your business, you’ll need to be reasonably sure that you’re going to make enough money to cover all expenses and turn a modest profit. Hit the books and the spreadsheets, make sure you’re consistently bringing in enough and create some financial projections based on previous customer behaviour, sales history and upcoming specials, collaborations and pop up events.
Many small business owners find the right time to go full-time with their small business is when they are making more than their day job. Others decide they need to take the leap when they are too busy to fit in their day job. Just remember to be financially conservative and plan for a rainy day.
Perfect the product and your position
When you first started the business, you may have had a slightly different product or viewed your product in a different way. Given some time to work with your customers and see how they respond to your product, the feedback they have given and who is buying it, you’ll be able to reassess.
Taking all of this information and pivoting your marketing, targeting or even your product early on in your business will help you establish a stronger presence in the market overall.
Review your business plan
Review your business plan or if you haven’t really made one yet, make a business plan.
You should look at where you started from, how far you have come and where you want to go next. Your business plan should include goals for each quarter and overall goals, financial and non-financial goals. You’ll need to do competition research, find 3 – 5 other businesses similar to yours in your area and review what they’re doing well and what they’re not doing well.
Review where is the business within the larger scaling plan, have you already surpassed some financial goals ahead of schedule? Or perhaps you’ve pivoted due to market demand.
Consider if you are confident with your position in the market and if your marketing is accurately reflecting your current direction and plan for growth.
Identify your barriers to growth
Once you have established a new business plan and plan for scaling, take some time to think very honestly about some of the barriers you may face when trying to growth the business.
If you have not yet had to hire staff, your business will need additional workers at some point. If there are cash flow issues, you may need a loan to expand. There are all kinds of barriers you may find to your scaling plan but being aware of these issues in advance and having a plan for how you will handle each one and what can be done will help you to break through these barriers.
Ask a Professional
If you have found there is one particular area where you are running into problems and you don’t know how to fix it, ask a professional. As a business owner you are used to doing everything by yourself, but you really need to get comfortable reaching out for help when you need it.
There are lots of areas of your business where you may be less experienced, and you should get help instead of trying to fix those issues yourself. If your pipes burst, you wouldn’t try to fix it yourself and likewise you shouldn’t try to fix a website coding issue or rebrand your product when you aren’t a UX designer or a branding expert.
Identify your key growth strategy
You’ll need to identify your key growth strategy, and what you are going to do. If you are a product-based business, this might be expanding the selection of products you offer, introducing new products or perfecting your flagship product.
If you are service-based it may be adding more services. All growth strategies should be based on market research and feedback from you clientele and customer base.
If your products or services don’t need improvement but you’re finding your positioning is not aligning with your ideal customer base, then your growth strategy is going to be repositioning and perhaps rebranding to attract the right kind of target market.
Invest in yourself
Invest in yourself and your business. Running a business is not easy at the best of times and all the talent and passion in the world can only get you so far if you don’t have the practical skills to execute your businesses long term plans.
Investing in yourself by completing professional development is an investment in your business. If you want to scale, a short course in running a business is going to help to prepare you for all the things you never thought about when you first decided to open your own business.
Taxes, insurance, contracts and finances are often the hardest parts of running your own business, and if you’re not in a position to hire someone yet it can be challenging to work all this out on your own.
The Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business is a great stepping stone when first stepping up your business. It can help to get you on on track to take your side hustle to a full blown, self-sufficient business. This course covers everything you’ll need to know when launching or expanding your business. You’ll learn how to balance your books, organise and present business proposals as well as how to address compliance requirements.
An investment in yourself is an investment in your business and an investment in professional development or education always has a good ROI.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business, you can check out the course here or arrange to have a chat with one of our friendly course advisors here.