Being able to say you are your own boss is something many people yearn for. It has inspired a wealth of side-hustlers determined to cross over into full-time entrepreneurship. Lockdown has also afforded us the free-time to realise our creative potential and has driven our sense of ambition. Given the circumstances, it’s easy to see why many of us have reconsidered our career paths and our true passions in life.
But how do you go about turning your passion project into a fully-fledged business? Here’s my guide on making that side-hustle a full-time gig:
According to GEM’s 2018/2019 report, 40% of people think it’s easy to start a business; however, research suggests that 23% of small businesses fail in their first year. It’s important to remember that this transition will be a test of your ingenuity and dedication and should not be underestimated. If you commit fully, you will reap the rewards; so be passionate about what you are doing and go above and beyond. After all, you are your business, so putting the work in will pay off in the long run.
Be a problem solver
Ask yourself, will my business solve problems and is my skill-set in demand? Ideally, you should have worked this out when you started your side hustle, but, it’s always good to re-evaluate before turning it into your main business. If you’re not innovative or solving problems you risk being obsolete, particularly in this climate. A good method is to utilise your clients; ask them questions about their needs and, if appropriate, ask for testimonials and reviews to share on your website and marketing materials so people know that you are worth the investment.
40% of people think it’s easy to start a business; however, research suggests that 23% of small businesses fail in their first year.
Ensure your finances are in order
Whilst your side hustle may have earnt you some extra income, transitioning into a profitable business can put you at risk of financial uncertainty, so it’s crucial to get your finances in order first. A Freshbooks report suggested 22% of people found having money to re-invest the most challenging aspect of their business, so prioritise settling any debts and be realistic about how much money you will need for your business to take off. You will still have day-to-day bills to pay, practice good budgeting and save enough beforehand to see you through.
Network and grow
Make the most of the contacts you gained from your side-hustle as having support from others in the industry will be a massive benefit. Remember to be proactive and reach out and connect with new people too. There will be others who have taken the leap into full-time and are happy to share advice and give guidance. Build connections on Linkedin, start a room on Clubhouse or partake in virtual events. With the power of online, there are endless opportunities to reach out on a global scale.
Your side-hustle may have been easier to manage but a business requires more strategy. The workload will increase and you will have more customers to deal with, so have systems and processes for better time management. Outsourcing can help with this and free up time for tasks that require your urgent attention. Scheduling is also essential, so work out your priorities and schedule these tasks to ensure you are as efficient and effective in your work as possible.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2018/2019 Global Report
Freshbooks 2nd annual self-employment report (2018)