It’s not uncommon to have a side hustle while in school or a nine-five job; it’s a reasonable way to raise your income and capitalize on your passion.
However, turning your side hustle into a business isn’t as easy as flipping a switch; you need to have generated enough income to replace your current job or, at least, enough to cover your necessary expenses.
Nevertheless, if you want to take your skill set and transform them into your primary source of income, this article will provide all you need to achieve success.
1. Understand “why.”
It’s easy to get lost fantasizing about your new future as an entrepreneur and the extra cash it will generate. It’s OK to get excited; however, you need to put in some thoughts, ask yourself questions, and discover why you want to transform into a full-time business.
Do you want to start a business because you love the work, want to provide for your family, or it’s the most lucrative option you can find? Asking these questions is as important as understanding the product or service you will offer; it directs your business.
Additionally, knowing why you want to start a business can be crucial in helping you manage burnout and keep going when things get tough. Hurdles are expected in entrepreneurship, especially in startups; you’ll need all the motivation possible to survive.
2. Make a Plan
A business is a journey; no traveler begins the trip without proper preparation and planning. In simpler terms, you need a business plan, a document that outlines your business goals and the best ways to achieve them.
Furthermore, the process of making a business plan opens you to other aspects that you might overlook. These include sales projections, marketing, market analysis, and buyers’ persona.
A business plan clearly shows your current position, destination, and how to get there. As a result, you’ll be organized, accountable, and focused.
3. Understand your Customers and the markets
The significant difference between a side hustle and an established business is how much effort goes into each decision. For now, research is the most crucial element you need in this startup phase.
You must research and understand your market and the customers within that industry. The former is called market research, a phase where you study your competitors to know what they do that works and what you can do differently.
On the other hand, researching your customers involves discovering their problems and figuring out how your new business can solve their issues. You can connect with current and potential customers through ads, social media, and affiliate marketing since understanding their needs puts you at a competitive advantage.
4. Start Small
No successful business was built in a day; it began with small, realistic, and achievable goals that gradually increased as the establishment gained success. For this reason, it’s best to do the same with your business; start small, especially if you’re not perfect at your trade.
For example, if you’re a digital artist or content writer, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars building a website and branding yourself. Instead, platforms like Upwork and Fiverr have what you need to start small with no cost, build a portfolio, and gain sufficient traction.
Start small, develop your skill and business, and work your way up to high-paying clients. It may be challenging, especially if you have bills to pay; nevertheless, take the baby steps, and you can’t rush success.
5. Taking Payments
One aspect of business that should never be overlooked is how your customers can pay for your product or service. In an increasingly cash-free world, it is crucial to have a method of taking card payments from customers.
You may be surprised to find that you can’t simply buy a card machine online and start taking payments. Instead, you must sign up for a merchant services account through a bank or independent sales organisation. Once signed up, you can start renting the card machine and taking payments from customers.
However, the signing up process can often be time consuming, and the monthly rental can be quite expensive. In addition, you typically need to sign up for a lengthy contract (sometimes up to 4 years!), which can be difficult to leave. Luckily, there are quite a few alternatives to traditional card machines these days.
One of the best alternatives we’ve come across are SoftPOS apps. These apps allow you to take contactless card payments directly on your phone, without the need for a physical card machine. This saves monthly rental costs of hiring additional hardware. In addition, many SoftPOS apps like tapeeno have no sign-up fee, so you can save a lot compared to traditional card readers.
6. Network and Surround Yourself with Similar People
Networking is like currency; the relationships you form can make or break your new business. For this reason, it’s best to consistently associate with people that can help you grow in the industry.
Find people who encourage, motivate, support, and want to see you grow as a business owner, whether your family, friends, peers, or even employees. However, be open to honest criticism and avoid others that come out of spite.
When networking, search for people who have also been in your current position. Politely ask questions and seek their advice; their experience might help you avoid common pitfalls in your industry.
Deciding to be a full-time entrepreneur by turning a side hustle into a business is a big jump that needs careful thinking and planning. Consider the benefits and drawbacks alongside your current capacity and resources.
Also, prepare your financial resources and mental capacity for the transition because owning a business has many ups and downs. You may need money or the problem-solving mind of a leader to solve complex issues.