Side Hustle

Turning Your Side Hustle Into Your Only Hustle: A How-To Guide

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Side hustles are gaining more popularity all the time. They’re a great way to make extra money while controlling your hours. But what happens if you want to turn your side hustle into your only hustle? How do you make that transition? This how-to guide is here to help.

Start With A Plan

A good plan can be the difference between success and failure when starting a business. Here are a few things you should consider while putting your plan together.

  • What is your side hustle and can it be successful as a business?
  • Why do you want to turn it into a business?
  • Are you motivated and passionate about this idea? If you aren’t at the beginning, you certainly won’t be later.
  • Do you want to start this business alone, or is there someone who could be your partner?
  • What are your goals and are they S.MA.R.T.? That stands for Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Timely.
  • How much experience will you need to gain before you can transition from side hustle to full-time business?
  • How much income will you need to make from this to be able to commit to it full-time?
  • What challenges will you face and how can you overcome them?

It’s important to really think about why you’re doing this, and make sure it’s the right decision for you. 

Act Like It’s A Business From The Beginning 

If your side hustle is going to be your full-time business someday, act like it already is. 

  • Don’t work for free. It’s alright to work in trade if that suits you but don’t let people get used to having your services for free. 
  • Act professionally. Give this job the same effort now that you will when it’s your business so clients know what to expect.
  • Ask people to recommend you to others. 
  • Have set hours that you work. This may mean working odd hours around your other job until you’re ready to make the transition completely. 
  • Have business cards made and always have one with you.
  • Invest in items to promote your business. You’ll have to decide what the best promo items are for you, but you can’t ever go wrong with useful items. 
  • Create social media accounts for your business and develop a strategy for how best to use them.
  • Find people that have social media followings and are willing to promote you. You may be able to find someone to do it for free or in exchange for some work.
  • Create a designated business email and phone number. You can get a second number through most dialer apps.

Let everyone know you’re serious about what you’re doing from the start. First impressions are important. The more put-together you are now, the more likely it is people will be willing to support you later. 

Get Start-Up Money

Starting your business can be costly. It’s important to set aside some funds that are specifically for the business. Here are a few ways you can go about that.

  • Save up money from your current “day job.”
  • Set aside money you earn while you’re still in the side hustle phase of your business.
  • Take out a small business loan.
  • Find people willing to invest some money in you and your business. 
  • If you have a lot of unnecessary possessions, see if you can sell any of them. 
  • Partner with someone else so you can split the expenses. 
  • Look for ways to save money on necessary start-up equipment.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t have start-up costs, you’ll still be taking on a different tax situation. Setting aside money for surprises is always a good idea.

Make A Financial Plan For Yourself 

In addition to saving money for your business, you need to make a financial plan for yourself as a person. It’s important to make a plan for how you’ll live when the business is getting started.

  • Do the math and determine how much money you need to cover your personal expenses while the business is getting started.
  • You won’t know for sure how much the business will make until you get it going, so make backup plans for covering your bills.
  • Save up money from your full-time job, or the side hustle phase of your business.
  • Do some research on what you can realistically expect to make. Is your side hustle a top-paying job when you do it full-time?
  • Discuss your decisions with other people that will be affected. 
  • Decide what changes, if any, need to be made to your lifestyle in order to keep going during the process of starting your business. 
  • Consider what you’ll do if the business fails. It’s the worst-case scenario, but it’s important to make sure you won’t go down with the business.
  • Look into getting a small personal loan from the bank.
  • Separate your personal and business finances. Get separate bank accounts for your money and your business’s money. 
  • Learn how to properly keep records for tax purposes. 

Make sure you and your loved ones fully understand the financial reality of what you’re about to undertake. Consider the risks and decide if it’s worth it. 

Manage Your Expectations

Expect the job to become much more challenging when you take it on full-time. There are challenges to owning your own business that you might not think of right away. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Consider what you may have to give up in order to make your business a reality. 
  • Look into what businesses similar to yours experienced when they first got started to get some idea of what to expect.
  • You have the freedom to choose your schedule but you may work more than a traditional job at first.
  • It takes time to become successful, and until you do, you might find yourself working a lot of hours, including nights and weekends.
  • Decide what you want and what you actually need for this to work.
  • You’ll have control of who you work with, but you also need lots of clients to get going.
  • Don’t plan any weekend trips or vacations for a while, unless there’s someone else who can take over while you’re gone.

Owning your own business gives you more control of your life and a new sense of freedom. The trade-off is that you’ll probably spend the first few months working harder than you ever have. Just remember why you’re doing it, and that things will get easier. 

Make The Transition

When all your plans have been made, and all the possibilities have been considered, it’s time to start the transition.

  • Decide when will be a good time to make the transition.
  • Let your other job know when you’ll be leaving.
  • Gather any necessary materials and supplies.
  • Keep track of expenses, hours worked, and profits made from day one.
  • Make sure your tax situation is in order and you know how much you need to set aside, now that you’re self-employed.
  • Let everyone know you’re officially opening your business.
  • Reach out to former clients to let them know you’re now in the business full-time and can take on any work they may have.
  • Make any necessary changes as you go along.

Now that you’ve made the transition, you can begin building the life you want. 

Evaluate Your Progress

Check-in with yourself regularly about how things are going. Even self-employed people need performance reviews.

  • Are you where you expected to be in the business at this point?
  • What changes, if any, need to be made?
  • Are you on track as far as your financial goals go?
  • How close are you to having the work-life balance you want?
  • Are you happy with the number of clients you have right now?
  • What is your plan going forward?
  • Are you happy with how things are going?
  • Do you want to expand the business and take on employees? 
  • If you do want to expand, when can you expect to be ready to do it?

The answers to these questions can help you decide if things are going smoothly or if it’s time to shake things up.

Thank Your Supporters 

You wouldn’t have a business if there weren’t people to support you. Whether it’s family, friends, investors, or the people who buy your products, don’t forget to say thank you. 

  • Let people from your personal life know that you appreciate their kindness and support.
  • Keep your investors updated on your progress and thank them for believing in you and your dream.
  • Offer your returning customers discounts or little extras for their loyalty to your business.
  • Make your thanks public. A social media post about how grateful you are will make you seem humble and bring in more potential clients.

It may sound cheesy, but don’t forget to thank yourself too. It takes courage to take the risk of starting your own business and you deserve props for doing it.

So that’s it. Thanks to this how-to guide, you now know what it takes to turn your side hustle into your only hustle. The only question left is, will you make the change?

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