How to turn a side hustle into a full time business
You’ve been dabbling in your business for a while now. It’s gone pretty well, and now you are thinking about turning your side hustle into a full time business! That’s awesome news, but before you do anything drastic, here’s some things to think about before rushing in and quitting your job!
So, you’ve had some success so far and you’re starting to think you might be onto something. But what exactly makes you think your business could work on a full time basis? Is your diary full or are you regularly selling out? Are you making profit or are you getting close? Maybe you’ve even turned work away. Perhaps your reputation is growing? If this is the case, it may well be the right time to consider growing your business.
If you aren’t sure, consider how you are generating your sales now? Are you networking, is it from friends and family, social media or maybe paid adverts? Whatever it is, what happens when you double your efforts/budget for a month? If you aren’t marketing at all, maybe it’s time to test the market and see how easy it might be to find a new audience?
Can you afford it?
If you are still sure this is a good idea, your next step is to check the finances. Start by doing a personal budget and work out how much money you need to survive each month? Be honest with yourself about what you spend and make sure to factor money in for special occasions, plus clothing, eating out and other random expenses. You’ll soon regret cutting your budget too fine if you later find out you can’t afford a few treats now and then.
Now you know how much you need to survive, take a look at your business accounts. How do the numbers add up? Do you still think you could safely quit your job? Have you savings that will act as a buffer while your business grows, if so how long before they’ll run out? Could you go part time or work evenings while you grow your business?
If the numbers don’t look great, you might not need to quit your job just yet.
Do you need to quit your job?
It might be possible to scale your business without quitting your main job at all. The thought of being entirely self-sufficient can be scary for some. Some people like the option to keep working alongside their business, if only for a few hours a week. If this is you, why not consider outsourcing some elements of your business so you can spend more time on your product or service. A VA could be a game changer, so could a good social media manager.
You might also be able to automate some of what you do. How about setting up an online ordering system, creating a website with a full set of FAQs, or setting up workflows between all your tech? If so, Zapier might be worth exploring!
With the help of a few automations and a few extra pairs of hands, it might be possible to keep your job, or at least go part time for a while.
Make a plan!
Things are getting serious if you’ve made it this far. So your next step will be to write or update your business plan. It’s tempting to rush things like this but please take your time over it. The more time you spend on it, the more useful it will be to you. Many failing businesses could have been saved by a decent business plan. Likewise, many unviable business would never have been started.
In particular, make sure to do a competitor analysis and a market analysis, these will show you if there is a big enough market, and how you might fit into it. There are no guarantees, but a well researched business plan will minimise a lot of risk for you.
There is more information about the benefits of a business plan, and a template you can download on the Business Gateway Website.
Cash in King!
Your business plan will hopefully prompt you to think about cash flow. You might have a great idea but if you run out of money after 6 months you’ll have to stop and rethink. Your cash flow will help you predict where your financial strengths and weaknesses might be over the next 12 months. Don’t forget to include your wage, as well as your other expenses, in your cash flow charts. And remember to reflect the potential impact of seasons and holidays when you predict ebs and flows in your numbers.
As well as planning, another common reason for a businesses to fail is running out of money. Your business plan will prompt you to think about start-up costs such as websites, licensing, special equipment, staff, rental deposits, and vehicles etc. If you’ll need money to support dips in your cash flow, include that in your start-up costs too.
Now you should have a figure that represents the amount of money you need to get started. Do you have access to that kind of cash already? Can you save, or will you need to look elsewhere for finance? It’s normal for business’ to borrow money to get started, so don’t let that put you off. But, do be realistic about what you’ll need and make sure you borrow enough.
Just do it!
If the numbers add up, the plan is solid, and you are full of enthusiasm, so what’s holding you back?
We can help you get on the right path and achieve your goals!
Whether scaling your business is right for you or not. Get support with us now and we’ll help you figure this all out and make a strategy that is perfect for you!