The pandemic has been an eye-opener for many people regarding how they want to live and how they see themselves in the future. The time was also pivotal for discovering or rediscovering passion projects that have turned into profitable side hustles that provided a creative outlet, augmented incomes, and opened doors to promising opportunities. But how do you start one, and how do you know it has what it takes to become something bigger?
Will Cotter is the owner of HappyCleans, a professional home cleaning company based in OKC. Initially, he started it as a side hustle while still working in his 9 to 5 corporate job before taking a full plunge into full-time entrepreneurship. In this article, Will shares some expert tips on what you need to do if you’re dreaming of turning your side gig into a successful business.
Tips for turning side hustle into full-time business
Open a bank account for your business
Separate your personal finances from your regular paycheck and the profits you get from your side hustle. Doing so will give you a clearer insight into the financial aspect of your potential business. You’ll find out if it can generate an income regularly and how much you’ll have left as profits after taxes and overhead expenses. Then, check the actual figures, collect sufficient data, and determine how much money you need before considering quitting and recognizing it as something viable for business.
Conduct a SWOT analysis
The beauty of side hustles is less pressure because you can keep your full-time job while you’re still trying to figure things out. A SWOT analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a business plan framework that delves deeper into your competitive standing and provides data on how to develop a strategy to achieve your benchmarks for success.
Key areas that you need to answer during your SWOT analysis include:
- Who is your target market?
- Who are your competitors?
- What’s your edge or winning quality against your competitors?
- How do you plan to keep up with issues about the rising cost of raw materials, tight labor supply, or random lockdowns from the pandemic?
Prepare to put in the time — lots of it
Real talk: you’ll probably sacrifice most of your weekends, holidays, and after-work downtime with friends and family during the early stages. Because you’re working on your corporate job on weekdays, sometimes you’ll find yourself dedicating your days off to your side hustle. Plus, a full-time mom and wife!
It’s an absolute bummer, to be honest, but you should know that you’ll get even busier once you turn into a full-scale business. That’s why you must make sure you love what you do or at least see purpose in your actions. If it feels like a chore and you dread every minute of it, then maybe you have to take a step back and think again if this is something you want to do long-term.
Be ready to wear many hats and learn how
When starting your own business with a measly budget for staffing, you’ll see yourself playing different roles. You’re the creative director, social media manager, client relations specialist, customer service representative, delivery guy, and more all rolled into one. It’s not an easy road, but it’s guaranteed to be rewarding once you see your hard work paying off.
Enroll in certification courses or deep dive into the Internet to learn new skills. For example, sign up for a social media and graphic design course so that you can make your online platforms and Facebook ads more appealing to customers. Take it as a learning experience so you’ll know how to guide future employees accordingly when you expand in the future. In addition, if your business doesn’t push through as you plan, you’ll have in-demand skills to beef up your resume.
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