TUrning your side hustle into a full-time career
Have you been getting the urge to ditch your 9-5 as you’ve been gaining momentum with your side hustle? Quitting your day job in favor of your side hustle is a scary endeavor and can be filled with challenges. Careful planning and hours of weighing the pros and cons are necessary before taking the dive. Turning your side hustle into a business is the ultimate leap of faith – so make sure you’re ready and fully believe in yourself and the business before taking the risk. Make sure your side hobby is actually making income, and isn’t just a hobby. After that, checking in with yourself about the stability of it as a full time income is important. Being realistic with yourself about the business structure is important beyond the dreamier side of entrepreneurship.
Start with a pitch deck and a solid business plan
Having a pitch deck will help you tell your story in a clear and concise manner.
Your deck should include these 5 things:
1. Company Mission (why will people spend money on this product/service), include figures and context
2. The Idea
3. How the company and/or products work
4. Why are you the best person to service this problem
5. How you are going to make money off of it
Keep the deck short and visually appealing so that investors can easily interpret your information. They see a lot of decks so you want to make sure the information is easily comprehended on first glance.
Connect And Build Your Network
Network network network. Focus on building credibility. Every person you meet could connect you to other clients, businesses, and partners. It can be difficult in the beginning to pitch yourself, but the more you talk to others about your business, the more you leverage yourself and open the door of opportunity. Meet other entrepreneurs, attend workshops, go to business conferences. Anything that can connect you to others in business will be extremely helpful in getting known and becoming a familiar name. Don’t be afraid to ask if people know anyone within your industry. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from other business owners….their mistakes can teach you a lot. For my first event, I collaborated with a lot of businesses in the community that I knew from my previous work position. The more people that have your back and vice versa, the more people you can get on board for projects, connections to clients, and investors.
Set clear yet realistic goals and objectives and be persistent
For anyone switching from a side-hustle to full-time job, you have to be prepared for a big time commitment. There’s a quote by Lori Greiner that says 'Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.'" Owning a business can mean countless hours of building a brand, website, pitching yourself to clients, and so much more without an immediate payoff. This is where people can often become discouraged. You’ll have to be diligent with your time so you don’t get stuck on one task. Be prepared for the ups and downs and keep pushing through. If you truly believe enough in your business, the more time and effort you put in will aid in your success.
Don’t take the leap if you are not financially secure. Starting a business may be unstable, or even a financial investment in the beginning. So make sure your bills are well taken care of and you have some wiggle room in starting off.
Open a business account
It’s important to keep your business funds separate from your personal funds. And just like with any checking and savings account, the rates and fees vary with different banks. So do your research before opening an account. It might make sense to speak with a tax professional who can help you when starting off.
Apply to as Many Grants or Pitch Competitions As You Can
By applying to different grants or pitch competitions, you learn about business and potentially connect yourself to sources of funding. This can also be extremely helpful in networking and finding other entrepreneurs (and fingers crossed money as well). Do your online research and listen to podcasts that explain the financial side of business ownership. Some resources I look to for inspiration include Girlboss Radio and How I Built This. Other great podcasts: Y Combinator (how to start a startup), and The Pitch (founders pitching to investors).
Believe in yourself
The most important (and challenging) part of owning a business. No one will believe in your ideas if you can’t even convince yourself of them. It will be discouraging and it usually takes a really long time before things pick up. Don’t be afraid to follow where life takes you, sometimes it takes a few (or a thousand) tries to figure everything out. With determination and a strong plan, you can achieve your dreams.