If you have a part-time venture on the side that you are passionate about, then there’s a good chance you have entertained the idea of turning that into a full-time business.
You probably also have tons of questions about how to approach bringing your freelance or side hustle gig full-time. Don’t worry—we’re here to help!
Although it may seem like a daunting task, there are steps you can follow to make that move, and the work would be well worth it. Here are four things you can do now to work toward making the jump from spare-time to full-time business:
Assess Your Business’ Financial Health
While it may seem obvious for businesses to focus on their finances, this mindset may easily fall by the wayside. The first thing you need to do to take your side hustle full-time is get your finances in order.
You’ll need to be detailed in the tracking of your earnings and expenses. Ensure that your business’ revenue is enough to not only cover the expenses but to also invest in the growth of your business.
You may want to talk with a CPA and/or possibly a business consultant to see what you’re able to do to grow your business while being mindful of your finances. Remember, there are sometimes costs involved with these types of consultations.
Get a Plan of Action Together
If you want to go full-time with your side business, you’ll have to get a plan of action together. There are lots of things you may consider adding to this plan.
Start off by making a list of high-level action items that you can feasibly do to increase your business. A few of these include getting more business from current clients, discovering new clients, investing in your personal brand and advertising.
You can then break each high-level action item into smaller subsections. This help you determine how to best focus on each area and when to start.
Introduce New Products and Services to Current Clients
A great way to figure out new products and services is by surveying your current clients. A simple phone call with one of your best clients can give insight into the kind of services or products they’d be interested in.
You can also look at adding similar services to what you’re already offering. If you have a lawn mowing business, you could offer a hedge trimming service to go along with it. You could even bundle these services at a discounted rate to incentivize clients to add the extra service.
You don’t need to be a big business to do any of these! Offering new products or services is a great way to help turn a side business into a full-time business venture.
Find New Clients
Depending on what your side hustle is, there are always people looking for what you offer. One key to finding new clients is to simply ask for referrals. If customers are happy with your products and services, then most of them will gladly send more business your way.
There are several ways to get more referrals, but you may want to start by building out a referral plan for your current clients. You can hand them business cards with links to your social media profiles and ask them to review you, which can help get you more clients.
You can also incentivize! Try offering something for referrals, like $10 off a future service, if someone mentions you referred them.
Invest in Your Personal Brand
Personal branding involves honing a skill or pursuing personal passions and interests and then sharing that with the public. The primary tools at your disposal for personal branding include social media, blogging and networking with other influencers.
You should first identify your areas of expertise, which will help define your brand. This information should be included in the bio section of any social media platform you plan to use. We recommend focusing on one social media platform to begin with, and then once you’ve built a following there, expand into another one.
When you start investing in your personal brand, take the time to create and share content relevant to your area of expertise. Be sure to add in your own thoughts, ideas and opinions so that you’re adding input instead of just “sharing for the sake of sharing.”
For instance, if you are looking to grow your business as a barber it would be in your best interest to use your Instagram to showcase before and after photos or videos of your work.
Another key is being active and responsive on social media. It’s important to be equally consistent in the posting of your content as well as engaging with your followers. This can be anything from responding to comments and questions to being proactive and making use of features such as polls on Twitter and the “ask a question” feature on Instagram stories.
When investing in your personal brand on social media it’s also helpful to have a blog to talk about what’s going on in your business or professional life. Use your blog to give some insight into your career or business, talk about something interesting that recently happened in your business or give more detailed personal thoughts on a topic related to your products or services.
When creating both your blog and social media presence, do your best to let your personality shine through and be yourself. That is what will most separate you from other companies and help you gain a loyal following. Managing to do this successfully will greatly increase the chances of growing your business, though it won’t happen overnight!
Maintain a Digital Presence
If you are intending on taking a personal business full-time then it would greatly benefit you to invest in your digital presence, which is how your business appears online.
Maintaining a digital presence is the most effective way to reach a wide range of potential customers and make your products and services more discoverable. Most product and service research is done online, and if you haven’t invested time in making sure you’re consistent with your presence online, you could potentially be losing valuable new clients.
Having a Google My Business location for your business is a great first step to maintaining a search presence. Make sure to list the categories your business is in and what you offer, and you’ll begin to see increased search traffic and requests for information in no time.
Beyond your personal brand, be sure your business has social pages as well. They can be a highly effective avenue to reach your target market if used properly. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat may be right for you.
As I said earlier for personal branding, start with one network and expand in the future depending on what your target market uses. Don’t overexert yourself and know your limits. It’d be nice to do video, podcasts and blogging to share on all of the social media channels, but that’s not very easy to pull off.
Beyond posting and engaging, use each platform’s advertising options for more results. All of these social media platforms allow you to reach tons of users by advertising. You can upload lists of current clients and find users that are similar or you can target potential new clients by their interests.
All of these options can help you formulate a plan and move your side hustle into a full-time business venture. Take it one step at a time and don’t expect to see overnight, viral success, and you’ll be able to make your way to being your own boss full-time.
Are you planning to take your side hustle full-time this year? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below.
A man of few words and many interests. My favorite things to do are attend concerts and sporting events. I am a dog person and my breed of choice is the Rottweiler. My biggest passions include sneakers, fashion, fiction literature and cinema.