You’ve been working your side gig for some time now. It’s something that you have a genuine interest in, and you start to realize there’s a growing market for your service or product. You want to take advantage; your friends want you to take advantage; it would behoove you to take advantage, but you’re hesitant to take that full leap into a small business venture. And you know what – you wouldn’t be the only one.
Unless you had some sort of reassurance, there aren’t many of us who would leave our day jobs, and attempt a full-time business venture with no resources or any backing. And to try both at the same time is suicide, right? Well, two full-time jobs would be detrimental. But growing a side hustle into a small business is quite manageable – even with a full-time job.
In fact, studies have shown that businesses that are established part-time – then become full-time – are less likely to fail than businesses that started out full-time. So how can you turn your small time hobby into big time business without risking daytime income? With these five steps, you can grow your side hustle into a small business while still employed.
Step 1 – Build A Foundation
The first move will undoubtedly be your best move. And before you decide to just leave your daytime job, you’ll want to crunch the numbers and figure out how much you need to make with your side hustle per month to sustain living expenses, and for your side gig to be successful.
Because you’ve already invested personal time and energy into your side hustle, you should already have an idea of its validity as a possible business idea before risking everything. Create and follow a set of financial goals that can turn your project into a reliable business.
Step 2 – Invest Time & Energy
On a much larger scale than just free time, you’ll need to invest a significant amount of time and effort into growing your side gig into a small business. And because you’re also working full-time, you can only put in work during your SPARE TIME – we at ExpressExtension do not condone using your current company’s time and resources to grow your own business.
Be prepared to dedicate a great deal of off-time towards your goal – that means a lot of weekends spent at home, and evenings coming straight home to get more done. If you’ve ever had to cancel plans to study, complete a term paper, or take care of a family member, then you already know how this goes.
Step 3 – Expand When Necessary
Even though the goal is to grow into a small business, you’ll want to avoid the “startup hype” of investor-backed companies – the glitz and glamour of pouring money into your venture. All you really need is what’s necessary; a new work laptop or business cell phone is awesome, but can the work still get done without it?
All that stuff will come in due time. Be careful about racking up so much debt in the beginning. Your side hustle should gradually grow into what it’s meant to become – don’t force it unnecessarily.
Step 4 – Prevent A Burnout
“The struggle is real,” as people would say. You work throughout the day just to come home and work some more on your startup – this can become exhausting really quick. To avoid “burning both ends of the candle,” you should dedicate just a few hours where you can be completely productive. Those hours should be before midnight though, as it becomes rather difficult to focus on anything at 2 a.m. after working all day.
And while it’s a good idea to work your side hustle whenever you can, trying to do so seven days a week will burn you out quickly. Be sure to allow yourself at least one full day to rest and relax.
Step 5 – Make Your Move
Keep in mind that there probably won’t be a perfect time to leave your job and pursue your small business full-time. But if you’ve been able to reach your financial goals, and your venture is showing steady growth, it may be now or never to make that leap. If all your major pieces are in place, then the little things that are probably causing you to hesitate will also fall in place. We hear so often about those who were able to drop everything, pursue their business venture, and actually succeed. And while it is possible, the majority of small businesses find success from careful planning and hard work with a steady foundation.