There are many things to think about before taking your side hustle to the next level if either of the above questions apply to you.
I know this because it took me around two years before I made the decision to pursue my side hustle full-time. Even after that, I still prepared myself for another few months before I actually left my day job.
I look back and I still cannot believe that I gathered the courage to take my side hustle to the next level.
Life is incredible now and I’m very glad I made the preparations that I did.
Below are my tips for taking your side hustle to the next level and starting a small business successfully.
Create a plan.
Starting a small business is a lot of work. Whether you want to make more money with your side hustle or if you want to make it your full-time income, you will want to create some sort of plan.
Below are some of the many things you should think about:
Can you make a full-time income with your side job?
Can you make an income for many, many years to come?
If you plan on keeping your day job, will it suffer if you try to make more money with your side hustle? What can you do so that your day job doesn’t suffer?
How long will it take for you to make a full-time income after you leave your day job?
What will you do for health insurance?
When will you turn in your notice at your current full-time job?
What is your backup plan?
Related: If you are wanting to leave your current job to pursue something else, I have the book for you. I highly recommend the book How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye. It includes 150 pages of information on how to negotiate a severance from a job you no longer like, profiles of people from different demographics and income levels who’ve successfully engineered their layoffs, and how they did it, and more.
Have a self-hosted website for your small business.
I receive many emails each week from people who are trying to get their freelance writing career off the ground. One of the first questions I always ask is whether they have a website or not. Surprisingly, most people say no! How are people supposed to find you or even know about you if you don’t have a website?
There is a chance that your side hustle doesn’t need a website, but I find that rare in this day and age.
The first thing almost everyone does when they are interested in a company is look them up online and check out their website. If you don’t have a website, then you are cheating yourself out of potential customers.
I recommend setting up a website, opening social media accounts with your business name (or your name), and more when starting a small business.
Related to this, I also recommend having a professionally designed website and/or logo once you can afford it. Companies such as Deluxe Business Services (affiliate link) can help your business look professional. For example, with Deluxe’s logo design service, you can receive a great design on a low budget. Their logo design service starts at just $245 and this includes personalized service where you actually work one-on-one with a designer. Also, right now you can get 10% off any logo design package with my link.
If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $3.49 per month for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting.
Hire help when starting a small business.
Outsourcing is needed in order for most businesses to grow.
If you can make more of your time available by outsourcing work and other tasks, this frees up more time so that you can make more money, grow your business, and so on.
There are many positive reasons for why you should start outsourcing:
You can add more time to your life.
You can focus on the bigger picture.
You can outsource tasks that you hate.
Outsourcing work is great when you are not an expert at a task. Yes, this means you may have to hire an accountant or lawyer for your business!
Network with others.
If you want to take your side hustle to the next level and start making more money, then you will want to start networking.
Networking can help you and your business because you can learn about new ways to improve your business, you may make valuable contacts, you can learn more about the industry you are in, and more.
This means that you may want to start networking with others in your industry by attending conferences, local meet ups, emailing others, and so on.
Find ways to market your services or products.
In order for a business to grow, you will need to market it in some way.
Starting a small business without any marketing would be near impossible because no one would know that you even exist!
Whether it’s something as simple as providing great customer service so that your reputation will spread across your market or if you plan on placing advertisements, marketing your business is important.
Have a proper work environment.
While at one point it may have been fine just to work from your bed, eventually you may have to invest in a home office, a co-working space, a shared conference room, and so on.
Having a professional and proper work environment can help you separate your work from your life and it can help you look more professional to clients.
Beef up your emergency fund.
You will want to beef up your emergency fund if you’re going to rely on your side hustle for your full-time income. This is because you may experience unstable income when starting a small business.
You might have your best month ever one month and the very next month may be your worst. Stress can impact the quality of work that you provide and this is something you don’t want to happen. A lack of an emergency fund may even cause you to completely give up on your side hustle because you may not have the funds to continue.
Are you interested in taking your side hustle to the next level and starting a small business? What are your future plans for your side hustle?