Starting a side hustle is a popular way to make a little bit of money to add to your extra income. But what if you start to think that your side hustle could actually become your main hustle?
Maybe it’s starting to gain traction or you just enjoy it a whole lot more than you enjoy your main job?
You could turn your extra income into your primary source of income if you’re inclined to.
However, it can take a lot of work, and you can’t just immediately flip a switch to make it happen. You’re going to have to put in some effort and dedicate your time to growing your business.
Prioritise Your Business Growth
If you want to turn your side hustle into your main source of income, you’re going to have to be able to spare the time.
You need to be able to prioritise the growth of your business over some of the other things in your life. Of course, you might have other things that you need to put first, such as your children.
But you will also have times where you need to prioritise your business over socialising with friends or going out for drinks with colleagues.
Create a Plan for Going Full-Time
Taking your side hustle from part-time (maybe only a handful of hours each week) to full-time can be a big challenge.
Many people are already working a full-time job and switching from being employed to working on your side hustle can be a long process.
At some point, you have to make the leap so that you can concentrate on growing your business full-time.
It’s a good idea to start with working out how much money you need to be earning and how much you need in savings to survive until your business is more stable.
How long will it take you to get to the point when you can quit your job, and how much longer will it be until you can support yourself solely from your business’s income?
Make Your Business Official
If you’ve been running a side hustle, you might have already registered as self-employed.
You should ideally register as soon as possible, but you have until the 5th of October after the end of the tax year in which you began your business.
Another way to run your business might be to register as a limited company, and you can also consider joining in a partnership with someone else.
Setting up a limited company can be a bit of a hassle, but you can get help with it.
Some services give you the benefit of providing a limited company, with the privacy offered by a prestigious registered office address in Covent Garden, London.
This is great if you’re working from home and don’t have an official business address other than your home address.
A limited company legally separates your business from you, helping to protect your finances, while a different address will help you to keep your privacy too.
Scale Your Company Slowly
It can be tempting to try and grow your business as quickly as possible. If you’ve ever watched Dragon’s Den, maybe you’re thinking about trying to secure investors to inject some cash into your company.
It can be a good idea to look for investors, especially if they can offer mentorship at the same time, but not every business needs to grow so quickly.
Before you start thinking about investing, scaling your business slowly can be the best way to grow it.
Then, once you’ve reached a certain point, it might be smart to start thinking about investment.
The best way to start scaling your company to start with may be to invest your profits back into the business.
After you’ve paid yourself (if you choose to), use the remaining profits for marketing, buying new equipment, educating yourself, or anything else that might help you to grow the business.
Not only will it be cheaper, but it will also help you to avoid growing your business too quickly.
You’re less likely to create a bubble that will burst or a plateau where you stop growing.
Balance Your Time
Trying to grow a business while you have other commitments is not easy. When you’re growing your side hustle, you have to not only balance your work and personal lives but also balance your current job with your business.
You don’t know yet if your business is going to work out, so you can’t just check out of your day job. However, burning the candle at both ends can quickly lead to disaster.
You can end up burnt out, plus you might find you’re not really doing good work anyway. Is your business really going to be its best if you’re only working on it in the early hours of the morning when you’re exhausted?
It can be difficult to organise your time when you have multiple commitments. It’s especially hard when children can be unpredictable, making it hard to schedule your time properly.
But creating a routine and schedule for yourself and your family is one of the best things you can do.
Even if you can’t stick to it perfectly, it can give you an idea of how you can divide up your time.
Of course, it’s also helpful if you have a partner or co-parent who can support you while you’re growing your business.
Start Marketing More
One thing that you might not have been doing much with your side hustle is marketing. You might have been relying on word of mouth or a little social media marketing, perhaps some blogging or SEO.
But if you want to grow your side hustle into a proper business, you should think about how to invest more time in marketing.
Marketing your business is essential if you want it to grow, and for that, you need a proper marketing strategy.
You should start thinking about the best ways to promote your business, whether that means online marketing or using offline methods.
Give Your Business an Identity
Before you start marketing too hard, you should also make sure you have a brand. When you start a side hustle, you might not put a lot of effort into developing a brand identity.
Perhaps you have a name and a logo but you haven’t really thought about it beyond that.
Developing a brand can take time but giving your business or product its own identity helps you to make it stand out.
You need to be able to differentiate your business from others, which requires you to have a defined brand so that you can grow your business.
Use Your Contacts
If your side hustle is related to your current job, you might have some useful contacts that can help you to grow your business.
Of course, you need to be careful if you’re planning on leaving your job soon. You don’t want to burn any bridges and you probably don’t want to let people know that you’re planning on leaving too soon.
But the connections that you’ve made at work can help you out with advice, put you in touch with the right people, and even support you in your next step. Make use of the contacts you have to grow your business in a smart way.
When you want to take your side hustle to the next level, one of the best things you can do is set deadlines for yourself.
By what point do you want to be bringing in a certain amount of money? When do you want to be ready to leave your job and work on your business full-time?
You might not always meet your deadlines, but it will help to ensure you’re working on what’s most important.
Even if you have to push your deadlines back a little, you can always have something to work towards to keep you motivated.
Know Your Audience
If you don’t already have a good idea of who your customers are (or who you want them to be), it’s something that you need to prioritise.
It’s difficult to grow your business if you don’t really know who it’s for. Conducting some market research can help you to solidify who your audience is.
You can find out who your existing customers are, as well as what sort of people are using the services or products of your competitors. Create buyer personas that you can use to market your business more accurately.
Some people might find that a good way to grow their side hustle is to partner with someone else.
It could be a colleague who could contribute different skills to your business. It could be someone trying to get a similar business started, or it could even be your spouse.
Partnering with someone else can help you to manage the workload more and prevent burnout while growing your business.
Turn your side hustle into a full-blown business by creating a plan for growth that allows you to manage it sensibly.
Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.