1. Make an honest assessment
Take a moment to think about starting a side hustle, and how it is going to change your life. The strain on your relationships, missed gatherings with family and friends, sacrificing free time, losing sleep, and more.
Do you already possess the skills required for your side hustle idea? Or will you need to earn a degree, take an online course, or attend some type of training? Do you have what it will take to see this through?
Your side hustle can make money. And you can quit your day job. There are plenty of examples of men and women who have seen their side hustles take off. In summary, consider the work necessary and have the resolve to see things through.
2. Start small
First. You want to protect your day job and all the benefits that it affords you. So, no moonlighting during nine-to-five. You are being paid to do only the work of your employer during business hours. It’s not right to cheat them and you could invite legal recourse.
Second. Be patient. There are only so many hours in a day. And the bulk of that time will be consumed by your day job. That’s fine!
Remain consistent and keep the goals of your side business where you can see them daily. It will not take long to realize substantial growth.
Third. You don’t want to attempt too much side hustle work that it threatens your regular job. Stay focused at work. To be written up for lack of performance, or something worse, might put your side hustle money at risk.
Fourth. If you’re a service business, secure a few contracts. If you are selling a product, consistently hit monthly sales numbers. Once you accomplish these smaller goals, scaling your side hustle becomes much easier.
3. Stick to a schedule
Between work, errands, and sleep, you will have little time to devote to you side job. But if you maintain a regular schedule, your efforts will pay off.
Don’t worry that you don’t have a regular eight hours to devote to your new side business. With a laser focus schedule, your limited time can be maximized.
Let family and friends know that you will not be available during certain hours. This is not negotiable. If this sounds too tough, just remember how a regular day job works. Can you offer multiple excuses to your boss, reschedule meetings on a whim, put off phone calls indefinitely?
So, give your side business the same respect you give your day job. Maintain a strict plan to stay on track and ensure productivity.
4. Establish a rock-solid customer base
With enough customers, your hustle can generate substantial money. I once turned a side hustle idea of a janitorial business into a thriving company. I created a base of customers, six-figure billing, and ran it from my home.
What I learned to love about my service business, and many others, is that it was contract based. It made my job of building client relationships easier. The money grows quickly—secure customer #1, then customer #2, and so on.
You can expand your company’s footprint from neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, county to county, or even state to state. Expanding that footprint and reducing your dependence on your nine-to-five.
Another great thing about building a solid base is if you should lose a customer, little changes. Simply replace them with another.
But wait there’s more. Obtaining business loans is also easier with a steady customer roster—just show your lender your list of current paying customers. Loans to new businesses are easier to secure if you are already generating income.
Consistently adding customer after customer adds to your safety net. Making the choice of keeping your day job or going full time with your side hustle a reality.
5. Utilize freelancers when possible
Time is crucial, and the use of freelancers can give you more of it. By outsourcing non-crucial task, you can free up time to tackle crucial ones.
While everything seems super critical when getting your side hustle up and running, it is those task that bring in paying customers that are most important.
Yes, you need to need to design a great looking website and a host of other things. But is spending hours to do so the best use of time? Carefully examine what your time is worth.
The right freelancer has the expertise required to get whatever is you need completed in a timely and concise manner. The success of your side hustle depends on your ability to delegate to someone else those line items that should be handed off.
Explore benefit options
This may not be necessary as you begin your side business but determining a long-term benefit’s strategy is paramount. A side hustle that offers its employees solid benefits will make your business legitimate in the eyes of your employees, customers, and you as well.
Companies like Gusto have made it easy for entrepreneurs to provide health, payroll, 401k, and other options. And the first beneficiary should be you!
If you are worried about the cost (ROI), don’t be. Your employer is not providing these “great benefits” that you enjoy for free. You are paying for them with each paycheck and hour worked.
The only difference with your new side hustle will be you committing the monies to cover this bill vs. when your employee simply took it out of your paycheck.
If you’re going to achieve your goal of replacing your day job with your own company, get started with these tips, be patient, and stay consistent. Your side hustle will become more than just that.