Scaling your side hustle is one of the best ways to turn a part-time passion project into a full-time gig. However, before quitting your day job, it’s important to lay down a proper foundation to set yourself up for success.
Below are five steps to transform your side hustle into a thriving company.
Test ideas from a flexible coworking space
Don’t quit your job until you’ve tested whether or not your hustle is truly scalable. The best way to do so is by trialing it first from an affordable coworking space. Wherever you are in the world, type “serviced office near me” into your preferred search engine, and you should find a range of viable options.
Whatever the specifics, look for flexible monthly plans that allow you to ramp up or down as needed. As a bonus, the collaborative aspect of a coworking community should give you access to invaluable feedback on your plans. Maybe your brilliant business idea doesn’t resonate as expected, or perhaps it simply needs a small pivot to unlock its true potential. Either way, shared office spaces allow you to gauge your offering’s viability before fully committing.
Calculate your potential profit margins
After you’ve tested the waters, take a hard look at the numbers. Tally up sales and subtract expenses to determine what your current profit margins are. Then, crunch those figures to identify what target profit you’ll need to replace your existing salary.
Based on your pricing model, calculate the customer volume and product mix needed to reach your revenue goals. Having these numbers handy ensures you only transition when your side hustle offers better financial upsides than your day job. If the market size doesn’t support your target minimums, reassess your business model or pivot to a new idea.
Shift your schedule strategically
As your side hustle approaches profitability, begin to strategically shift your work calendar. Avoid dramatically quitting your job overnight as that exposes you to unnecessary risk. Instead, slowly scale back hours as you scale up your entrepreneurial efforts.
For example, see if you can reduce your work hours by 20% while adding 20% effort to your side business. Give it six months or so to stabilize, then readjust. If possible, it’s best to incrementally proceed until you safely switch to being a solopreneur full-time. Moving methodically protects your income while you’re building sufficient customer demand.
Expand marketing initiatives
If you’ve only shared your offerings with family and friends, it’s time to create social media profiles and add valuable content. That way, your offerings will show up in Google searches where they can be discovered by potential buyers.
Additionally, consider email newsletters, guest blogging, and other tactics that cost little but can reach many. Later on, invest modestly in paid ads. The goal is to incrementally grow your reach in line with your profit margins and production bandwidth. Moving too fast by over-marketing risks disappointing new customers and tarnishing your business reputation.
Streamline systems and processes
Streamlining systems allow you to handle higher sales volumes without needing to hire help. Begin by identifying administrative or fulfillment tasks that take a lot of time yet generate little revenue. Then, outsource to virtual assistants or contract workers.
Next, look for tools that can automate or simplify manual efforts. That might mean ordering supplies in bulk to reduce procurement overheads or using collaboration software to manage remote teams. The more operations you can offload, the more resources you’ll have available for high-value activities.
Follow the steps above to smoothly transition from your day job into full-time entrepreneurship, scaling your side hustle into a business that thrives!