Make your side hustle your main hustle: what you need to get started

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The past year has seen many businesses struggling, many businesses pivoting, but also, many new businesses starting. In some cases, this has meant turning a previous side hustle or a hobby into a main job and a new business. 

With any start-up business, there will be risks. But if your business was previously a side-hustle, you'll have some advantages:

  • If you’re doing something as a side hustle, it’s likely you’re good at it, passionate about it and know that thing inside out. As many successful business owners will tell you, passion and love for what you do is key to success!

  • You'll already have an idea of who will benefit from your product or service. This sits at the heart of business development and marketing, so it will give you a great head start.

  • You know what resources, materials, technology, knowledge and skills are needed to deliver your product or service.

Turning passion to profit

Going from a side hustle to your main income stream successfully means making sure it becomes scalable and profitable. This means being objective but also flexible, in line with what customers need and are willing to pay.

Launching a new business is exciting but it may also be daunting. Here’s a good place to start.

1. Research and pricing

Check you’re setting your prices right with competitor research and anonymous surveys for more helpful and honest feedback than asking family or friends.

2. Cost base

Let’s say you’re an artist. At the moment you do the occasional commission in your spare time out of love and enjoyment. But to make this a business you’ll need to work out;

  • What you hope to earn per hour or per artwork

  • Your business costs

  • How many commissions you can realistically take on per month

Bigger businesses may need to factor in employing staff, cost of premises, technology and machinery to be as water-tight as possible with likely costs.

3. Goals, or a business plan

A good business plan will include pricing, costs and realistic goals of how much you think you can sell and how much you want to earn for your lifestyle. It’s likely you’ll need one if you are hoping to get a loan or some kind of funding.

Despite this, a surprising number of small businesses don’t have a business plan. Don’t be one of them! The experience of the pandemic has shown the importance of the business plan in managing unexpected challenges.

4. Business set-up

You may need to go from operating as a Sole Trader to Limited Company - find more info here. You may need to check availability and register the name of your business at Companies House or with help from an accountant, small business specialist solicitor or business advisor.

5. Marketing

If you’re going to attract customers, you’ll need a marketing plan. This is  likely to include a website, so you’ll need to check domain name availability. You’ll also need to consider your budget, which may include branding, digital marketing, PR, advertising and copywriting.

6. Outsourcing

Depending on your start-up budget, time and skills, outsourcing can improve productivity and customer experience. This can range from accounts, to marketing, from HR to Virtual Assistant services. 

7. Prepare for launch!

While easing into your new venture may sit more comfortably, a confident, bold launch will be more effective. Your mindset will be fully focused, your business brand clear to your network and potential customers, and it will mean you can be consistent in all your communications.

So, have everything ready. A LinkedIn profile set up for your new business ready to switch over. Social media pages ready to go live. Your business name and domain ready to go. A plan of how and when you are going to announce this exciting change to the world, which may be a launch blog or video.

Taking your side hustle up-scale is a big step. But one which could be the start of a rewarding and successful new chapter of your life.

So in summary...

  • Make a business plan – it doesn’t need to be big, but contain the essentials to keep you focused on achievable goals

  • Do your research to get the price right from the outset

  • Be ready to launch with a consistent and planned marketing presence

  • Use Monzo Business to help keep track of costs, sales, savings