A lot of great businesses started as mere, and that is not to trivialise them, side hustles. I won’t bore with name drops but it is reasonable that many people start their businesses as side hustles and then see opportunities for growth in them. Perhaps you’re in the same boat wondering how you can turn your side hustle into a legitimate business and take advantage of the knowledge you have gained as you learnt the ropes. There are a few things you will have to do successfully to make the jump and that’s what we will be discussing below.
Running a business is one of the most complex things you will ever do in your life. There are so many elements involved in getting a business right. Just so we are clear, a business is a system of processes that delivers value for a profit and is capable of becoming self-sustaining. This is where it gets tricky. It was probably just you in your side hustle, now you have to start working with people. You have to start thinking about business registration and tax submissions. Logos, branding, websites, social media for work as opposed to for fun and all this other stuff that challenges you while teaching you a lot about who you are. The only way you will survive this is by getting organised.
Do the numbers
Being from the accounting and finance world many would have probably thought this is where I’d start. Numbers don’t lie after all. The only thing is to see the numbers clearly, you need to see the plan so getting organised comes first. It is very important to know before stepping into a market where you stand. If I sold my product at $5 buying them at $3, that’s great in a side hustle. However, the moment I start paying rent, employees and marketing costs that all has to fit into that $2, the game get harder. Don’t worry too much about the actual profit margin but you should know things like your break-even point and expected operating costs.
Understand the assignment
I said earlier that a business is a system of processes that delivers a product at a profit. What’s important is who we deliver this product to, the customer. While I’m not rubbishing the school of thought that suggests “your business is your baby” opening up to more people involves a certain amount of letting go. When you start you have an idea of what you want to do, good for you. When you arrive in the market, people will tell you what they want you to do. Those who listen and adapt will have the best chances of success. Understand the assignment.
Consider the investment
Earlier I said you should do the numbers. At the time I spoke largely about knowing things like your operating costs and break-even point. Remember all of this needs to be funded somehow. Sure you’ve been doing this as a side hustle and already have customers in the bag but you will soon realise that for most businesses that expansion needs additional funding. So you need to quantify the funding need. Investment is not only financial, however, have you thought about the time you will need to invest? Where will you get the time from? Many people who fail to move from hustle to business fail because they didn’t fully consider what it would mean to turn their hustle into a business.
It won’t be easy
You’re doing something new and challenging yourself so don’t expect the ride to be easy. Maybe you love baking and it’s a real passion for you. Then there’s something you don’t love like administrative work or finance and now you have to do those things as well. The process of growing from a hustle to a business will test you and teach you a lot of things about yourself.
But it will be worth it
If.yiu dedicate yourself to learning what you need to learn you will find that it will all be worth it. This is not a guarantee that your business will succeed, far from it. If you approach life with the right attitude and heart you will realise that in life you either win or you learn.