Having a side hustle isn’t just all the rage now – it’s a must.
A side hustle is a quick way to make some extra cash (who doesn’t need that in these uncertain times?), pursue your creative ideas (because doing one thing for the rest of your life is boring) and learn a lot of new skills (both personal and professional) that’ll come in handy later in life.
But, how do you grow it and turn it into your full-time business?
Whether you were just made redundant and need to replace your income ASAP or you just crave to leave the corporate world behind and finally do what you know in your heart you’re meant to do, here are 5 ways to take your side hustle to the next level:
1. Align Your Business Idea With Your Life Purpose
The two common mistakes people make when creating a side hustles?
- They choose the business idea with the highest profitable potential.
- They follow their passion and turn that into their business.
These aren’t bad pieces of advice. They’re just… incomplete.
Of course your business needs to make money. If an idea isn’t profitable, you don’t have a business. You have an expensive hobby.
But, having a side hustle – and growing it into a full-time business – takes a lot of hard work, time, and commitment.
If you’re just doing it for the money, you’ll soon get resentful and burnout and wonder why you ever left corporate in the first place.
Heck, if you must hate your job, isn’t it better to have a 9-5 with set hours and a steady paycheck than dedicating all your time and resources to an endeavour with an uncertain outcome and that may not be profitable for who knows how long?
But, following your passion has its pitfalls, too. Passion is fickle. Just because you’re obsessed with something today, doesn’t mean you’ll still be interested in it a couple of years down the line.
You don’t want to turn your side hustle into your full-time business only to realise it has become a prison.
A better approach is to figure out what your life purpose is. What’s your mission on this planet? What’s that one thing you were born to do – that one thing only you can do?
When you’re clear on what your life purpose is, your business idea will naturally show up. And no matter how hard the road ahead of you is or how much time and dedication you have to pour into it, you’ll find a way to make it work. Because it’s so fulfilling, you can’t imagine doing anything else.
That’s why I start all my coaching programmes with figuring out your life purpose and only then I give my clients the step-by-step process, tools, and strategies they need to create their purpose-driven business.
If you have no idea what your life purpose is, download the Purpose Finder Workbook below and find out today:
2. Know Your Customers
Most people start a side hustle so they can do something they’re passionate about. That’s a hobby, not a business.
A business isn’t about you. A business is about your customers. Who are the people you are serving? What are their fears and their dreams? Why would they want to work with you or buy your products?
Put your detective cap on and find out. Talk to people in real life you think could be interested in your products and services and ask for their feedback. Create an online survey to send to your email subscribers. Hang out in FB groups (and everywhere else) your ideal customers hang out and check out what they’re talking about.
Here are a few questions to ask them to get you started:
- What’s the biggest pain for you around [problem your product solves]?
- What does this [problem] cost you in terms of lost money/time/frustration?
- What would be a dream solution to [problem] for you?
- What else have you tried to solve [problem]?
- How much would you pay to solve [problem]?
Don’t forget to jot down personal details like:
Use your findings to create your Ideal Customer Avatar. This is one of the most important documents in your business.
Your Ideal Customer Avatar shapes every decision you make, from the products you create, to the language you use in your marketing copy, and the branding on your website.
If you’ve been working on your side hustle for a while and it’s going nowhere, chances are you’re not clear on who your Ideal Customer Avatar is – or maybe you don’t even have one!
You can’t attract the right people if you don’t know who they are. Get clear on that and the rest will follow.
P.S. Your Ideal Customer Avatar isn’t a document you create just the once. It’s an ever-evolving document that evolves with your business. Always add to it.
3. Expand Your Offerings
There are 3 ways to make more money in your business – the kind of money that turns your side hustle into your real hustle:
- You can increase your prices
- You can find more clients
- You can create more products
You’ll do all 3 at different points in your business. But the easiest one I recommend you to start with is #3: create new products.
Why? Increasing your prices means some of your customers will leave you – and then you’ll have to find new ones to keep the business sustainable.
Finding more clients is something you should always be doing, but it takes time. Plus, it’s harder to get a new person to buy from you than a customer who’s already tried your stuff, loved it, and is craving for more.
Ask yourself, what else could I create that my customers need? What’s the next natural step that builds off my current offering? What complementary service could I offer them?
If you don’t know, ask them. Actually, you should always ask them anyway. The more you talk to your customers, the better product you can create – and the more they’ll want to buy it.
4. Get Organised
Turning a side hustle into a full-time business takes a lot of work. But hustling from morning till night trying to do all the things isn’t a recipe for success (sorry, Garyvee!).
You are your business’ biggest asset. If you’re burnout or sick, you can’t work. If you can’t work for too long, you’re out of business.
So, how do you do everything? You don’t. You prioritise. You get clear on what tasks move the needle forward and schedule them in your calendar.
For every task you do regularly, create a system around it. Can you automate it? Is it possible to delegate it to someone else? Is there a way to simplify and make it faster?
As soon as you can hire help, do it. I started with a virtual assistant for 4-5 hours a week to help me with social media and email management and I asked my partner and friends to take my pictures for my Instagram account and website.
The point is to get as organised as possible, streamline your work, and only do the tasks that’ll help you reach the next level. Everything else is a waste of time and resources.
5. Get Support
Confession time: I didn’t build my businesses alone. No one does.
Take my skin coaching business, for example. I spent 7 years growing an audience without making any money from it. It was only when I invested in my first online course (a $799 investment) that I was able to make enough money every month to leave my job. A few years later, I got a 1-on-1 coach and my business grew even more.
Can you turn your side hustle into a full-time business without investing in online courses or a coach?
Maybe… But it’ll take you 3 times as long and you probably won’t be making as much money or be as successful as you can.
I’m saying this from personal experience: you don’t know what you don’t know.
You can’t implement a proven winning strategy or set up the most profitable business model if you don’t have the slightest idea on how to do these things.
The internet is full of free material on how to start a side hustle. But starting a business and growing a business are two different things that need different skillsets and strategies.
When you reach this point, the free material won’t cut it anymore. Because the people who have the most successful businesses don’t spend their time writing free blog posts.
They’ve got to where they are because they’re spending their time packaging their knowledge into paid programmes, scaling their business, and a lot of other things you don’t know until you get into the real entrepreneurial circles – a place where amateurs don’t have access to.
If you’re ready to take your side hustle to the next level and want to know what it really takes to grow it into a full-time business, I have a couple spaces available for my 1-on-1 coaching programme. Book your FREE Purpose Discovery Call to get started.