We all know and truly understand that the last two years have altered how we interact with the world. As a people, we have focused more on our emotional wellness, have picked up new hobbies and interests, and have even quit our jobs en masse, all seeking a more meaningful experience in our daily lives. For many, dreams of becoming an entrepreneur run rampant in those oh so gorgeous minds of ours. I mean, who wouldn’t want financial freedom? A great first step in finding that ability to begin an entrepreneurial lifestyle has been to pick up a side hustle. In 2021 alone, 24% of Americans have reported plans to start a side hustle. That number sees no sign of decreasing anytime soon, and with one in three Americans currently working to close their income gap via these additional gigs, it’s safe to say that you may be wondering how side hustles for women can turn into a stable, full-time business.
Here are some handy tips to help you transform these passions from side hustles to big business (and your primary source of revenue).
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Assess Your Strengths and Your Needs
The first step to success in anything you do is a flexible plan. It can be daunting to look at a blank page and transform it into realistic and reasonable goals for the future. But plans change! Don’t be afraid to modify along the way. So figure out what you have, what you want, and what you need.
The first thing you have is easy: your side hustle. Are you certain you can find a meaningful use for your skill or product that will convert into sales? Are you confident in your ability to produce those items? How long will it take you to create the product? Ask yourself these questions at the start of your journey to set yourself up for success.
What you want in this step is simple as well, but just as vital. So take some time to think about how you want people to perceive your business. What are your branding needs? And what will that cost? What do you want your logo to look like? Figure out exactly what you want your business to look like and take the next steps in making your dreams a reality by doing the appropriate research.
Consider what you need to make your business actually run. Do you need labels, stickers, or packaging for your goods? Do you need a social media manager, an accountant, contractors, or employees? Budget for your price sheets, business email accounts, and any of the physical items you need to produce your products from the get-go.
Taking the time to review what you have and what you need will put you on the path to success. In this step, it’d be great to mind map, brainstorm, and write down everything.
Helpful tip: Complete a SWOT analysis for your business. Companies have used these easy templates for years to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in relation to business.
No Funny Money, Honey
No one likes to worry about money. The number one reason many people don’t pursue their side gigs full-time is uncertainty. Will I be able to pay my rent on time? Will my sales cover my bills or insurance? What about taxes? These are valid reasons to be concerned, and the solution is in a proactive mindset. It is imperative to lay a great foundation in the infantile stages of a business. This does not mean pinching every penny, however. Business owners should work on this by keeping track of operating costs, revenue, and income from the beginning stages of establishment. Analyzing how much it costs to run your business will offer good insights on whether vendors or contractors need to be altered. And monitoring income and revenue will help you understand which of your products or services are more profitable and should be highlighted.
You also have to consider taxes, insurance, and any applicable employee pay. Whether you register your business as an LLC or maintain sole proprietorship is up to you. However, it is imperative to do thorough research on your choices as they will affect how your business is taxed. The best way to avoid any concerns? Hire an accountant and an attorney with knowledge in legality for business to help aid you through your beginning stages.
Helpful tip: New business owners should plan to set aside 25% to 30% of their taxable income for business taxes and any receipts for items used in your business should be documented and stored for potential write-offs for use while filing taxes.
Thrive Through Mindful Proactivity
It is important to treat your current side hustle as if it is already a functioning business. An easy way to nurture your budding venture? Talk about it!
So, bring it up in conversation, create social media accounts with business profiles (and post regularly on them), get those promotional items ready, and make your presence known in any relevant spaces from the start. We want your small business to flourish and grow. This happens with mindful proactivity.
Mindful proactivity, a term first used in a personal reflection, simply means to work out future plans and solve upcoming obstacles by identifying your current needs and plotting a course of resolve for these to avoid future conflicts related to those needs.
How do you do this? It’s truly up to you. However, it is important to remember that these needs should be related to how you market your business. So, stop calling it a gig or side hustle. When you offer up your services, make it known that you are a business owner and most pertinent is to truly be proactive. So, have those pricing sheets fleshed out, have that website created, and work to continuously schedule your social media in advance. Having these basic materials fleshed out at the start of your business will make you proactive with your early clients instead of reactive. It’s always better to be overprepared as opposed to underprepared and this is why mindful proactivity is so special.
Helpful tip: Write out all of the obstacles you can think of and map out solutions for them before you work on resolving them. Use those solutions and make a checklist of all the things you need to do before an official launch. Checklists have been found to train your brain to be more productive and goal-oriented. Plus, a good checklist should turn huge tasks into smaller, more manageable goals. What does this mean? Faster results with less opportunity for burnout.
In A Nutshell
Overall, the beginning stages of transitioning a side hustle into a business really depend on you setting the stepping stones for success and being flexible enough to know that things may not always go as planned. But that’s the beautiful part about such a scary process. You get to make your dreams come true!
So, work towards your goal steadily, avoid equating going into business with self-neglect (this narrative is harmful in so many ways), and make sure to remind yourself that it is also imperative to nurture yourself while also nurturing your business. Set working hours to focus on your transition but also leave time for your personal and emotional well-being. Doing so will help you avoid burnout, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and preserve your optimism while building up your business. Your mindset while going into this endeavor will set a huge precedent for your growth and we want it to be positive.
So, believe in yourself, plan ahead, and jump in…
Chamera Sampson is a poet, independent author, and editor who loves everything about the written word. In her daily life, you can find her working in many realms from property management to event coordination to social media content creation. She is active in the “bookstagram” realm on IG @mirrormera92, where you can find her passion for books displayed as well as on her author page on Facebook, under Chamera M. Sampson.