Welcome to the 5th FLA Guest Blog Post! Today, we explore how to grow your side hustle into a full-time business. Thank you to Kathryn from Cash for Kat for sharing this helpful article.
Kathryn Rucker is a business consultant and personal finance blogger who is passionate about helping individuals and businesses scale by improving their online presence. Kat started traveling the world in 2019 and currently runs her blog and business out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Cash for Kat will show you how to make cash, save cash, and invest cash. Join her on her journey to financial independence. Every month, she shares her latest articles on a range of money topics, such as: starting a business, budget travel, my investments, creating side-hustles, and more!
Your side hustle is more than just an extra income stream. It’s a business that can help you reach financial freedom so that you can live a happy life!
The problem is, if you’re not ready to take the plunge, your side hustle might not grow as big and as fast as you would hope. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to me when I first started my side hustles.
Eventually, I was able to grow my side hustle into a full-time business… And I want to help you do the same. From psychological tips to practical methods you can implement, this article has it all.
Without further ado, here is everything I learned about how to grow your side hustle into a full-time business!
An Overview of How to Grow Your Side Hustle into a Full-time Business
Of course, there are many things that can help you grow your business. If you ask 100 people what worked best for them, I’m sure you’d get 100 different answers!
That being said, you will also find some similarities in those responses. There are some aspects of business that just make sense, and you will hear them coming up time and time again.
Here are 5 key areas you can focus on to grow your side hustle:
1. Find Your Motivation
It is not a secret that running a business is hard. The only thing harder than running a business is starting one in the first place! To help keep you going during the hard times, you will need to examine your motives.
Common sources of external motivation:
- Work Flexibility
While these are excellent sources of inspiration, they are still what we would consider external motivators. You might be wondering, what other kinds of motivation are there?
The answer is this: intrinsic motivation. And it is even more powerful than external motivation! Intrinsic motivation is doing an activity for inherent satisfaction.
So not only should you identify what aspects of the business motivate you the most, but you should also try to minimize the activities you dislike.
Common sources of intrinsic motivation:
- The joy of learning a new skill
- The feeling of accomplishment when you exceed your own expectations
- The satisfaction of helping accomplish something
For intrinsic motivation, you will notice that what brings you joy is the feeling you get from doing the action itself. The focus is more on your own satisfaction and growth, rather than receiving external recognition (an award/money/etc.).
2. Implement the 80-20 Rule
The 80-20 rule is based on a simple premise: 80% of your results come from only 20% of your actions.
To put it a different way… we waste a lot of time on other tasks when it is really only a few of our actions that truly move the needle.
So how can you use the 80-20 rule to maximize your productivity? Identify the 20% that is driving the needle for you! Then do more of that and less of anything else.
For side hustles, you will often find that the 20% is related to gaining more business. In fact, this is true for most start-ups in general. The reason is that before you can have a perfect product or service… you need feedback! And the best way to get relevant feedback is from people who have used your product or service.
While it seems counterintuitive, I would actually focus more on doing outreach and perfecting your “concept” of what you are selling. This is actually one of the key differences between entrepreneurship and freelancing. When you focus on selling, you will eventually have more business than you can fulfill yourself and will need to build a team.
3. Sign Up for Freelancing Platforms
Though it is possible to make money online without experience, you will still need a way to pay your bills. To help you make ends meet, you will likely need to spend some time doing one-off projects.
Beginner-friendly freelancing platforms are fantastic for helping you go from a side hustle to a full-time business. Some people you meet on freelancing platforms might become long-term clients for you! At the very least, it will help you build a portfolio and gain plenty of references.
You will also gain experience managing the expectations of your clients. This can be important because there are many moving parts in a business. Using a freelancing platform helps you focus less on obtaining new clients and more on fulfilling projects in an organized way.
4. Standardize Your Offerings
As you work on various projects, you will notice that there are certain vital things that people want time and time again. This is great because you can create a standardized offering that takes much guesswork about what kind of project you will be working on.
You will also gain valuable business skills that are related to more specific aspects of your niche. This will help show your clients that you are an expert in this field, and they will trust your recommendations more.
An example of how standardizing your offerings helps you grow your side hustle into a full-time business:
When I first started side hustling, I would do freelance blog post writing. Over time I got better at this, and now I choose to sell blog content packages to my clients.
This is great because people usually pay me to write ten or more instead of writing one blog post. Another plus is that most people who want blog posts written will also need them promoted on social media. So I started to bundle this into my offerings too!
By paying attention to what people kept asking for, I created organized packages that would appeal to more than one client. This also made it easier for me to create a system to fulfill their orders faster.
5. Reflect and Improve
Every business goes through an ugly duckling phase. It is essential to focus on progress and not perfection when you are first starting your business. You do not want to face analysis paralysis that stops you from taking action.
With this in mind, create everything with the knowledge you will have to improve it at some point. Even things I thought I had done very well at the beginning of my business ultimately needed to be redone by year two.
This is because your brand identity might change, your products might change, or you get a better idea of your ideal client’s wants. In general, the business will most likely evolve from what you initially thought it was. You will also have more budget to hire professionals to help you with your logo, website, or social content.
Chances are you will not change everything in your business overnight. That is why it is important to reflect regularly and improve your various business processes.
How to Reflect and Improve to Grow Your Side Hustle into a Full-Time Business
I like to set a Focus for the month that change based on business needs. Of course, you will still have other tasks to focus on and accomplish aside from your focus task. That being said, setting the intention to knock out one big project can help prevent it from lingering in the background all year.
For example, for one month, I might focus on trying to knock out most of the social media content for the year and automating it. In another month, I plan on updating as much of the website as possible.
Keep laser-focused on the main projects that will actually help you move the needle when it comes to growth!
If you have side hustles and side projects running in the background, it can be quite easy to lose focus on what you’re actually trying to achieve. It becomes hard to tell where you want to go.
So, when you’re trying to decide whether to quit your job or stay and scale your business, I want to help you to see the bigger picture by following the tips above.
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Disclosure: Fresh Life Advice is an opinion-based website. I am not a financial advisor, and the opinions on this site should not be considered financial advice.
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