If you’ve had a side gig for a while, it might be time to turn it into your full-time job. But before you go quitting your day job for a full-time side hustle, there are some things you need to think about first to make sure you’re prepared to start a business and have the means to make it successful.
In this guide, we’ll cover the best practices for turning an at-home (or part-time) side hustle into a full-time gig and some of the best side hustles that have the potential for this transition.
- What is a side hustle?
- What are the best types of side gigs?
- Steps to Transition Your Steps to Transition Your Side Hustle to Full-Time
- How to Make Your New Business Successful
- Key Takeaways
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle, or side gig, is any job you have in addition to your primary source of income. Maybe you’re doing some contract work on the side, or perhaps you’re creating and selling goods in your spare time. Depending on the type of work you’re doing, your side gig may be adding anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand bucks to your monthly income.
In most cases, it’s best to start with a more developed side gig or freelance business before you jump into something that could potentially turn into a full-time job.
What are the best types of side gigs?
The best side hustles to take full-time are ones that have long-term potential for growth and profitability—and something you can see yourself doing for years to come. When it comes to specific side gigs, that depends on your professional skills and talents.
The best types of side gigs for this transition are ones that already allow you some measure of independence and portability as a solopreneur and those that have the potential for a steady stream of income. For example, if you’re a freelance graphic designer or writer or offer financial consulting services, you can easily work remotely. These options make it easier to transform your side hustle business into a full-time job because they give you the flexibility to work from anywhere. You can reduce overhead costs of renting office space by renting a virtual office or coworking space.
Ideas for Side Hustles
Maybe you don’t even have a side hustle yet, but you’re trying to figure something out that might eventually get you away from your traditional 9-to-5. Here are some easy-to-start mobile businesses from different industries to get you started.
Side hustles for finance professionals
If you’re a finance professional, here are a few of the best side hustles to take full time:
- Financial advisor
Side hustles for tech professionals
If the world of tech is more your niche, there are plenty of side hustle options that you might be able to jump into right away:
- Tech consultant
- Web designer
- Technical writer
Other types of side hustles
If you still don’t know what you may have to offer in the way of a side hustle for some extra cash, here are a few ideas, some of which include cheap side hustles with low startup costs:
- Real estate agent
- Residential construction contractor
- Professional photographer
- Personal shopper
- Social media influencer
Steps to Transition Your Side Hustle to Full-Time
Here are some things to keep in mind before you transition your side hustle to a full-time business.
Remember: Every industry and specific role is different, and there are many different paths you can take to turn your side hustle into a full-time job. Use these suggestions as a foundation and tweak them to match your individual situation.
1. Do your research.
One of the best ways to research how you can best turn your side gig into a full-time job is by talking with people who have done it before. If you don’t know anyone in your industry who has taken that path, try searching the internet for testimonies of others who have made the transition successfully.
Other points to research include:
- Determine the resources (financial, marketing, etc.) you’ll need to get your new business off the ground.
- Get a good idea of your market—whether local or remote. Are your goods or services filling a need in your local community and beyond? What steps will you need to take if it’s a saturated market to set your company apart?
- Understand what a full-time salary range looks like for your potential business in your local market.
2. Ask yourself some important questions.
The best way to determine whether you’re ready for a full-time career change is by checking in with yourself. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your professional short- and long-term goals?
- Do your clients plan on using your services long-term? Do you have enough of a potential client pool to expand your services?
- If you sell goods, do you have the resources and capacity to grow your customer base?
If you feel confident about your answers to these questions, then it might be time to transition your current side hustle to full-time. If not, it’s best not to rush your decision and consider less risky paths that will help you build up experience so that when the time comes, there’s no question about whether or not you are ready.
3. Figure out your financials.
Determine what you need to make every month from your side hustle to cover all of your current living expenses and eventually quit your current job. Not every project will work out flawlessly right away, so it’s important to inflate this number to account for any “off” months.
You’ll also want to consider how much money you need to make once you transition to full-time—enough to cover living expenses, personal and professional loans, and business overhead costs. How long will it take to reach that number? You’ll also need to earn enough to be able to set money aside into a savings account. Doing so will help you prepare financially for any slow business months.
4. Start small.
One piece of advice for turning your side gig into a full-time job? Start small. Launch a single service or product and sell it until you have enough money saved up to quit your day job. Then, continue doing that for a bit while you gather more funds until, eventually, your small business is generating enough cash flow to support all of your expenses.
Or maybe you start out performing work for a single client or have multiple side hustles. Once you become comfortable with the workload, you bring on another client, and so on. Keep going at this pace until you have built up several income streams from multiple sources so that no matter what happens with one project, there are others to guard over its absence.
5. Create an action plan.
Now it’s time to put pen to paper and figure out your strategy for turning your side gig into a full-time job.
Some people may be lucky enough to turn their side hustles into full-time jobs overnight. Most, however, need a bit more time to make the transition. Make sure to future-proof your new role by writing down achievable milestones that will not only allow you to thrive in your side-hustle-turned-full-time job but will also provide you with a roadmap to grow in your career.
Don’t underestimate the power of a business plan: your company can grow faster and have better business performance than companies that don’t have a plan. This action plan, or business plan, will help guide your new endeavor and should include most, if not all of the following sections:
- Description of your company
- Short- and long-term business goals
- Explanation of your products or services, including how your business fills a market need, customer demographics, pricing structure, etc.
- Marketing plan
- Financial goals
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has centers across the country that can help you create a business plan, find a business mentor, and access useful financial resources to grow your company. Find your local SBA development center.
Finally, give yourself a timeline for determining whether or not your new self-made career is right for you. You’ll want to have routine check-ins with yourself (and, potentially, your loved ones) to make sure that you’re happy with your decision to go full-time with your side gig and whether or not it still makes sense to be doing so. Check-ins will help keep you and your goals grounded in reality as you face the challenges from going from side hustle to full-time job.
6. Quit your day job.
You’ve made it this far; now it’s time to go all-in on your new career and work towards the best possible outcome: being your own boss.
Of course, the real work is just getting started. It’s time to go all-in on your new career and make the most out of every opportunity.
How to Make Your New Business Successful
Now that you’ve jumped into your full-time side hustle, it’s time to focus on growing your business. Here are a few essential components of creating and maintaining a successful company.
Market your business.
Now is the best time to invest in yourself and your business. Marketing can be daunting, but it’s important to focus on building a solid social media presence and local presence in your community.
Make sure all of your profiles are up to date, create a business website, and learn how to best utilize Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or TikTok—whichever platforms might suit you and your business best.
Additionally, consider blogging regularly both on your own site and elsewhere to improve the SEO ranking of your business. Start guest posting with other blogs that align with your interests or audience/niche. Send out press releases about project milestones or anything that you do to catch people’s attention with a newsworthy appeal. If you sell a product, consider registering for a booth at your local farmer’s market or vendor fair.
Finally, don’t forget the almighty word of mouth from your friends, family, and the local community. Direct references from contacts you already have can be a great way to let others know that your business is legitimate. Ask current and past clients to write testimonials that you can post to your website.
Use a virtual office.
When you’re starting a business, it’s important to have a professional space to get work done and meet with potential clients. With a virtual office for your LLC, you’ll have a flexible workspace as well as a professional address to register your business and use on marketing collateral. When the time comes for pitching to clients or hosting a networking event, rent a meeting room or coworking space in just minutes.
No more taking important meetings at home or a local coffee shop. Alliance Virtual Offices is here to help get your business off the ground and create a professional foundation that clients will remember.
We even offer Live Receptionist services that allow you to focus on what you do best—grow your company. With this feature, a friendly, professional receptionist will answer and screen your business calls, so you don’t have to.
Stick with it.
No matter your business, there are always difficult days. Sometimes you might have personal distractions, a difficult client, or problems getting your business noticed. These are not only challenges from going from side hustle to a full-time job—these are challenges that any small business owner may have. Remember to stick with it. Maintain a routine, make time for breaks during your day, and revisit your marketing or business plans, if needed.
You’ll also want to be sure to carve out time for research and development (R&D) to ensure that your business stays competitive and up to date on trends and best practices within your industry.
There are plenty of challenges that arise from transitioning your side hustle to a full-time job. However, research and detailed preparation can help you be successful in your new career. Take the time to conduct market research, figure out your financial goals, and create an action plan. Once you’ve jumped into your side gig full-time, make sure to market your company effectively and stick with it.