By Jason Dukes
When do you take the leap and turn your side gig also known as a “side hustle” into a full-time profession? Many new businesses start this way, created in the off-hours through passion and commitment. There will never be a “perfect” time, so knowing when to take the chance is key. Here are a few clues to consider:
Sign #1 – You Can Cover the Costs
If your business makes enough of a profit to pay the bills, pouring more time into it may be a worthwhile investment. Even so, set aside multiple months of savings for personal living expenses (rent, mortgage, utilities, debt payments) to get you through any potential rough patches before leaving your current job.
Sign #2 – Now or Never
Maybe your idea runs its course while you’re stuck at your day job, or the competition grows and steals your potential customer base, or investors want your full commitment. If you have a business plan, ask yourself if you can achieve your goals without giving everything you have to the business. If you can’t now, then when?
Sign #3 – You Want to Work for You
While your current employer may seemingly provide financial security, there is limited growth potential. Rather than continuing to put effort into making others successful, you may want to work on making your own business a success. You’ll know it’s time when you can’t ignore the restlessness. Plus, there is always the vulnerability that your employer can let you go for almost any reason at any time.
Letting Go of Your Fears
The transition from into full-time entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be fraught with terror. Working with a seasoned business coach such as myself might be just what you need to break through any obstacle that stands in your way. Here are a few recommendations to make the shift from sidepreneur to full-time entrepreneur successful.
- Set your income goal and stick to it
- Define how much time you can spend on profit-generating activities
- Find a timeline that works for you and leads to realistic targets
- Build your unique brand and keep it consistent
- Devise a marketing strategy to attract new customers and clients
- Run through scenarios -What’s the worst that could happen?
Could you deal with that worst-case scenario?
While you are the only one who can decide when it’s truly the right time to pursue full-time entrepreneurship, be sure to consider how you will maintain your current lifestyle while you scale up your business. It is very important to understand the costs specific to your venture, regardless of its size. Getting the number right will help you determine what financing you may need to move your business forward, what it will take to reach your break even point (essenitally when you can expect to start making a profit), and manage cash flow once your enterprise is your primary source of income. Seek help from a small business adviser, coach or consultant to help you along the way.
Jason Dukes is a business success coach and founder and CEO of Captain’s Chair Coaching.