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When Is It Time to Turn a Side Hustle into a Small Business

When Is It Time to Turn a Side Hustle into a Small Business

Authored By: NSCCU on 12/5/2023

If you took on a side hustle for more income and/or to feed your passion, you might now find yourself wondering if it’s time to make the jump from your nine-to-five to turn your side hustle into a fully operational small business. Usually this happens when there’s more demand for your product or service than you have time to deliver, and so you are regularly turning down projects or orders.

If this sounds like you, read on.

Signs it might be time to size up to a small business

  1. People are responding to your passionate work and it in turn fills your cup. And what we mean by this is that the recognition you receive from your side hustle fills you with joy, contentment, purpose, and a drive to continue working - more so than the same amount of recognition in your current career would give you. Be honest with yourself. Would you like your regular job as much as, or more than, your side hustle if you received the same positive feedback? Can you handle negative criticism about your side hustle work if it was just as intense and all about you (since you’re the only employee!)? Make sure you feel comfortable handling both types of attention and have outlets for support.
  2. You’re regularly saying “no” to new projects even though you want to say “yes.” There are only so many hours in a week. At some point, if you’re working your side hustle on evenings and weekends, you will run out of time to take on new and larger projects. If the requests for work that you must turn down are consistent enough, you need to seriously consider the financial loss and if the time is right to make it your full-time gig.
  3. You hustle has financial room to grow. This takes the small-scale evidence of number two and sees if you can expect this demand on a larger, sustainable scale. If the market can sustain you and you have the best solution or product for your corner of it, then it could be time to grow. Being confident about this takes lots of market research, time in the space, and making sure you can solve a problem for many people.
  4. You are already ready to outsource. Acknowledging that it would be helpful and affordable for your hustle to outsource certain tasks is another indicator it could be time to grow the whole operation. The most likely areas to outsource early on are IT, accounting, and ecommerce fulfillment.
  5. You have access to a line of business credit through your local credit union. Growing any business at any stage requires capital, usually as a loan or line of credit. To know if you have access to what you need for this next stage of business growth, you’ll want to talk to your local credit union. They often have better rates than larger national banks.
  6. You’ve mastered the art of self-promotion. This cannot be stressed enough. You are your whole marketing team, 24/7. Until you build your army of customer promoters (and even then…), you must be confident in your own powers of promotion!

If you recognize some of these signs in yourself and your side hustle, it’s time to consider checking the rest off so you can make the big leap into entrepreneurship full time!

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