More and more Americans today are going all-in with their side hustles. What started as a way to make ends meet or get some extra cash for the weekends turned into an unstoppable movement. Suddenly, 9-5 employers are turning into first-time business owners, and this means they finally can reclaim their time for themselves and their businesses.
A survey in 2017 reported that over half of all Millennials today have some kind of side hustle. There’s nothing more exciting than making some extra cash from your favorite hobby or skill. Whether you’re selling crafts on Etsy or freelancing web design, it might be time to take that skill of yours full-time.
While all entrepreneurs have to take a risk, there is a right time and a wrong time to strike it out on your own. Here are 5 signs you’re ready to turn your side hustle into your full-time gig. Are you ready to take the plunge?
1. You have a safety net.
Unless you’ve got a million dollar idea, it’s unlikely you’ll start making big bucks overnight. Don’t worry, this is normal, and it’s just a part of running your own business. That’s why you need a financial safety net to fall back on before you give up that paycheck. If you’re used to receiving a certain paycheck every week, it’s hard to rough it on your own if you don’t have funds stored away. You also don’t want to squander your credit right away by making bad financial decisions.
You’ll need at least a few months of living expenses saved to start off strong. Make sure you can pay for rent, all bills, and even extra spending money for at least 3 months prior to quitting your day job. This will help you not feel so panicked when you first get started since you don’t have to rush to just get food on the table.
2. You’re motivated.
When your side hustle is a hobby, it’s easy to make time for it. Maybe you love to dive into your hustle after work every day or you spend a few hours here and there keeping up with it on the weekends. These are all good things, but you need to be ready to go the extra mile. When you work for yourself, there’s nobody there to make sure you get your work done every day. It all falls to you.
If you’re not sure you can stay motivated to stick it out even when times get tough, you might not want to jump in full-time yet. Having great ideas and talent are good first steps, but that alone won’t keep you motivated to wake up early on the weekends or to put in extra hours.
3. You understand how to start a business.
Starting a business is not always as easy as just making a website and landing a sale. You need to consider business formations, you might need to learn how to start an LLC, and you’ll need to keep your own taxes in mind. These things can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never studied them before. Again, that’s okay as long as you’re ready to learn.
You don’t want to mess around when it comes to the legality of running a business. You need these things to be understood clearly before you put yourself in the swing of things full time. The more you can learn before you quit your day job, the better equipped you’ll be to handle new challenges.
4. You know how to market yourself.
You can be the most skilled Etsy crafter or freelancer in the world, but if you don’t know how to market yourself you won’t get far. Self-promotion doesn’t always come naturally, and that’s okay. As long as you’re willing to learn, try new things, and put yourself out there, you can make it work.
The art of promoting your business is complicated. There is no one-size-fits-all, but you need to be ready to put in the work. How are you going to find new clients? It’s safe to assume they won’t fall in your lap, at least, not at first. What’s your plan for finding new customers in your niche?
5. You have too many projects to keep up with.
Finally, the biggest indicator that you have a winning side hustle on your hands is the demand. Are you getting so many orders or projects that you have to turn many of them down? Are clients reaching out to your left and right? If so, it might be time to call it quits with your day job and go full-time.
There are limits to how much you’re able to do if you’re also working another job. If you’re sure you have enough demand to commit yourself to this full time, then do it! It’s time to say yes to more projects.
Leaving behind your full-time job to start your own business out of your side hustle is nothing to scoff at. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it to own your own business. Side hustles are becoming the foundation for today’s entrepreneurial spirit. Are you ready to take yours to the next level?