30 Dec How to Turn Your “Side Hustle” Into a Successful Business
In recent years, e-commerce advancements and a shift to a more collaborative, shared services work ethic have allowed the so-called “gig economy” to flourish. In this environment, independent workers get paid by the project rather than making hourly or annual wages as a traditional employee of a company. This trend has created a market in which “side hustles” can thrive.
These days, people are working hard to transform their side hustle from passion project to legitimate business. And the continued growth of e-commerce has created a booming online marketplace where niche products and services can be easily sold, exchanged and monetized. Consider these statistics:
• About 36% of U.S. workers are now involved in the gig economy.
• U.S. freelancers contributed $1.28 trillion to the American economy in 2018.
• The gig economy is expanding three times faster than the U.S. workforce as a whole.
• If the gig economy keeps growing at its current rate, more than 50% of the U.S. workforce will participate in it by 2027.
• In 2018, U.S. independent workers spent a billion hours per week freelancing.
• 42% of young people freelance.
If these numbers are any indication, it’s the ideal time to start profiting off your side gig. But when can you be sure you’re ready to make the shift into a legitimate business? You don’t want to act too quickly, as there are many costs associated with starting a business. Here are some of the steps you can take to decide if you’re ready, and if so, how to bring your side hustle to the next level.
Meet the Right People
We’re sure you’ve heard the expression, “It’s all about who you know.”
If you’re currently working a 9-to-5 job, you might have already made some solid connections in your respective field. Some of these networking opportunities might transfer over to your side hustle. However, you might need to meet some more people who could be instrumental to your new business. They might be individuals you’d like to have join your team to keep business booming. Or they might be future clients who will purchase your products or services.
No matter what, it’s crucial that you let others know about your passion and skill in your current side hustle. There are countless ways you can get to know new people and improve your current relationships with colleagues. LinkedIn and other online networking sites can be valuable in cementing relationships. But when you’d like to make a face-to-face connection, look into networking events that are relevant to your passion project. If you’re planning on starting a graphic design agency, check out some marketing industry events. Or if you’re trying to open a retail space to show off your talents, consider attending a Small Business Association (SBA) event in your area. Who knows whom you’ll meet: a future employee, investor, client, or mentor, perhaps? All of these connections could help transform your side hustle into a successful business venture.
Solidify Your Work Structure
Before you can officially declare yourself open for business, it might be wise to develop some basic strategies on how you’ll tackle things behind the scenes. Ask yourself some important questions related to keeping things running weeks and months into starting your business. For example:
• How will you manage your inventory?
• Will you use a spreadsheet system like Google Sheets or Excel, or will you incorporate inventory management software?
• What will you charge for your specific goods and services?
• How will you keep your finances in check?
• How do you intend on spreading the word about your business: through social media marketing, traditional advertising or some other tactic?
To keep things moving past your business’s launch, you’ll want to work through the nuances of owning and running a business.
Be Cautious of Potential Pitfalls
Owning a business isn’t easy. Your first few years can be tricky, especially as you’re working to gain clients and get used to the workflow. To avoid running into some of the major issues business owners face when they’re just starting out, educate yourself on small business challenges. When you learn and understand the potential problems you might come across as a business owner, you can figure out how you might overcome them. This allows you to get ahead of challenges before they become a reality.
Invest in Small Business Financing to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Successful Business
When you’re ready to turn your side hustle from a hobby into a career, you might need some extra cash to hit the ground running.
A small business loan could help in making any necessary upfront payments and keeping cash flow steady. For instance, working capital financing can give you the cash you’ll need to onboard new hires to improve productivity. Or you might seek out a business loan to cover rent for a shop or manufacturing facility. Whatever the case, a small business loan could be the fuel that turns your side hustle into a successful business.
When you want fast access to working capital to get your side hustle off the ground, it may be useful to apply for financing through an alternative lender. Unlike traditional banks, who can take weeks to approve you for a loan, alternative lenders can get back to you within 24-48 hours on the status of your funding request. What’s more, alternative lenders are more forgiving of low credit scores and past debts, making them a more viable option for many hopeful business owners.
Through an alternative lender like QuickBridge, you can apply for a small business loan in no time. Get in touch with one of our Funding Advisors and begin our fast, simple application process. That way you can start profiting off your side hustle once and for all.
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