How To Take A Side Hustle To Full-Fledged Business

How To Take A Side Hustle To Full-Fledged Business

Whether you’re a Baby Boomer, someone nearing or in retirement, or someone who simply wants to own his or her own business, chances are you have heard of the “side hustle.” You may even have researched how to take a side hustle to full-fledged business but still aren’t quite certain how to make the leap.

We know. We’ve been there and we have worked with people in the same situation you find yourself in right now. They want to supplement their income or they want to leave their full time job and be their own boss and the own master of their career path. A side hustle might just get you there.

A “side hustle” is a way to make extra money and might be an ideal way to test the waters on whether you want to push this side hustle to a full time gig.

 How To Take A Side Hustle To Full-Fledged Business

 What are your goals? 

Do you want:

  1. To just make a little extra money?
  2. Eventually go full time?
  3. Do something that you simply have a passion for without worrying about it becoming a full time gig?

Determine and understand your goals. Write them down. Once you’ve committed your thoughts to paper you will have a clear path toward the goal you’ve set. Setting goals keeps you organized and also lets you see whether you’re actually making money. Consider this: if you want to take your skill at knitting to a full time gig, factor in the cost of materials but more importantly, how long does it take you to knit a sweater? What if you paid yourself a set wage of, let’s say, $25 an hour. If it takes you eight hours to knit the sweater, add in the cost of yarn, and you will need to sell the sweater for at least $200 in order to have made any money. Is your idea viable? Do you just want to knit sweaters “for fun”? Neither is wrong, you just need to know.

Organization matters. You can’t move forward with this plan if you’re not organized in your thinking and in your approach toward taking the side hustle to full time business. You may think you work well in a messy desk, but you truly don’t.

  1. Clean your desk
  2. Write your daily tasks to meet your side hustle goal
  3. Use free organizational tools like Trello to keep track of your projects

Use a tool to organize your goals, your tasks, the people with whom you must meet to achieve your business success goals and your “big idea” projects (break them down into manageable tasks)

What is your brand? While you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a brand logo or buy brand colors or fonts for your business card you should have a Facebook page and a website so people can find you. You can create your own business cards at a low cost site like VistaPrint.

Your “brand” also includes the feeling that people get when they meet with you — relaxed, uber professional, somewhere in betwee. Do you always wear a scarf or a bow tie? Those are part of your brand. When you have the money and a focused idea for your side hustle, then it might be time to spend money on a logo and other brand unique items.

Sell yourself. This is usually the hardest part for a new entrepreneur — to market and sell themselves and their product. In order to make a go of this you do need to be a salesman/woman. If you don’t promote what you do, how will people know about you? Sure, once you have brought a few clients on board you can ask for referrals and recommendations, but in the beginning you have to market yourself by yourself.

Starting a new business is a nerve-wracking time because you’re going from a steady paycheck to what could be sporadic income in the beginning. Make sure you have money in the bank to pay your bills for a few months if you decide to jump in full time to your business right now. Or you can ease your way into it by keeping your full time job and working your side hustle in your off time. Neither way is right or wrong, you need to do what feels right for you.

Are you starting a side hustle? Where are you stumped in the process? Ask us, we can help!

Small Business Secrets

Small Business Secrets

Ssshhhh we have some small business secrets to share. Okay, they aren’t actually secrets, they are more like best practices that entrepreneurs should consider when they’re either in the start-up phase or in the growth phase.

It may seem as though there is a “secret society” into which all successful business owners belong and you’re on the outside looking in. It’s not true, but here are some ways in which you can achieve higher business success.

Small Business Secrets

Keep current customers. It is so much more cost effective to keep a current customer than it is to find and nurture a new one. Don’t spend so much time seeking out new customers and new opportunities that you neglect your current clients. Stay in touch with them. Email or call them regularly just to check in. Ask what you can do to help them.

Find an accountability partner or a coach. Running a business can sometimes be a lonely task. It’s easier when you have someone you can bounce ideas off of or who can hold you accountable to business growth items you’ve said you want to pursue. It may be easier to find an accountability partner than it is to share your business frustrations with a spouse or significant other.

Surround yourself with winners. When you hire employees or bring in an outside contractor or freelancer to work with you, make sure you surround yourself with the best. Sure, you will get that occasional “lemon” that you thought was going to be great. Give yourself grace and move on when this happens. Just make sure you “hire slowly, fire quickly.” Don’t keep a bad employee on staff or your business can quickly suffer.

See. These weren’t secrets, but were instead, good business practices that you should consider for your own business. If you’ve decided to become your own boss, take it slow, write a business plan and surround yourself with great people!

 

 

How To Write A Business Plan

How To Write A Business Plan

Are you starting a business? Have you been running a business but have been “winging it” because you’ve never taken the time to write a business plan? If you’re running a business without a business plan you’re not alone. How to write a business plan is something we work with our clients to make happen.

When you have a business plan — and it doesn’t need to be a 100 page document — you have a roadmap toward future success and growth.

How To Write A Business Plan

Don’t be afraid of a business plan — even if you’ve never written one. We’ve put together a few simple steps that can get you on your way toward writing a business plan.

  •  Perform research. In order to write your business plan you need to understand your business and the industry in which you’re operating in and out. Understand your industry and every aspect of your business so intimately that you can answer an investor’s question with no hesitation.
  • Know what you don’t want to do as much as what you want to do. Know your limitations and the limitations of the goods and services you will provide. Don’t think you can be everything to everyone. Choose a niche and laser focus on that. What have you seen others do that you have said, “I will NEVER do that!” or what have you seen that you think, “I definitely want to do that, but differently.”
  • You can use business plan software or simply pull up a Word or Google doc or a piece of paper and a pen. The software you use doesn’t matter as much as getting the plan down on “paper.”
  • Don’t forget the visuals. If you have visuals you can share in your business plan to share the information you’re putting into it — do so. Visuals are more intriguing to a reader than is a “wall of words.” What relevant images can you find to add into your business plan?
  • Make your business plan adaptable for the audience with whom you will be sharing it. Think of your business plan as your resume or elevator speech. Pick and choose relevant items and share that with the audience you’re in front of. Not all audiences want to hear your entire business plan.

Start a business right — with a busines plan. If you don’t know where to begin, reach out to us, we can help.

What Is Your Business Networking Strategy?

What Is Your Business Networking Strategy?

How often do you get out of the office and meet people face-to-face? Do you attend networking events? Do you find them useful or do you just feel your time would be better spent if you just stayed in the office? What is your business networking strategy? Do you have one? If you don’t, then you probably are spinning your wheels and you should just stay in the office.

If, however, you want to expand your reach and meet new potential referral partners, then you need to get out of the office and talk with people.

What Is Your Business Networking Strategy?

Here are some tips to help you implement a business networking strategy to make meeting new people more effective and efficient.

  • WHO will be at the networking event? If you go to an event knowing none of those in attendance are your ideal client, then why would you go? Look for events that may play host to your potential ideal client.
  • WHAT do you want to accomplish at the event? Remember, you shouldn’t go to an event thinking “I’m going to sign up clients and make sales today” instead go the meeting thinking, “I am going to meet new people and start building relationships today.”
  • WHY do you feel the need to network? Do you want some fresh ideas? Are you looking for a colleague?

When you’re at the networking event make sure you listen more than you talk. Get to know the person in front of you. Don’t just walk around handing out business cards without making a meaningful connection. Ask the person you’re talking with what they hope to get out of the event. Are they looking to build relationships? Are they first timers? Do they have a business that might be a fit for yours and you could become colleagues? You won’t know unless you ask.

Look for networking events in your area and make a list of those that make sense for you to attend. Remember, it may make sense to network outside of your particular niche if you want to grow your client list.

Is It Time To Raise Your Prices?

Is It Time To Raise Your Prices?

Is It Time To Raise Your Prices? It’s a question that every entrepreneur must ask him or herself during the course of running a business. Whether the cost of goods to manufacture your items has increased or if you offer services, you need to determine whether your time is more valuable than it was durng the start-up phase.

There are many reasons to raise your prices, but it must be done smoothly and you need to let your clients know well in advance of the increase. Look at big companies like Starbucks. It recently raised the price of a cup of coffee by 10-20 cents and the cost of its other drinks even more. It was not a secret. News was shared online and across social media. Customers needed to decide before they got to the drive up window whether that cup of coffee was worth the extra money. Give your clients time to answer that same question.

Don’t justify the increases, but do let your cilents know. Onboarding new clients won’t be an issue because they don’t have a history with you and your pricing. Here are things to keep in mind if you’re raising your prices.

  1. Don’t assume that if you switch to lower cost components to manufacture your products is the way to go. If the quality falls, your clients will let you — and others — know.
  2. Raise prices on new clients, not on current ones. This may not work, but it’s something to consider.
  3. As mentioned, give them advance warning. If your current clients are happy with the goods and services you provide, they may not balk at an increase.

Is it time to raise your prices? How do you decide?

Is Your Business Bio Doing Its Job?

Is Your Business Bio Doing Its Job?

As a business coach it’s my job to look at your entire business when we are talking. One thing I look at is your business bio and I ask, “is your business bio doing its job?” You may not know if it is — or if it isn’t. Your business bio is your online, 24/7 calling card to the universe.

Your business bio needs to be robust, tell people what you do and how they can work with you. The messaging on your business bio needs to be consistent and consistently branded no matter where you’re sharing it. Keywords are also part of the bio as that is how people will search you out.

To grow your business, garner speaking engagements and drive people to your website a business bio can be your best friend — or your worst enemy. Take time to craft a robust bio (one that is searchable for your niche).

Is Your Business Bio Doing Its Job?

Go to all of your social media platforms, your website, your blog and look at your business card and determine whether your bio needs to be updated and/or adjusted.

  • It’s not one-size-fits-all. Your bio or your profile needs to be adapted and adjusted to the audience with which you’re interacting.
  • Qualifications. If you’re twenty years out of high school or college, do you need to highlight your college or high school achievements? Haven’t you done anything since then that’s notable? For what do you want to be known? What have you done to highlight that unique skillset? Highlight that in your qualifications and remove, “captain of the wrestling team” from your qualifications and bio — unless it remains somehow relevant.
  • Specialized training. If you’re a lifelong learner — and most successful entrepreneurs are — make note of that. What do you do that makes you stand out from the competition? Add it into your bio.
  • Contact info. Crafting a great bio is the first step. Once people have found you, have you given them a way to get in touch with you? I have seen numerous websites where there is no contact email or phone number. Make sure you have an easy way for a prospect to reach you.
  • Professional photo. A photo is a must. I will not accept a connection request on LinkedIn if someone doesn’t have a photo. Why would I? For that matter, why wouldn’t you have a professional photo? Hire a photographer and get photos taken. Unless you are in the pet industry, don’t have your dog or cat in the photo with you.

Is your business bio complete? Is it robust? Are you using keywords? If you have questions or doubts about your bio, reach out, I can help.