Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Take smart risks and turn your "side hustle" into a "full-time gig".
Side businesses are a great way to diversify your income streams and bring in more money into your household. In some cases, however, your side business can exceed every single expectation you ever had for it. Soon you’re overloaded with the amount of orders coming in and your ability to manage your full-time job, personal life, and side hustle, meaning everything has been compromised. You can either take a step back from this side hustle, or you can take the opportunity by its horns.
When your side business succeeds to that extent, you have a golden opportunity available to you. You have the chance to start your very own company, take it full time, and turn it into something wildly successful. For most of you who turned a hobby into a side hustle, this means taking your passion and making it into your career. That isn’t to say the journey will be easy, but it is doable. Read the following guide for advice:
1. Improve Your Digital Presence
The first step to shifting any side business into a fully-fledged company is to improve your digital presence. When you expand, people will expect more from you and your overall company look. That is why you will want to reinvest into your website, your marketplace profiles, and of course your social media feeds.
Upgrade Your Website
Chances are if you have a website it’s likely a free subscription one that has greatly limited your ability to customize, market, and expand. If you want to become a fully-fledged company however, it is about time that you find a third-party host, and implement your own powerful website. After all, it is much more economical to manage the selling portion of your company on your own. You won’t be cutting a piece of the pie with your marketplace, and instead be in full control over costings, shipping, discounts, and more.
Upgrade Your Marketplace Profiles
If you aren’t yet ready to take your shop entirely over to your website, then you will need to improve your marketplace profile. This means paying for the premium subscription (if applicable) so that you get a professional profile. It also means investing in better photography and studio equipment to take better photos.
Upgrade Your Social Media Content
If you haven’t already, you will also want to change your social media accounts to business (again, if applicable). You will want to use your new photography and studio equipment to create gorgeous images to share in posts on these social sites, and to create a unique strategy for every feed.
Remember, though, you should never cross post. Not only is each platform geared towards a different posting strategy, how you format each post differs, and cross-posting can mean ugly looking posts your followers won’t like.
2. Install Premium Plugins
Back to your website, you will want to start investing in premium plugins (or premium subscriptions for the plugins you currently have). If you do not know, a plugin is an added feature you can include into your website. Popular options include an ecommerce platform, a mailing service, and more.
You can greatly customize your site and your user’s experience with them, but for now you will want to focus on plugins best:
There are a few ecommerce platforms out there. You will want to choose which one you wish to use. Some can be added to a site, others can build a site around them, which is why this is often the first decision you will want to make.
For Email Marketing
The right mail plugin and subscription can make it easy for users to subscribe to a newsletter and for you to provide personalized emails just for them.
Though you will need to adhere to the privacy laws in each country, do try to offer personalization in your advertising. Using a user’s name is great, but if you can also suggest products they might like based on their search history, as well as make reminders for a full basket or unused discount, you can convince people to return and make a purchase.
3. Use the Right Data Management Program
You will want to invest in a great data management program that ideally does it all under one umbrella. You don’t want to go between programs in order to get your data, as this limits the programs ability to automate tasks. Instead, choose an enterprise package that will keep your customer data, supply chain data, supplier data, inventory, and so much more in one place.
4. Hire a Legal Team
There is a reason why law firms are so prevalent and successful, and there is a reason why a particularly talented lawyer can charge thousands of dollars per hour for their service. The reason is that the law is not easy to understand and even harder to manoeuvre around.
As a new business you will also want to have a legal team on your side to help advise you on which steps to take. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there for those with a tight budget. Instead of hiring lawyers and racking up hundreds if not thousands in legal fees, you can benefit from an Enterprise legal subscription from HJSolicitors.co.uk, which amounts to one hour of legal advice a month for a wide range of topics, and an 80% discount on extra hours you might need.
5. Add Additional Revenue Streams
A great way to solidify your success is to add additional revenue streams. If you sell a service, for example, creating a line of merchandise can be a great way to add extra income to your company. Other options for revenue streams include:
- Create a Digital Course
- Offer Consultation Services
- Advertisement Revenue
6. Expand Operations
Once your business and business model are geared towards a growing goal, you will want to look into how you can formally expand your operations. You might want to find businesses around the country or even around the world to sell your products, or you might want to consider opening up another branch. Explore all your options before making a decision.
Your side business is your passion project. Isn’t it about time you gave that passion your all and tried to make a true living out of it? You have the customers, you have the product, all that is left is to formalize your business strategy, acquire legal help, and to take your side business on full time.
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