Shift Your Mindset From Side Hustle To Business
A while ago when you had the idea of starting your side hustle activities, you felt that it would be a valuable way of spending your spare time. Time has proven you right: your side hustle business has grown and is now ready to become a legitimate company.
There are several aspects you need to consider when you decide to dedicate your full-time to your former hobby. For a start, you will have to clarify the capital funds you require to start a company. In the midst of building a professional presence, you have to be aware of the expectations of your existing clients too. Indeed, the first people who trusted you with their projects want to be reassured that the company maintains the values and aspirations they love.
But what makes the process truly difficult from a side hustle to a business is your mindset. A side hustle mind is focused on achieving most things by yourself and at the lowest possible costs. As a company, you need to aim higher and see the bigger picture to become successful.
You can’t do it yourself anymore
Side hustles tend to develop as risk-free freelancing activities that come on top of full-time employment or a way for stay-at-home parents to boost the household income. Hence, in their first form they are independent freelancing setups, where, by definition, one person does it all. Therefore it can be tricky to let go of your independence and share the workload with others. However, you can gradually train your mind to let go. You can start by outsourcing specific tasks to contractors until you’ve been built enough confidence. In the long term, you will need help to find staff for your new business. Working closely with an agency that takes the time to understand your business can make a great deal of difference to your professional growth.
Premises or virtual office?
For the first time since you’ve launched your side hustle, you’ll be faced with an essential question regarding your offices. Indeed, from the moment you decide to transform your freelancing activities you have to define a postal address that will be used for all company communication. If you choose to create a virtual business, you can either invest in an HQ office for all administrative tasks, or you can use a forward mail option. Contrary to the common belief, a virtual office can be a profitable and effective solution for digital businesses such as marketing services, IT production or even the creative sector. For companies that need to face clients, you should look for specific spaces in attractive locations. In other words, it’s the end of your daily work routine on the kitchen table’s corner. You now need to focus on creating a workplace that keeps your team motivated and productive.
You need a real strategy
It would be foolish to assume that you embraced your freelancing activities without a strategy. Of course, you did follow a strategic plan to make it work. However, it’s fair to say that the strategy you develop for a solo side hustle doesn’t apply to a company with a team. You have to go back to the drawing board. First of all, your business has changed – consequently, you need to consider how this affects its interactions with the market. You can perform a market analysis using the SWOT methodology – Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat. You can expect your company situation to bring new opportunities but also threats, meaning that your strategy needs to be adapted. Additionally, the activities that are available to you have evolved now that you can rely on a team.
Words of mouth are just not enough anymore
In many ways and even if you’ve been marketing your freelancing activities in the past, you’ll find that you need to start from scratch with your company marketing. Where do you start? You will have to establish a professional digital presence – from a website to social media platforms. More often than not, this will require you to launch a brand new website. Make your new site the beginning of your first content marketing campaign as a way to position your activities for your audience group and to attract leads. If you think of your content as a type of marketing activities, you easily understand that it needs to be published alongside specific goals and metrics, aka what you want to achieve with the content and how you want to measure its success. Prepare yourself for long-term tracking as content marketing can be a slow but effective process. Additionally, you can also use your new content as part of an SEM campaign to bring more traffic.
An appealing branding attracts leads
What’s the name of your company?
What seems like an innocent question can leave many entrepreneurs confused. Indeed, while a side hustle doesn’t require a meaningful brand name, once you decide to create a company you have to name it with your audience in mind. Indeed, the first thing you need to understand is what makes a good business name. A good name is a name that relates to your activities, for instance – you can work with keyword generators. More importantly, your name should be available as a domain name too, as it’s only confusing for customers if your URL doesn’t match your company name. You can also find online name generators to help you identify available domains for your keywords. And then gradually narrow it down, asking the audience through A/B tests what works best.
You have responsibilities you can’t escape
Last, but not least, you become a business owner whose actions can affect not only the business but your employees too. You have to be careful about how you appear in the public eye. Controversial social media posts, for instance, can have a damaging impact on your company.
From being on your own to trusting a team and building a professional brand, your side hustle takes a brand new direction when you transform it into a business. With it comes the realisation that you have to carry new responsibility, hire a team and decide on a company growth strategy. From side hustle to business, the first step is accepting to grow.