Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You’re understimulated, underappreciated and overtaxed at work. You yearn for opportunities and challenges that you finally know for sure that your employer will never, ever provide for you. You’ve spent months looking for jobs in the newspapers and on job sites in your free time but to no avail. But while 9 out of 10 people in your position are prepared to roll over and accept their fate, you’re ready to take your life, your career and your financial well being into your own hands. You’re going to start a business of your very own.
But you’re also smart enough to know that quitting a salaried job to go into business for yourself is risky, so you’re taking the time to do it right. You’re developing your business as a side hustle. But how will you know when the time is right to make your business a full-time endeavor? Well, while the decision is and must be yours, here are some boxes to check that will help you to make the jump…
Know your market
Market research is a vitally important process. But it’s not a simple one and done that you abandon once your business is established. You must be in constant touch with your changing markets. What technological innovations are on the horizon and how could they benefit or change your business model? How does your business respond to a specific gap in your chosen market? Has the market changed as a result of your nascent presence? How will your business adapt to the changes in your current market? How can you ensure that your brand continues to resonate with your customers, and what will you do if it isn’t?
Know your competitors
Whatever the size and scale of your new enterprise, it’s important to understand your competitors. It’s not enough to simply know the needs of your target market. In a fast-moving business landscape, you must also know how your competitors are failing them and how to capitalize on this. Likewise, it’s important to find out what advantages they have over you and reverse engineer them to your benefit. There are a range of tools to help you do this from using WordTree to research your competitors and monitor your niche to using Spyfu to see how your competitor’s keyword search ranking measures up to yours.
Work out your cash flow projections
It’s not just enough to know where you’ll be getting your business funding from. It’s not even enough to have a comprehensive business plan. In order to be successful in those make or break early years, it’s essential to have accurate, comprehensive and realistic cash flow projections mapped out before you go full time. This will establish what you can expect to make, what bills and debts you will need to repay and what you will need to pay yourself to keep the roof over your head while still maintaining the healthy cash flow necessary to help your enterprise to grow.
When you have confidence in your ability to leap over these hurdles, you’re ready to make your side hustle your ffull-timeoccupation.