Boss Lady

Side business to full time business: how to grow your hustle


There are so many ways to run a business — about as many ways as there are entrepreneurs. Often, some of the best and strongest businesses actually start out as a side business. This happens to be quite a safe way to do it, as it means that you are not risking too much in setting your business up and getting it rolling. But it is likely, if it is doing at all well, that there will come a time when you feel the need to take your business full time. If you do feel this need, in all likelihood it is a pretty good sign. It means, at the very least, that your side-business is probably doing quite well, well enough that you feel you can make it more of a permanent venture.

Expanding your side business to full time

So: what do you actually need to do in order to take your side business into the full-time? Let’s have a look at some essential words of wisdom.

Keep it focused

One of the earliest mistakes that people in this position make is that they try to do too much at once with their side business. You might well have the confidence that your side business is going to thrive, but you should still make an effort to keep it as focused as you can, at least at the start. By having a strong focus, you are making it much more likely that your business will continue to be strong, and this is going to be one of your major concerns in the early days of your business.

If you struggle to come up with what this focus should be, then it might be helpful to think about what the core of your side business is really, at heart. Getting to the bottom of this is also going to be hugely beneficial in terms of giving the business some kind of sense of direction, so this is a practice to get into anyway. But having focus will mean that you know how and where to direct your energies, and that will prove essential as you make the tricky shift from part-time to full-time entrepreneur.

Think about your location

If you have been working on your part-time side business for a while, in all likelihood you have been running it from a spare room or your attic – or even the corner of your bedroom. Whatever setting you currently have your business set up it, it is highly likely that you will want to try and find something a little more permanent if you want to make your business more permanent itself. As it happens, you will usually have a number of options available to you on this front. Most people will simply go and find an office they can claim as their own.

But it is likely that you don’t yet have the resources (or the confidence in the business’ future) to buy an office outright. In that case, it is probably a good idea to first rent office space in your local area, and get set up there while you start to build your empire. After a time, you might well find yourself in a position where you can actually buy your own property for the business. But for now, the important thing is just to have the space to work in at all. Get the setting right, and you are on your way to crafting your business.

Don’t rush

There is a certain energy that usually goes along with this major step in a business’ life. If you find yourself getting overly excited and always trying to achieve the next and the next thing, then you might benefit from taking a little time to slow down and relax. After all, there is no rush – and you will probably find that the more you rush, the more likely it is that you will make a few vital errors which could end up costing your side business dearly. Slow down, take your time, and the transition from part-time business to full-time venture will be a much more successful one.

Get creative

Finally, it is hugely important to remember that you are well within your rights to get a little creative from time to time. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to crafting a side business from the ground up. If you think you can do something a little different, but it is a little risky, you shouldn’t just shy away from it altogether. Give yourself permission to build your business in the way that you want – that is what matters most of all.


Working for another company in a 9-5 job is safe and, to some extent, predictable. Furthermore, the success of the company probably depends not just on you, but on a whole group of people. However, if you really want to turn your side business into a full-time job, you must be brave enough to step into the unknown like so many entrepreneurs before you. And, as I mentioned before, it should be a decision you make because you’re sincerely passionate about the work you’re doing. You must be passionate enough to put in the time and hard work it takes to run a business on your own.

Changing careers to go out alone will always be a little scary. Even if your secondary job is thriving, moving from a trusted full-time position to pursuing your own business is fraught with risks and challenges that can seem daunting.

For any business, consistency is key. In fact, I’m not sure there’s any business that can survive on a few big commissions a year. Instead, they survive on consistent income that they can pass on. Not to mention the fact that it’s also much less stressful. Publicizing and getting clients or projects is the hardest part of starting a side business, and until you have a stable foundation, it’s not feasible to take it full-time. Once you’ve found a steady stream of work or clients, with the skill and ability to look for new ones, that’s when you can consider moving your side business to a full time venture.

However, if you’ve found an activity that you’re not only passionate about, but that you’ve grown into a career that can really sustain you, then you’ve undoubtedly fulfilled the dream of many. Ultimately, there are certain signs that your side show is more than just a side show. If you think these signs are true, it may be time to reconsider your full-time performance.

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Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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