6 things to do before quitting that 9 to 5 to pursue your side hustle
There are many reasons why you might decide to give up the security of a 9-5 job in order to take on the risks and tribulations of pursuing your passions as a solopreneur. You might be eager to take your side hustle to the next level, but there are a few factors to consider first..
Maybe you’re tired of your weekly grind, and your side hustle is starting to gain traction, or maybe you just want to be able to work independantly on your own watch, but before you take that leap from security to chaos, here are 6 things to do before you quit your 9 to 5 full time job:
1. Have 6 months’ worth of savings to keep you and your side hustle going
Pursuing your passion, and expanding or starting a new side hustle as a solopreneur is no easy feat, no matter which industry you choose to embark your solo venture in.
The first 6 months are more than likely going to be slow and tough, unless you have an existing customer base or followship to hit the floor running with. If you are starting from scratch like 99% of new businesses out there, it is going to take some time before you can generate the required return necessary to replace your 9-5 earnings, and cover all of your expenses.
Make sure you have 6 months of savings to ensure you get through this crucial period. There will be enough on your plate to worry about while you embark on your new learning curve. Do not let your personal living expenses be one of them.
2. Create a detailed business plan
Any half-decent business venture usually starts with a detailed business plan. You might have all the passion in the world, but you need full knowledge of what you are getting yourself into. Carry out a thorough SWOT analysis, whereby you identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with your new venture.
Identifying each of these is paramount to converting your passions into success because you will understand your business. Understand your competitive landscape. What are your unique selling points? What are your barriers to entry? How saturated is your market and how are you going to differentiate from your competitors to keep ahead? Is your product or service filling a necessary gap in the market? Question everything and leave no stone unturned.
3. Do the math! Learn the fine-line art of budgeting
A business or side hustle without a well-defined budget will have no benchmark or measuring tool in place to evaluate performance, nor will you be able to monitor or implement your objectives and goals.
Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint, and a budget should be both realistic and ambitious to enable you to sustainably fulfil long-term plans and goals as well as your short-term objectives.
“A personal budget is a manifestation of your decision to grab your finances by the balls”
― Money Tree Man
4. Promote on social media early on and set a launch date!
Choose your social media platforms a few weeks before you launch your new venture, and officially announce your launch date, then create hype around that launch date.
You can create hype by starting a countdown, by running competitions and giveaways, or sharing teasers to build anticipation and instil a sense of intrigue. Stick to a schedule for posting regular content and be consistent.
Social media marketing is a cost-effective way to get your brand out there and to start gaining credibility. Drive web traffic to your business website, publish regular posts and blogs with links to your products or services, and start building backlinks.
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5. Network and build relationships. Word of mouth is golden!
Make friends and build a good relationship with your potential customers and business contacts. It has been proven that the most effective form of marketing is Word of Mouth Marketing. Consumers trust the opinions of their families and friends over any other source of marketing information.
Besides benefiting from repeat business, happy customers also leave good reviews, and good reviews build credibility, which is ever so important in the early brand-building days of a new venture.
Build a mutually beneficial support system and open your mind to new opportunities in related fields, e.g. affiliate marketing. Connect with your customers. There is no better form of feedback than direct feedback. Find out what your customers want and how you can improve your product or service offering by asking your customers directly.
6. Leave your job on good terms. Do not burn bridges before embarking on your side hustle!
Never leave your job on bad terms. There are no guarantees in life, so if you decide to pursue your new business idea or side hustle, make sure that you do not burn bridges with your soon-to-be former employer and colleagues.
If things don’t work out with your venture, you might just need to re-join the job market at some point, in which case you will probably need references for the next job you apply to, so give enough notice, show gratitude for the opportunity and growth, and leave a positive lasting impression with your employers before you embark on your journey as a solopreneur.
Quitting your job and starting out as a solopreneur can be both exciting and frightening. Yes you will take on more risk than before, but you will also have the freedom and flexibility to work on whatever you want, whenever you want.
Diy My Design provides a selection of professionally designed, easy-to-use, editable branding, stationery, admin, social media, web and label templates for you or your business. These are perfect for startups, side hustles and established businesses alike so have a squiz at our template shop.
Like anything in life, be prepared! The road is long and arduous, and you will be giving up the predictability and security of a full-time job. Pros and cons to anything I guess! See our previous blog for our 7 reasons to start an online business in 2020.