There’s an old mantra that says if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. While the latter half can be argued, the most successful businesses come from entrepreneurs who focus on their passions. Starting a small business is daring, exciting and a bit scary. If you’re ready to quit your day job to turn your hobby full-time, you might not know where to start. Here are five tips to help you turn your passion project into a full-time business.
- Develop a strategy.
Every business needs a business plan. Your plan needs to project three-to-five years ahead while outlining the steps you intend to make to reach your quarterly and yearly milestones. This includes revenue projections, marketing strategies and analyses, services/products offered and much more. Your business plan shows how you will strategically run your business. It acts as your guide map throughout your small business journey. If you’re not sure where to start with your business plan, check out the Small Business Administration’s tips. See if you can contact any successful small business owners for their mentorship as well. They can help you formulate and execute your strategies.
- Save up some cash.
While there are plenty of funding options for startups, it’s still always wise to save up some capital before you completely dive in. Having these savings can help if you ever fall on hard times or seasonal lulls. Having sufficient funding when you start your business will also help you make smarter business decisions. If you run out of funds, you may make these decisions out of fear. With your savings, you’ll be calmer and make clearer decisions or you’ll have more time to research and properly execute any business strategies. It’s important, though, that you don’t stop saving once you’ve opened your small business. You should create a monthly or quarterly goals for how much you want to set aside to save.
- Use your time wisely.
Before you quit your full-time job, make sure you know how to manage your time effectively. Being a small business owner, you get to schedule your work hours whenever you want to. However, this can lead to the possibility of time waste. We’ve all been there and have said, “I’ll do this later,” but when you own a business, it’s extra imperative to avoid procrastination. You need to ensure you’re getting done what needs to be done in order to expand your brand as well as delivering your product/services or handling any financial items (taxes, loan payments, etc.) If you’re already great at time management, make a timeline of each day you plan to work during the week, scheduling your most important responsibilities during your most productive hours. Instead of tackling huge task all at once, take small bites day by day. Before you know it, those huge tasks won’t seem so huge anymore.
- Work smarter.
It’s a great feeling to have complete control over your small business, but you must remember that you don’t have to shoulder the entire burden alone. Taking on too much at once can lead to burn out or not executing certain tasks properly. For example, let’s say you sell homemade soaps, but you’re not too great at social media marketing. It’s better to hire a freelance social media coordinator, who can successfully expand your brand and increase your sales, rather than doing it yourself. It’s also important to find the right platform for your business. For example, if make handmade goods from wood carvings to jewelry, consider online stores like Etsy or Shopify. For services offered, create a website. If you’re selling homemade food products, cook in your house and sell your products at local farmer’s markets or grocery stores until you’re able to open a brick-and-mortar. It’s important to do the proper research so you’re the most visible to your consumer base.
- Remember: Not everything has to be perfect.
Sometimes, the biggest challenge is overcoming our fears and insecurities. We fear failure, which can often hold us back from pursuing our dreams. Not everything in your small business is going to go smoothly 100 percent of the time – and that’s okay! Perfection is an impossible feat, so just do the best you can. Of course, you don’t want to dive all in without any planning. Once you have your ducks in a row, take a deep breath and go for it.
It can be daunting, but extremely rewarding, to turn your hobby into a full-time small business, especially when it’s something you’re passionate about. However, there’s a reason you’re passionate about your hobby and want to turn it into a business. Allow that passion to drive you through your fear and accomplish something incredible!
The Kabbage Team is here to not only fund the small business loans you need but to help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Kabbage empowers small businesses through straightforward, flexible access to capital. We’ve extended more than $3 billion directly to small business owners and powered automated funding for other organizations all over the globe – all while maintaining a remarkably high laughter quotient.