Turning a side hustle into a full-time job.

Three ways to turn your side hustle into your full-time job

Today, we're talking side hustles. Whether you're flipping tellies on Amazon, creating content, or even painting people's nails in your spare time, here's how to turn your part-time venture into a full-time reality.

We've even broken it down into three easy steps, there really is no excuse now!

We're going to assume you have some sort of hustle on the go already. If not, check out our piece on how to get started with one.

1. Scale, scale, scale

At the heart of taking your side hustle full-time is one word – scalability. 

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Make sure the business model (the way your side hustle makes money) has the potential to earn a full-time income. Yep, this is your Dragon's Den moment. A lot of people find this part intimidating, but keep it simple and think about two things:

  1. How much time your product/ service takes to fulfill from start to finish and how much you earn from it. Thinking of your income as cost per hour will help with scaling up.

  2. If you were to receive triple the amount of orders tomorrow, could you meet the demand? If not, what processes do you need in place to do so?

So we’ve thought about scaling up, but how do we actually do it? Here are some ideas 👇

  • Follow the 80/ 20 rule – Tim Ferriss fans out there will already know this one. This states that 80 percent of our results come from 20 percent of our efforts. If you're struggling to think of a way to do this, read on...

  • Prioritise top performers – If you sell products, which are your top performers? If you offer services, which is your most popular? Keep and prioritise what makes you the most money. Spend less time on the things that don't perform – or cut them out completely.

  • Email marketing – this allows you to build your own network and keep them engaged. When an email hits your customer's inbox, often they're only four or five clicks away from placing an order. Pretty powerful considering this is a free marketing tool! 

  • Automation – businesses rely on other businesses. Look at what technology systems are available to help you save time and be more productive. SproutSocial is a great social media example.

2. Raising funds

Raising funds for a side hustle

For a lot of hustlers out there, they already have everything in place to go full-time except more capital.

Here's a few ways to raise some extra funds 👇

  • Saving – old, but gold. If your goal is to go full-time in a year, how much can you save per month to contribute towards investment into your project?

✏️ Scoop tip – if you haven't already, open a business bank account. Digital banks like Monzo and Starling let you open these accounts in no time at all. When you go full-time, tax will work differently and you'll be in charge of all your expenses. Keeping organised is essential, and a separate business account will help with this.
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  • Loans and grants – this is a great option if you're reluctant to give up some ownership of your future company. Explore some government backed options.

  • CrowdfundingKickstarter and GoFundMe. Remember the company Oculus? Well that began on Kickstarter and was later acquired by Meta for $2 billion. Community building is also essential in modern day marketing and crowdfunding allows you to tap into this by rewarding your contributors with gifts and perks.

  • Angel investors – these are individuals with a high net worth who provide financial backing for start-ups and entrepreneurs, in exchange for equity in the company. According to Statista, that was around half a million people in the UK during 2019. They often live up to the name too, as they can help in other areas such as networking. Many have their fingers in lots of pies and will help open some serious doors for you.

You can connect with angels through groups like the UK Business Angels Association.

  • Peer-to-peer lending – borrowing from a ‘peer’ works similarly to receiving angel investment, only it’s aimed at people who aren’t ready to bring an angel investor onboard. As the name suggests, you borrow directly from a peer who typically offers lower interest rates than a bank. This is a smart way of gaining extra capital whilst keeping full ownership of your business. 

✏️ Scoop tip – always go through a regulated lending platform such as Loanpad. Many borrowers think peer-to-peer lending operates like a savings account – it doesn’t. It’s an investment on the part of the borrower and it’s best the lender knows this prior to signing any contracts.
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Whichever avenue you take, make sure you have a business plan in place first. This is a document detailing your purpose, mission statement, customer base, competitors and the business model. Otherwise, your lender will laugh you out the door!

✏️ Scoop tip – turning your side hustle into a fully fledged limited company costs just £12. This comes with lots of tax benefits. Read more on the government's website on what you need to get started.

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3. Expand your team

You might enjoy working solo, but I guarantee there are jobs you can't or won't be able to do. And that's not a bad thing.

Keeping it simple is always best – write down a list of jobs that you can't or don't want to do. From here, you have two options:

  1. Outsource – hire short-term freelancers on websites such as Fiverr and Upwork.

  2. Hire full-time or FTC (fixed-term contracts) – if the demand is so great that you need an employee then get your business on job sites such as LinkedIn and start posting adverts.

There you have it, our top three ways to scale your side hustle into a full-time rodeo.

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Meet the authors

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James Ashoo

Senior Content Writer

James has been investing for over five years. His aim is to explain the hard stuff, easily! When he's not chewing your ear off about stocks and crypto, he'll most likely be telling bad jokes.

Harjas Singh

Harjas Singh

Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder

With a wealth of experience in fintech, Harjas is the man in the know when it comes to all things product. Investing features, chatting capabilities and thriving communities – he oversees all development on the Shares app!

Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison

Finance Writer

Harry is an experienced business writer, with a love for all things tech. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing sport and winning at chess. He also loves posting inside the Shares app!