3 Steps to Turn Your Side Hustle Into Your Full-Time Job

by Maurie Backman | Published on Aug. 22, 2021

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Love your side gig? Here's how to make it your primary income source.

A lot of people get side jobs these days to boost their savings, pay off debt, or make some extra money for things like entertainment and vacations. And, ideally, you'll manage to find a side gig you enjoy doing.

But what if you like your side hustle so much that you decide you want to take it full-time? It may be that you like the work better than what you do at your main job or that there's actually the potential to make more money. And if that's the case, it's worth going for it. But before you dive in, here are three important steps to take.

Step 1: Create a plan

If your side hustle involves waiting tables and you decide that you like interacting with customers and have the potential to do well with tips, then going full-time is probably a simple matter. Just see if your boss can bump up your hours. But if your side hustle is something that requires you to manage your own time, schedule, and customer list, like caring for pets or designing websites, then you'll need to be strategic about turning it into your main job.

Before you jump in, map out a plan. Figure out how many hours you'll need to work each week to earn a high enough income to support yourself, and determine how many different projects or clients at a time that translates to.

Step 2: Network and advertise

If your soon-to-be-full-time side hustle is something you'll be doing independently, like running any type of business of your own, then you'll need a solid customer base to keep busy and bring enough money in. To that end, it's a good idea to network extensively before leaving your main job so you can build up a steady client base (or at least the beginning of one).

Along these lines, figure out how you'll advertise your business. Maybe you'll turn to social media or post ads at local businesses. Make sure to give your venture enough exposure so people know it exists.

Step 3: Boost your savings

Embarking on a new professional path can be very exciting, but you may also encounter a period of financial instability. For example, say you're getting a pet-sitting business off the ground. You might start out with only a few steady clients before word gets around that you're good at what you do. And the last thing you'll want is to fall behind on your bills during that transition period.

That's why it's really important to pad your savings account balance before taking your side hustle full-time. That way, you can afford a dip in income for a while as you iron out the kinks.

The best side hustles are the ones that don't feel like work or that feel like enjoyable work -- not the kind you dread. If you're loving your side gig, it may be time to see about turning it into a full-time job. Just make sure to check these boxes off along the way.

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