Have you been working hard at your side hustle? Are you ready to turn your small business into your full time gig? There are so many amazing perks of working for yourself and if you’ve been consulting on the side for a while, you’ll know just how enjoyable it can be. However, saying goodbye to the stability of a salaried job can be a scary prospect. Here are five tips to keep in mind when turning your consulting gig into your full time career.
1 Have a plan
It can be easy to think everything will simply fall into place once you take that leap of faith and quit your day job. But the truth is, reality quickly sets in, leaving you feeling panicked with an ever-diminishing bank account. Save yourself the anxiety by carefully crafting a plan before you hand in your notice. Figure out how you will support yourself while you get your business up and running, and consider the length of time it may take before you turn a considerable profit.
2 Get on top of your finances
When taking the leap to being self-employed, you need to get a handle on your finances from the start. Sort out your bank accounts and separate work from personal. Also take a look at your expenses to see if there is any you can cut back on when finances may be a little tight. Work out with your accountant how to manage your cash flow and when you can expect to start turning a profit. You also need to get up-to-date with your tax and super obligations.
3 Find your clients
In order to create a thriving business, you’re going to need a solid customer base. Consulting on the side will give you a great leg up but you’ll need to do more to find enough clients or customers to sustain you long term. Whether you turn to traditional methods of advertising, online marketing or simply tapping into your business network, finding clients takes time and effort. Get a referral program up and running quickly and ask your existing clients to write positive reviews for you online.
4 Learn how to network
There’s no doubt about it, starting your own venture requires serious networking. You may already have experience from your day job, but networking for your own business is a whole new challenge. Start by researching industry events in your area and attend them where possible. Put your name forward to speak at events, where relevant, or even host one yourself. And while you’re networking, don’t forget to keep an eye out for a business mentor.
5 Keeping learning
Starting and growing your own business is tough but you’ll learn along the way. Continue to upskill and grow your expertise so you can provide your clients and customers with the best possible experience. Use the first year of your business to see where the gaps are and work to fill them, whether it’s gaining more public speaking experience or working on your client service. Find others in your niche and learn from their successes and mistakes.