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10 tips to turn your side hustle into a successful business

  • October 14 2020
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10 tips to turn your side hustle into a successful business

By Zarah Mae Torrazo
October 14 2020

How can you turn your side hustle into a successful business? If transitioning your side gig into a full-time business is one of your financial goals, here are tips to make this dream into a reality.

10 tips to turn your side hustle into a successful business

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  • October 14 2020
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10 tips to turn your side hustle into a successful business
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Many people dream of quitting their nine-to-five jobs and working on a venture that they are passionate about. 

A significant number of Australians have taken the first step towards achieving this by taking on side jobs in their spare time. According to the latest figures, over 1 million Australians have taken on “side hustles” or extra work outside of their regular full-time jobs.

A side job (informally known as a side hustle or a side gig) is a type of employment taken on by an individual in addition to their full-time employment. And with the recent boom in the gig economy, it’s expected that more people will take on the challenge of pursuing one’s passion on the side while continuing to be employed in a daytime job.

A side hustle is a financial opportunity you shouldn’t easily dismiss. Dr Steven Enticott, a Melbourne-based expert and entrepreneur, said that many Australians are missing out on opportunities to earn extra income due to myths and misconceptions surrounding side hustles. He said that people “wrongly believe that it’s really hard to get a business idea off the ground and that it can’t be done without quitting your day job and spending bucket loads of money”. 


Starting a side hustle should be no problem if you are really determined to find an additional income stream. Contrary to the popular belief, Dr Enticott added that “anyone can start a side gig in Australia and boost their income”. If you don’t know where to start, you can read about some insanely profitable skills you can learn online here

If you’re an Uber driver, graphic designer, social media manager, or even running a part-time online business, multiple projects can easily turn into your main source of income if you decide to put in the work and the needed hours. 

But for most people, turning their side hustle into a full-time business is a risk they can’t afford to take. While the side-hustle-turned-business scheme isn’t for everyone, the good news is that you don’t have to quit your job and take a leap into the unknown. At least, not immediately.  

The prospect of growing your business from your side gig is intimidating. But it can be achieved with strategic planning and solid commitment. So, what do you need to do to turn your side hustle into your full-time business? Here are some tips

1. Don’t rush to start your business

A number of people rush to quit their daytime job to be a full-time small-business owner. Experts advise to spend time freelancing first before turning your business idea into reality. On average, side hustlers who became business owners are estimated to have worked in the gig economy  for 19 months before quitting their full-time job, specifically to make their side gig their primary source of income. At this stage, you should focus on earning experience and building up your reputation first before you can make the shift to full-time self-employment. By working on your idea as a side hustle for a few months or a year to gain some traction, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to increase your income to a level that’s the same (or even higher) compared with what your day job is paying you.

2. Make a plan for financial stability

Starting a business requires a significant amount of money. Additionally, it’s intimidating to replace your job salary right out of the gate. A recent survey showed that it took side-giggers-turned-business-owners three years of being a full-time entrepreneur before they earned the same annual income as their last full-time job. To help your transition, you can start by covering one expense at a time with side hustle money. Don’t forget to track your expenses and create a budget to hold yourself accountable. If you’re not good at tracking your expenses, try working with a financial adviser to help you on your journey. 

3. Identify a niche

Businesses are more likely to succeed if they develop a speciality, so try to identify a gap in your target market. Your niche should also align with your interests so you can avoid experiencing burnout. Successful entrepreneurs exhibit high levels of enthusiasm for what they do, and this passion is what helps their business weather difficult times. 

4. Build your brand’s online presence

Not sure if your business idea will pan out? Test the waters by creating a social media account for your side hustle. Not only will this help people know about your product or service, it can also help you build up a solid clientele base. By collecting positive customer reviews and building a loyal network of followers, you will have a good foundation when you finally make that shift from a side hustler into a full-time business owner. To learn more about how you can use social media platforms for marketing your business, read here

5. Study, study, study

While you may be good at your side hustle, you need to have basic knowledge of accounting, marketing and branding to run a business. These gaps in your knowledge can result in your whole operation tanking. Do your due diligence by reading online resources or taking courses on these subjects.

Another good idea would be to find a mentor who can provide you guidance and insight. Seek out advice from someone who has experience in your industry or niche. A mentor can help you set realistic goals and hold you accountable. Mentors can also share in your challenges, boost your confidence and help you adapt to change. 

6. Improve time management skills

You should expect to put in a lot of time to successfully transition to going full-time with your business. Prioritise your tasks and create a reasonable schedule. Tackle the workload in small manageable steps. Focus your time and energy on tasks that impact your goals. You can choose to delegate daily tasks outside your core skills to help you with small but time-consuming tasks.

7. Manage your risks

Almost all small-business owners will tell you that every business has its risks. But good entrepreneurs know they need to protect their assets. Protect your income and the value you’ve built in your business by getting insurance. A small-business insurance can protect you against the financial impact of a claim or a lawsuit. 

8. Set long-term goals with short-term objectives

Understand what your long-term goals mean on a daily basis. For example, if you want to boost your annual income by 25 per cent, how many clients do you need to cater to per day?

To create short-term goals for long-term success, experts advise you to think SMART:

  • Specific: Be clear, concrete and detailed about what you want to achieve. 
  • Measurable: Set milestones and determine how you’ll measure success. 
  • Achievable: Plan small, manageable steps within your resources.
  • Relevant: Align your goal with where you want your business to go. 
  • Timely: Motivate yourself with a challenging but realistic deadline. 

9.  Ensure a smooth cash flow 

Reasons for business failure vary, but according to the latest data from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the top cause for small-business owners closing shop is inadequate cash flow or working capital.   

What can you do to better control the flow of cash through your business? Put solid strategies in place for collecting payments and maintaining cash flow to make sure your venture won’t suffer the same fate. Another strategy is to also control the speed at which you spend.

10. Register your business

Make it official by registering your business. This will help separate your professional and personal assets. It will also allow you to build credibility with potential customers. 


If you have already taken the initiative to take on a side job on your extra hours to earn cash doing something you are passionate about, you are halfway to making your side hustle a success. While the prospect of leaving your full-time job to be fully self-employed may be intimidating, these tips could help you be on your way to becoming a successful business owner. 


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