Congratulations! You’ve started your side hustle and have been successful so far. You also may be experiencing feelings of fulfillment you haven’t felt in a long time.
This is a huge step forward in your career, but it also begs the question, “how do I take the next step?” In other words, how do you transition your side hustle to full-time freelancing?
Thankfully, many others have gone before you, successfully made their side hustle their full-time gig, and have never looked back. To help you out, here are some steps you can take that will help you wave goodbye to your 9-5 and propel your new career forward.
1. Check Your Current Contract
The first step in transitioning out of your old job into full-time freelancing is to make sure you’re not violating your current employment contract. After all, the last thing you want to do is find yourself in arbitration with a company that’s been good to you.
For example, let’s say you work at a marketing agency, and you signed a contract upon employment that includes a non-compete clause. If your side hustle competes in any way with your current employment situation, you’ll need to wait the agreed-upon time to go out on your own. There’s no need to ruffle any feathers.
If your side hustle isn’t in direct competition with your current employment situation, spread your wings and fly.
2. Evaluate Your Earning Potential and Make a Financial Plan
One of the biggest indicators that you’re ready to transition your side hustle into full-time freelancing is when you’ve grown to the point where you’re making more from your side hustle than you are from your regular full-time job. But, it’s also important to make sure you’re considering the whole financial package—total salary, insurance costs, paying taxes, what your benefits package includes, 401K matching, etc.
If you’re ready to go out on your own, take the time to sit down with a financial planner, a lawyer, and an accountant. Each respective professional will help you evaluate how much you’re making with your side gig, what business entity makes the most sense for your business model, what you’ll end up spending in taxes and insurance, how much you need to put away in retirement, and more.
With the help of these professionals, you can put together a plan for making and saving money.
When your finances are in order, you’ll be ready to move forward.
3. Create or Revamp Your Website
With nearly all consumers using the internet to find local business and with the rise of popularity in eCommerce, it’s a huge mistake not to have a website for your freelance business.
It may sound difficult to create a website, but there are several website builders (including the Gator Website Builder) on the market that will help you design a beautiful, mobile-responsive, absolute dream of a website up in less than a day.
If you do have a website but are missing key pieces of information (contact page, email address, online store, etc.), it’s not too late to update your website.
Creating or updating your freelance website will help you establish professionalism, attract business, and secure online sales.
4. Network, Network, Network
Another excellent way to transition your side hustle to full-time freelancing is to create a support network. The more people you meet, the more resources you will have for recommendations, referrals, and mentorship.
Here are some of the best ways to network:
- Social media. If you spend some time browsing social media sites (especially Facebook and LinkedIn), you’ll find several groups of people who either do what you do or are looking for help with what you do.
- Local business events. Research local business networking events in your area, collect your business cards, put on a sleek-looking outfit, and go meet like-minded individuals in your area. Local business events are a hot spot for collaboration, setting up coffee business dates, and finding new clients.
- Visit your local chamber of commerce. You would be amazed at how many resources your state has for you when you’re looking to build your own business. When you hit up your local chamber of commerce, you’ll get hooked up with collaborators, free resources, helpful tools, mentors, and sometimes even be pointed in the direction of grants to help you get off your feet.
- Reach out to your friends and family. One of the best ways to transition your side hustle to full-time freelancing is to let your current network know of your plans. When your friends know of your plans, they can refer work your way.
Don’t go it alone when you’re making a huge transition. Network, network, network.
5. Delve Deep into Side Hustle Resources
The best news about transitioning your side hustle into full-time freelancing is you’re not alone. There are so many other people that have successfully done it, and they have written books, started podcasts, kept daily blogs, and created online courses to help you.
Check out some of the top side hustle resources as soon as you’re ready to make the transition. You’ll find the information invaluable. If you need additional help, don’t be afraid to hire a business coach.
Many side hustlers find business coaching to be very valuable, with many confiding in their business coach as much as a spouse, best friend, or therapist.
Remember, you don’t have to hire just any business coach. Do your research, interview different coaches, ask them how they would help you, and then pick one that you jive with the best.
Ready to Take Your Side Business Full-Time?
Are you officially ready to go for it? Awesome. You can do it! Return to this article whenever you’re looking for motivation to continue on the path you’re already on.
For more information about getting your business up and running, check out Gator Website Builder. It’s a smart, intuitive website builder that will help you get a beautiful website up and running in a jiffy. Just tell the builder you’re creating a freelance website, share a few details about your website, and in minutes you’ll have something to work with.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.