Contrary to popular belief, it is totally possible to build a successful business while you still have a 9 to 5 job. In my case, I started my first business as a consultant back in 2008 while I was still working at a nonprofit in DC. My little “side hustle” grew to the point when I was earning a nice supplemental income and ultimately enabled me to leave my job less than 2 years later.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor numerous women in our Happy Black Woman community, helping them to stop procrastinating and finally get their businesses off the ground. Now, some women are perfectly happy to build an additional income stream on the side, but most ladies that come to me for help are looking to eventually be able to quit their jobs so they can live life on their own terms. The problem is…there are usually a few key pieces missing from their plan.
If you’ve been longing to grow your side hustle into a full-time business, you might be missing one of the following things. In the video below, I walk you through a handy list to guide you in building the momentum you need to move forward!
In the video, I outline the five things you need to have in place if you want to turn your side hustle into a full-time business.
1. A Consistent Weekly Schedule
Do you have a consistent weekly schedule that you can follow when it comes to working on your business? When you’re just starting out, it can be challenging to figure out how to stay focused and manage your time. Many women make the mistake of waiting for “inspiration” to strike before they will do anything related to marketing their business, which leads to lackluster and inconsistent results. The key is to stop treating your business like a hobby where you only work on it when you “feel like it.” Instead, set aside specific time blocks to work on your business – ideally, at least 20 hours a week. Think about it…if you want to quit your job so that you can run your business full-time, then you have to actually start treating your business like a full-time job!
2. A Clear Description of Your Ideal Client (Hint: It’s Not “Everyone”)
Do you have a clear description of the type of person who needs and wants what you have to offer? Your ideal client is the person who would benefit the most from investing in your products and services. It’s incredibly difficult (not to mention frustrating!) to move forward in your business when you don’t know what your “business” actually does in exchange for payment. You have to get crystal clear on what value you bring to the marketplace and hone in on the people you are best positioned to serve. It’s so important to be able to clearly tell people what you do – especially when you’re out networking! And when you have a clear description of who your ideal client is, you can be strategic about where and how you spend your time.
3. A “Menu” of Products and Services That People Can Buy From You
Do you have a menu of products, programs and packages that potential clients and customers can buy from you? In business, you have to make sales in order to make money. But you can’t make money without having specific products and services available that people can buy. If you want to start bringing in a consistent stream of revenue, you will need to do a bit of work upfront to create valuable products, programs and packages that your ideal clients will want to purchase from you. Having a “menu” of options to choose from is a great way to capture the attention of your potential clients and customers. Here on HappyBlackWoman.com, we have a listing on our website that details all of our products available for purchase.
4. A Professional-Looking Website and Online Presence
Do you have a professional-looking website and engaging online presence where potential clients and customers can find you, even when you’re sleeping? Many women have what online marketing expert Laura Roeder calls “website shame” – a condition in which you feel embarrassed and unprofessional when people ask for the link to your website because it’s still “under construction”…and has been for way too long. These days, people expect every business (no matter how small) to have an online presence where they can learn more about you and your business. It’s so important to make it easy – not hard – for people to find you!
5. A Simple, Low-Cost Marketing Plan
Do you have a simple, low-cost marketing plan that you can implement, month after month? If you want to build a successful business, you have to let people know who you are and what you have to offer – over and over and over again. It can feel scary and vulnerable to put yourself out there and risk being judged and rejected, but that’s the only way you will ever become known and start making consistent sales! Instead of stressing yourself out with a complicated marketing strategy, create a plan where you only focus on a few key tactics each month to promote your business and attract a consistent stream of clients, customers and sales.
Building a business doing what you love is not easy, but I’m living proof that it IS possible! Instead of waiting for the “perfect time,” take action NOW to follow your calling so you can start getting paid to share your God-given talents, gifts and expertise with the world.
P.S. If you’re ready to get serious about your business, then you may want to consider applying for private coaching. Click here to take the first step.