The internet is filled with stories of successful side hustles. More people than ever before are starting up businesses on the side to make some much-needed extra cash.
A US-based survey recently revealed that 43% of permanently employed workers had a side hustle on the go and that 30% of the respondents needed that extra income to make ends meet.
Are you one of them?
If you said yes, you’ve probably wondered if your side hustle could become a full-time job, and if it was time to quit your 9-5 and enter the world of self-employment.
These are the 9 signs that will tell you if your side hustle has the potential to turn into a full-time gig.
1. Your Business is Getting Noticed
Small side hustles usually start with little to no interest from customers. You may do a commission for a family member or friend that generates a couple of referrals, or sell a few products on platforms like Amazon and Etsy. However, if your product proves successful, it could quickly gain attention from potential customers who approach you with projects and commission work.
One thing that customers will always notice in your work is your passion.
This is the key to a successful side hustle; you need to make money doing something you love.
A clear sign that your side hustle is becoming your main gig is that you start turning away more work than you are accepting. This boils down to your limited capacity, as you can only work on side hustle projects after hours.
If you start turning away customer after customer, it’s a good time to take the plunge and turn your passion project into a permanent career.
2. Your Hustle is Tipping Your Work-Home Balance
One of the trickiest parts to starting a side hustle is maintaining your work-home balance.
You may already hold down a full-time job, powering your side hustle on the weekends and late at night. As your side business grows, you’ll have even less time to spend on yourself and those you love. This can strain your personal life and your well-being as a whole.
This sign can be difficult to manage, but it’s also an indication that your side hustle has the potential to become your primary source of income. While it’s crucial to strike that balance and look after yourself and your responsibilities, take the incoming work as a sign that you can leave your job and still earn decent money doing what you enjoy.
3. You’re Looking for a Change
If you’re desperate for a change in your life, it’s time to stop playing it safe and start taking risks.
Reflect on the life you’re living now and the work you do. Answer honestly as to whether you prefer your side hustle work and if you’ll regret not taking the chance to grow it into a full-time business.
If you’d love to become your own boss, work from home and dictate your own working hours—and you’re willing to put in the work—it’s time to take your hustle to the next level.
4. Other Businesses Want to Buy Your Concepts
Yet another sign that you should consider upgrading your side hustle is when larger, more established businesses voice interest in buying out your concepts. This is flattering, and it helps you to see your business through other people’s eyes. It also means that your products and services have true potential and that your income is likely to continue to grow over time.
It’s tempting to sell your ideas to other companies for a lump sum. But you could stand to earn more in the long run if you’re willing to go the distance with your side hustle.
5. You Have Authority in Your Industry
Is your name often mentioned when people have specific problems that need solving with industry-specific solutions? Do people always approach you for support and advice instead of turning to other renowned people and brands in your industry?
These are clear signs that you have sway in your line of work, and that you would continue to do so if you quit your 9 to 5.
6. Your Situation Aligns with Your Hustle
These are challenging economic times. Not everyone is ready for a big career change.
Assess your finances carefully. If your side hustle is attracting plenty of attention, you’ve probably come to depend on that income to supplement your paycheck.
Quitting your 9 to 5 may cause your income to dip temporarily. You need to know exactly how long you have to turn your side hustle into a thriving business that brings in enough money to cover your expenses. You should also have a clear idea of how far you’re willing to dig into your savings.
If you already have the equipment you need and your side hustle doesn’t require capital, or expenses like stock or rent, this could be another sign that it’s ready to become your permanent gig. You won’t need to factor in huge expenses and can earn profits from the minute you scale up.
7. Your Side Hustle Brings in More Money Than Your Job
This is the most obvious sign that it’s time to quit your job.
However, you need to think about a few points before you do. Consider the other benefits your current job offers, such as health insurance and pension.
Compare the costs of taking these benefits out individually to the profit (not income!) your side hustle produces. If you can provide yourself with the same benefits and still make decent money at the end of the day, it’s time to make the move.
8. You Have a Clear Business Plan in Place
Your side hustle will never become your full-time job unless you start off with a business plan.
It’s easy to rely on referrals when you’re only working on the weekends or evenings. However, if you’re looking to build a long term business, you need to plan every aspect of your side hustle’s progress. You must ensure that it’s viable and the numbers add up.
Once you write up a business plan, you’ll see the growth potential of your hustle if you were to quit your job and focus on it full time. Additionally, you can work out just how long it will take for the business to grow into something truly impressive.
9. You’re Truly Passionate About Your Hustle
“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”– Confucius
If you have a persistent passion and belief for your concept and you’re willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to turn your dream into a reality, follow that dream. Pursue the fulfilment you are searching for! If you don’t, you may regret it.
The Bottom Line—It’s Up To You
Turning your side hustle into a full-time job takes passion, commitment, long, hard work hours, and sacrifices along the way. However, your efforts are rewarded as you’re doing something that you truly love, working for yourself, and making a good income at the same time.
There’s no perfect time to make the change. Look for the signs that the time may be right, do your planning and research, and take the leap when you feel ready!