How to turn your lockdown side hustle into a full-time career
With many people working from home, all of a sudden we have a lot more time to ourselves. That extra couple of hours each week not having to commute, really does add up and there’s only so much Netflix you can watch.
With more time on our hands, many of us have turned to hobbies to plug the gap. Knitting, building furniture, learning a language and playing the guitar have all increased in popularity since the start of lockdown. But, how do you turn this newfound hobby into a fully-fledged career?
Think big, but be realistic
“Don’t let others convince you that the idea is good when your gut tells you it’s bad.” – Kevin Rose, co-founded Digg
Ok, sorry to start off sounding so negative, but this is an important point. I play 5-aside, but I don’t think any of the Liverpool players would be too worried if I chose to become a Premier League footballer.
You need to make an honest assessment of whether you could make some money from your side hustle. Are you good enough at what you do for someone to buy what you are selling? If not, is it realistic for you to get to that point? Is there a need in this area that currently isn’t being met?
These are all important questions you have to answer before taking the plunge and pursuing your hobby as a career.
Business plan – Time to get serious
Now that you’ve decided your side hustle has the potential to become more, the next step is making a commercially viable business plan to execute your great idea. There are loads of great resources online that can help you achieve this including help from the government, the Prince’s Trust and from smallbusiness.co.uk.
Depending on your business idea, it might be worth creating a ‘pitch-deck’. In summary, a pitch-deck is a new-fangled techy version of a business plan. Take a look at this YouTube video on how to create a pitch deck or take a look at Airbnb’s pitch deck.
Education, education, education
Your self-development is an underrated aspect of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Immersing yourself in your chosen field and making the time to learn about start-up businesses, can have a huge impact on how successful your business eventually becomes. Reading, listening to podcasts, taking online courses and getting a mentor are all great ways of developing yourself.
Going from a hobbyist to a full-time professional can be a big jump. If you are currently in employment, keeping your job as it is and spending your spare time developing your business and selling your product/service, is a great way of phasing yourself into a full-time career. But you need to treat your side hustle with the same professional integrity as your current job.
The great news is, if your side-hustle has a gross annual income of £1000 or less, you don’t have to declare it to HMRC. As you build your portfolio and start making enough money to support your living, try asking your employer to reduce your hours, before finally going full-time in your dream role.
Network and develop your online identity
Becoming a LinkedIn/Twitter personality in your chosen field can be a great way to network and build your client base. We have a great blog on how to use LinkedIn to get new contract work.
We’re here to help
If you want some more information on moving from permanent to full-time contracting, download our guide to contracting through the below link.