When does your side gig become a real business?

A side hustle becomes a real business when you have enough paying clients. (Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

A lot of people start their service business as a side gig. This can be a smart way to test if you really have a business that can sustain you. After all, it’s easy to start a “business” which is little more than a hobby. Totally legitimate, if you want to run it as a hobby.

But if you want it as a viable concern, then you need a business.

Is it a business, or just a hobby?

How do you know whether your dream is a business, a hobby, or just an idea you had in the shower?

My advice: build your client base first.

  • Who will be your paying clients?
  • What will be the transformation you can do for them?

If you’re not ready to jump from your full-time job just yet, how can you have a team of enthusiastic early adopters of your service when you do?

What’s the long-term goal: 1 year, 5 years?

Are you planning to sell eventually?

There’s a lot to running a business beyond the little I’ve covered here, and I’m learning every day, so I don’t claim to have all the answers. But one thing I’ve seen in most of the ones I consider successful: they find the need first, then find clients who are ready to pay to have that need met.

If you can’t sell your services, you won’t have a business. To sell, you need someone to sell to, and they need to see the value you’re bringing to them.

Starting a business? Start with the client.

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