How to turn your side hustle into a full-time gig

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Nine-to-five grind? Over it. Instead of spending your time working for someone else, it might be time to start investing your energy into your creative passion.

At least half of young professionals have a side hustle in addition to their daily jobs—and a growing number of millennials are turning their side gigs into full-time careers. Take Slavik Boyechko co-founder of the video production and training company Video Dads. He started his business to supplement his income stream and now it’s his main money maker.

If you’ve got a thriving side hustle and a mounting desire to be your own boss, you might be ready to leave your day job and become a full-time entrepreneur. It’s doable if you get all your financial ducks in a row. Here’s what you need to do:


Step 1: Boost your emergency fund.

Giving up that steady paycheck for the uncertainty of a new business may seem challenging, but a healthy savings account will help you weather the ups and downs of self-employment. Tools like OCCU’s Savings Goals and Change Jar can help automate your savings so you can spend your time and energy on making your business a success. 


Step 2: Write a business plan.

An informal side hustle is one thing—but to start a full-time business, you need a solid plan with a clear road map for the future. At its most basic, a business plan lays out your business goals, such as how much money you need to make and how much you intend to grow over the next five years, then outlines how you will set about achieving them. If you’re not sure how to get started, check out NerdWallet’s step-by-step guide to writing a business plan.


Step 3: Get the right financial tools.

When you’re launching your own business, staying on top of cash flow is key. You need to keep close track of every dollar—where it comes from and where it’s going. Sounds like a lot, right? It doesn’t have to be if you have access to the right tools. OCCU’s Business Banking Services includes a whole menu of financial tools to help you run a successful business. You can pay for expenses with a business credit card, get a great rate on a loan for startup equipment, and keep your financials in shape with separate checking and savings accounts for your business just to name a few.


Step 4: Think about scaling.

Every business owner hopes for a successful launch or opening day. What if your new hustle succeeds beyond your wildest expectations? It can totally happen—and if it does, you need to be ready for it. Spend some time planning how you’ll accommodate rapid growth. Put some tools and processes in place to make your business as efficient as possible. Plan for the possibility that you might need to build a team to help your business grow.


Step 5: Invest in yourself.

As a full-time entrepreneur, you are your greatest asset. When you’re mapping out your business finances, make sure you set aside some money to invest in yourself. That could mean taking some courses to expand your skill set, investing in tools or equipment to help your business grow, or taking advantage of networking opportunities such as conferences and trade shows. Don’t forget to add some self-care into the mix.

Ready to make 2020 your year to start a business? Learn how OCCU’s Business Banking Services can help keep your business thriving.