Have you ever considered breaking free from the 9-5 and starting your own business? Being your own boss is an attractive prospect; however, growing your own business into a full-time livelihood also comes with significant personal investment and risk.
Twill recently interviewed successful entrepreneurs who have turned their side hustles into fully-fledged small businesses. During these interviews, these entrepreneurs shared the risks and challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
After reading these business success stories, we’ve found five common steps most people focus on when starting a new business venture and breaking free of the 9-5.
1. Tap into your determination and hustle
Turning your side hustle into your full-time job, and sole source of income, is a huge commitment. Start-up businesses rarely see immediate success, so you must be prepared to build and believe in your business’s long-term strategy, often relying entirely upon hard work and absolute determination before you see clear signs of success.
As EYO Active owner Lucie Halley says: “Entrepreneurship means to keep going. The biggest challenge you will face is the little voice when you’re tired and working late that tells you to give up, but that’s the easy option, and who wants that!”
2. Plan for the future
Planning for the future is crucial to business success. Although you may be starting off small, having short and long-term goals and a step-by-step plan can ensure your business grows. Short-term goals also mean you can celebrate smaller victories along the way.
For Natasha & Jack, owners of the lockdown-built cocktail delivery service, Lockdown Liquor, future planning was crucial to their business strategy. They advise that “a three-year plan works well, to create a roadmap for financial and business strategy”, which includes planning for all the steps along the way. This allows you to carefully map out your finances, ensuring you “recognize that your financial plan has to match your business strategy”.
3. Taking a break is just as important as putting the hours in
When you’re working to your own watch, sometimes taking time out becomes a much less structured necessity. However, working all hours of the day is not productive or healthy.
“Working for yourself often means no strict 9-5 office hours to control when you work,” says Nadia, owner of Nu Elefa Naturals. She advises to “set yourself working hours and try not to check work emails on breaks”.
Growing your own business comes with a lot of responsibility, but learning to manage this, work effectively and avoid burning out is key to boosting productivity and success.
“Try to give yourself breaks, as this can help you to focus better in the long run,” suggests Charlotte Cochrane, the owner of Twisted Loom, a bespoke and sustainable furniture provider.
4. Find a gap in the market
Identifying a gap in the market is a great starting point for building your business. Identifying a product or service with unfulfilled demand immediately provides an audience without major competitors, giving you a head start in establishing your target audience and position in the market.
As Mallika Basu, owner of Sizl, says, “If there’s demand for your service but it’s not available yet, you could be on to a successful business idea.”
5. Remember that you’ll take small steps to success
Finally, when it comes to growing your own business, success does not come overnight. It’s important to focus on making small steps toward your goal every day. “Think momentum and not perfection,” says Sonny Drinkwater, co-founder of healthy and natural grocery delivery service, WellEasy.
When you start your business journey, the end goal can look a long way away. Sonny’s advice here is “don’t get fixated on the end result” and instead “do something every day that brings an idea or vision you have to live a little bit more”.