The security a 9 – 5 job provides people is one thing that often stops entrepreneurs from leaving their regular jobs and venturing into entrepreneurship full-time. But because of the love and passion entrepreneurs have for their side hustle, many decide to leave that security and take the leap of faith into making it a full-time business.
If you are considering taking that leap of faith but are not sure of what to do so you do not regret your decision, then this is for you. Here are ways to turn your fashion side hustle into your full-time job.
In addition to our opinion, we got the opinions of fashion designers that have been on that journey and have come out strong.
Ways to Turn Your Side Hustle into Your Full-Time Business
1. Treat it Like a Business, even while it’s Still a Side Hustle.
Many people tend to treat a side hustle as a side hustle at the beginning instead of seeing it as a second business. This can be very detrimental to the growth of that business.
As a fashion entrepreneur hoping to leave the world of balancing a 9 – 5 job with a fashion career to focus majorly on a fashion career, you need to start seeing your fashion business as a second job. Treat your fashion business like you do your 9 – 5 job and put in all the effort it needs.
2. Put in all the Extra Time.
At the start of your fashion business, and while trying to transition, you will have to put in most of your hours. Since you have a regular job and you are working on growing your startup fashion business, you need to make many sacrifices.
Your vacation time, weekends, and hang out time will have to be dedicated to growing your fashion business so it can get to a level where you will be comfortable switching to it full-time. As your business grows and gets more established, you will have more time to spend on vacation and at parties and outings, but in the beginning, you need to put in all the time your business requires.
3. Create a Strategic Plan.
Having a plan is very important in starting a new business. Before you pack your bags and leave your full-time job, you need to have a strategic plan for how your business will run once you make it full-time – and the goals you hope to achieve.
For your fashion business, write down your vision, mission, values, and goals and map out, in details, the ways you are going to achieve these goals. All of these goals must be realistic if they have to work, so be careful to make them so and try as much as possible not to overwhelm yourself with tasks.
Also, registering your fashion business, creating a marketing strategy, a financial plan, and branding your fashion brand are important steps to take in transitioning to make your fashion business a full-time job. Know how much money you need to make to be able to successfully leave your regular job to focus on your fashion career and work towards it.
Learning to manage your finances and plan for the unexpected is also very important.
4. Learn How to Market and Sell.
No business can grow without sales, and sales come because of marketing efforts. If you do not know how to sell then you cannot make money.
You need to learn to pitch your ideas to clients and get them to buy into your vision and patronise your business. Your ability to close a deal is related to how much you will sell.
“When I left my 9 – 5 job, I started working from home. I used most of my money to buy my sewing machine and then I had to start sourcing for customers because if I don’t source they won’t know I’m there. I paid for online adverts – it wasn’t easy because I was broke and I was just starting, but I had to do it. I had my family’s support and they were my first customers. I was able to gather money for shop space and then I bought mannequins and put my clothes on them to attract customers.” – Abisoye Martins Odugba, Founder, Nijane Flair.
Look for ways to sell your brand story to potential clients and make your brand into one that your target audience will want to associate themselves with. Find ways to speak to their emotions and get them to buy from you and keep coming back to your brand.
5. Put a Value on Your Time.
You need to have a value for your time. As a fashion entrepreneur, you need to understand how much you are worth and make clients understand it too.
This means that you will no longer do free jobs or take money out of your pocket to go above and beyond for your client to the detriment of your business. You need to set a price level you cannot go below for your services and stick to it.
You need to learn to say ‘no’ sometimes so your business can grow and expand in your hands.
6. Get Help.
You do not need to go this entrepreneurship journey alone. Where you need help, get that help. This help can come in the form of apps or people to help make your jobs easier.
There is an app for almost every aspect of business these days. Since you need to free up time to focus on what you need to be doing, you can get apps to automate some processes. You can use apps like PiggyVest to automatically save money, apps like Tailornova to help with pattern drafting, and so on.
Also, you can outsource some process in your businesses like weaving, embroidery, tailoring, and so on – or employ someone to do them for you.
“I also had to employ someone because it was not easy doing it all alone – sewing, weaving, sourcing fabrics, and so on. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it.” – Abisoye Martins Odugba, Founder, Nijane Flair.
7. Take a Break.
Every fashion entrepreneur needs a break. You do not want to burn out in the process of transitioning from having two jobs to having one, so, you need to rest.
Through all these steps, take out time to rest when you feel the pressure weighing in heavily on you because you are not a superhuman who can go without rest and you need your mental health in top gear if you must survive the process.