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The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and in full effect for many of us. Working a regular nine-to-five job pays the bills, but starting your own business is something that can lead to amazing opportunities.

Not too many people can comfortably quit their full-time jobs—complete with health benefits and paid vacation—to open a start-up. So, launching your next career while in the midst of your current one is often the next best option.

In starting a side hustle, you can test the waters of having your own business while growing your portfolio and client list. If you are successful and able to leverage your expertise and experience, you can be on your way to making your part-time hustle a full-time career.

Side hustles are perfect for entrepreneurs who want to get their feet wet before setting out on their own. The knowledge and experience gained can help create a niche within the field, and can bring in more prospects and opportunities, but it also takes a lot of hard work, research, and guidance.

As someone whose own multimedia business began as a side hustle, I understand the steps that are needed to take your start-up to the next level.

Here are some ways you can turn your side hustle into your dream job:

1. Business Plan First:

Creating a solid business plan is the first step to launching a side hustle with full-time potential. A solid business plan can help you get capital for your endeavor, and show that you are serious about your business. Determine what it is you want to offer and then begin to put that on paper. Know where your clients or customers will come from, how you will meet deadlines and projects, how much time you will be able to commit to your business, who will assist you in running the business, etc…

You should know all of these things and more before you can successfully launch your side hustle. You can easily find business plan templates online or contact a professional who can help draw one up for you.

2. Organization:

You will need to decide what type of business you will be operating. Will it be a sole proprietorship, a S-Corp, or an LLC? You will also need to register your business with the IRS and retain an EIN (Employment Identification Number) for tax purposes. Having these things in order now will make it easier once your business begins to grow.

3. Start Simple:

Don’t offer too much before you are ready. Be clear of the services you are providing, and start off small. You can add more items as you move forward. This will help you manage your time, especially if you are working a full-time while working on your own project.

4. Barter:

You can find other small businesses and start-ups to barter with for services you need but can’t afford to pay for. For instance, let’s say you are a photographer and need an attractive website created.

Barter with a trusted website designer, and in exchange, offer to photograph one of his or her clients for free. The web company will, of course, charge its clients a photography fee; therefore, making a profit, and you will get a professional website at no charge.

5. Utilize Social Media:

Social Media can be a huge asset to your side hustle. You probably don’t have a large budget for advertising costs, but by starting Facebook and Twitter pages for your business, you can instantly begin to create an online presence that can result in higher visibility and can lead to more sales and revenue. And once your clients begin referring you to other prospects, your business is guaranteed to grow.

6. Find a Mentor

Finding a mentor to help you with your up-and-coming business is wise. A mentor can offer tutelage in the areas you need while giving you sound professional advice and direction.

Side hustles can grow into lucrative businesses that can catapult you into becoming a successful entrepreneur. Utilizing these tips can help grow your start-up into a business that you can be proud of.

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