5 Ways to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Business
At Noonday, we are all about empowering women in the US and around the world through dignified, flexible work. Over 70% of the Artisans who create our collection are women, and many of these women are mothers who are able to work from home while caring for their children. Here in the US, our Ambassador Opportunity allows women to own their own flexible businesses and earn an additional income while making a meaningful difference for Artisans across the globe.
More women are stepping into entrepreneur roles than ever before–but many still struggle to own their identities as businesswomen. Today, Noonday Ambassador and #GirlBoss Melissa Wilde is sharing how she stopped thinking about her Noonday Ambassador gig as a side hustle or hobby, and started owning it as a bonafide business.
I am what you would call “The Accidental Businesswoman.” What started out as a hobby over a decade ago has turned into a full-time job. I currently run three businesses, including my Noonday Ambassador business, and over the past year finally realized that I love being a businesswoman. The day I realized my passion for business was the day I started treating my businesses more seriously.
There are five habits that I made a priority when I decided to go from “The Accidental Businesswoman” to “The Intentional Businesswoman.” If you want to transition from “side hustle” to “all in” on your business, no matter what it is, these are the things I recommend!
1. Set Your Hours
The first thing I did when I decided to go all in on my Ambassador business was to plan out my office hours. The best and worst part about owning your own business is that you can be flexible with your time. If you do not guide your week carefully, you will get to the weekend without accomplishing many of the things you should have. I set office hours and have specific purposes for each day in my week. I do allow a bit of flex to my schedule, but not much. I know that throwing off one day can send my week into a spiral. Make sure you have your goals and your weekly action steps written out. If they are not written down, you are less likely to accomplish your goals.
2. Get Organized
The second thing I worked on was organization. One of my favorite tips is keeping a folder for each of my Noonday Trunk Shows. I make notes about each one and include a list of tax deductions along with my receipts. I have plenty of this information on my computer, but I like to have a paper copy of all my information as well. Some prefer to keep everything online, some prefer paper. Find what works for you! There are so many apps and programs to help you keep track of all of your business expenses, mileage and profits. There really is no reason not to keep those books in order. Devote an hour in your week to sorting out your bookkeeping! You will thank me come next January!
3. Surprise and Delight
The third thing I started working on was customer service. I have an hour or two built into my week to cultivate relationships. Send out handwritten notes when possible or emails when it’s not. Following up with my Trunk Show Hostesses and customers to make sure their experience is as delightful as possible is something that is now built into my work week.
4. Make Time to Grow
The fourth was to set a plan for personal growth. I keep a running list of things to read or watch. Each person is different and should consider their own personality when it comes to your personal growth strategy. Try watching short videos each morning and commit to reading a few pages of your chosen book each night. I also suggest a mixture of topics. It is easy for some of us to get stuck in one area of growth. If your business is about social justice and jewelry, like my Noonday Ambassador business, you should be reading topics on social justice, the latest trends, selling, team management, customer service, etc. You should not spend all of your education time in one area. Ask others for recommendations if you don’t know where to start!
Also, one thing I highly suggest is to read this material with other business owners. I am currently taking part in a discussion group and enjoy hearing other business owners’ struggles and successes! I find it helpful to see that I am not alone on this journey.
5. Own Your #GirlBoss Identity
The fifth thing I focused on was ALWAYS saying with confidence, “I am a businesswoman!” It doesn’t matter if you spend 15 hours a week on your business or 60. If you have a business, YOU ARE A BUSINESS OWNER! Treat your business with the respect it deserves and give yourself the respect you deserve for your work! This seems simple, but I promise you, this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business. So many people view home-based or flexible businesses as nothing more than hobbies. You should not! When you stop explaining your business as a hobby, others will take you more seriously, too. Give yourself credit for the hard work you do!
At the annual Shine Conference with Jalia, a fellow female entrepreneur and one of Noonday’s Artisan Partners in Uganda.
We are Better Together
We all have different reasons for starting a business. The beauty of being a business owner is that we each have the power to provide an experience as unique as we are. So, whether you were the kid with the lemonade stand every summer who always dreamed of owning a business or the accidental entrepreneur, welcome to business ownership! There is always much to learn, but fortunately you are in good company on this exciting journey!
Want to launch your own flexible business and make an incredible impact for Artisan families across the globe? We are hiring! Join our Ambassador Community today to get started on the adventure of a lifetime.