5 Signs It's Time to Turn Your Side Business Into a Full-Time Affair

George J. Ziogas

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These days many people are juggling the time commitment of a full-time career with the passion of a side business. Whether you have been doing this juggling act for a few months, a few years or somewhere in between, you may be wondering if it's time to turn your part-time business into your full-time career; but how do you know when it's truly time to take the leap?

Abandoning the security and steady income of a full-time career for the personal and economic uncertainty of entrepreneurship is not an easy thing to do, and there are many factors to consider. Even so, these signs could convince you that the time is right, and that living out your entrepreneurial dreams is the right thing to do.

You Are Turning Down Good Paying Work

There's only so much time in a day, especially when you're working 40, 50 or 60 hours a week at your full-time job. If your side business is going great, it's easy to feel overwhelmed instead of elated.

If your side business is going so well that you're routinely turning down extra work, it may be time to give up your old career and focus on your new endeavor full time. This is especially true if the work you're turning down pays as well, or better than, your full-time hourly wage.

Your Monthly Income is Stable - or At Least Predictable

One of the biggest barriers entrepreneurs face is the uncertainty of their income. One month may be great, while the next brings virtually no income. This instability of income makes budgeting and planning difficult, shackling many part-time entrepreneurs to the predictability of a full-time career.

If the income from your side business is relatively stable, or at least predictable, it may be a sign of good things to come. Having a stable and predictable income can make it easier to give up the security of a full-time career, especially if you are earning a higher hourly rate on the side than at your regular job.

Your Side Business is Consistently Profitable

If your business isn't yet profitable, giving up your full-time job is likely to end in financial disaster. And since it can take some time for a new business to turn a profit, patience should be the watchword.

Getting a side business to turn a consistent profit can take some time, but once you turn the corner things will likely look a bit different. If your side business has been turning a profit for years and your income is fairly consistent, it may be time to make the big change.

You Understand the Tax Implications

Running your own business has serious tax implications, and it's important to plan carefully. You don't want to run afoul of the IRS just as your side business is getting off the ground, so think about the taxes your side business will take if you plan to take it full time.

At the very least, you will need to budget for quarterly income tax payments on both the state and federal level, so you'll need a plan to put that money aside. You may also be able to take additional deductions once your side business is a full-time affair, so research those issues before you make any serious changes.

You Have Savings to Fall Back On

Taking your side business full time can be exciting, but there are bound to be some unanticipated bumps along the way. Even if everything goes perfectly and your business continues to be profitable, you'll need to be prepared for the unexpected.

Having a cushion of personal savings to fall back on is important, especially when giving up your full-time career and previous income. You'll want to review the amount of savings you have, comparing what you've saved to your anticipated monthly expenses. That way you can weather temporary disruptions in your business income without putting your personal finances at risk.

Combining the stability of a full-time career with the excitement of a side business can give you the best of all worlds, but juggling the two can be a real struggle. If you're passionate about your side business but not your job, the factors outlined above can help you decide when it's time to make the switch.

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