So you have decided you want more? All be it more income, more control of your destiny or more of a challenge. Whatever your reasons are for deciding to want to run your business on a part-time basis alongside full time employment or other commitments, it definitely comes with its own set of challenges.
Being fully prepared for these challenges is the key to success and the great thing is that technology has lowered many of the traditional barriers to starting a part-time business, reducing many of the notorious risks previously associated with running a business.
Below we list some top tips to assist you on your journey.
1. Commitment to acquiring self-discipline
Not sure about you but most people’s weak point is adopting self-discipline. It is a necessary skill when running a business and once this skill is acquired you will be well on your way. Just like developing any new habit, you need to commit yourself to exercising this habit regularly and consistently. Ensure that you schedule in regular times for you to work on your business; for example committing to working on your business three evenings a week or committing to a Saturday morning. Whatever you decide, you need to adopt a no-matter-what commitment attitude alongside this too.
2. Validate your idea
Test your idea! See if it’s a winner before you jump all in and go in for the long haul. One good way of gaining the right validation is to survey your intended target audience by asking them a series of specific product or service related questions or create a tester group to trial your product or service. Always do your market research and don’t just rely on family and friends here.
3. Conflict of interest
Before jumping both feet in, make sure that you explore any areas of conflict of professional interest with your current employer. Honesty is usually the best policy especially so that it does not impede on your paid employment. Be careful. Do you need to declare your business? We suggest checking your employment contract first.
4. Business Milestones
Set realistic milestones. We guarantee the journey will take longer than first anticipated but it will be oh so worth it! Do not get disheartened when it is not happening as fast as you thought it would. It will all fall into place as long as you take those little daily steps in order to reach your bigger milestone goals.
5. Be transparent with your loved ones
Let your family and friends know what you are doing. It is always good to have them on side from the beginning. You are going to have to sacrifice days out, social occasions or even take time away from them so that you can get your business off the ground. It is important that know what you’re doing and why so that you can gain their support. Gauge their interest. Where it is positive and encouraging, get them involved in your journey and remember on the days that you are not working on your business – be fully present at home with them.
6. Invest in surrounding yourself with the right people Working in a full-time job can be extremely demanding. It can be so easy to come home and say that you will work on it tomorrow? Heard yourself saying that before? Procrastination comes all too easily and creeps up all the time. Stay strong. Where possible, we advise that you should seek a coach or mentor to support you. This helps with ensuring that you adopt a mindset of accountability in your business as you will have someone checking in on you and seeing if you are on check with your business growth. Even the most successful entrepreneurs have one as you will never stop evolving in your journey.
7. Make sure your business brings you pleasure
Being an entrepreneur is not easy so it is advisable your business is around something you are passionate about and can resonate with. You are going to need to acquire an abundance of new or strengthen existing skills, so it makes sense to do it in a business that you are passionate about. Don’t let your business become a chore or you will soon become disheartened. Just like you may be feeling in your current job at the moment. Refreshing and acquiring new learnings and insights is going to be a part of your journey. Connecting with like-minded people, attend as many courses as possible can make it all the more enjoyable. We also cannot emphasis the “value in reading” enough.
8. Outsource where you can
Being time poor is always going to be an issue. So why not be time smart to combat this. Where you can and where budget allows, outsource time-consuming work that needs to be done, i.e. graphic designing or admin so you can concentrate on bringing in revenue. Interns of Virtual assistants are a good way of redirecting your time to focus on sale revenue generating activities.
9. Leverage tools, technology and system
There is an abundance of technological tools out there that can help you save time. One sure set way is to systemise your business processes which will help you become more business efficient in no time. For example, scheduling all of your social media posts the night before using tools like Hootsuite, using a good CRM system that can help you with automated emails or file saving and sharing tools like Dropbox or Google docs. Use what works best for you.
10. Gain business traction first before jumping all in
It can take months for a new company to get off the ground and gain traction in order to start generating revenues. We advise that you put aside enough money for you to pay off your regular personal expenses before taking the leap of faith and jumping both feet in. The rule is normally at least 6 months’ worth of financial coverage. You can shorten the length of time that your company takes to reach a profitable state by ensuring that you have a robust business plan or strategy with reasonable expectations and projections. Don’t quit your day job just yet until you have a firmed up business strategy in place.
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