Considering the danger of financial complications when starting your business, it is not surprising that many successful ventures started as part-time. Most entrepreneurs held on to their salaried jobs until they could see their start-up ventures getting off the ground. Part-time business brings with it the chance to augment the family income while enjoying a rewarding but flexible career for work from home parents.
Nonetheless, managing a part-time business has challenges of its own. At the very least, you must learn to juggle the demands of entrepreneurship to what is expected of part-time business owners.
Hence, if you wish to start a part-time business, maybe as freelancer, with the goal of making it long-term up to the point of going full-time, you need to come up with a strategy for your part-time business. Here are six tips in going about it:
Tip #1: What Do You Mean By Define Part-Time?
Most part-time businesses can balloon into full-time occupations in no time. This is because business owners fail to properly project the scope of investment needed in starting and running a part-time business.
Before anything else, it is necessary to define your goals in relation to your view of success. You need to set the number of hours you intend to spend on your business — include schedule for weekends. Be clear about your expectations, motivations, needs and the extent of work you will put into the venture to make it successful. There is a big difference between a few hours of work at night to working for the entire weekend — hence have an honest to goodness self-assessment.
Tip #2: Set Milestones
Have a clear perspective of goals and key tasks within your control by charting your monthly milestones. These milestones may include steps in business registration, getting your first customer, setting up a website for the business, networking, marketing and so on. After having these milestones charted, step back and plan on how to accomplish all these in terms of working hours, resources, etc.
The process of planning your business may feel daunting. Nevertheless, this plan will be your step by step working guide to help propel your business. Learn to keep your plan manageable and simple by reading more about it.
And after everything you have envisioned this business to be, never underestimate your efforts and hours that will be spent on it. However long it takes, if necessary double it.
Tip #3: Always Remember You Are In Business
Despite your venture being part-time, you are still a business owner. You can read and learn more about steps in starting a business to guide you on business registration, tax requirements, permits, etc. If you have a business running, read more about how to run a home-based business.
Also remember that your day job is always your first priority. It’s the one paying the family bills at this early stage of your business. Having a side business doesn’t have to mean cheating on your employer or burning bridges later on. Who knows, your current employer may become your business partner or client someday?
Tip #4: Get A Mentor
Starting any business on your own can seem overwhelming. Instead of having boss to support and guide you, you can learn from a mentor. He can assess your progress, provide assistance in correcting potential mistakes, and guide you to set realistic goals. You can try finding a mentor from organizations that offer free counseling and mentoring.
Tip #5: Hack Your LifeWhen you juggle between family or salaried job and part-time business, it is crucial to have discipline.
Technology helps a lot. There are a lot of free software applications and mobile apps that help you organize your schedule, track your business transactions and keep things in order. Familiarize yourself with stuff like Google Apps. If you work in remote teams Trello, Basecamp are highly recommended tools. Even a simple voicemail forwarding service is a lot of help depending on your business.
You can also utilize the help of a virtual assistant. This assistant can help with taking calls on your behalf, manage your calendar, and give that polished touch to your business for a nominal fee.
Tip #6: Learn And Have Fun
Having a part-time business provides you with the joy of pacing your venture in relation to your needs. While doing so, you can learn if you want to have a full time business later on. It is a great training ground to learn and make mistakes with minimal risks. No one will beat you up for incurring mistakes and some failures. What is important is you learn from them and have fun as you journey to become a success in your start-up.