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Becoming a part time entrepreneur -some basic tips

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by Startacus Admin

Becoming a Part-Time Entrepreneur - some basic tips

Whilst working for yourself may be a dream for many of us, the reality is that the monthly bills, mortgages, debts and other commitments we have are what generally prevents most of us from quitting our jobs and going it alone.

However, more and more of us are trying to do the two at once; holding down the day jobs and then devoting our spare time, our evenings and weekends to our ‘own business.’ scalesIt is certainly not exactly an ideal, however needs must at the end of the day! So, hold on, if you're considering doing your own thing whilst also working for ‘the man’, then here are a few handy basic tips to make sure it works for you.

Balance and Time

If you are going to effectively manage two jobs as well as having a proper family and social life, then you are going to need to get the balance right. It’s not going to be easy to juggle all the responsibilities but it can be done. It’s simply a matter of managing your time properly. Just as in a regular working environment, you will have ‘time slots’ devoted to performing certain tasks, the same applies for your part time business. You will need to decide how many hours you are going to work on your ‘other job’ and then plan accordingly.

Being disciplined is the key though. Scheduling specific working hours and sticking rigidly to them will help you maintain focus. Of course, family and friends need to show their support and understanding that although you may be at home, you are actually not ‘free’ - their interruptions and distractions will only end up leaving you more and more frustrated. Having ‘down time’ is important though if real balance is to be achieved - allowing your entire world to be consumed by work isn’t good for either you or your relationships. So, if it's 2am and you are reading this blog and working away on other tasks - chill. Now.

Be realistic
It’s important to remember that if you are working on a part time basis, you will not have the same productivity and energy levels as someone who is working the standard 9 - 5 hours and therefore some tasks may take that bit longer to complete. Many ‘part-timers’ make the mistake of getting frustrated at their workload and feel pressurized as they feel they’re not achieving as much as they could, forgetting the fact that they are only working a limited number of hours.

Always try and remember this and perhaps lower your expectations somewhat. Getting annoyed at yourself will only serve to hinder you and hamper your progress even further. Work hard, focus and you will get there, albeit at a slightly slower pace.

Set targets and goals
If you are used to work in a targeted environment in your day job, this should come easily enough. However, without a line manager to report to and to monitor your performance, it can be easy to forget that targets ought to apply to your part time job too. The difference is that you need to set them and also measure them. Setting realistic goals and targets for tasks that must be achieved is one of the best ways of instilling a bit of discipline into what you do. Not only will it help provide a bit of structure and guidance for you, but it’s also something that can give you a sense of achievement, when certain goals or milestones are reached. Also, creating targets can help you focus and take the job in hand more seriously.

Be flexible (nope, not going to the gym...although this can also help!) 
One of the most important things to remember when going it alone, albeit on a part time basis is the need to be flexible. As the saying goes, even thepart time entrepreneur best laid plans often go awry. If things change and you have to reschedule, or life simply gets in the way - learn to adapt. Yes, it might be frustrating, but it’s just something you will have to deal with. Accept that there may be occasions when your working week is not going exactly as you’d like; that there are setbacks preventing you from reaching your daily or weekly goals and just get on with it.

The money question
Decide from the outset what you are going to do with any money generated by your part time business. If your ultimate aim is to leave the day job behind and work on your own business in a full time capacity, then you will need to invest or save any monies earned, to help support you when you do take the leap into full time self-employment. If however your intention is simply to have a sideline business, and simply supplement your income, then enjoy the fruits of your labour as you wish! Invest, save or spend - the decision is yours! That’s the way it goes in your own business after all - no-one to answer to!

Whether you are already a part-time entrepreneur, or you are considering setting up your own side business we reckon you should take a little look at some of these recent articles on the subject.

How to start a part-time business- The Concept
How to start a part-time business- Approaching the launch
Starting a part-time business, things to do one month on
Starting a part-time business while working

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Published on: 28th August 2012

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