Starting a part-time business can be a low-risk entry into entrepreneurship, says Eric Markowitz of Inc.com. He offers some advice on getting your business idea off the ground in your spare time.
Markowitz insists: "Launching a part-time business can be just as rewarding – and potentially as profitable – as full-time entrepreneurship. It can also reduce many of the financial risks associated with entrepreneurship while you continue to generate income and maintain the benefits from your full-time job."
However, running a part-time business comes with a unique set of challenges, so the author offers five tips for creating a successful part-time business strategy:
1) Understand your investment. Markowitz says the first thing you should do is define exactly how much time you intend to devote to the business.
Entrepreneur coach Craig Jennings tells Markowitz that part-time entrepreneurs should draw up a "success plan", elucidating their goals and expectations. It should set out a list of milestones, what you're prepared to sacrifice and the returns you would like to see.
2) Get support from family and friends. The author advises: "[As well as] discussing your plans with family members, a great way to alleviate some of the stress is to involve your family members in the process."
3) Manage your time effectively. Scheduling and discipline is the key. Markowitz suggests taking advantage of time management apps and virtual answering services.
4) Get a coach. The author says it's easy to become lazy about promoting your business. A way around this is to enlist an "accountability partner" – who could be a paid coach, spouse or friend – to bounce ideas off and keep you on track. Let them know your goals and when you plan to achieve them.
5) Embrace your failures. Markowitz points out that entrepreneurs learn more from their failures than successes, and they should regard any wrong turns as on-the-job training.