Part-time business: How to avoid the pitfalls
Building a business on a part-time basis reduces financial risk, but it comes with some drawbacks. Here are my five top tips to help you avoid the pitfalls.
Be clear about your availability
Just because you choose to work part-time in your business doesn’t mean your clients’ expectations and deadlines allow for that. Be honest about your availability from the start so that you don’t disappoint your clients or put too much pressure on yourself. If deadlines can’t be negotiated, you may find yourself working some very long hours.
Accept that you can’t focus completely on your business
You don’t want to find yourself in your boss’s office explaining why you’re napping at your desk. And in my case, my children still want their dinner no matter what my deadlines are!
Starting a business on a part-time basis requires absolute commitment to your current responsibilities, such as your day job and family.
Appropriately prioritise all your responsibilities
You’ll often find yourself thinking, “If only I had just a bit more time”. It is hard enough running a business when you have the whole week at your disposal, let alone running a start-up business with all its extra work.
"Don't waste a second. Make sure you always have a current prioritised list of tasks so that you can take advantage of any available time."
Don’t waste a second. Make sure you always have a current prioritised list of tasks so that you can take advantage of any available time.
Be prepared to miss out on opportunities
Working in your business part-time means that you won’t be able to take advantage of all the opportunities, whether it’s a business networking opportunity or a contract with your ideal client.
If you feel you are missing out on too many opportunities, maybe consider dropping your hours at work or getting some more hours at day care, if that’s possible.
Schedule free times or head for burnout
Make sure that you schedule free time to get away from your business. Have a beer with your mates or go to the park with your kids. Free time is beneficial for you as well as the people around you.
In my first few months of being in business I had to play catch-up with the already established businesses. I worked whenever I could: nights, mornings and weekends. This is not a sustainable option though, it impacts on your social life and family time while fast-tracking you to burnout.
Keep your eyes wide open
Building your business part-time can be a very frustrating experience, but it allows you to maintain your financial security during the uncertain start-up phase. As long as you go into it with your eyes wide open, you can plan how you will address any hurdles, and hopefully this will make your journey much smoother.
Did you start your business part-time? What was your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?