The Guide to Part-Time Entrepreneurship
In need of a little inspiration? Check out our previous post with advice on how to make your first $100k.
Find a co-founder who can balance and inspire you
Chances are that two heads are better than one. In this case, two co-founders working part-time can be better than one full-time founder.
On top of this, if you are both working part-time solely on the startup (with no full-time job), you will be well-rested and able to use your free time however you see fit. A happy mind makes for a more productive entrepreneur.
As co-founders, you should make sure that your professional personalities and expertise complement each other. Ideally, one of you should be able to make up for the knowledge or traits that the other is lacking in.
You also need to be able to make decisions unanimously, with little conflict. Though there may be differing opinions, the ability to articulate calmly and cooperatively is vital for long-term success.
Set realistic milestones and take them seriously
As a part-timer, it can be hard to stay disciplined with your time and work ethic. Many people who make the transition from full to part-time work find themselves feeling lost and overwhelmed by the sudden surplus of free time.
Working fewer hours (or more hours if you keep up with your day job) means that you need to exercise a lot of self control to make sure your startup meets its milestones and performance targets. Monitor your performance by setting KPIs and frequently checking your metrics to see how you’re doing over time. You should also consider using time management apps and tools to squeeze the most work out your newly structured week.
Develop a support system
Running a startup can be a real rollercoaster ride, and can prove difficult both emotionally and physically. For the times that you are down and lacking in motivation, you need a strong support system around you. They can offer you the support and advice you need to keep your head above water.
Let your friends know that for the next year or so in startup land, you may not be present at so many social occasions, as you’re busy developing your business. If they understand why you’re busy, they will know not to be offended and to stick around to help you through the difficult (but exciting) process of growing your business.
Do your research to highlight any business shortcuts
Getting into ecommerce? You need to embrace dropshipping and automation in order to beat the big retail giants. Dropshipping involves your online store communicating orders to a manufacturer or supplier, which are then fulfilled directly to the customer. This takes the responsibility of order fulfillment and stocking inventory out of your hands. As a result, this retail method can offer real budgetary efficiencies, as no investment is required to store stock – ideal for the part-time entrepreneur who wants to get up and running fast. For more insight into the world of dropshipping, have a listen to our latest episode here.
Finding a professional mentor or coach can also prove to be an invaluable business shortcut. This can be done by hiring a successful freelancer or entrepreneur, or by networking at events and through LinkedIn. You will be pleasantly surprised at how many like-minded individuals would be happy to offer you a helping hand. Their advice can save you a lot of time and money in the long-run by helping you avoid making costly business mistakes.
Part-time entrepreneurship can be extremely rewarding. However, it can also be very challenging. A lot of self-discipline and time management will be required to either squeeze the most out of your time on top of your full time job, or keep productive if you’re strictly part-time. The key is to network professionally and stay connected with friends, family and your community to have a support network around you.
Are you ditching the full-time job to go part-time entrepreneur? Or are you starting a side-hustle on top of your day job? Let us know in the comments.
Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur & writer
Writing is my forté, and online entrepreneurship is my trade. You can catch me over at EcommerceTips.org – my digital home – writing on all things from startups to social media. When I’m not writing, I’m coaching likeminded individuals to help their businesses grow.