Can I start a business on the side and still be successful?
I have a good job, but also have had an idea that I want to pursue. I have been doing some planning on the side and thinking about trying to launch the new business but don't want to leave my day job. Is it possible to build a successful business on a part-time basis?
This is a simple answer "Yes!" but it does mean that you will have to be even more organized. Be realistic on your goals "your intention" and be realistic on the kind of time you can devote to this business venture. You absolutely do not need to quit your day job -
I did this very thing - I worked full-time - and I did things like graphic design and websites on the side - for me it was a total hobby - just something to learn and get involved in - but a strange thing happened - I kept getting referrals to other boomers who were looking at needing website design and help - so for me - I never built my business on advertising - it was totally referral based
But the cool thing was this: I could choose what to take on - I knew the kind of time I had and that stopped me from going full bore - but I did get a business license, I did get my tag line, my elevator speech down - and I did my own blogging website - so it all worked.
When I was diagnosed with Cancer - I did what I could for my then part-time clients - but they all stayed with me - even though I recommended other small businesses that could help them with what they needed.
To make a long story shorter - I decided to work for myself full-time - which was scary for me - but my strength didn't hold up and I needed to take breaks and a nap or two - it was that deciding factor that turned me into an entrepreneur.
I also strongly suggest that you look up Score in your area - attend the classes that you can - they have them from finances to internet marketing - you will meet others (like a mentor for yourself) and you will start putting together a "Plan of Action" - I don't call it a business plan as it really isn't where you are at yet.
Good luck and congrats! Thinking outside the box is key to being a successful entrepreneur!
Yes, depending on the business you intend on launching. Here are some questions to consider.
1. Is the new business product- or service-based?
2. If it is product-based, do you have to manufacture the product or can you have it manufacturer by a supplier?
3. Can your products or services be sold strictly online or will you need to meet with customers?
4. If latter, what time of the day would you have to meet with them? Will your full-time employment allow you to meet with them when they want to?
5. How will your current employer feel about you starting a new business? Will it impact the quality of your work and your productivity?
6. Do you have a family (wife & kids)? If yes, will you have time to devote to them doing both your current job and starting the new business? Have you discussed starting the new business with them? Are they on board?
7. Do you have the finances to start the new business? If you have to leave your current job, do you have enough savings to finance the start-up?
Others have done it so it's absolutely possible. But whether you can do it or not can only be answered by you.
You've got the opportunity and potential. Do you have the vision, commitment, focus, and perseverance to see it through?
Full-time or part-time, the proof is in the pudding. You'll know the answer to the question once you get out there and make a couple sales.
Ray Higdon, a network marketing coach, says, "If you can't succeed part-time you probably can't succeed full-time." I think this applies to most businesses. The point is, whether or not you can go full-time is not the deciding factor of success. An awesome strategy is to make your part-time project so successful that you have no choice but to quit your job and go full time.
What needs to happen before you can close some sales and prove whether this is a real opportunity or not?
It really depends on the business and product a lot: if it's a product that lends itself to part-time work, and it's not the kind of thing that you will find yourself into a time crunch over in a matter of a few months, there's no reason why you shouldn't test it out part time before you dive in over your head.
If part of the planning you've been doing has been a full-spectrum business plan and a marketing plan that has numbers of units, target dates, and cost of sales in it, the numbers should be telling you whether or not this is possible.
Testing ideas out as much as possible on paper before committing time, energy and dollars to them is much less expensive on every level -- if the paper walk through of a business idea tests as solid with you (the entrepreneur), your family members (the emotional support system), and two or three gimlet-eyed bean counters, then all I can say is "Go for it!"
But get a failing grade from any of those three, and you are risking more than you realize in the startup.
Daniel - this is the entrepreneur dilemma. But without lots more details on you, your current job and the nature of your pat time business venture it is a bit like asking people you've never met before the following - "If I fall in love with someone will we have a successful relationship?"...
Ultimately it boils down to hours and efficacy. Use a pie chart to determine how many hours in the day you have available (other than family; personal needs etc.), then start to color in your needs - for example if you can make 16 hours available (and have no doubt - anyone starting any new business is looking at a crazy workload to start with), and you can get away with only working 8 at your job (unlikely if you are a manager), then half of your pie is gone. Now you have to divide the tasks necessary to launch, and then take care of your business into time-bound tasks and see if this is possible to fit in. You might want to make a plan with 5-6 pies for a week's work and see what you can fit in - it is better to try and focus on one area of the business each day then try and spend few hours on all the different needs every day.
Wayne Rowe' point below is a must - what can you delegate/outsource asap, but not too soon either - you should know intimately that which you are delegating otherwise you will not know when it goes awry.
If you had not the chance yet, read Gerber's E-Myth - he has a very good methodology to discern the workload you will need to cover.
Good luck, Michael Bartura
Mindfulness-based Life & Business coaching.
Consider what your biggest variables are? How committed to your career are you? How much spare time do you have? How much time can you realistically devote to this new business. As has been said it very much depends on what you are trying to do, but be aware that running your own business isn't just about getting an idea off the ground. There are a whole boat load of other things to think about like taxes, logistics, advertising, marketing strategy [which is not the same thing as advertising], to mention but a few. I'm not trying to put you off, If you have an idea that you really think will work perhaps you might want to consider bringing in other people to help you get it off the ground, and I don't mean you friends and neighbours. The most valuable asset a new business can have is a mentor who has worked in that filed, and they usually want piece of the cake. The good news is that if your business idea is a good one they will be willing to invest in it for that piece, and will also want to put in place their own people to help you. Having said that a lot of great ideas that have made people a lot of money have been rejected [I should know, I've been on the receiving end only to see the same idea fully funded and advertised on prime time TV - More than once I should add]. So my advice is work out the details, created a very carefully worked out business plan. The real world isn't like the dragon's den, people want to see a bottom line and more importantly they want to know how long your business will take to become profitable, and how much investment it will need to make it so.
Running a business single handedly from home while holding down a full time job isn't impossible [depending on how complex it is and how much help you have] but it is difficult.
You might want to consider a career brake to pursue this idea full time instead if you can afford it [or the loan it would take to get it up and running].
Whatever you do think it through carefully because I know what it feels like to see something you pitched five years ago making money for someone else, and it's not a pleasant feeling, but then neither is chasing something that doesn't pan out!
I know that a lot of what I've said here is contradictory, but the problem is that there isn't a one size fit's all solution for this kind of thing. At the end of the day it really comes down to how much you believe in your idea and yourself....
I think it's possible depending on the type of business/service you are providing and what you consider to be successful also should be taken into account. If you want to bring in a little extra money and have set hours for your part-time business that won't be interrupted by your full-time job, you can make it work. I started out in real estate part-time and I did OK, but things never really took off for me until I was laid off from my full-time job and HAD to make it work. I think you should follow your heart and go for it. If it becomes overwhelming, you still have the full-time job to fall back on.
It is actually preferable to start that way, if (as others have pointed out) you can handle it personally. Starting a new business is hard enough without trying to get it started when you cannot devote your full time to it. On the other hand, you can at least test the concept and see if you can initiate a pipeline of new prospects.
The tricky part is to decide when the "tilting" point is, i.e. how do you determine when you leave your day job to devote full time to the new business. You might want to set a time limit or target, since otherwise it could go on forever, working you to death and the potential to not do well with either effort.
The biggest challenge for virtually any new business is to establish effective marketing. In hopes it can provide some assistance, you can watch a free video I recorded that provides ground breaking information about today;s lead generation process. Enjoy by going to this link: http://bit.ly/1jpGhHm
Hi Daniel, you've already had some great answers, but I just wanted to add something based on my personal experience.
I started my business whilst I was CEO of a company and although I managed to juggle the two commitments, the reality is that (with hindsight) I wasn't really doing justice either.
In my case I realise that I was hedging my bets a little - if the business took off I could resign, but if it didn't I still had a well paid job.
It was only when I bit the bullet and decided to take the plunge fully into running my own business that I was able to properly make a go of things.
It is a risk and it is easy to say go for it, but your circumstances will dictate but my advice is that doing both isn't at all easy.
I have been involved in part time business start-ups for years. In one case these are franchises and the others have been service type businesses.Two of the markets in this case were education and accounting businesses. In fact the way these start-ups work best is as a part-time venture while keeping the full time job.
The reality is that the owners will have to work long hours because they require evenings and weekends along with their regular work weeks. Not for everyone! These worked in most cases because a start-up requires: funding, which your regular job can provide, say over the first 3-6 months and; time, where the start-up may require 10-15 hours per week and; energy/passion, which you have to provide in the mix.
This part-time aspect should be meant for a long-term strategy because you sacrifice much of your spare time in the beginning and the pain has to have a end goal in mind.
Education businesses (supplemental) happen to mostly be evenings and weekends which takes time to build. Accounting firms require time as well to build the clientele. Keeping your full-time job can help you through the early start-up phase.
It is difficult as many of my colleagues have stated, however if your dream is to own your own firm, starting it in small pieces may work for you.
I have been involved with about 25 franchisees who started this way and they have eventually migrated to full-time and left their previous employment.
You 100% can. And it actually might be the smarter path to take so you can grow at the appropriate speed and not sacrifice some things you would maybe have to in order to pay bills (i.e. cutting your rates to produce immediate cash flow etc...). But of course it's hard to answer this w/o more details because some businesses might require your full attention. So please expound when you have a minute and we'll dig into this further.
Most business start out this way. It's a safe way to start out. You can leave the nest once your wings grow big enough. Good Luck!
Hi Daniel ~
I'd suggest thinking about your business as just that: your new business, not a "side venture". This critical mindset shift can make all the difference.
When I had the idea to launch my own communications venture, I also had a good, long-term job. I planned for a year, purchasing home office equipment, dreaming up a business name, obtaining my business license, designing and ordering letterhead, business cards, and a direct mail piece — and sleuthing initial clients, all while continuing to do my usual stellar work for my day job. A few months after I'd officially launched (with one terrific client, itself a startup), I gave notice. By then, after a year of preparation and envisioning my success, I knew this was my future.
Absolutely! I've done it several times and just this year we set up a business and didn't even register the business until we won a contract. We got a $120,000 worth of work and then registered it. I like this technique becAuse I have wasted years and thousands starting business thAt never took off.
All good answers ... and the most telling is the need for a Business Plan! That plan should also identify some of your GO / NO-GO points. If you can plan to start part time in the new business and full time at your job and then have a planned and stepped process to reverse the situation. The hardest point for you is when you have to step away from the safety-net and take charge of the business full time. If you have clearly planned the steps with profit as the indicator, then you know when to go!
I coach people who are doing this everyday. You need to have good time management skills ( or be taught those skills). Many people find this is the best way to start a business as it often is comforting to still be able to draw income while trying to launch a business. Of course, once you begin to see your new business get some traction then you may have to determine when/if you are ready to leave your current employment.
When to leave is a question with different answers depending on the type of employment, the growth of the new business and the personality of the person.
I know many successful business owners who started their current business part-time while working full time in another capactiy.
It requires juggling some priorities and being truly committed to your final goal but I know it is not only possible but perhaps the most practical way to start your "dream career".
Like others before me have said, it really depends on you. Normally, no, you cannot do that for various reasons, like your availability for your customers, the number of working hours that you will have to input and your willingness and believe in your idea that will consume all of your free time, thus making you more tired and more likely to become annoyed by those around you.
If you really believe in your idea, play around for about two months, see if you still believe in it as an entrepreneur, be ready to fail and start again (first failure should never stop you), and if numbers add up, go ahead. In one year you will probably be craving for the comfort of the employee position, but you will be proud to be in charge of your own company, and thus destiny to some extent.
Anyway, if you decide to go for it, make sure you plan every little thing in detail, execute the plan and include a potential come-back in case of emergency.
Best of luck!
It can be done, but you need to ensure that there is no conflict with your current job and that your employer is OK with the idea. It really depends on the type business that you want to start.
This is also a good time to prove your business concept.
It is called bootstrapping. I'm doing the same thing. I realize that it will take some time for me to get the kind of revenue I would need to pay the bills so keeping my day job is a must!
Yes Daniel, there's no doubt about it. Please contact me if you would like to explore such opportunities which can help you build a business