Starting a home business part time is one option many entrepreneurs take in starting a business. Part-timers work on their businesses after getting home from their day jobs or working only on weekends.
While keeping full time jobs, many opt to start a home business on the side for a number of reasons:
- It enables the part-time entrepreneur to earn and save more money to be used as capital for their business.
- It allows the part-time entrepreneur to save enough money to serve as financial cushion for themselves and their families when they decide to pursue the business full-time.
- There is uncertainty if the business will work, hence it is prudent to start more slowly
- Balances out the uncertainty of starting a business. Even if the business proved to be a failure, the entrepreneur can still have the security of a regular paycheck from their jobs
But should you really start a business part-time? Here are the main reasons why a part-time business may not be the best option and that you need to jump into the business full-time.
1. Less overall opportunities for your part-time business.
Given that your day job occupies much of your time, there will be lots of opportunities that you will be unable to pursue for the business you run part-time. Missed revenue opportunities may result from your inability to take on more clients, develop better or more products, or even conduct a more expansive or aggressive marketing strategy.
2. Growth of the business will be very slow.
Because of missed opportunities, a part-time business is more likely to be slow-growing. The main disadvantage of a slow growing business is that it doesn’t give you the chance to reap a larger reward for this experience. There will be slower return on your investments. If you have many ideas, enjoy taking chances, and are looking for faster return on your investment, then you might feel held back by a slow-growing part-time business.
3. Difficulty to give 100% focus on the new business.
To succeed in business, you need to make sure that your products or services are the best they can be, especially in a competitive market. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Given the demands of a new business and the pressure to make this business succeed, you need to focus daily on how to improve your business, how to reach your target market, and how you can be better than your competitors. Starting part-time means that you may not have enough energy and focus to dedicate to the business, as your daytime work competes for your attention.
4. Business may not lend itself to be done on a part-time basis.
The type of business you will start will determine whether a full-time job mixed with a part time business can be doable. A 9-to-5 job mixed with an information web site (e.g blogging monetized by advertising) may be doable: you work during the day and write content for your blog at night. But an event planning business catering to corporate clients whose typical events and functions are done on weekdays will be extremely hard to do part-time.
5. Competing priorities.
When you have a full-time job and a part-time business, you will inevitably be faced with tasks that are equally important. You will have lots of competing priorities, and you need to determine which direction to pursue first. You will have to balance your planning efforts with day-to-day demands. This situation could be overwhelming, as you need to rearrange your list of tasks in terms of order of priority without missing deadlines. And depending on the type of full time job you have and the nature of your part-time business, missed deadlines may be part of your reality.
6. Diluted effort.
There is a huge risk of shortchanging yourself. Because your energies, focus and concentration are spread among different priorities, it will be tough to give 100% performance to both. The stress of doing many things at once may not allow you to give your best efforts to each one. Instead, your goal will be just to meet the deliverables at the minimum level of expectations. You will not have time to wow your clients and customers (and your boss in your full time job) as you need to rush off to complete the next assignment.
7. Career prospects may be jeopardized.
Your career prospects depend on your goals for your job: whether you want to keep working on that job, or you want to resign from it the moment your part-time business takes off.
Depending on how broadminded the company you work for and your boss, having a business on the side may send out negative signals that can jeopardize your future in your full-time job. They may think that your focus is now split and you’re not 100% committed to the job anymore, possibly resulting in poor or mediocre performance. They will be closely watching your deliverables and your attendance at work. As a result, there is a risk that your promotion and overall career prospects will dim.
They may also be concerned that you are using their company’s time to work on your business, or use the company resources (e.g. paper, photocopying, etc.) for your own business use. Worse, they may think there are ethical conflicts between your job and your business, especially if your business is in the same space and there is a huge risk of you stealing their clients.
One option, of course, is to keep mum about your business and not letting your boss or coworkers know about your part-time business. But even then, you will have to be creative in explaining your absences or disappearances in the middle of the day when your business demands it.
8. Lack of time.
Fitting your job, a part-time business and family obligations into a 24-hour period will be your biggest challenge. If you only have a few hours in a day to focus on your business, it may not be sufficient to meet the demands of a newly launched business. At most, you will be flying by the seat of your pants. It will be hard to do a great job in creating products or services, marketing the business, and even running the day-to-day management of the business.
Prepare yourself for sleepless nights (or all-nighters and non stop working. Expect to sacrifice a lot of your free time. If you work 9-to-5, you’ll only have a small window of opportunity to dedicate to your business. Unless you are insomniac and used to being awake at night, there will be lots of time when working at night is not enough to complete all the tasks you need to do. You will need to work very smart, and make sure that you are doing productive activities when you work (that means limited, or even none, recreational Web surfing for you!)
9. A job and a business require loads of flexibility.
In a perfect world, you can set your day as day job at 9-to-5 and part-time business in the evenings or weekends. But sometimes, you may be asked to work overtime or work during weekends in your job. This means that your window of opportunity to work for your business disappears.It could also be the other way around: there may be times when you will need to finish the rush job of your client and you will be unable to go to work for your full-time job.
10. Your health can suffer.
With a full-time job and a home business on the side, both of these priorities have its own attending stress and deadlines. Coping with the stress can put a strain on your health. The non-stop working can also make your body feel fatigued, making you more prone to sickness. Long working hours have been associated with health and safety risks, which unfortunately, you face when working on a full-time job and a part-time business on the side.
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