A new and exciting business that you can run in your spare time until such a time as you are ready to leave your full-time job is a real possibility thanks to modern technology. In fact, more and more people are discovering that it is not only possible but positively pleasurable to start a new business and manage it alongside existing work commitments.
You may long for the day that you can tell your existing employer what to do with their job but the fact is that most small business owners rely on a second job to make ends meet so it is more practical to transition gradually from one to the other.
Managing the Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur
The key to building a new business until such a time as it provides you with an income equalling or exceeding that of your day job is managing your time effectively. You need to be focused and efficient and you will also need outside help if you are to succeed.
- Pick a Single Business Idea – you may have read that many successful businesspeople had to try a number of different ideas before they finally hit on the one that made them a fortune but this does not mean you should try to do several different things at once. Focus on one idea at a time and give it your complete attention if you want to give yourself the best chance of succeeding. If it does not work, by all means move onto the next idea but if you do not focus on one idea at a time, you will not be able to test your business strategies thoroughly.
- Enlist the help of friends and family – even if you are the type of person that feels they have something to prove to the world and you really want to go it alone, you must recognise the fact that no successful entrepreneur exists in a vacuum. Without friends and relatives to help and support you through the early days, when you will be working long hours for little financial reward, it will be almost impossible for you to sustain your effort long enough to see positive results.
- Outsource non-core functions – the easiest way to make sure that a new business does not demand more time than you are able to commit is by outsourcing non-core functions that can be done by others. This strategy often results in a more efficient business from the very start owing to the fact that by working with outsource partners you are gaining access to their knowledge and expertise, as well as their time. There are a number of functions you may wish to consider outsourcing and choosing the right ones will be vital to the future of your new business.
Which Functions Should I Outsource?
Whilst most new business owners understand the reasoning behind outsourcing, especially those who are attempting to hold down a full-time job at the same time, many of them are not sure which functions should be outsourced and which kept in house. Core functions, i.e. those that help to differentiate your products or services from those of your competitors, should not be delegated to third parties but any of the following common business functions may be ideal candidates for outsourcing.
- Answering telephone enquires – one of the biggest problems faced by budding entrepreneurs who still need the security of a regular salary is the fact that they are unable to answer enquiries from prospective customers during the day. You could avoid publicising your business phone number and hope new customers are happy to communicate solely via email but such a move may convince people you have something to hide. A better approach would be to take advantage of a professional message taking service so that every time somebody calls to enquire about the goods or services you are providing, they are answered by a trained receptionist who makes sure that they know their call is important to you. Details of the call can be passed to you by email or SMS as soon as it is concluded, allowing you to respond at the earliest possible opportunity.
- Accounting – unless you are a qualified accountant, it makes good sense to pass over responsibility for keeping the books to somebody who is. In addition to freeing up more time for you to deal with core business functions, such a move will ensure that your accounts are always in good order. This is important as it will help you to avoid any problems when completing tax returns at the end of the financial year. Furthermore, with accurate accounts to refer to, you will always know how well your business is really doing.
- Media response – online advertising, email marketing newsletters and social media campaigns can be a very cost effective way for small business owners to market their company to new customers but before embarking on any of these promotional initiatives, you need to make sure that you are able to cope with the sudden influx of calls that will hopefully result from your marketing activities. A media response package tailored to meet your specific needs is an ideal way of achieving this aim. Telephonists at a remote call centre can be fully briefed before your campaign gets under way, ensuring that prospective customers are dealt with quickly and efficiently once they start to call.
The above ideas can help you to start a business without giving up your day job but even with the help of friends, family and outsourcing specialists, you will need real determination to succeed. With your determination and our expert assistance, nothing is impossible.