by Helen Eagleton
If you dream of starting your own business, but don’t have enough capital, it might be a good idea to hold onto your job ─ just for a while longer.
Many people have tried launching a small business only to give up because they don’t have enough money or time for it. If you have a family and other obligations, you’ll have even less time to devote to business.
However, there is always a way out! Here you’ll find seven tips to help you succeed without quitting your job.
How to Start a Business #1: Start with a game plan.
Starting a business is a costs-and-profit risk where sound methods are even more important than a good idea. So, before you buy a license and start advertising, evaluate the time, money, and talents you have. Ask yourself the right questions and think about how to best use your resources.
Research the market and see what your competition is doing.
Make a detailed plan and document everything. List how much time you need for regular tasks, what will be your startup costs and expenses, and how much time and money you can spend from one week to the next. Take note of any aspects of the business you may need help with. A business is not a hobby: have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and lay out the long and short-term steps it takes to get there. Set realistic timeframes to shoot for. This will help you focus on tasks that need to be done.
How to Start a Business #2: Organize your day.
Running a business comes down to how you organize your day. With your full-time job, you’ll likely have to give up some personal activities, such as socializing or watching TV. Well, that’s the price you have to pay, but remember: this is only for a limited period of time.
In any case, to save time, look into options such as telecommuting to your job a few days a week or ordering things online to conserve drive time. You may end up losing sleep or working weekends. Explain to your family and friends that starting this business is a priority, and ask for their cooperation. Don’t shut them out, but make it clear that you won’t be available as much.
How to Start a Business #3: Learn!
In business, knowledge is a competitive edge. For starters, you have to understand your industry inside out. The more you know, the more value you bring to your company and customers. Secondly, you need to learn about legalities such as taxes and permits, insurance, and emerging techniques and strategies. Thirdly, you simply need to commit to lifelong learning in order to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable in different areas.
What can you do? Subscribe to industry blogs or journals so that you don’t have to look further than your inbox. If it’s worth the investment in time, take online courses or watch webinars. Learning is a continuous process. Set aside a block of time daily or weekly that you can devote to furthering your business knowledge. And take advantage of your commute.
How to Start a Business #4: Network.
Networks and referrals benefit you in many ways. Connect with as many people as possible, particularly your target audience and industry influencers. If your job allows you to interact with customers, vendors, or key employees, make them part of your business network.
Go online ─ today, it’s all about social media marketing. Create a business profile on social sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and stimulate conversation about your company with interesting posts relating to your business or industry. Think of content that will engage audiences, such as how-to articles or videos, or important information. As your followers share your content with their own followers, your market reach grows.
How to Start a Business #5: Let others help and inspire you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! And to keep networking at industry events like Meetups. By connecting with other successful entrepreneurs in you industry, you can uncover tips and tricks to succeed, or find out what to avoid.
You should also take advantage of expert advice where possible, such as an attorney to consult on legal restrictions, copyrights, contracts, and compliance with industry regulations. Know your employer’s policies and state laws to determine any risk to your job that starting a business might involve.
You could also seek out a partner or investor with more experience. Find emotional support from family members to keep up your spirits when setbacks occur.
How to Start a Business #6: Don’t forget your full-time job.
Try to keep your business and your job separate. If your new business concerns affect your job, you could be fired and wind up losing both. Don’t handle business during working hours, or use your company computer for research or messaging.
Staying up late to promote your business could also affect your sleep and job performance. More businesses today allow employees to telecommute or set their own hours. Discuss these possibilities with your boss.
How to Start a Business #7: Persevere!
Your drive to succeed is essential. Obstacles, challenges, and the occasional failure are inevitable. However, you have to keep focused on your long-term goals and remain patient and positive that you’ll achieve them eventually. Overnight success is rare, so trust yourself. Accept that you’ll have to work hard, develop more skills, and persevere.
You’ll have to work out numerous factors to make a part-time business succeed while holding down a job, starting with a good business plan. Learn to stay organized and manage your time so you can grow your business without affecting your job or personal relationships. Never pass up opportunities to learn and network. With the right mindset, you’re sure to eventually succeed!