There are three types of part-time businesses. The first is for people who want to work, but value flexible hours and the freedom to pursue other passions or spend time with their children.
The business will never be huge, but then it’s not meant to be. The second is run by people who have a specific skill or hobby that they can make money from, but there are financial or other constraints stopping them from launching the business full-time.
The third includes businesses that can be launched and run part-time, but the entrepreneur’s end goal is to be able to grow the business to a point where it is self-sustaining and he or she can resign and concentrate solely on the business.
Just like any start-up, this requires time, dedication and planning while still working full-time for another employer – and without jeopardising the job. It is also only a viable option for businesses that can be run both part-time and full-time.
Ideally, a part-time business looking to grow into a full-time business should be service-based, relying on the entrepreneur’s skills and drive rather than, for example, manufacturing products.
Weighing Your Options
Running a business while still being permanently employed can make good business sense.
An entrepreneur with a full-time job to fall back on has a safety net and is therefore under less pressure to make the venture succeed quickly. It also means that a few mistakes are not necessarily the end of the business.
Part-time businesses require less funding and the entrepreneur can often raise the necessary funds by diverting earnings from a full-time job. In addition, launching a part-time business with the aim of growing it into a full-time enterprise can be very rewarding. But, like any start-up, it is also incredibly hard work.
For a part-time entrepreneur who is also holding down a job, time is precious and scarce. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Planning, hard work, doing something you are either very good at or love, and having an end goal can give shape to your venture.
It is also important to be patient. Tony Robbins, a US-based self-help author and success coach, says that once you have mastered time, you understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.
Finding the balance between what can be achieved and how long it will take could result in a sustainable start-up that might take a bit longer to get off the ground – but is highly successful once it is.
Finding a Good Match
If you are looking to start a part-time business, ask yourself this question: what skills do you have that can be sold as a service? As long as it is a skill that people are willing to pay for, it can be the foundation of a great part-time – and then eventually – full-time, business.
Selling your services part-time enables you to eliminate risk by limiting your financial investment, as well as test the ‘start-up’ waters and make sure you do actually want to work for yourself.
Other advantages include a steady income, ongoing employee benefits and building your business over a longer period of time, which generally gives it a more stable foundation.
However, you and your business must be a good match. You may have an interest or experience in a specific business or service, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a good match.
James Stephenson, small business consultant and author of Ultimate Start-Up Directory, highlights these points when determining a good business match:
- Do you have the financial resources to start or purchase the business, and enough money to pay the day-to-day operating expenses until the business breaks even and is profitable? If not, it’s probably not a good match, and you should consider alternatives.
- Does the business have the potential to generate the income you need to pay your personal expenses, and does it also have the potential to generate the income you want to earn? This is very important because if you can’t pay your own bills, you’ll soon be in trouble. And if, over time, you can’t earn the income you want to earn, you’ll lose interest in the business – a recipe for disaster.
- Are you physically healthy enough to handle the strains of starting and running the business? If not, you may end up having to hire people for the job, which can be problematic if the business revenues aren’t sufficient to support both management and employee wages.
- Do you have experience in this type of business or service, and do you have any special skills that can be utilised in the business? You can gain experience and knowledge on the job but skills that can be used and capitalised upon right away are extremely valuable.
- Are there any special certificates or educational requirements to start and operate the business, and are these readily available? Find out the upfront costs associated with these, how they can be obtained, and the time frame needed to obtain specific certificates. Training and certification shouldn’t be viewed negatively because often the return on time and investment is substantially financially rewarding. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
- Will you enjoy operating the business, and does it match your personality type and level of maturity? This is very important. If you don’t think that you would enjoy it, then don’t start. Again, the loss of interest in a business is almost certainly the kiss of death.
You can’t stay motivated and rise to new challenges if you don’t like what you’re doing.
Tips for Starting a Business Part-time
- Know what you want. Having a clear idea of your objective in starting a part-time business will help you decide what kind of business to start and how to run it.
- Pick something you enjoy doing. Much of the reward of part-time entrepreneurship may consist of the pleasure you gain from it, not the money, so make sure you like the work you’ll be engaged in.
- Pick something you know. If your business is related to a favourite hobby or professional sideline, you’ll have an extra edge because of your background or expertise in the field.
- Have a business plan. Even a part-time business needs a full-size business plan. In particular, be sure you’re able to describe a viable business model for generating profits.
- Be patient. When you can’t work at it all the time, your business idea will take longer to get under way and grow to maturity.
- Take care to separate your job, business and personal responsibilities. A part-time business can interfere with work and family relationships if you let it.
- Have an exit plan. Decide in advance when and how you’ll sell or get out of your part-time business. Otherwise, it could become a full-time burden.
Business Opportunities In Printing And Signage
The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.
In an entrepreneurial environment, people are seeking innovative ways to make extra money. The signage and printing industry offers opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses.
These opportunities will be showcased at the upcoming Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo, which is co-located with Africa Print for commercial print solutions and Africa LED for professional LED lighting. The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.
T-Shirt and Bag Printing
Embellishments and glitter help transform a simple shirt into a unique garment, and depending on the specific shirt and techniques used, it could become a high priced item. Shirts and bags can be customised, a key aspect to targeting millennials, who require unique products, want to stand out and want items that are Instagram-worthy. You can target this market with personalised bags and unique T-shirts, which do not require large and expensive equipment to produce.
Mugs and Promotional Gifting
While others may see public holidays as opportunities to relax, entrepreneurs can see them as money-making opportunities. Capitalise on trendy markets and popular holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day by producing themed and personalised gifts. Other profitable options include: shopping bags, decor and invites, promotional, corporate and safety wear, wood, vinyl, paper, plastics, metals, flat substrates like clipboards, binders, notebooks, mouse pads, coasters, business cards, stickers and corrugated signs or posters, smart phones and tablet cases.
Business owners are constantly seeking ways to get their brands noticed. And with all the gigantic billboards, street pole advertisements and other media vying for consumers’ attention, it’s difficult to stand out. Enter vehicle wrapping, which is an effective promotional tool as it’s cost-effective, impactful and long-lasting. Besides cost-effective general wraps for corporate fleets, custom vehicle wrapping offers special effects that create Instagram-worthy wraps that get brands noticed.
Of course, these business opportunities require training and some research. Luckily, industry experts will be available at the Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo to answer visitors’ questions. There are also free educational features such as a T-Shirt and Bag printing workshop featuring demonstrations by local experts on T-shirts and bags with speciality printing techniques as well as the Textile Experience, which shows how to screen print onto T-shirts.
Opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses will be showcased in daily 30 minute Business Opportunity sessions. For more information about the event, and to register online, please visit: http://bit.ly/EntrepreneurSignAfrica.
10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time
Find your perfect match for a successful part-time start-up.
Launching a company – even if it’s operated part-time – is all about drawing on your skills, talents and interests to create a viable business.
What you know and what you’re good at form a good basis for a part-time business because these companies either become an extension of what you enjoy doing most or they are based on your strengths.
Working part-time while still maintaining a permanent job is time consuming and often exhausting, so choosing what you take pleasure in or are good at can keep you focused and motivated. The right fit is important when it comes to launching a part-time business. Selling a service rather than a product does not require large start-up costs, which means you can grow your business without financing until it becomes self-sustaining.
Corporate Communications & Promotions
Corporate communications covers a host of areas, mainly because this is the sector that takes care of how companies look to the outside world – something that is very definitely a service, but also that is not often taken care of in-house. If you can write, edit, have a knack for advertising, can take photographs or create promotional and corporate videos, you can offer your services part-time to companies both large and small that are in need of these services.
A 7-Step Guide To Starting Your Own Trade Business
With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.
Skilled tradesmen are always in demand. Whether you are a plumber, electrician, cabinetmaker, refrigeration expert, tiler or builder, there is a ton of work out there. For many, the best way to make the most of the opportunity is to open your own business.
Where do you start? The first step is to register your business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Look for a catchy name that is easy to spell and memorable – you do not want customers to struggle. The CIPC will tell you which names are taken. It is also a good idea to do a trademark search before deciding on a name. Register with SARS and make sure that all your tax affairs are in order.
It is a very good idea to get a good accountant right at the early stages of the game. They can also help you set up the legislative requirements for running a business. The National Small Business Chamber is a non-profit organisation that offers a range of services to its members that aim to help them grow faster, save money and receive the support they need.
With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.
1. Finding customers
You want to find customers in order to grow your business beyond the ones you already have. These days, that means a website and some smart online marketing.
This can be as simple as setting up a Facebook page and any one of several other social media sites (like Instagram and LinkedIn). These services are at no-cost to you and allow you to quickly build up a following of loyal customers. You can share ‘jobs well done’, so prospective customers can see what you are capable of, while your contact details are easily accessible. In due course, consider some paid averts on relevant social media platforms and perhaps a website of your own. It is a good way to get potential customers on board.
At the same time, list your services in community newspapers, noticeboards and newsletters so everyone in the area can easily see that you are available and what it is you do. Also, keep your eye on social media community groups – and ask family, friends and existing clients to refer and/or recommend your services when an opportunity arises.
Finally, there are many government initiatives and non-profit organisations whose aim is to help small businesses succeed – with a particular emphasis on black-owned businesses. This help could range from facilitating access to finance, all the way to mentorship. Spend some time finding out what help is on offer. The SME Movement site also has this kind of information.
2. Stay focused
For those just starting out, there might be a temptation to take any job that crosses your path. Rather stick to your area of expertise to build a reputation based on proven skills. If you are an electrician with a little plumbing experience, for example, tackling a piping job could cause more trouble than it is worth. Every trade is different and you are an expert for a reason.
Leave the other work for experts in those fields – but build up relationships with them so that you can refer work to each other.
3. Ride on your qualifications and references
You have spent a lot of time getting certified. Let your customers know about your qualifications and experience by putting it on your Facebook page, your invoices, e-mails and other communications. The same goes for references; these are valuable and provide evidence of your ability to get the job done. Ask for a reference when the job is complete and then on to social media it goes. The good news with social media, by the way, is that these references do not ever go away.
4. Stay on top of the paperwork
The good old days of doing business on a handshake may be behind us. Providing quotes, contracts, invoices and records of payments electronically makes paperwork a whole lot easier by creating a digital archive where physical copies aren’t needed, but it serves the same purpose, when it is formally recorded, it is far easier to see what has been agreed to, done and paid for. Do not skimp here, even the best customer service provider relationships can go awry if verbal agreements are all you have to go on.
5. Register with your trade association (and invest in CPD)
Being a member of a trade association (like Master Builders, the Institute of Plumbing or other professional bodies) lends credibility to what you are doing. It also provides access to new customers should larger contractors need to sub-contract. Your trade association also formalises training and continuous professional development (CPD).
6. Get business insurance
All too often, this crucial coverage is ignored by those starting out on their own. You want to protect tools and equipment on the one hand and you also want broadform public liability to safeguard yourself, your employees and your business against third party claims should something go wrong on the job. It provides cover in connection with your normal business activities and also your liability if any employees are injured in the course of work.
Putting the right insurance in place can mean the difference between staying in business for the long term or folding the minute the tools grow legs and disappear.
7. Deliver good service
Do not forget that every job is a potential reference and, at the very least, is your entry into that client’s network of friends or business associates. Concentrate on giving good service and actively request feedback so you can remedy any shortfalls. A take-it-or-leave it attitude may be relaxing, but it will prevent your business from growing to what it potentially can be.
MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)
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