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Types of Businesses to Start

Doing It Yourself

So you want to be your own boss, but you can’t afford to quit your job and work for yourself full-time? There is a solution.

Nadine Todd

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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.

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.

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Types of Businesses to Start

6 Steps To Building A Million-Dollar Ecommerce Site In 60 Days

Jared Goetz spent only 30 minutes a day and built a colossal Shopify sales machine.

Entrepreneur

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Jared Goetz, serial entrepreneur and member of The Oracles, always had a knack for reaching an audience. At 26 years old, he’s co-founded four multimillion-dollar companies.

Whether he’s throwing the world’s largest foam party with fire breathers and circus acts (“Electric Flurry”) or selling inflatables to college students via viral campaigns (“Dumbo Lounge Sacks”), this serial entrepreneur knows how to turn an audience into a profit machine.

His latest venture, The Gadget Snob, is no different. An ecommerce store that supplies everything from jet-flamed pencils to laser keyboards, Goetz took his business from zero to $2 million in 60 days by plugging into the right audience. That’s no small feat in a competitive industry forecast to surpass $4 trillion in sales by 2020.

Goetz’s secret sauce to reaching the masses? Experimentation. As he explains, “You don’t know what people will respond to until you try a lot of things. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.”

Related: Selling Online: Be On The Right Side Of The Law With Your Ecommerce Start-Up

Goetz shares six key components to building his million-dollar ecommerce store and turning profits in less than a business quarter.

1. Don’t reinvent the merchandise wheel

“Many owners think they have to reinvent the wheel with the merchandise they sell,” Goetz explained. Instead, he suggests focusing on products with a proven track record of success. “An easy way to spot a market trend is gauging how a product performs on social media. If an item is getting 10,000 Facebook Likes in less than a few hours, that’s a tell.”

When choosing merchandise, it’s also crucial to differentiate between commoditised and unique products. Commoditised products are widely available. Unique products are less accessible handmade or niche products that aren’t mass produced.

“If you go niche, gauge demand first. Observe what people are looking for. You might be surprised to see what’s selling.”

2. Create a formula, then rewrite it

Ecommerce comes down to a formula, Goetz says, and the outcome is affected by different variables: Product, advertisement, landing page optimisation, and customer lifetime value.

“Once you figure out what produces the best margin, copy that. Most who fail in ecommerce are 90 percent there but haven’t worked out all the variables in their formula,” Goetz shares.

For Goetz, a pivotal variable was drop shipping. “I spent a lot of time bootstrapping my earlier companies. Drop shipping was a game-changer because it allowed me to advertise before securing the inventory, yielding greater outcomes.”

3. Build a legit Shopify store

Shopify

A successful Shopify store must win confidence. “In the sometimes-fraudulent digital ecosystem, you have to earn a consumer’s trust,” Goetz says. “A money-back guarantee and free shipping guarantee are great places to start.”

Related: 5 Ecommerce Myths That Are Sabotaging People’s Businesses

Goetz also suggests choosing a theme that’s congruent with your industry. “With branding, you want to look professional, not spammy or creepy.” Gadgets are fun and technical, so his site has bright colours and precise language. “If I were running a men’s fashion store or toy store, I’d change my theme to match the merchandise and brand. Branding is key to converting customer views into sales.”

4. Find winning ads with huge ROI and scale

For Goetz, marketing comes down to one word: testing. “The only way to find out what works is to test it many times,” he says. “Test 10 audiences on each product, so you know where to invest your energy.” For The Gadget Snob, Goetz hired an ad manager to optimise Facebook campaigns. “When you strike gold with a successful ad, replicate it, but scale incrementally to ensure you’re staying targeted.” He suggests increasing ad spend 20 percent per day, not 500 percent.

When building campaigns, it’s also vital to use language that’s shareable and creative. Sales psychology is your friend. From his perspective, classic scarcity techniques have been around for centuries for a reason. “Try incorporating a quantity incentive: if you buy one, it’s full price; if you buy two, it’s 50 percent off and so forth.”

“Creating an email list is also vital. Email campaigns have a higher conversion rate than cold Facebook campaigns, and you can incentivise email campaigns with rewards. You can make money by merely pushing ‘send.’”

5. Hire a VA, then specialists

For Goetz, hiring a virtual assistant was essential to scaling. “At first, my VA helped with everything,” he says. Once his site got off the ground, Goetz hired people with specialised jobs for specific tasks.

Related: 5 Basics To Success When Starting An Ecommerce Business

He also stresses the importance of universal procedures. “Having clear onboarding processes and procedures is key to growth. Make your systems as easy as possible because while you might have 100 orders today, tomorrow you’ll have quadruple that.”

6. Get your customer support airtight

For a store to operate at full throttle, Goetz stresses the importance of customer support to maximise your profits. “You need your customer support to be airtight and available 24/7,” he says. “Online shopping goes all night and people place orders at all hours.”

To support questions and concerns, Goetz says that live chat and around-the-clock customer service is a must. “In our era of Amazon Prime, customer service expectations have never been higher, he says. “The last thing you want is a minute hiccup or technical goof obstructing a sale.”

Ultimately, ecommerce allows entrepreneurs to reach untapped markets and reap the rewards. As Goetz puts it: “My ecommerce site affords me ultimate freedom.” By following a few basic steps, you, too, can build a Shopify store to run from anywhere in the world, and perhaps even create your own million-dollar sales machine.

Related: 4 Methods For Building A Successful Ecommerce Brand

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Types of Businesses to Start

10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time

Find your perfect match for a successful part-time start-up.

Nadine Todd

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Start your part-time business today

Contents

  1. Public Relations
  2. Freelance Photography
  3. Corporate Videos
  4. Small Business Advertising Agency
  5. Writing, Editing and Proofreading Services
  6. Internet Marketing Consultant
  7. Web Design
  8. Tax Accountant
  9. Business Consultant
  10. Business Plan Consultant

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.

Are you looking for a business that you can launch in next to no time?

Read: 10 Business Ideas Ready To Launch!

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.

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Types of Businesses to Start

10 Business Ideas Ready To Launch!

Where do you find a good business idea? Right here. Here you’ll find several innovative business ideas that are ripe for plucking.

GG van Rooyen

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Where do you find a brilliant business idea?

It’s not as hard as it may seem at first. In fact, the idea is arguably not all that important. There’s a reason investors talk about backing the jockey and not the horse: It’s often not about the idea, but the execution.

A great entrepreneur can turn even a mediocre idea into a success; all that’s needed is a USP and great customer service.

That said, some ideas are undoubtedly better than others. And some businesses are easier to get off the ground. In the following pages you’ll find a curated list of business ideas that have reached a point where they’re just waiting to be exploited.

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