One of the advantages to starting a home business is flexibility. You can launch and build a business part-time around your job and family to create extra income, pay off debt or build a nest egg. If you’re successful, you can take your business full-time into a home-based career.
The challenge in building a business part-time is fitting business activities into an already busy schedule. Here are some tips to building a successful home business on a part-time basis.
1. Prioritize Your Home Business
To build a steady income through a part-time business, you need to work on it every day. That means your business needs to take precedence over other activities in your life. You can put your family and job first on your list of priorities, but your business needs to rank higher than watching television and other “fun” activities. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to watch TV or engage in hobbies, but you won’t make a steady income by working on your business here and there. The best way to create the daily time you need to build a part-time home business is to give up your hobbies in the short-term, to gain more time over the long run.
2. Create a Schedule
Don’t leave your home business work time to chance. If you don’t schedule your business time, it will get lost in the daily activities and crises of life. Find blocks of time you can use to build your business. For example, work an hour in the morning, an hour at lunch and two hours after everyone goes to bed. On your calendar, mark blocks of time for home business tasks and then guard that time.
3. Use a To-Do List
If you’ve prioritized and made a schedule, you should have 5 to 15 hours a week you can dedicate to your business. Your next step is to make the most of those hours. Many start-up business owners waste time on social media, trying to build a website or shuffling papers. Instead, you need to put as much money-making business tasks into your limited time. The best way to maximize your time is with a to-do list that prioritizes your tasks by money-earning-potential. Focus on the tasks that can make money now, such as client work. Next work on activities that will bring money in the near future, such as prospecting, doing followup calls, and marketing. All other business activities, such as filing, can be left for last.
A list not only helps you focus and prioritize, it ensures that when you sit down to work, you know what you need to do, so you can get started right away.
4. Build a Team
No one achieves success in a vacuum. Behind every great home business is a team of supporters. Enlist your family’s support and assistance. Even little kids can sort laundry and dust. If having a spotless home is important to you, get the family to pitch in or hire a cleaning service. If you have young children who need supervision while you work, ask your spouse or partner, or seek out a teenager or retired person to entertain your children for a few hours.
A team is important for business activities as well. It should include a tech support person who can build and maintain your website, or at the very least fix it if you mess it up. A virtual assistant can take care of the necessary busy tasks such as researching or emailing, so you can focus on the activities that make money. A virtual assistant can also set up systems to automate parts of your business, such as creating an email list and autoresponder messages and schedule social media posts.
5. Learn to Evaluate and Tweak Quickly
Murphy’s Law is alive and well in home business. Many strategies and tactics you implement won’t give you the results you desire. To save time and money, you need to assess your goals, determine what worked and what went wrong, and make changes as needed. In some cases, hiring help may be your best bet for maximizing your results. For example, if you’re running pay-per-click ads, but you’re not making sales, you need to fix it right away, or you’ll lose money. Is it the ad copy that isn’t working? Is the sale page not converting? If you’re not sure, you can hire a professional copywriter to help you tweak your ads and sales page to improve results.
Many successful full-time home businesses started as part-time ventures. The trick to successfully running a business part-time is by prioritizing your activities, effective time management, leveraging a support team and quick problem-solving.