Should you Start a Business Full or Part Time?

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If you’re going to start a business, will it be full or part time?  Many new business owners will start out running their business as a part-time operation, even though the ultimate goal may be for it to be a full-time endeavor.

One of the main reasons that a new business owner will look to gradually increase the time devoted to the business is simple economics. Many times, these people will have a full-time job working for someone else. When you have a full-time career in place, it allows you to continue to make a steady stream of cash while putting in work towards the ultimate goal of growing your business. This can relieve a lot of stress like worrying about making the mortgage payment, paying for your children’s education, and many of the other everyday financial worries of most adults.

One of the biggest killers when you start a business can be the psychological side of running it. If you are starting out as a full-time endeavor, sales suddenly become one of your biggest priorities. When a business owner feels pressured to make a certain amount of sales right away, quite often they will try to undercut their competition.

This can lead to a large amount of sales, but a low profit margin. It is at this point that the problem could become a vicious cycle as customers begin to demand more for less. Quite often the new business owner will feel that they are better off at their original job, as they may be spending an inordinate amount of time on the new business for very little reward.

Pitfalls of Starting Your Own Business

However, there can be some pitfalls to starting out your business on a part-time basis. Clients can feel like you don’t offer adequate customer service, you may have less time to market your business, strategize, or build your clientele base. It also can lead to burnout as working your full-time job while running your part-time business can wear a person down.

If you have excellent time management skills, self disciplined, and a clear vision, you can make a part-time business work. In order to do this though, you need to be absolutely committed. Before deciding on what amount of time to devote to your new business, you should consider a few things first.

The very first thing you must do is determine your idea’s potential. If you find that there is a lack of competitors, and a serious need for your service or product, you may find that starting out full-time may be best. If you find that the marketplace for your idea won’t support a consistent steady stream of business that a full-time endeavor would require, you may want to start out part-time and work your way up through marketing, development, and sales.

Your Financial Situation Matters

Another very important point to consider if you are hoping to start a business is your financial situation. As a general rule, business experts recommend having enough money to live on for at least half a year, if not a full year before launching your business. Because of this you need to consider your amount of savings, whether or not you have other assets that could be used to finance the operation such as stock, precious metals, real estate, or other hard assets that are easily liquidated, and of course any salaries that your spouse may earn during the year.

One thing that most people overlook is the emotional and psychological effort that is needed to start a business. Involve your family in the process since a lot of your time will be spent on your business. You want to be in a supportive environment as this can be a very difficult task. It is only fair that you involve your closest family and all of your decisions when first starting out, as you will find that they will be heavily involved, albeit in a very indirect way.

You should also consider your own needs. If you do not have the stomach for the emotional roller coaster that a full-time business can be, perhaps you are better off starting out part-time. On the other hand, if you find that you are already putting in 65 hours a week, it may not make sense to run a part-time business as you are probably somewhat overextended in the first place.

Consider the full or part time decision very carefully. It is a decision that only you can make as each person’s situation will be completely different. There are no standardized answers or tests that you can take to find out what is going to work for you. The trick is to make an honest assessment of the situation, the finances behind your new endeavor, and what kind of impact it may have on your family life. By making this assessment, most people find that the decision presents itself pretty clearly.