— November 7, 2018
Have you ever read articles or listened to podcasts featuring entrepreneurs who businesses literally blew up over the course of a year or so? You may find yourself picking your jaw up from the ground after you realize that they still have a 9-5 job.
Growing a business from the ground up requires a lot of effort and energy. Building a successful business that delivers a consistent income requires strategy. Either way, it’s going to require a major time commitment on your part.
So how can part-time entrepreneurs actually gain traction and grow their business on the side without burning out? By implementing the right systems and strategies of course.
Here’s how part-time entrepreneurs can grow their businesses exponentially.
Validate Your Business Ideas
A great business idea is key, but a business plan is better. It’s important to validate your business idea before getting started to make sure there’s a market and that you’re going to enjoy what you’re doing and be profitable.
Sometimes, creative people get these amazing ideas and run with them before testing things out. This leads to a lot of wasted time and energy which is something you can’t afford if you’re trying to build your business on the side.
To validate your business idea, research the industry you’re looking to go into to see if and how people are making money. Define your target audience member and get that person on the phone to discuss their needs and pain points.
You can even create mini-offers or lead magnets to test out your main idea and see if it resonates with others. This may seem like extra work but it’s research on your end and it will pay off in the future by saving you plenty of time and money.
Narrow Down Your Commitments
Once you’ve validated your business idea, it’s time to narrow down your commitments. One thing you may be wondering is do you have time to be a part-time entrepreneur?
The honest truth is, anyone can make time to run a business online. If you feel overwhelmed with your current schedule, realize there is someone who has a lot more going on and is somehow making it work.
Jot down a list of all your current commitments and narrow things down. This may mean you need to make some sacrifices and cut a few things out temporarily.
This may mean cutting out evening TV time, waking up earlier, or avoiding time-consuming extracurricular activities so you can free up more space in your schedule. When you do start to carve out more time, you still need to get intentional about how to spend it best in order to grow your side business.
Break Down Your Goals
Stop goal stuffing. Being a business owner means your to-do list is often never-ending. There’s always something to work on but you have to realize you can’t do everything at once, especially if you’re juggling a full-time job.
The best way to move your business forward when your time and energy is limited is to break down your goals and tackle things one by one. Instead of setting 10 goals at a time, learn how to get really good at one thing and get your desired results, then move on to the next thing.
It also helps to get clear on what you want for your business. When I first got started, I thought I could be a jack of all trades. I soon learned that being social media famous wasn’t going to pay my bills or help me grow my business. So I started focusing on what would make me profitable and dedicating all my time and energy to those tasks first.
Instead of trying to be everything, I got really good at mastering a specific task that was going to be me the best ROI. I didn’t move forward to learning or trying new things until I hit my initial goal. This kept me grounded and made this less overwhelming.
Prioritize Your Tasks and Focus
Once you have your goals established and narrowed down, you’ll know what to focus on. Organization is key as it will allow you to get more work done in less time.
You can get better organized by prioritizing your tasks and creating specific weekly and daily schedules. Start organizing your tasks in a calendar so you know what to focus on and when.
Focus on knocking out the most mentally challenging tasks first, then move on to smaller tasks. Since your goals are your why using a calendar will allow you to map out exactly what you need to do and when. That way, all you need to do is come prepared to focus and work productively.
You may want to consider using an online calendar system so you can set notification reminders to your phone, book calls automatically, and easily update or change tasks around when life happens.
Use Breaks and Downtime To Your Advantage
Breaks and downtime can be amazing resources when you’re a part-time entrepreneur so be sure to use them wisely. If you have an online business, you have the privilege of being able to grow it from anywhere.
This means you can use your lunch, daily commute, or downtime in the evening to work on your business. I used to wake up at 5:30 am to work on my site business before work for an hour. I’d send emails and make connections during my 30-minute break.
Then, I’d work on a few things from 8 – 10 pm after I put my son to sleep. That averaged out to 3.5 per day of ‘downtime’ per day to work on my business.
Outsource Your Weaknesses
One thing I learned from successful full-time and part-time entrepreneurs is that you don’t have to do it alone. Almost everyone I know who’s grown their business has received help from an assistant/team or they’ve outsourced one-off projects to others.
It’s best to identify your weaknesses and tasks that you aren’t good at so you can outsource them. Don’t like social media? Not skilled in SEO tactics? Consider outsourcing a few of these tasks to someone else so you can focus on scaling up and doing work that produces consistent ROI.
It’s clearly possible grow your business while working as a part-time entrepreneur. It’s important to work smarter over working harder, get clear on your goals and focus, and utilize the time you have to get more done.
Do you run a side business? What strategies have you been implementing to grow your business?