Do you want to pursue your dream of starting your own business, but aren’t ready to let go of your gainful employment and the steady paycheck that comes with it? Many new entrepreneurs face that dilemma. Fortunately, if you plan properly, you can have the best of both worlds.
We created an ebook to share how you can continue to work for someone else AND launch your business. “16 Steps to Starting a Business While Working Full Time” guides you through what you need to consider and how to overcome the challenges ahead.
In step 12, we cover how to manage your time. And if you want to review the previous steps, here they are: select a business; create a business plan; establish goals; choose your marketing methods; figure out your finances; know the rules; how to set up your office, business licenses, taxes and insurance, invest in your image, find your first customers, and manage your money.
With your time split between working full-time and starting your business, you’ll have to make every hour count.
Here are some strategies to help you stay focused and make progress:
Set a regular schedule.
Having structure will make you more productive and ensure you address the tasks that need to be done. For example, you might commit to carving out three hours every evening after dinner or reserve your entire Saturday morning for working on your business.
Measure where you spend your time.
When you’re billing clients by the hour or trying to keep tabs on how much time administrative duties require, use a tool to track time accurately. Software such as Harvest, HoursTracker, and PayDirt can help by enabling you to track the hours and minutes you devoted to different clients, assignments, and tasks. When you’re jumping back and forth between projects and responsibilities throughout the day, those tools can take the guesswork out of monitoring how your time is spent.
Get some help by outsourcing.
Prepare to wear many hats as a small business owner. And realize you may not be able to handle everything on your own. By outsourcing certain tasks to freelancers or independent contractors, you can decrease your stress level and save time.
Be careful of what aspects of your business you outsource, though. Don’t outsource core functions that demand your direct attention, skills, and knowledge. Do outsource duties that you don’t do well or that you dislike. Often, general administrative tasks (e.g., appointment scheduling, answering phone calls, or fielding routine emails) can effectively be outsourced to a virtual assistant. When selecting a virtual assistant, consider choosing one in a different time zone, so your customer communications can be covered when you’re at work.
You can find a wide variety of freelancers and independent contractors through websites like Freelancer, Upwork (formerly Elance), and the International Virtual Assistants Association.
Stay organized when delegating.
When enlisting the help of independent contractors and freelancers, you need to effectively delegate the work you want them to do and keep tabs on the status of their assignments.
You can assign tasks and deadlines, chat with and send email messages to contractors, view project progress, and more by using project management tools such as Trello, Basecamp, Teamwork, and Wrike.
Also, consider using cloud storage tools (such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive), so everyone on your virtual team can access information and documents online at any time and from anywhere.
Every Step Matters!
By following the advice and tips in the “16 Steps to Starting a Business While Working Full Time” guide, you’ll have a firm foundation for moving your business forward while still working full-time.
For an additional level of support and expertise, contact SCORE to work with a business mentor. SCORE mentors offer experience in and knowledge of all aspects of starting and growing a small business. They can give you the valuable insight you need every step of the way.
Copyright © 2023 SCORE Association, SCORE.org
Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.