To my readers in the weekly paycheck world: do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to chuck your day job, become the captain of your destiny and start a business of your own? Maybe you have a special creative talent, something you do that makes you feel proud and fulfilled, something that friends and colleagues always compliment you on?
Maybe you already daydream about starting a business, but fear that you don’t have the resources or temperament to grow it into your primary source of income? Perhaps you need a few extra dollars each month, because your paycheck is no longer big enough as prices at the gas pump and grocery store continue to rise?
You can have it both ways and start a part-time, on the side business while you continue to work full-time and enjoy the security of a regular paycheck and health benefits. People have done it for years and for all sorts of reasons, mostly as a cash flow safety net, but also to provide an outlet for a creative talent.
Former full-time employee and part-time business owner Felicia Joy has coined the term “hybrid entrepreneurship” and she defines the process as “the act of working a full-time job while building a business part-time.” Joy explains it all for you in her new book “Hybrid Entrepreneurship: How the Middle Class Can Beat the Slow Economy” (2011).
Joy advises that although your part-time business venture will not be your main source of income to still treat its launch seriously. She recommends that you write a business plan to ensure that you cover all bases, such as devising a good marketing strategy, identifying your target customers, perfecting the business model and assessing start-up costs.
Furthermore, Joy says it’s important to create a professional image for your business: print business cards, build a website, have appropriate print collaterals, open a separate business email account and maybe also have a separate business telephone line.
Network for your business venture, so you will meet peers with whom you can form strategic partnerships and referral relationships that will help you to grow your business more quickly. Join a professional association related to your business, to receive access to information and other resources that will help you grow as an entrepreneur.
At work, volunteer to take on assignments and lead projects that will help you acquire skills that you’ll need in your business, such as sales, operations, bookkeeping or marketing. As Joy says “Learn to leverage your day job in a way that helps you in your business and also helps you at your job.”
Next week, I’ll give a few examples of part-time businesses that you may want to start.
Thanks for reading,