Consider These Ideas to Become a Part-Time Entrpreneur

Best-selling books and Shark Tank manifestos would have you believe that being an entrepreneur is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either you’re just another sad rat in the race or you’ve broken off your chains to dedicate yourself 100 percent to your million-dollar idea.

While that makes for great entertainment, it’s rarely the case. At some point, if the idea behind the business is a true winner, then by all means it will need to become your everything. But, at the outset, most people would be crazy to put all their eggs in one basket.

Instead, take the realistic path. That is how many entrepreneurs began — and it is the best route for most people who are considering going into business for themselves.

Become a “10% Entrepreneur”

The most sensible method is to start slow and dabble as you turn a good idea into a potential business. Refine the idea, re-work the design, consider the marketplace, and think about the long term.

This evolution cannot be rushed, so it is best reserved as something in which you toil with at night and on weekends. Put 10 percent of your time into your new venture at first and see how this suits your lifestyle.

In fact, your willingness to put in the extra time — even when you don’t have much available — will tell you a lot about your own faith in the concept. Your eagerness to keep grinding will also determine whether you truly have the dedication to push your idea over the top.

Value Your Time

Time, especially early on, will be your most valuable resource. Operating on a shoestring budget — and no profitability — means you will have to do without certain luxuries. But if you can afford to delegate some non-core responsibilities to third parties, do it — immediately.

Money can be recouped. Once time is gone, however, it’s gone forever. So, when your priorities, especially early on, must be keeping motivation high and momentum rolling, dedicate your funding toward any low-hanging fruit. This will free you up to focus your energy on the bigger strategic goals and maintain some semblance of a work-life balance.

Finding a co-founder to keep you on an even keel is a great idea, but you should also utilize resources like a cloud contact center to streamline customer service. These services can even supply you with well-manicured data reports that will increase your business intelligence and improve users’ overall experience.

Understand Your Potential

It’s hard to come up with a unique idea. Chances are you don’t have the next Snapchat on your hands. That’s okay — but you need to understand that up front.

The more typical entrepreneur shouldn’t even be seeking a revolutionary concept. Instead, they should be looking to fill a niche or a market need. Doing that well, without being delusional, means understanding what type of profits and growth are likely down the line.

Filling a need for an underserved market — perhaps with local insurance sales or by opening an auto-body repair shop — can be lucrative. The same goes for niche markets, like making ultralight backpacks for hikers or selling designer Christmas ornaments. Just don’t confuse that with Netflix.

Monetizing a Passion Project

Some ideas will simply never scale, and confusing a hobby with a business is common. This is why you need to start slow, keep your day job as you determine new best practices, and put plenty of time into deciding whether you truly want to make the leap to full-time entrepreneur.

And remember: If you don’t quit your 9-to-5, that’s fine, too. Such advice rarely makes it to TV or the bookstore, but some of the best strategic decision-making has come from those who realize they don’t have a million-dollar idea. There’s no shame in that.

In fact, understanding that you have a $50,000 idea and then finding the spare time to create a company that can pull in that sum — on top of your salary — might be the best move you ever make. Finding a way to get paid for your passion is the hallmark of a part-time entrepreneur. And it can be your route to finding more happiness and more money.

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