Can you start a business part-time?In the UK, you are legally allowed to start a business even if you are a full-time employee. In this case, you will be both employed and self-employed. The only thing that would interfere with your plans to start a business if you are an employee is if your employment contract states that you are unable to start a business while working for your current company. If you are uncertain if you may run into legal issues by starting up a business while being employed, have a chat with your head of HR. In a confidential conversation they’ll be able to explain to you what you are able to do. In most cases, starting a business while being employed should not be a problem. If you find yourself in a position in which you are both employed and self-employed, you should realise that you will be responsible for submitting a Self Assessment tax review even if your employer is paying your PAYE. You’ll also need to pay your own NIC contributions. Obviously the more time you have to invest into your business the better, but many businesses were started on a part-time basis. If your business becomes exceptionally successful you can always leave your job or other commitments, as well as get help for your business. The fact that you are only able to work on your business on a part-time basis should not deter you from bringing your business idea to life. Many people lead very busy lives but still have exciting business ideas that they want to bring to life. So whether you’re a student, single mom, or busy volunteer, you can still run a business part-time.
How many hours a day do entrepreneurs work?Unlike a regular job, there are no definitive timeframes on how long an entrepreneur should work. Many people are drawn to the idea of becoming a business owner as A recent New York Enterprise Report found that small business owners can work up to twice as much as those with regular jobs, with 50 hour and even 60 hour work weeks being commonplace. This would result in entrepreneurs working around 10 to 14 hours a day! But then there is the other side of the spectrum where budding business owners are only able to dedicate their evenings and weekends to their business, and in these cases entrepreneurs would only work between two and four hours a day. Studies have shown that the time that a business owner spends working on their business does not play a very important role in the success of their business. In fact, overworking could result in burnout which may put a halt on business operations. In the beginning stages of getting a business off the ground, more time is usually required to get the business going, and once things are running smoothly the business owner can usually take a step back. However, owning a business is full of unexpected demands and it may be difficult to plan a proper working schedule when owning a business.
How to be successful as a part-time entrepreneurBecoming a successful part-time entrepreneur can be challenging, so here are some tips to get you started:
- Develop strong time management skills – As you’ll probably be working on a tight schedule, it will be important for you to have very strong time management skills. Set up a schedule with boundaries between work, play, working on your business, family time etc. Of course some circumstances will require some flexibility, but having a defined schedule is important for staying on track.
- Find a co-founder/ business partner that you can trust – A fantastic way to get a business off the ground if you have limited time is to find a trustworthy co-founder/business partner. This way the responsibility and tasks are shared among you so that not all the pressure is on your shoulders.
- Prioritise your time – It’s time to take a good hard look at what you spend your time doing and cut back on certain ‘time-wasters’ such as TV, scrolling on social media, video games etc. Even if you just pull back a little on time-wasters, you’ll have more time to spend on your business.
- Avoid burnout – Burnout is common among part time entrepreneurs who also hold regular jobs or are at university. Stretching yourself too thin could result in you falling ill or suffering severely from stress. Ensure that you’re getting enough to eat, enough sleep, and spending enough time relaxing and on leisure activities.
- Make sure you have a solid plan in place with definitive business goals – Having a plan in place will help you stay on track and give you something to refer to should you ever feel lost or unsure of your next step.
Are you ready to become a part-time entrepreneur?If you have a strong business idea and have equipped yourself with the knowledge, capital and skills to get your business off the ground, you are most likely ready to become a part-time entrepreneur. Remember that starting a business is a marathon and not a sprint, so practice patience and ensure that you are always learning new things along the way. As long as you have some time to dedicate to your business and some sort of flexibility, the fact that you are only able to give attention to your business part time shouldn’t play a very large role in its success.
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