If you run a business part time, you probably face challenges full-time entrepreneurs don’t have to deal with. After all, many people who run a part-time business also hold down a full-time job, or have other obligations that keep them from dedicating 100 percent of their time to the business. If you’re looking for ways to improve efficiency in your part-time business, here are six to consider.
1. Use Time Management Apps
One of the biggest challenges many part-time business owners have is finding the time to accomplish all that needs to be done in fewer hours per week. That can be a problem in a part-time business because if you’re not making the most of your time, your business’ productivity — and, ultimately, profitability — will suffer. Luckily, there are some apps that can help you manage your time better.
- Basecamp: This project-management app helps you streamline communications with everyone you need to stay in touch with for your projects. With it, you can handle multiple projects at once, pull together the people you need, and conduct all communications from one place, including progress reports. Sign up for a free two-month trial on the site.
- Sprinklr: Whether you need to plan a social media campaign, analyze customer behavior, organize your online content, or plan and execute an online marketing campaign in real time, you can do it all from with help from Sprinklr.
- RescueTime: This app monitors your time online, so you can figure out where you’re spending the majority of it, and where it’s going to waste. You can view your logged time on your personal dashboard, and you will also be emailed a weekly report showing how you spent your time the prior week. Use a free version of the app or pay $9 per month for the premium version.
2. Explain your Time Restraints to Friends and Family
When you’re running a business at night and on the weekends, you rarely have time for long phone calls or a lot of social activities during your part-time work hours. Many non-entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that when people run their own business, they can follow any schedule they want, so they don’t always respect your time. Be sure to explain to the people close to you what kind of time restraints you are under, and ask for their support.
3. Consider Taking on a Partner
Since time is so limited in a part-time venture, some entrepreneurs start their business with a partner who can help share the load. This not only frees up more time because there are two people working on projects and tasks, but it doubles the abilities and talents brought to the company.
4. Outsource as Much as You Can
Part-time business owners have just as many marketing, customer service, and organizational tasks as full-time entrepreneurs, but only a fraction of the time to do them in. You can outsource some of your work, such as content creation, accounting, marketing, and administration tasks. You will pay less than you would for an employee, and you can scale your workforce according to your needs.
5. Use Financial Forecasting
If you plan to eventually go full time, you’ll have to keep a close eye on your financials to know the right time to take the leap. Financial forecasting can help you do that, so you should regularly run financial forecasting reports such as a break-even analysis, which predicts when your business will begin to pay for itself, sales projections to estimate the amount of sales you will bring in within a predetermined time period, and other financial forecasts.
6. Decide Whether or Not to Tell Your Boss
It is not illegal to start a part-time business while holding down a full-time job, unless you signed an employee contract that prohibits it, or if you have a noncomplete document that prevents your part-time business from competing with your employer’s. On the other hand, your employer is counting on your to do your job, so don’t allow your business’ needs to interfere with your job performance. Whether or not you tell your boss about the business is entirely up to you, and will depend on your specific circumstances. You are under no obligation to do so, unless you signed one of the documents mentioned above.
Running a part-time business is demanding. To be successful, you should take every possible opportunity to get more done in less time and track your business’ success.