small business

9 Steps to Starting a Small Part-time Business

Image courtesy of W. Kozak

Starting your own small business can seem like a daunting task at first. This is why many people never attempt it. However, if you break up your duties into smaller tasks, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, if you follow these steps to starting a small business you may find that you’re a profitable entrepreneur in no time.

While you may not have to complete all of these steps, or complete them in this exact order, the following list should give you a better idea about the things you should be thinking about and planning for your business start up.

1.    Brainstorm Business Ideas. You may already have a business idea in mind, but it’s important to fully explore your options in the very beginning. Think about a few different businesses that you had in mind for yourself. Make a pros and cons list and see if you can narrow down your choices. Remember that starting a business is never something to be taken lightly, even if it’s just part-time.

2.   Have a Business Plan. If you’re starting your own small business, you must have a business plan. Even if your plan is simple, it should be written out for you in detailed steps. Too many people go in blindly without clear goals. They may end up profitable, but probably not nearly as profitable as a company with a business plan.

3.    Go Over Your Finances and Consider Hiring Help. Since you’re starting a part-time business, you might find yourself on a tight budget. This just means that you’ll have to plan carefully and make sure that you make some smart financial decisions. It’s a skill that every entrepreneur should work on in life. Also, the part-time nature of your business might mean that you don’t have a whole lot of time to invest. This means that you might need to look into hiring help, especially for some of the more tedious work.

4.    Come up with a Timeline. There are probably quite a few steps that you have laid out that need to be completed in order to reach your goals. Set out a timeline for every goal. Make sure that you set attainable goals, but still try to push yourself to achieve in a timely fashion.

5.    Setting up a Business. You might want to ask the advice of a local accountant about your particular laws when it comes to setting up a business. This is just because every country, state, county or even city may have special rules that you need to follow. There are usually many hoops to jump through right at start up, but once you get through it maintaining your various licenses from year to year shouldn’t be much of a problem.

6.    Taking Action. Your next step is to take some bold action to achieve those goals. Your business is not just going to launch itself. Starting a business takes especially hard work right at the beginning.

7.    Using Your Plan B. Sometimes everything will not go according to your plans. This is why it’s usually a good idea to have a Plan B in place. Your Plan B may end up getting you out of a tight spot.

8.    Evaluating Your Progress. As you continue on your journey as an entrepreneur, you’ll want to pause to evaluate your progress at certain intervals. Check on things like your profits and efficiency. See if you can make bolder goals, or maybe you need to scale back a bit. You should be constantly striving to be the best you can be.

9.    Maintaining Your Business. In the end it’ll come down to maintaining your small business. One of the final steps to starting a small business is to just keep doing what is working for you, but never fall into a pattern where you stop trying to better yourself. Your part-time business likely has the potential for full-time income and then some.

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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