The Pitfalls of a Part-Time Business

Perhaps you have a secure career but have always wanted to pursue your passion for something altogether different. Or maybe you are between jobs but need to generate some extra income. You might have young children at home and you do not want to be committed to a full-time work obligation.

In all of these cases, a part-time business may seem like the perfect compromise; and indeed, it can offer some benefits. But what often gets overlooked are the pitfalls of running a business part-time and the unanticipated ways you will become sidelined.

This blog post will help you take a realistic look at the possibility of a part-time business, taking into consideration what some of those roadblocks might be.

Part-time is never part-time

Customers do not stop having needs and expectations at the half way mark. Especially with a business venture, it is very challenging to draw lines indicating where the business starts and ends, from a time management point of view in particular. More than likely (and especially if the business is successful), your business will occupy much more time than you expected. If you are juggling competing obligations (like parenthood or another salaried job), this can become quite challenging.

Success requires focus

If you are trying to get a successful business off the ground, it will take quite a bit of time and effort. Rarely does a business take off from a half-hearted approach. And a part time effort, by definition, is largely half-hearted. To drive success, you need to be giving your new business your undivided attention.

Be honest with yourself about your goals and objectives. How will you feel, even after devoting part of your time to this business, if it fails? Will that be good enough? Or would you rather focus full time on this initiative to be sure you are doing what is necessary to drive successful results?

Note that if your business already has a track record of success, and you are rather interested in scaling back, this is less of an issue.

Desperation can create a sense of urgency

If you have decided to pursue your business part-time because you have a steady job and you are ambivalent about giving that up, you should ask yourself if this is in the best interest of your business. That steady pay check, while it is putting food on the table, may be serving as a disincentive to double down and take your business to new heights. Not having that pay check, on the other hand, can create a palpable sense of urgency that will push you in ways you would not have felt otherwise. It is a scary proposition, but often one that is necessary.

Be prepared to pass up opportunities

There are inevitable limitations to what you can achieve part time. You should expect that in due course, you will have to pass up on opportunities because of those constraints.

While this may not be in the best interest of your business, you probably won’t have much choice. You should acknowledge this upfront because it can be very tricky to take on those opportunities, only to find that you cannot deliver.

Are you thinking of launching a part-time business? Or perhaps you have a full-time business that you are seeking to scale back? In either case, we can help you navigate the potential pitfalls so that you are set up for success. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Background Shape Background Shape Background Shape Background Shape Background Shape

Partner with Miller Bernstein