It’s pretty common for people to wonder whether they can start a business in their spare time while still keeping a day job. While you can certainly take those first few steps towards pursuing your big goals in your spare time, there will come a point where you’ll need to make a full-time commitment. Before you quit your day job and work on growing your venture, here are some important things to consider…
The Size of the Competition
No matter what kind of niche you’re thinking of going into, there’s sure to be someone doing the same thing, or planning to around the same time. These rivals are one of the many things you’ll need to consider before you devote yourself entirely to your business idea. Who else is holding a chunk of the market? How well are they doing it? How easy will it be for you to undermine their influence? By taking some time to study the competition, you’ll be able to formulate a plan as to how you can out-shine them, learn from other’s mistakes, and avoid the many pitfalls that are set out in front of you. If there’s one big brand dominating the marketplace, find out their weak spot, and determine to make this the pride of your business.
Skills and Experience
You may have eaten in a lot of restaurants in your time, but that doesn’t mean you know how to run one. This is a fairly basic principle that a lot of would-be entrepreneurs have ignored, and ended up shooting themselves in the foot. Even if you have a truly revolutionary idea, you need to make sure that you have the right skills and experience to run a business effectively. If you’ve been working in a similar niche, and know how the business model works like the back of your hand, then you probably won’t have that many gaps to fill. Still, if you never got to a very senior position at those businesses, it may be worth looking into qualifications like an MSc Business and Management, or planning to work at the business for another year until you’re more confident with how the upper echelons of the company work.
Some lucky entrepreneurs, like Howard Hughes for instance, were born into money, and were able to afford some pretty reckless decisions in pursuit of their business dreams. Unfortunately, the large majority of us simply don’t have this luxury. If you don’t have the money to self-fund the launch of your idea, then you’re going to need to source funds from somewhere. This means applying for bank loans, advertising for an investor, or even asking your friends and family for a cash kick-starter. You should also research business grants that may be available. These can be hard to come by, but if you get one, you’ll have much less to worry about in that uncertain period when you’re trying to get your business off the ground. For many, this is the first and most challenging hurdle in any business plan.