For quite some time, entrepreneurship and running a business has been all the rage. And now, you’re thinking about testing the waters.
Maybe you already have a full-time job and there’s an idea that’s been on your mind and you’re curious if it will work. You wonder if you should quit your job to try it out or if there’s another way to pursue your idea.
My suggestion is that instead of diving “all in” and quitting your job, test your business idea in the after-hours. These means pursuing your endeavor in the evenings and during the weekends when you’re free from the responsibilities of your “day job.”
Here’s how to do it right:
1. Pick Your Project
Whether you’re looking to launch an online business, sell a product, self-publish an book, or offer consulting services, it’s critical to focus on just one project at a time. You have limited time after your regular work day ends, and the more you try to accomplish during this time, the less likely you will get great results.
2. Establish a “Team”
Working on a new business idea on your own is tough so don’t do it alone. Identify three to five people whose business expertise you value and ask them to be on your personal “board of advisors.” These are people that would provide you with real feedback, knowledge, and guidance. Seek out people that support you with developing your idea, marketing your product and finding customers. If your circle is small, consider hiring a business coach.
3. Fill Your Education Gaps
If your new business idea is in a different field than your current job or it will require skills you haven’t applied before, you may need to “go back to school.” Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean taking the GMAT or applying for business school. A far easier way to do this is with learning platforms like Creative Live or Skillshare.
4. Set Targets To Hit
If you don’t establish some targets to hit on your journey, you’re starting a race without knowing where or when it ends. Establishing goals to hit will help you measure progress–and can provide small victories that will keep you motivated. To do this, break down your project into small parts and establish timeliness of completion for each task.
5. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
When it comes to selling your product or collecting money, don’t reinvent the wheel. Especially for a part-time business, it’s easier to utilize existing platforms like Gumroad to sell products and services like PayPal or Square to process payments. Once you’re more established, you can think about going out on your own.