Starting a business and working for yourself is a dream for many. The last two years have seen an unprecedented number of people leave their desk jobs to pursue the benefits of working from home and being their own boss. But running a business is expensive, and not everyone can afford to quit their day jobs right away—especially if they have family to support or depend on their jobs for health benefits. For those who are still working full-time while trying to grow a side job into a reliable income source, consider some tips to help get organized:
If you are working full-time while getting your small solo business off the ground, you probably wish there were more hours in the day (and night). Efficiency with your time is more important than anything else so that you can maximize your productivity at both jobs and still find time for family, leisure, and sleep. Minimize distractions at home by creating a minimalist workspace that lends itself to purpose and focus. Find a place that is private, quiet, and fully dedicated to your new venture. The more productively and efficiently you can work your side job, the sooner you can make it your main job.
A highly-functional, easy-to-navigate website is expected by consumers. A quality website educates potential clients about your services, location, and prices, and it gives them ways to contact you as well as ways to pay you. If you plan to sell products online, your website should be optimized for mobile, as well, since many people shop directly from their phones.
When time is stretched as thin as possible, one of the first things to get neglected is the bookkeeping. But attentive bookkeeping is vital to growing a business. Not only does your bookkeeping alert you to unpaid invoices from your clients, it also reminds you when your own bills are due, maintains important expense records for tax filing, and keeps you up-to-date on how much cash you have on hand at any given time. Ultimately, it will be your financial records that will tell you when your business is profitable enough to become your main source of income, so they need to be current and accurate. A small investment in an online accounting software is a great way to automate many of your financial transactions so that bookkeeping takes hardly any of your time and is far more accurate than manual calculation and reconciling.
You have to get the word out about your business in order to be competitive, but marketing often takes one of the biggest bites out of a small business budget. Before launching into costly marketing campaigns, take advantage of low- and no-cost opportunities that are all around. Email lists, social media posts, referral incentives, and an online business profile that shows your business on a map and allows customers to leave reviews are budget-friendly ways to promote a new venture.
Automating time-draining tasks increases productivity and reduces errors simultaneously. Automation is the single best way to free up your time so that you can focus more on your business and less on administration. A plethora of online tools are available at affordable prices to help automate and streamline administrative and bookkeeping tasks. Depending on your business needs, you may want to explore automation for:
· scheduling appointments
· sorting and/or responding to emails
· posting to social media
· sending out invoices
· tracking expenses
Trying to balance so many responsibilities can become stressful and overwhelming if you don't set realistic goals for what you can accomplish in your spare hours. Working a full-time job while trying to get your solo side venture off the ground takes a lot of organization to stay productive at each. Maintaining your strong work ethic and a clear separation between the two jobs is imperative until you are ready to transition out of your current employment to fulfill the dream of working for yourself.