One of the best of the small business associations is the University of Central Arkansas Small Business Advancement National Center (SBANC.)
While the ideal way of starting a small business would be to free yourself up from every other venture, problem, time consuming effort and obligation and throw yourself into starting a small business every waking moment, this isn’t an ideal world. Few of us can afford the luxury of setting everything else aside to devote all our time and efforts, as well as capital – to starting a small business.
Some of us have the itch to become an entrepreneur but have to “keep our day jobs” while we give this starting a small business idea a go. It may well be, in fact, that starting a small business part time is the most common entrepreneurial process.
Part of succeeding at starting a small business if you have to do so part time is to know your schedule and your time limitations and choose a business concept that you enjoy, have some training or expertise in and can be accomplished around your work schedule. The other alternative is to change your work schedule either with your current employer or choose an alternative employer. Starting a small business takes effort and focus as well as time.
It may be that your current job is not only time consuming but also the type of work that requires a great deal of energy, a great deal of concentration, a very regimented schedule and perhaps the responsibility that tends to have you taking your work home with you either actually or mentally. This sort of work style doesn’t lend itself well to starting a small business part time.
Let’s look at an example of a journalist who has a successful writing and editing business from her home office. When she decided she was interested in starting a small business she had been working for many years in newspaper management. Her executive responsibilities required 70 and 80 hour workweeks and even then she took work home.
After many years of this she began to think more and more about her dream of starting a small writing business. It called to her more and more urgently. But how was she to even think of starting a small business when she had little time, energy or focus left in her busy work week? Besides, she had to work to keep the roof over her head.
What she did to determine if starting a small business was even possible, was to sit down and write out a budget, deciding where she could eliminate some non-essential expenses in her life, and what she absolutely had to have to live on. She then looked for, and found, a job that not only brought in enough money to live on but freed up a lot of her daytime work week hours as well as her mental focus. She took a customer service job in a call center.
Starting a small business was going to be possible with this job where it had not been with her newspaper career for a number of reasons. It required considerably less mental acumen, it didn’t require that she take her work home with her, it was easy, the hours were flexible (she worked 3pm-midnight Thursday through Sunday) and the dress code was highly casual. She could work all day starting her small business and then don her jeans and go into the call center in the evening. Now she’s quit that call center job and her dream of starting a small business has been fulfilled. Her business is thriving and she works at it full time.
You will find links to other small business associations from the SBANC site. These small business associations include the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) offering one on one counseling in person or online, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its Small Business Development Centers which provide a ton of small business assistance including mentoring, training, publications, tapes, workshops and financing, Allied Academies – a worldwide research and training group, the Small Business Institute which provides entrepreneurial teaching and training, and the Federation of Business Disciplines, a group of educators devoted to small business teaching conferences.
About the Author: M. Johnsona operates a variety of small business websites and newsletters. Visit the website for many business start up ideas. www.smallbiztipscenter.com
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