If you’re one of the few entrepreneurial-minded individuals who want to pursue a career working for themselves online, then you should be proud of yourself for pursuing this dream.
You might be doing this on top of a fulltime job – maybe working on weekends or after your regular work hours. That takes a lot of dedication and good time management skills.
Or you could be trying to build a part time business because of other reasons. Maybe you don’t have enough hours in the day to pursue it full time because you’re a caretaker due to your own ill health.
Either way, it’s impressive to go after what you want – and the good news is, even building a business a part time, you should start to see good results quickly from your efforts if you plan it out properly.
Which Online Business Models Work Best for Part Timers?
There are so many options to choose from. Is one better than another for those who only work on their business part time? Not necessarily. But sometimes it can interfere, depending on the business model and your schedule.
For example, you might not be able to pursue a service-oriented business life ghostwriting or graphics or web design if you never know exactly how much time you’ll have to work on your business.
It’s possible that your life is hectic and you’re pursuing this as a “when I have a few spare moments” goal. That’s perfectly okay, too! You just need to find something that fits your schedule so that you don’t wind up with angry clients and customers because you didn’t meet a deadline.
If you do have set hours and you know that you have exactly 2 hours a day to put into your business and that you can write 5 pages of content, then you can figure out a delivery schedule for ghostwriting, for example – and you wouldn’t be putting your business reputation at risk.
You also want to allow for physical and mental exhaustion. If you’re already stretched to the gills with work and life and trying to supplement your income with a part time endeavor online, then you might want something where it comes easy to you – not something that you struggle to learn and master.
Blogging is a great business model because it enables you to work when you can and pull in a variety of profits. For example, your income can be derived on a blog from:
- Banner ad revenue
- AdSense links
- Tangible affiliate reviews
- Digital affiliate reviews
- Your own info product creations (like eBooks)
The great thing about schedules is that blogging allows you to schedule blogs ahead of time, so if you have more time on one day, you can queue up a few days’ worth of blog posts and let them automatically go live without you having to log in and publish them.
Coaching may or may not be a good business model for you because it requires you to be available at certain times of the day. If you’re a day worker planning to work on your part time business at night, that may not work for your clients – or it could be perfect timing! It depends on the niche and each individual’s needs.
A membership site can pull in quite a bit of money for you – and it doesn’t require you to be there daily except to make sure things are running smoothly. You can create an entire membership ahead of time that drip feeds to your customers when they sign up. Then you can spend the bulk of your work hours on marketing and promotion.
Things like affiliate marketing and info product development are all easy to pursue as a part time work at home individual. You write when you can – even on your lunch hour at work – and publish whenever something is completed.
Balancing Life and Work for Part Time Entrepreneurs
Perhaps the biggest obstacle any work at home man or woman faces is the balance of life and work. You have to eliminate distractions – whether it’s the TV or a family member – and get things done with the few hours you have to invest in your business.
Make sure your loved ones understand what it is you need to do during your work hours. Sometimes family gets confused because they see you home yet you’re saying that you’re working.
Any interruption is a pull on your resources that contribute to your profit plan. But of course, working from home is also a perk. If your whole reason for doing this is so you can enjoy more time with your kids, for example – then by all means, put the keyboard down and hold them for a few minutes if they need you!
You’ll need to make sure that you get plenty of sleep and keep yourself from becoming run down. Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew and you end up exhausted and uninspired to work on your business.
Which Tasks Should You Do in Your Part Time Hours?
Deciding which tasks to work on in a limited amount of time can make you feel stressed. But it’s easier to manage than you might think. You basically have four branches of your business:
You should be creating something in your business. That could be a piece of new content that reviews a product, an eBook, a viral report that you plan to launch with money links in it, etc.
Once created, you’ll be focusing on promoting your online pages. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who don’t stop at task #1 – they’re the ones who really dig into the promotional aspect of their business and build a brand and a buzz for their business.
You can do that through social marketing (like using Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). You can also write press releases, participate in forums, and comment on blogs to help promote your online offers.
There’s a difference between promotion and traffic, although some entrepreneurs use the terms interchangeably. Promotion is how you develop a name for yourself. It’s how you engage people and create loyal customers.
Traffic is the mere act of getting your target audience to your site so that they can build that connection with you and convert into paying customers. Traffic can be achieved through your promotions (like when you Tweet a link to your site), but you can also use different methods.
If you’re building a list of subscribers, you always want to notify them whenever you have something new up. This includes blog posts, reviews, and even new products for sale.
You can also purchase advertising for traffic using things like Pay Per Click ads on Google, or by purchasing solo ads that go out to another marketer’s list of subscribers.
Analysis is something that never ends. Some people never tackle this task – and subsequently, their business doesn’t achieve the most success that it could if they’d just paid attention to the details.
You need to analyze what you’re doing online and always look for ways to:
- Improve your products
- Increase your traffic
- Heighten your conversion rate
For example, if you have sales copy for one of your own info products, you want to always be split testing to see how one element performs against another one. You’ll have two identical copies of the same sales letter – with just one item slightly different so you can see which one out-performs the other.
It might be something as simple as the color of your text, or a headline change. Maybe the font, or an image you’re using will make a different. Everything should be tested and tracked over time.
How Outsourcing Can Help You Get Ahead
As a part time entrepreneur, you need to make the most of all of your resources – including both time and money. What you currently lack compared to other fulltime entrepreneurs is time.
You may even lack money at this time, but as you see earnings coming in, put aside some of those profits to reinvest in your business using freelance workers who can help your profits grow in a shorter period of time.
For example, let’s say you took the time to create your own info product. It’s stellar and you think it will be a big hit on a minisite or on Kindle – wherever you decide to launch it.
Problem is, you need an eCover for that info product and you aren’t good at graphics. You have two choices. You can download a tool and spend time learning how to use it and create your own eCover (which will probably look amateurish because it may not be your strength), or you can outsource it to a pro.
Some people mistakenly believe that freelancers all charge too much – so what they do is either ignore them and take the DIY (do it yourself) route – or they go to opposite extremes and hire a cheap worker on a site like Fiverr where they won’t get the best quality (it’s the same as if you did it yourself in many cases).
True, some Fiverr gigs can be well worth your money – but you can hire a proven professional for a decent amount and get perks like revisions or extra specs that you’d have to “add on” with a Fiverr worker.
What should you outsource? There are several ways to decide this:
- Things you dislike doing
- Things you aren’t good at
- Things someone is better at
This career is supposed to be enjoyable to you – so if you hate writing, by all means, outsource it to someone else. If you aren’t qualified to create graphics, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by doing it yourself and creating a poor visual for your product.
Even outsourcing things you enjoy and that you can do yourself is sometimes a smart move – if someone else can do it better. Like sales copy – if someone else converts at 35% and the most you can do is 7%, then it makes sense to hand that task over to another, more qualified professional.
Tools and Tips That Make Your Part Time Efforts Easier
As someone who has fewer hours to work on your business, you need tools and ideas that help you take formidable shortcuts in your business. Consider investing in tools like keyword research tools that help you pick out profitable words and phrases you can hone in on without doing much guesswork with a freebie tool.
Set up a systemwhere you can take payments and automatically deliver products without having to be at your computer 24/7.
Part time entrepreneurs often perform better than fulltime marketers do – for the sheer fact that they know their time is limited, so they use a laser-focused approach to completing their tasks whenever they get the opportunity!