Increase Your Income OR Cut Expenses – Which One Is Easier?

Sometimes, it’s easier to increase your income than it is to cut expenses.

Maybe a new business which can be part time can increase your income. Looks like a good idea. But what are the pros and cons?

Is the business really cut out to be part time? Working full time for someone else?

Not every part-time job is suited to non-business hours. For instance, if you’re selling a product, will you be able to get back with your prospective customers in the evening or is a more immediate response necessary? That’s particularly important with a service business — for example, a part-time wedding video service may be able to meet with clients on weeknights and weekends. The same can’t be said for an auto mechanic who’s missing noontime calls about blown transmissions and roadside breakdowns. So, make it clear in your own mind whether, in fact, a few hours when you can steal them is feasible for your business. “You need to figure out how you’re going to lower the sales barrier,” says Kim T. Gordon, author of “Bringing Home the Business.” “If you want to run a part-time business and you’ve got calls coming in that you have to answer at night, you may only irritate customers or miss them completely.”

Increase Your Income – 5 part-time jobs that really work:

1. Wedding consultant
2. Web site designer
3. Handyman
4. Electronic repair service
5. Interior design

Take it seriously. It may just be part time, but don’t overlook the necessary legwork that goes into building any business. Investigate your competition and research what sort of target audience may be interested in your product or service. That’s not only instrumental in developing a successful part-time operation, but adequate homework can also help you determine whether a business jibes with a part-time commitment or mandates more attention.

Will you require help?

It may surprise some who might see a part-time business as a simple sideline gig, but the issue of when you have to get business accomplished raises the possibility of contracting with others. Again, if yours is a product-oriented business, give some thought to hiring a company (or person) to take phone orders and handle some of the sales and product information. At the very least, look into setting up a telephone system through which customers can place orders. “If you use a plain old answering machine, chances are good that you’ll end up with nothing,” says Gordon. “That’s a good way to thwart customers and send them running down to Target instead.”

Should you tell the boss?

Many part-time businesses are spawned by people who are working full time for someone else. Make sure you read over your company’s by-laws. Some companies require you to tell your supervisor, and in a handful of employers expressly forbid outside employment. Many employers have no problem with their workers pursuing something else on the side, particularly if the part-time business is completely different from the company’s activities. If that’s the case, feel free to bend the boss’s ear. However, be careful what sort business you start up if, by chance, you signed a non-compete agreement. Even if you didn’t, play things close to the vest if your business could be construed as competitive. “For instance, never steal clients who call in to your company,” says Gordon. “In fact, in these instances I recommend that people find an aspect of the business that your employer doesn’t really cover and focus on that in their own part-time business.”

Don’t spread yourself too thin

It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to operate several part-time work at home businesses — particularly if they can piece together the equivalent of a full-time income. But, be careful about too many irons in too many fires. You may discover that you’re unable to devote adequate time to any one operation. “That’s not really the way to build a business; that’s more if you want to make some money on the side,” says Gordon. “Instead, find one thing you’re passionate about and go with that.”

Don’t kid yourself — it’s a sacrifice.

Do the math. A 40-hour full-time workweek augmented by the time required to run a part-time business adds up to a genuine commitment. It may even exceed the time required by just taking the business full time. So, prepare yourself — and the people around you — for the effort and obligation that a part-time operation may ultimately demand. “Be sure that you bring your friends and family on board with your idea, because there’s a very good chance they may not be seeing much of you,” Gordon says. “If you’re putting any effort into the business at all, it’s not going to be a matter of 10 hours a week. It’s very easy to lose any sort of life outside of work and, in that sense, you’ve got to be ready to make that sacrifice.”

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