Going solo: The road to entrepreneurship

Many members of the BookingBug community are entrepreneurs who have taken the leap from full-time employment to starting their own business.

Starting out on your own is not always a smooth process, especially when you are already employed. The time and monetary requirements often deter people from turning their business idea into a reality. So is it really possible to juggle a project as big as this alongside full-time employment?

The answer is yes.

After reading this great piece by Harvard Business Review, we thought we’d highlight some of the key points of the article, and share some of the knowledge and experiences of the BookingBug community.

*Seek out gaps in your current schedule
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One of the biggest issues many people encounter when starting their own business is finding the time to devote to it. The time required to dedicate to a project as large as this is not often there, or at least doesn’t feel like it. So start by logging your current schedule, see where you have gaps that you can make use of, and see if you can shave some time off your current commitments to work on your project.

Make time over weekends and after work to dedicate to your new venture. As well as this, try to make use of day-to-day opportunities to be productive. Commuting to work? Manage your finances on the journey. Doing your weekly food shop? Give your consultant a call. You’ll be surprised how much progress you can make just by utilising these small, opportune moments.

*Make a plan
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Here at BookingBug, we hear time and again that time is the most precious asset of any small business. It’s one thing finding the time to start your own business, but managing that time can be just as important.

Create a timetable, and break your tasks into achievable chunks to keep you on a realistic schedule to meet your deadlines. It’s also important that you aren’t left out of pocket during the final stages of the project, so don’t forget to include monthly/quarterly reminders to put away your cash.

Learn to be flexible and be prepared to make adjustments to your plan as you go. It’s very likely that unforeseen circumstances will play a part in pushing tasks back, so incorporate appropriate push back times into each of your tasks’ durations. It’s better to give yourself more time to play with – it will save you a headache later.

It’s also worth setting yourself a deadline for when you wish to leave your current job (taking into account your savings!). This will keep you focused and motivate you to complete outstanding tasks before your transition to full-time entrepreneurship.

*Utilise your current job
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While planning your new business venture, it’s easy to become distracted and let your day job suffer. Make sure when you are not working on your project, you are putting time and effort into your current job. Use it as a tool to gain more skills – why not ask for training in certain areas that you may need for your project? Your workplace offers all kinds of resources, and it is worth making the most of these before you leave.

Be transparent with your work colleagues
This relates to the above point. At work, honesty is the best policy when it comes to your new business venture. If you are open with your colleagues about your plans, they are more likely to be in favour of your new venture. After all, your workforce is a pool of various skills and talents, and they can offer you some great advice and guidance.

*Outsource where possible
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It’s okay to admit you can’t do everything alone. If you have the funding to do so, try outsourcing the parts of your project that you feel you are neglecting or simply don’t have the skills or time for. There are plenty of tools and resources out there that can support any aspect of your business venture that you don’t have the expertise in.

Starting your own business may feel like a huge weight while you are working full-time, but it is possible. Making use of small opportune moments will allow your project to progress, without interrupting your current working life. As well as this, strategic planning with the help of a timetable will allow you to budget accordingly, and accommodate for the unexpected. Bottom line, give you and your project plenty of time to grow and develop.

Click here to read the full article published in Harvard Business Review that inspired this blog post.