1. Divide life and work
If you decide to start your own business part-time, you'll need excellent time-management skills, strong self-discipline and support from family and friends. It's a big commitment. To succeed, think small. A series of small steps will get you as far as one giant step.
These steps include:
- Developing a business concept
- Writing a business plan
- Acquiring basic business equipment
- Setting a long-term target date to go full time
- Aiming for moderate first-year revenues
- Selecting time-saving business equipment
- Maintaining top performance at your day job
2. Create a workplace
Set aside a comfortable working environment in your den, basement or garage, and concentrate on the basics: a good desk, an ergonomic chair, plenty of light, a filing cabinet, work space, a computer, a professional-grade phone and any peripherals you may need.
3. Use your vacation to test a full-time run
If you think you might be ready to transition from full- to part-time, consider using your vacation to do it. In that one- or two-week period, you can find out what it's like to devote your whole day to the business. Having your own business is a way of life. You need a full-time reality check to be sure that you really like it.
4. Maintain your benefits
If and when you do go full-time, don't forget to factor in the expense of health insurance if you do make the transition. This may be something as simple as opting to take advantage of a COBRA plan that allows you to retain your company insurance for a period of time after you leave. Of course, the full cost of the insurance will be your own responsibility; your former employer will no longer pay for it.
5. Keep a stash for Uncle Sam
Another factor that is too often forgotten is the amount of money you have to pay the tax man. Before you make the leap to full-time entrepreneur, calculate the net amount you need (after taxes) to sustain yourself and your family. Then add in all your business expenses to that amount, remembering to factor in additional self-employment taxes that you did not have to bear as somebody else's employee. The final figure is the amount of revenue your business needs to take in before you can quit your part-time job.
6. Involve your family
Make sure that everyone involved—partners, clients, spouses and children—see the move as positive, and most of all, don't forget to take care of your health and your spirit during the transition.
Keep Reading: How to ensure success
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.