You have an idea for a part-time business—great!
Before you dig in, take a step back and set some clear business goals for yourself.
WHY: Your personal goal
Why do you want to start a part-time business? Purely for extra income? Do you want to make enough so you can cover your expenses and continue making your crafts or art? Do you want to make enough to cover a specific expense—a new car, a vacation, college expenses, or medical expenses? Personal satisfaction, and the pleasure of helping others, or seeing your craft or art go to good homes? Or do you want to eventually grow your part-time business into a full-time one?
Whatever your reason, identify it so you can plan your business to meet that goal.
HOW MUCH: Your financial goal
You’ve identified your personal goal; now decide on what your financial goal will be. If your goal is tied to a specific reason—like buying a new car—research the amount you will need.
Balance that financial goal against what you can realistically make, and just how much work you’ll have to produce, in a given time period, to meet it.
How much can you make? Sit down and do the math:
[product retail price (how much you sell your service or product for}] – [expenses to create product + expenses to sell product] = your net income
If you are planning on providing a service, say pool cleaning, how many pools will you have to clean a month to reach your financial goal in a year?
What can you expect your expenses to be? In the case of pool cleaning: fuel, car maintenance, supplies, and equipment.
WHAT: Your product or service goal
What are you selling? Identify your product or service offerings. Do they fill a niche in your area or market?
WHO: Identify your customer base goal
Who do you want to sell to? How will you reach them? Identifying the customers you want to reach will help you focus your product line or services.
HOW: Time management and commitment goal
How much time do you want to spend on your part-time business? Do you have enough free time to devote to your new business? Is your family supportive of your potential time commitment? Will you need support from others—packing up orders, filling in if you are sick, or maintaining equipment? Make a plan and set a goal for your time in running the business and creating new products.
HOW: Equipment and supplies goals
Do you already have the equipment and supplies you need for your part-time business? Perhaps you are starting out with what you have, with the goal of adding to your equipment or supplies after you start making money. Plan out just what that goal will look like: when you’d like to add equipment and the cost, what supplies you will need to maintain and/or expand your product offerings.
WHEN: Establish a year-schedule goal
What happens when?
Make a year schedule—even just a casual one—for your new business. When will you list items for sale and where? Factor in prepping for various holiday sales or activities, including any family commitments you will have. Where do tax and any legal matters fall on your schedule? When will you have payments for expenses due? Will you want to do any marketing—where and when and for how much? Your goal to establish a schedule for your business will keep you on track and ready for just about anything.
WHERE: Set up your office or workspace goal
Your goal should be to establish a place to work—a studio, an office or workshop—on your part-time business, before you start offering your products or services for sale.
And finally, although the following questions are not really goals, they will help you identify important aspects of the above goals:
- What excites you the most about starting your part-time business?
- What are your biggest fears about starting your part-time business?
- After reading through the above suggested goals, do you feel a bit overwhelmed and in need of assistance or expert advice?
Be honest in answering these questions, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Your business will be successful if you address potential problems or fears upfront, and if you get the assistance you may need.
By setting and meeting these goals you’ll get your business off on the right foot:
- Setting realistic expectations
- Stopping problems before they happen
- Ensuring that you will have the tools you need
- Setting up your business to succeed
You and your part-time business are on the path to success!