The pro’s and con’s of working part time whilst starting your business
Article by: Bobieh Ansah of Flyprints
All entrepreneurs including I have the dream being free. We're all free thinkers who have the desire to step out of mediocrity and claim our rightful spots as masters of our universes. (Wow I need 2 stop watching Conan) doing what we want, when we want how we want to do it. FREEDOM (Brave heart accent)
However, it's not easy especially if we don't have parents throwing cash at us. The risks are high , you have close people undermining your confidence and you have other responsibilities. Funding is out there but it's difficult to attain if there aren’t any social aspects to your business. So, most of us will have to work a part time job whilst launching our businesses. I currently work part time at a supermarket and at times I have seriously considered quitting my job because the I’ve hated it.
One of the benefits of working part time whilst starting you business is that you can learn things from your job. Waitrose (supermarket) has excellent customer service and whenever a customer has a issues with a product or service Waitrose (supermarket) compensates the customer 9 time out of 10. I unknowingly adopted this trait. I had an issue with a previous customer of mine and responded in a Waitrose fashion.
What happened was I had printed some tops a day before a concert and needless to say I had spelt one of the names wrong. I found this out at 12pm in the evening so, i had until 4pm the next day to replace the top. (i would also lose my profits and incur a cost). In the end i managed to replace the top (free of charge) and I said i would give her a free top if ever she needed it. This allowed me to protect my company’s (FLYPRINTS) reputation and also generate positive word of mouth.
(Click link to read the article about this particular example http://flyprints.co.uk/blog/flyprints-dances-to-diversitys-beat/)
One of the most obvious Pro’s is receiving financial stability. When you start a business it may not bring you financial returns instantly and you still need an income to live as a result, a part time job allows you survive whilst launching your company in the difficult stages.
You meet people. At my work place almost everybody has a degree or skill so I have access to an a huge pool of resources for example Legal advice, Connections to india, Graphic designers, Film producers and dancers etc. Consequently because I know these people I can get information or services for free or at at a discount.
One of the major cons of working part time is that it can interfere with your business. Whilst in the process of doing an important job I have had to stop and go to work. This always seems to happen when I have little time to complete the job. Consequently, in these situations I’ve had to rush the job, loose clients and in general miss opportunities.
Because the part time job isn’t my passion it can be so boring. I sometimes feel as though I’m losing my intelligence because I’m not learning anything new. One of the principals I live by it to work to learn not to earn and at my part time job I’m not learning anything new, I’m only in it because it pays the bills.
Tips to help you cope though this difficult stage:
Save your holidays and sick days- At my part time job there are a specific number of times you can call into sick work without getting into trouble. So therefore if I really need to be away from work at a short notice I can call up sick. I know it’s unethical but at desperate times it can be a life line.
Build strong relationships with your managers- A while back I needed time of work and I had used up all my sick days. Because I had a good relationship with my manager I was able to leave early on the condition i would work of the hours another day.
Be friendly with your fellow employees- This should be done naturally and sincerely, when you have a friend at work you have someone who can cover for you.
Do you research- Whilst at my part time job I found out that they subsidies small courses. This meant I was able to take a course related to my business at a fraction of the price.
Complimentary job- Find a part time job that compliments your current business, so you can learn skills that directly apply to your business.
To conclude, at times I hate my part time job and in a perfect world you would spend 100% of my time working on my business however, life is unpredictable and you need to find happiness in the here and now. I’ve realized that I have made some good friends and had some good times.
HOW DO/DID YOU MANAGE THIS DIFFICULT STAGE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS?