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Setting Up Your Business -- Should I Start Full-Time or Part-Time?

Every entrepreneur, when we decide to start our own business, has to face a fundamental question: should I quit my ‘day job’ and dive in full-time or should I start my new business part-time while continuing to work another job?

The answer is (wait for it) “there is no perfect answer for every entrepreneur”. That’s because everyone comes to starting a business from a different place. Before you can answer the question of full-time vs. part-time for yourself, take an honest look at your current situation.

Do you have the funds set aside to pay your bills until your business takes off?

One of the realities of starting a new business is that, with very few exceptions, it takes months and sometimes years to grow enough income to cover your expenses. You can ask the question above in a different way, too: how much will you be depending on income from your new business to pay the bills?

In an ideal situation, putting aside enough money, ahead of time, to cover your living (and business) expenses for at least six months, will better prepare you to pursue your new business full-time. If, on the other hand, putting that kind of money away, or having an alternate source of income such as a partner’s job, just isn’t possible in your present circumstances, it may be better for you to continue working to pay the bills while starting your business in your time off. Keep in mind that not having the funds to keep a business (and a household) going is the number one reason new businesses fail.

Have you already begun to build your customer base?

Some people start designing funeral programs and other publications as a hobby, long before they decide it would make a great business! If you’re one of those people, you may already have a solid list of potential customers among family, friends, fellow churchgoers, and funeral homes, churches and people who have been referred to you.

Growing your customer list is one of the most important factors in your fledgling company’s success. If you’re fortunate enough to have accumulated a substantial list of prospects, you may be in a better position to start your business full-time. Unless you’re already inundated with orders from them, however, it’s best to be conservative about how much business your current customer base can provide until your marketing pays off.

Do you actually WANT to run a full-time business?

Think about your life situation as it is right now. Are you in a good place to devote the time it takes to run a business full-time? Even if you aren’t working full-time at another job, you may have other responsibilities that will make it difficult.

Are you caring for young children or an elderly relative? Are you a full-time student pursuing a degree? Is this new business your ‘retirement project?’ You may decide after taking an honest look at your life’s priorities that running a business full-time isn’t for you!

Starting a funeral program business can be a wonderful experience, providing a valuable service and while earning a nice income. Before you decide whether or not to quit your full-time employment, or to begin working part-time, look carefully at these three areas. Being smart about this type of decision from the very beginning of your business will help to ensure its success.

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