By Onwueme Paul
A part time business is any commercial venture one undertakes usually as an alternative stream of income and during leisure time. Most part time businesses are leisure time activities like hobbies, interests, passions and exceptional skills or talents one might undertake for a fee. Examples of leisure time activities include baking, sewing, writing, reading, painting, playing (outdoor or indoor games), research activities, shopping and a lot more. Part time businesses could be run on weekends, during vacation or on holidays or anytime in which regular work is not done. In Lagos Nigeria, there abound many opportunities to start and run a part time business, it is just a matter of being observant and imaginative.
However some part time businesses could also be knowledge or experience related activities. Most people who engage in part time businesses are simply trying to insure themselves against the unexpected such as job loss, inflation, emergency, great opportunities for investment and situations requiring urgent use of substantial capital or funds.
Demola is a 33 year old accountant at an I.T firm in Ikeja. He makes over N 150,000 monthly from his retail store (which he runs during the weekends and on public holidays while his unemployed younger brother manages it for him during the week or while he is on assignment) but insists he would remain at his current job (despite being paid N 78,000 monthly). His reason for running his part time business is just to have a safety fund for himself and his wife if situation demands. As a result of his double income, Demola can afford to live above his ‘means’ while his colleagues who do not run any part time businesses cannot but in any case he is frugal and continues to live on the salary himself and his wife earn from their regular jobs.
How to start a part time business
Most part time businesses are usually as a result of a person identifying money making opportunities related to a past time. Let’s assume you love teaching and also love designing graphics, you could start a part time business teaching people how to design graphics or web pages. The principle is essentially the same, know your passion, know people’s needs and see how your passion can solve people’s problems or meet them at their point of need.
How to start you quest into the foray of part time businesses
Researching into the opportunity
Whenever you decide to start a part time business, ensure that you carry out an extensive research into the opportunity as it presents itself to you. The areas you should cover include finding the right niche, knowing the amount and quality of competition to face and the procedures you will adopt to stand out of the competition among other considerations.
Plan your approach
In business, failure to plan effectively is a major cause of businesses winding up. If you must run a part time business especially as an alternative source of income to your regular job, then how, where, when and who is served by your venture must be predetermined of course after a thorough analysis has been done. Ensure that your business runs in such a way that there is no clash in your regular schedule with your business needs.
Raising funds to start
Some part time businesses do not require funds or financial outlay to take off. If you engage in reselling fast moving products like recharge cards, clothes, fashion accessories, consumables or may be electronics, then you will certainly need cash to fund your business. However, skill and knowledge based services such as writing, web design, teaching and a host of others only require your competence and
Act according to your planned approach
After coming up with a workable next thing is to follow the plan faithfully without flinching. Note that business requires a lot of persistence and daring to succeed. The first six months of any business are usually very challenging especially considering the fact that word of mouth is your best resource in getting new customers signed up for your product or service.
Evaluating your performance periodically
After running your part time business over a period of say 12 months it is wise to take stock of what you have done over the period and also what you can do better.
If you set out to start a part time business, do well to remember that you have to efficiently manage your time and make do with the proceeds of your business but only according to your intentions for the business. So if you have a part time business because you want to raise money for a major project that means you cannot embark on a spending spree with the excess funds from your business.