What if you have a business idea that you think has unlimited potential, but you can’t afford to leave your fulltime job to purse the idea? Well, you just have to work harder, and bootstrap your business idea and continue to work your regular job until the new idea is generating enough money and is stable enough for you to do it fulltime.
Now, those with families to support have it a little harder than someone young and single with no financial responsibilities. But, regardless, here are some actionable tips to help bootstrap your idea while still working a regular fulltime job.
Wake up two hours earlier in the morning.
You have to be willing to work harder than most if you want to start a business on the side. This often means sacrificing a lot of sleep.
If you wake up earlier in the morning and put in two solid hours of work without any distractions this is nearly 15 hours a week, which can accomplish a lot,” says Pat Skinner of AnswerFirst Communications. “The hardest part is just committing and not giving up, no matter how tired you get.”
There is no doubt you will be exhausted and want to give up. You will probably think about quitting often, but just remember that you have 0% chance of being successful with your idea if you quit.
Get 45 minutes of work in while you eat lunch.
Are you good at multi-tasking? You better be if you are thinking of starting a business.
When you eat lunch try to maximize your time and return emails, check order statuses, or get caught up on little busy items on your to-do list that need to get done, and can be accomplished without your full attention,” suggests Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices. “Any little tasks you can knock out while eating lunch are things you don’t have to do later.”
If you really want something bad enough you will do whatever it takes, and this is one of those situations where you can make an excuse to do sit down and relax while you eat, of be fully dedicated and knock some work out in the process.
Hire a virtual assistant.
If your business is already generating money this is a smart move, as it can help you move the needle much faster. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money.
“If you are already generating money, re-invest that back into the business,” advises Karen Anderson of The Probate Law House, a firm that helps clients understand how to apply. “That is why it’s great to keep your fulltime job while pursuing a new business. You can pour all of the money back in to help scale. Hire a VA for as little as $400 a month to help, and you can quickly build a fulltime staff to grow the business for a fraction of what it would cost to build an in-house team.”
Focus on growth and you will see that you get creative, especially when you don’t need the business revenue to survive and pay your bills.
Outsource your web development.
In the early stages of any business you will want to use external resources rather than hire in-house as much as possible. This limits your risk as well as reduces your operational costs.
“Find some quality web designers and developers on the popular freelance marketplaces and become familiar with them,” says Irene McConnell of Arielle Executive. “Hire them for small jobs at first to test their communication skills and speed. Then, you can identify ones you can count on when you need projects done, whether it’s little website updates or new pages built.”
Would you rather pay an in-house developer more than $100,000 in salary alone, or would you rather find a great option that bills you $45 per hour?
Give up your weekends.
If you really want to build a business you are going to have to ditch the 9-to-5 Monday through Friday mentality. As a business owner those hours don’t exist.
“Rather than going out partying or taking the day to just relax, dedicate it to your business,” offers Ignacio Soria of CANN & Co. “Those who are really hungry will put in 12-hour days both Saturday and Sunday, and when you combine that with time in the morning and evenings on the week days, you can put a fulltime work week into your business as well.”
You don’t have to give up everything — make time for family and hit the gym to hit your weight loss goals, but make your new idea a top priority. You could get up at 5am and then schedule all family and fun time after 5pm. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it down the line.
Carve out four hours in the evening.
Think of how much time is wasted every evening watching TV or plating on social media. Dedicate that time to your business instead.
“If you really want to, you could find four extra hours every night,” says Darryl Howard of Blogger Tips. “After dinner, instead of plopping in front of the TV from 7pm to 11pm, jump on your computer and work on your idea. The more time you can dedicate, the faster you will hit certain goals and start to see progress.”
Don’t use your salary to fund the growth.
While it may be tempting, don’t dip into your salary of living expenses to fund the business growth. Remain committed to bootstrapping.
“A lot of times people will get the idea that if they just throw their living expense money from their real job at an idea they will arrive at the finish line faster, but that’s not always the case,” says Pedro Del Nero of Vaporizer Vendor. “Bootstrapping makes you work harder and it also allows you to experience things that will make you a much better operator in the long-run.”
Also, you never want to go into credit card debt. The great thing about bootstrapping is that if everything comes crumbling down the only real loss is your time, which of course is valuable, but you don’t put your personal finances at risk.