The challenges of running a business part-time

Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but for people running a business while also holding down a full-time job, the challenges are often even bigger.

“Wise time management is key,” Ania Kubow, co-founder of Whistle + Bango and full-time commodity broker, says, adding that it’s important to divide your day into windows where you focus on one particular task. “It is unfair to use someone else’s time for your own gains, and work on your own projects during paid work hours – as a director of a company, I would not value such an employee.”

Adam Caan, founder of Pass the Popcorn and digital communications manager, agrees. He says: “I tend to organise most the calls I have around lunch and have a solid three hours usually three days a week after office hours to network and work on the project.”

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For Aadil Seedat who is the senior manager and operations director at Umbrella-host.co.uk and works as a digital marketing executive for a leading global textile manufacturer, most of his weekends are spent on running his business. “This gives me more time to dedicate to our clients and enables me to keep everything organised and up to date.”

But why would anyone choose to run a business (something that many do as a full-time job) while also holding down a nine to five? Kubow puts it down to her apprehension over wasting time and being a restless person. “I figure if you have the time outside of work to create something you are passionate about, invest your time in that rather than watching television. With today’s technological advances, you can reply to emails on the go, approve images, and host conference calls all on your commute,” she says. “With all these tools at our disposal, multitasking my responsibilities has never been an issue I have had to address.”

Caan, on the other hand admits that he has struggled balancing having a business and working full time. “I have learnt to be transparent with my employer,” he says. “I’ve made them aware that I am a co-founder of a business and I’m planning my time effectively.”

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Seedat says that he hasn’t experienced any major challenges yet – although he says that it could be a challenge to dedicate more time when his team decides it’s time to scale the business.

Kubow also says that her challenges have been minimal so far; with the biggest issue she’s faced being not the inability to share a work space with co-founder Rosie Parkes. “But having a mobile compatible platform for our website built through Weebly gives us both complete operational visibility on a daily basis, as well as being able to manage things on-the-go through the Weebly app, which has become an essential tool for us to stay on top of the business when having full-time jobs.”

As for the future, do these part-time entrepreneurs ever see themselves running their businesses full-time? Caan says that his biggest challenge is working out when it’s time to make that move from having a secure job to just working on his business – and Seedat agrees. “Umbrella-host.co.uk is growing really fast and I think it will need more attention at some point,” he says. “However, being in full-time employment and running a business allows me to learn new things every day, which adds value to both. I enjoy keeping busy and progressing with both so this is a tough decision that I’ll need to make.”

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