You finally did it. You launched a business you feel passionate about.
Now comes the hard part.
A new Intuit survey found that 53 per cent of new businesses in Canada -- those in operation less than three years -- are run by part-time entrepreneurs.
If you are one of these part-time start-ups, you're living your entrepreneurial dream on the side.
You are juggling a range of priorities as you work to create the new ideas, products, services, and jobs that our economy relies on.
Trying to build your business is demanding; doing it while spending the majority of your time working for someone else presents a unique challenge.
According to Industry Canada, survival rates for small and medium-sized businesses decline over time. About 85 per cent of businesses that enter the marketplace survive for one full year yet only 51 per cent survive for five years.
Yet, with commitment and passion, many have successfully made the transition from part-time start-up to full-time career.
The Intuit survey found that about one third (35 per cent) of start-ups trying to go full-time would quit their jobs if they could pull in a mere $30,000 or less. Depending on your financial goals, taking your business full-time could be closer than you think.
Are you ready to make your dream a full-time career? Here are some tips to help you take it to the next level:
Define a goal and build on it
Decide early on what success looks like to you. As the Intuit study indicated, many part-time start-ups aren't planning to become millionaires; they just want to do what they love. Determining your minimum for going full-time will give you something to build up to. When you reach your goal, celebrate and then create a new goal. Having a plan gives you things to strive for and celebrate along the way while holding yourself accountable.
Continue to innovate
Chances are you started your own business because you were able to see an opportunity that others missed or you developed a much-needed solution to a common problem. People tend to settle into a routine as processes are established. As the business grows, make sure to continue to foster the creativity that got you there in the first place.
Brush up on your financial literacy
Access to financial management tools and resources has a major impact on the long-term health of a business. Entrepreneurs often don't have the time or money they need to get up to speed on all the essential components of running a business, like financial management. Take advantage of software solutions that can save you time and money.
Make your network work for you
Network with other entrepreneurs and seek out advice from experts. Whether it's planning, market research or legal issues, someone has been there before. Nobody understands the challenges you face better than a fellow entrepreneur. Joining an industry association not only builds connections for your business, it's also a platform for people in similar situations to support each other.
Take advantage of free services
Many cities have local entrepreneur incubators which often hold free seminars or courses geared specifically toward the needs of small businesses. The Government of Canada website is also a great resource with checklists and guides for business planning.
You've already taken the plunge and started a business you are passionate about. If you are thinking about kicking your business up a notch, don't let the statistics scare you. There are plenty of resources and tools available to support you to take the next step.