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Issues to Avoid When You Run a Part-Time Business

Starting and running a business can be tough yet rewarding. Doing this while simultaneously working for someone else can be overwhelming but it is manageable. Many people successfully run their businesses on a part-time basis. It takes dedication, organisation and energy to flourish, and there are many pitfalls that can get you into trouble. Here the top three issues you should try your best to avoid when you run a part time business and our tips on how to avoid them.

Dropping Standards

You have made the choice to continue working whilst operating a business on a part-time basis. That’s great! However, it is extremely important to stay balanced and not to drop your standards in either role. Starting a new business can be exciting and it’s easy to get carried away. You may be at work and get totally distracted thinking of a new idea or strategy to market your brand. If your work quality starts to deteriorate or you take time off to focus on your business, the security of your job is at risk. You may actually need your job to fund your new venture, so don’t let it slip out of your hands. Similarly, remind yourself that if you want your part-time business to succeed, you need to put in the same amount of effort as you do at your regular job.

So what is the key to balancing the two? While you’re at work, focus solely on the job. If you suddenly think of a great idea for your business, write it down, put it away and pursue it later. Hopefully, the more you stay on task at work, the more excited you will be when you do get to work on your venture. More excitement equals more motivation and something to look forward to when you get home!

Burning Out

We all know the feeling of being burnt out. You’re overwhelmed, you’re tired and simply can’t be bothered doing anything, let alone work! It can happen to anyone, but those with busy lives adding more to their plate are arguably at an increased risk. Not only do you have to deal with the pressures of working for someone else (meeting deadlines, achieving results etc), but you also need to find time for managing your business. If you’re doing it alone, this means handling every aspect, from the stock, to invoicing, to marketing and more. So, when you have so much to do, how can you avoid getting burnt out?

Many experts recommend taking at least twenty minutes out of your day to meditate. Meditation involves deep breathing and relaxation techniques to clear your mind of any anxiety. Those who meditate regularly find it a lot easier to focus and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Another option is exercise, which can be physically tiring, but also works as a great outlet for any built up stress. Otherwise anything that enables you to relax and have some “me time” is great.

Tax Traps

Thanks to the Internet and all its joys, more and more people are opening up part-time businesses on the side. Along the way many have fallen into some common tax traps.

For example, one common error arises from how you define your sideline venture. Is it a business or a hobby? The Australian Tax Office does not approve when someone parades as a business and claims GST refunds, when in reality they come under the “hobby” classification. People often make this mistake with side businesses and it often results in an audit from the ATO. Another trouble spot for part-time business owners is asset protection. When operating as a sole trader, or even a hobbyist, it is important to consider the safety of your personal assets. What if something goes wrong and you get sued? You may think your business is too small to become involved with complicated tax structures, but in some cases it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The simplest way to avoid any tax trouble is to hire an accountant. He or she will be able to give you the best advice to ensure your part-time business doesn’t run into any problems.

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