The trend of after-hours entrepreneurs engaging in sideline business ventures while still holding a full-time job has been fuelled by the global recession, which has resulted in consumers seeking additional income and job security, and illustrates encouraging signs of economically proactive members of society attempting to overcome the current economic downturn.
According to Kobus Engelbrecht of the of the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition explains that the emergence of this trend has been assisted by the growth in local infrastructure and technology developments, allowing individuals to become entrepreneurs with relative ease.
“An after-hours venture in entrepreneurship can be very rewarding and is relatively low risk as entrepreneurs in this category often have a stable income whilst pursuing their business interests after hours and over weekends.
“The entrepreneurial experience may also contribute to an individual’s personal development and translate into other benefits in their full time job. However, pursuing an additional career path is a challenging task and requires a vast amount of self-discipline and focus. Time is the world’s most valuable resource and is the currency used by after-hours entrepreneurs. Time management is therefore the most important factor for individuals to consider when choosing this path.”
“Entrepreneurial activities should not be discouraged by anybody,” says Engelbrecht. “However, one should respect the views of employers that often require their employees to be transparent on their outside business activities. It should not be in conflict with the business that the employer does and it should also not interfere with day to day business activities. Peak periods at your employer should be respected and longer working hours could then impact on the after-hours business. The part-time venture should also not affect your performance in the business where you are employed, which could become a challenge if your company demands 24 hours availability.”
It is fairly evident that becoming an after-hours entrepreneur is fairly complex and difficult. Engelbrecht advises that entrepreneurs carefully evaluate and assess every aspect of the business prior to any commitment.
“Entrepreneurs should formulate a ‘success plan’, which essentially outlines the necessary investments required for one’s business to be successful. This should not be limited to financial investment and should more importantly outline how much invested time is needed to achieve the stipulated goals. For this reason, it may be more viable for aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue entrepreneurial careers in non-conflicting areas to their primary job that requires minimal personal investment,” concludes Engelbrecht.