Can You Run An Online Business Part Time?

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One of the questions I get asked the most by my clients who are considering setting up their new business online is “How much time will I have to spend on it?“.

I always have difficult in answering this, as within reason, the more time you devote to your online business, the more successful it will be.

However, I have plenty of clients who have made the decision to grow their business on a part-time basis, while they maintain their existing job, rather than handing in their notice to be a full-time online business owner.

The truth is, there is no set time which you should allocate for your business to be assured of its success.

Some people may spend hours every day blogging, responding to customers or furthering their SEO, only to find that this effort gets them nowhere and they aren’t turning a revenue even after years of effort. Similarly, some people seem to be able to sit down for just an hour or two each week and manage to develop a profitable part-time business that has the potential to support them financially full-time when they decide to leave their job and dedicate every day to their enterprise.

Working out the hours you need to run your business

That said, it is possible to put timescales to some of the key activities you will need to do each day to make your business thrive. For example, it usually takes around an hour to update a blog with an informative and original article. It can take around five to ten minutes to respond to a client enquiry, depending upon its complexity. Updating your social network with business news can take another half an hour a day. And on it goes. Factor in accounting, invoicing, despatching products or providing services, and you can come up with a model for how long the basics will take.

Buying yourself more time

Depending upon the nature of your products or services, you can outsource aspects of the business such as blogging, accounts and invoicing, or online marketing. You can get hold of software to do key aspects of your day to day tasks, and use virtual resource like writers or PAs for some jobs. By automating certain elements of your site and programming it to do updates while you are busy elsewhere, you can give your site the attention it needs without having to devote yourself to it, full time. Many successful entrepreneurs have a number of businesses on the go at any one time, and have learned to juggle the tasks needed to keep them afloat without dedicating full-time resources to each one.

Making the decision to give more time

When your business really needs you to be more present, you’ll know. This could be when client enquiries are taking up more time, when your product or service offering takes off and demand goes through the roof, or your SEO is managed so well that you find yourself gradually becoming the first port of call for anyone in your sector looking for those services. It’s at points such as this that you have to make the decision to give your business more attention, or see if there is any aspect of it that you could outsource to maintain business at the current level, or expand it to new heights.

Listen to your business carefully – by reading customer demand and understanding where your business wants to take you, you’ll be able to work out whether it’s time to go full-time on it, hand it over to someone else, or take steps to manage it more effectively.

How many hours a week do you spend on your online business? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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30 Responses to Can You Run An Online Business Part Time?

  1. Johnnie April 7, 2015 at 3:17 am #

    you are not alone Andrew! however, what i do know is that: ‘the more time one devotes his or her time on its online business, the more successful it will turn-out to be’.

    i just bookmarked this post, watching and waiting for a good answer to this question..

    thanks for posting…

  2. Sharif April 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    I read the post and like it.Here you discuss about the part time business on online.According to me as much time as you give for your business the best you get the result but one thing is important you have to give time in right sector of your business.If you give time in a sector that is less important you will not get full success easily . Looking for more interesting post.

  3. Rakesh April 18, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    Great post, I’m running a full time online business as a blogger. Current income is low but i am learning new tips and these are working:)

  4. Pratibha Mod April 23, 2015 at 5:15 am #

    I think blogging remains part time but later if it grows in terms of traffic and revenue. Most people do it as full time business. I also started as part time but my hunger for more traffic and exposure pulled me to do it as full time.

  5. Mark Miller April 29, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    This is a great post you have here. I am currently working full-time on my online business, but that is only after years of going at it part-time (while still holding down a full-time day job). Success in your business is 100% tied to the time you invest in it. I did well with business while working part-time, but I really saw my business take off once I made the jump to full-time!

  6. Mitch April 30, 2015 at 4:32 am #

    Well, you don’t have to build and run your online business on your own.
    In many cases, Time is actually more worth than money.
    I would keep my existing job at first as great source of income, and invest the money in outsourcing most of the initial time wasting tasks.
    You don’t have to do everything yourself, spend some money to make some money.
    And after the online business is well established, only then I would go full time dedicated to my online business.

  7. Mohd Arif April 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    This is very impressive post, I agree with you blogging always taking lot’s of time. I am also a beginner level blogger I start blogging since last 5 month and gain best result with in this time.. Now I am working full time on my blog, every day my first preference is learn and learn more about blogging… thanks so much for this awesome article..

    Mohd Arif

  8. chieyine May 2, 2015 at 4:49 am #

    Running an online business part time strictly depend on so many factore related to the owner of the business.
    It is mostly due to time factor.As a student, I run my blog part time and I am not regrettind it

  9. Matthew Queen May 4, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    It’s impossible for you to answer how many hours to devote to a business because all businesses are unique. Selling clothes via an online web store is totally different from marketing your web development services. The key is finding a strategy and then executing. Success is a habit. The hard part is creating good habits.

  10. Pritam Nagrale May 15, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

    Hi Andrew ,

    Good question you have asked here.
    I think starting online business as part time is the best thing that every newbie must do.
    One must not depend on completely on new online business. As Mitch said you should continue doing your job and start part time online business , you can outsource few things or you can do it by your own.

    Give some time to your new online business setup once it started making good amount of money just quite your current job and start your online business full time.

    I really like this posts and various comments .

  11. Ashik May 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    Great, Tutorial regarding online business for start ups.
    But My question, is any alternate way to make money rather than online business?

  12. Raja May 23, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    Most of the new businesses fail under 3 years. Its very difficult to run an online business. You have shared some vital points 🙂

  13. Gautham May 26, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    These are great tips for online businesses. Thanks for sharing the important points.
    Gautham recently posted..IRCTC Login and RegisterMy Profile

  14. Leslie July 21, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    I agree completely, it is often not about how much time, but how effective with the time I do have.

    Outsourcing parts that are simple and steal my time helps me have a much better life and live and work wherever I want.


  15. Muhammad Adeel July 28, 2015 at 6:45 am #

    In my point of view we must try to run a part time business if we have the ability to run it.Nowadays there a lot of ways to earning from internet.So everyone should try it and your post is also very informative to those people who want to run a part time business.

  16. Mairaj
    July 30, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Indeed a great post. Thanks for sharing some significant tips, about how one can run an online business part time. The most lucrative way to start online business is to set up a new blog, and give some precious time in your busy schedule. Because if you have your own blog then you find numerous ways to earn money online through your blog.

    Thanks for sharing fantastic tips 🙂

  17. Lakhyajyoti August 9, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Great post. I started blogging as a part time blogger. But after working on it for two years, I become a full time blogger. Thanks for the share.
    Lakhyajyoti recently posted..Independence Day 2015 Images For Facebook, WhatsappMy Profile

  18. Kamrul October 14, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

    If you are doing any kind of business you must face the risk. You can’t avoid risk when you are talking about a business. Now the question is if you are trying to do a online business part time can you success or not. I think you can be successful if you have enough knowledge, good plan and specific goal about this business. But I like this post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  19. Keith Lunt November 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    Many years ago I set up my own business and part of that, I suppose a side line, for some years was blogging. Once established I was able to earn a good income (£2,000+ per month) on very little effort. However, greed and what seemed easy money took control and the blogs failed.

    Only recently have I decided to start again, but you certainly can earn money either part time or full time through the internet. You just need to respect the product.

  20. Mark
    November 15, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    Thanks for not sugar coating the truth Andrew!

    Far too many newbie online marketers want to here
    or be told, with just a few clicks of the mouse and poof!

    suddenly they have a thriving online business empire, that
    practically runs itself!

    Hopefully your honesty is the wake call and reality check they need!

  21. yuvraj wadhwani June 10, 2016 at 3:46 am #

    Hey Andrew,

    This is my first comment on your blog. This is the same question I ask myself regularly. I have my hands (and my head) in too many things and I’m not sure how much time to dedicate to which activity.

    I am working over 90 hours a week currently.

  22. Kolo Pius September 3, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    Thanks for the awesome article Andrew. I do run my online businesses part time but vowed to make it full time when i hit my target monthly earning. At the moment i run 5 blogs, all in different niches.

  23. Sravya October 4, 2016 at 3:04 am #

    Really nice article.I think you can be successful if you have enough knowledge, good plan and specific goal about the business doing it as a part time. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  24. Ish Sarwar October 13, 2016 at 7:01 am #


    Thanks for sharing.

    It’s certainly possible to run an online business part time. You can focus on the main activities yourself and outsource the rest.

  25. Akshada October 19, 2016 at 7:20 am #

    It’s very important to set your time table and keep enough time for yourself too, allocating time before hand can help in managing the 24hrs each one gets.
    This is a great read. Thanks for sharing.

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