Answering this question is one of the 5 most important questions to ask about your business before you start. You can find the list of other factors here.
In this post I’ll go over the 3 most important points to consider when determining your time available.
How Many Hours Will You Commit?
The first point is simply the raw number of hours you’re willing to commit.
Whether you’re looking for a part time opportunity or a full time career, deciding on a specific number of hours per week and the committing to working those hours every week is an important step in getting your business off the ground.
The number of hours you choose should be realistic based on your schedule. If you already work a full time job, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can put in an extra 30-40 hours per week without burning out.
Remember that you’re going to be sticking to this number for many months, so it needs to be something you can consistently achieve.
When Can You Work?
In addition to the number of hours you can commit, it’s also important to note when you are available to work.
Can you work consistently during normal business hours, or are you looking for something to squeeze in to your hectic schedule?
Some opportunities, like consulting, can be flexible in terms of the number of hours, but not flexible in terms of when those hours are. Others, like freelance writing, tend to take a lot of time, but that time can be allocated however you choose.
Being clear about this requirement will help you narrow down your choices and choose a flexible, reliable opportunity to work on.
What Is Your Time Worth, To You?
Finally, you need to consider what your time is worth to you.
All too often when starting a new business, people forget to consider that there time has a value, and there is an opportunity cost associated with how they use that value.
One way of evaluating the value of your time is to set a monetary figure to it (for example, what you might expect to earn if you worked for someone else), but this isn’t the only way.
Many aspects of life, like spending time with family, or having time to pursue purposeful work, volunteerism, or other hobbies, simply can’t be quantified.
Understanding how you value your time will help you to set boundaries with your work, and achieve the right balance for you.
The reality is that you can build a profitable business online based on any time commitment, so balance is important. Personally, I’ve experimented with various online businesses and I think affiliate marketing is by far the most flexible.