Recently, a client of mine decided to leave his software development business behind and take a one-year RV trip with his wife and two young children. Went from project based web development firm to creating a product called “FunnelBug.”
Many of us might have read about the 4 hour workweek and might have wondered whether it would really be possible. The thought ponders over us more when we are used to the 9 to 5 job existence but we would definitely try the 4 hour work week if it gives us equal or more returns than the usual 9 to 5 job. I am sure that if it is possible to earn enough income in a 4 hour work week then majority of the people would like to leave the usual 9 to 5 job.
You might be wondering how you can begin the plan the 4 hour workweek schedule. Logic suggests that you have a few choices in a 4 hour a week. You can either start freelancing offline or online or you can begin your own business. It might be difficult to break from the usual 9 to 5 routine but if you apply a proper business model theory to your new business.
Many people feel whether it is worth taking a risk of a 4 hour a week at the cost of losing a steady income from a job. Hence the best tip would be to maybe continue with your job and start working on your new venture in your free time. When you have established a steady income in your new venture and you are absolutely sure of a steady or an increasing income in the future then you can say goodbye to your regular job.
So what does a beginning a 4 hour work week need? Resources, efforts, time or a great idea? First of all you will need a strong idea or a foundation which will get you steady income. Your business model should be foolproof and get you excellent returns in the long run. It could be a game of calculated risks and sheer hard work in the beginning but once your business model is established, income could begin to flow automatically.
Hence we see that there are two major challenges in front of you? The first is the ability to run a successful 4 hours a week. The second challenge is to run a successful business model that will provide you regular income, which is to earn an annual income of say around $60,000 per year. This could be a tough task in the beginning. If it had been easy and risk free then there would be thousands of people jumping in the bandwagon.
However with the advent of technology such as the internet you can fully automate your business and even market it in all corners of the world. Today majority of the businesses that you do in an office of concrete can also be done online. Now that is the power of the internet. For example, there are Titanium sellers on Ebay who are making millions from their garage by selling goods to buyers. In most cases they send the goods from the manufacturer’s site to the buyer so that there are less handling charges and there is no storage
However the web is changing fast and there are many ways of greatly reducing workload. This challenge was a great opportunity to think about how they could be pulled together to create the perfect automated business.
There are a few basic rules that you should follow if you ever want to be successful in a 4 hour a week job.
The first step is to make everything as much automated as possible. Here many people make use of a managed service after paying a monthly fee. This will reduce your efforts considerably as common tasks such as marketing and even processing the payment can be automated. In Ebay, the titanium sellers make use of automated bidding process that lets them auction over a 1,000 items in a single day. The system automates most of the tasks and that you have to do is check the goods for their quality and then pass them so that the system can automatically notify the courier service to pick up the stuff from the warehouse and then deliver it to the buyer.
The second step would be to do outsourcing of the common tasks so that you can concentrate on your core business. For example, you can employ staff for tasks such as maintaining orders, payments, etc and you can concentrate on marketing your business. In case of developing your website you can hire the services of a web development firm to add content to your website and make it SEO friendly.
The third step would be to make your business systematic. Every procedure should follow a straight line so that there is no duplication of work and there is no wastage of resources. Reports should be generated so that you can come to know where you can improve.
Last but not the least is dividing your time for all the tasks and sticking to the deadlines. The high priority and important work should ideally be allotted more time.
Let’s take a real life example of a successful 4 hours per week business. A client of mine was working for a software development firm called Tuitive. He decides one day to take a sabbatical and go with his wife and children on a one year RV trip. While on the trip, a brilliant idea came to his mind to develop a software called FunnelBug that everyone could download for free and then use it for a month. If people liked it then they could use it further for $15 per month.
FunnelBug is a financial software that people can use to manage their business sales leads and manage their cash flow. This business has now become fully automated and efforts by the owner are minimal. Ordering the software and payment processing is automated online and the owner puts in his time and effort to market his software online on websites such as FaceBook and Twitter.
From the above reading we can conclude that running a 4 hour a week business is not easy but it can be highly successful if you have the right type of idea and you are willing to work for it in a systematic way. At every stage of business you should ask yourself what work you can automate or outsource so that you can get a steady flow of income with minimal effort.
This post was written by Kunal Vahalia.