5. Expect the business to grow at a slower pace. There’s only so much you can do when you only have a few extra hours to dedicate for your business. This limits the growth potential of your business.
If you’re running a landscape business, you’re losing clients who want to meet with you during the time of your day job. If you’re a blogger, you may be able to do only one post per day instead of ten if you are running the business full time. If you’re a graphic designer, you may only accept two clients at a time, instead of twenty.
6. Be prepared for the stress. If you think your job is stressful enough as it is, starting a business and becoming your own boss is even more stressful. Doing the two at the same time can give you a lot of stress and migraines.
Think of this scenario: what if your website goes down while you are about to go into a 2-hour meeting? That means 2 hours of fretting what went wrong with your site, and being in the situation where you can’t do anything about it. Then there are situations where you are dealing with your boss giving you mountains of work to do requiring overtime work, when your client is already pressuring you to finish the website you are designing for her.
7. Study the manpower policies of your day job. If you value keeping your day job, it is advisable that you review the rules of your employer with regards to work hours, resources and even policies for part time jobs.
8. Consider business ethics. If your part time business is in the same line of business as your employer – and your goal is to try to get their clients – be very careful with regards to the legal and ethical considerations of this approach. This is especially true if you have signed a non disclosure and/or non-compete agreement with your employer.
9. Question of whether to disclose or not. Should you tell your boss about your business? The answer to this question depends on the dynamics, culture, and politics in your day job. It also depends with your relationship with your boss, and how he/she will consider the information with how the business operates. It could go both ways – bad and good. If your business is totally different from your day job, telling your boss about it may give them a different perspective of you as an employee and provide the impression that you possess skills and qualities that your day job does not showcase. A development economist friend who was doing policy analysis work was given the task of running the online marketing work of his organization after his boss learned that he runs a number of websites.
10. Consider the impact on your personal life. With a full time job and a business on the side, your time left for leisure and family will be significantly reduced. You need to look at how working on these two things will affect your relationships, especially if you have a family.
There’s a lot to consider if you decide to start a business while working in your day job. It’s going to be very tough and you need to be prepared for the long road ahead. Whether you plan to work on both your job and business for the long or short term, be mindful of ethical and legal considerations. But if and when you decide to pursue your business full time, don’t burn the bridge with your employer. You’ll never know if you will need the help of your employer, or whether you could turn them into a customer for your business.