One approach used by many small business owners is to start their business while still employed full time.
This is especially true during these tough economic times where many people are looking to augment their income. Hence, in addition to their full time jobs, they embark on a business on the side to bring home an extra income.
Others do it to bulk up their nest egg that can serve as their cushion in the event that they go full time into the business.
Some want to see first whether there is demand for their products or services, and try to test the waters, before plunging head-on to the business. Their jobs serve as their fall back positions in the event that the business doesn’t bring in much as expected..
There are also some people who decide to continue working full time while jumpstarting their businesses in order to get health insurance benefits for themselves and their families from their employers. Buying health insurance for an individual or family is expensive, and unless the business is on solid footing, it’s an expense that they don’t want to shoulder by themselves.
If you are thinking of starting your own business while working full time, here are some things to consider:
1. Be prepared to work double. Welcome to the world of sleepless nights and no-weekend breaks! Starting a business in and by in itself is already hard and time consuming. Combine that with a full time job and the pressure suddenly doubles, especially at the start when you are still setting up your systems and getting the word out about your business. Jumpstarting a business requires a lot of thinking, strategizing, and planning. Expect your to-do list to double.
2. Gauge the time requirement needed by your part time business. It is important to determine whether you actually have the time and energy to work on both your day job and your business. Realistically think about the demands on you and your time of both these commitments, especially if your business requires you to meet with clients regularly or you are working on tight deadlines for either your job or business or both. At the end of your 9-to-5 job, do you still think you can work on your business?
If you’re just blogging and using advertising to earn money from the blog, then you can just work on your own schedule and may write a new post after your office hours. But if you are going to start a landscaping business, which will require you to meet up with clients, then you need to think when you can actually go out to meet with them, and when they would want to meet with you.
3. Check whether the demands of your part time business will interfere with your day job. Answering an email from a client during work hours (from your own smart phone or your personal computer) is one thing; but going out of the office for a couple of hours to meet a client from your own business is another thing. Unless you work for a company like Google that allows employees to spend up to 20% of their time to their personal projects, many workplaces will frown on you for disappearing for hours or using the time they’re paying you for something other than job-related.
Unless you want to be shown out the door quickly from your day job, dedicate your work hours to your job, and work only for your part time business after office hours. And if you can’t do that, then it’s time to rethink your priorities and what you really want to do.
4. Make sure that you don’t use the resources of your day job for your business. This is one of the trickiest considerations when working on a full time job and a part time business. Your boss at your job will not want you to be using their photocopying machine, even their papers and computers for your business. They will not want you charging them for expenses you’ve incurred in your business.
Also, don’t give your work number to your own customers or clients. Your boss and office mates will not appreciate hearing you to talk to your business associates using the company phone. Plus, don’t confuse your clients when they call you only to hear the phone operator greeting them, “Thank you for calling [your day job’s company name]” when they thought that they are calling your business!
Continue Reading: Starting a Business While Working Full Time (Part 2)