One of the biggest concerns many people have when deciding to start up a business is how they are going to make the smooth transition between working full-time and going it alone as an entrepreneur. In most cases, unless they are in a financially stable position in which they can walk away from their current job, many business owners are forced to manage a 9-5 job role alongside their new business venture.
Luckily, many people have managed to set up their business while working full-time. It’s all about finding solutions that are suitable and achievable for your situation.
Here are a few key ideas you can think about if you’re hoping for some useful advice on starting up a business alongside working full-time:
1. Run your business part-time first of all
It can be hard to know how successful your business venture is going to be upon first starting out, so it wouldn’t be the ideal solution to put all of your eggs in one basket and give up your job. In a lot of instances, businesses can often fold in the first few months, so you shouldn’t cut off your reliable income if you’re unsure how it’s going to plan out.
It would be best to start slow and get a better understanding as to whether your business will generate a fast and reliable income; which is of course, of huge importance when you have bills to pay. You may find out that it will only ever be feasible as a part-time venture, but if you find this out early enough, you won’t have given up your full-time job out of false hope.
2. Save your business income
The money you earn from your full-time job is likely to be spent on bills, food, and rent, and any disposable cash is simply a bonus. While you may think of your business income as earning some extra money to spend on a rainy day, it wouldn’t be advised that you spend it irrationally.
You’re going to need to set yourself up financially when the time comes to leave your job and turn your business into a full-time venture. You’ll need to cash to purchase any equipment, materials, rental property costs, or staff to grow your business to a large scale. Saving those early profits will give you the safety net you need once you’ve decided to call it quits on your full-time job.
3. Study online
In some cases, opening a business isn’t as simple as having an idea and finding customers. For example, if you wish to open your own private investigation company, you’re likely to need some form of educational background under your belt to prove yourself as a reliable and trustworthy individual. While it can be difficult to schedule allocated study time around your job and other personal commitments, you can instead enroll onto an online course, which can be completed in your own time on any device. You can browse for an array of some of the best criminology programs in Ontario so you can become a certified private investigator.
4. Be open with your employer
If you’re thinking about leaving your full-time position in the very near future, then it would be an idea to inform your employer of your plans. If your business has been set up and you’re aware that’s in direct competition with theirs, it is actually a criminal offense, so you would need to leave as soon as possible.
On the other hand, if your business is in a completely different niche, there’s no reason why you couldn’t pitch a collaboration or partnership with your employer. This would work more in your favor if you’re considered to be a top employee at your company and are well thought of by those in higher positions. After all, business ventures can be risky, so if you’re someone they can trust, your proposition could be one of the best moves you ever make for your business.
5. Create a schedule
From the get-go, it’s vital that you create a clear and realistic schedule to get your business goals in order while working 9-5. Your full-time job is likely to take up the most amount of time out of your week, so you’ll need to plan your business around the set hours.
There are many tasks that will need your attention upon first starting out. These include getting the relevant business insurance, applying for funding, and writing up a business plan. If you fail to get these initial tasks completed, you could severely delay getting your business launched on the date you had set out.
6. Set and launch date and beyond
Once you have worked out a schedule to make your work and business plans work alongside one another, you need to plan out how you’re going to achieve your goals. Although you may have many milestones in mind, they’re somewhat meaningless if you have no real plan of action on how you’re going to meet them.
If you find yourself struggling as to how you’re going to achieve these goals, do research online, and find people who may be able to help you. While they will be able to provide the necessary words of wisdom to get on the right path, it’s essentially down to you on how and when these milestones will be achieved.
Don’t set a start date for your business until you’re 100% sure that you’ll be ready by the set date. This is even more important if you have built a customer base who are waiting on the launch. Plan your strategy step by step and allow a bit of extra time to tie up all the loose ends before committing to the final date.
7. Use your vacation time wisely
If you wish to get your business running quickly, then you’ll need to make the most of the time you have. If you know you’ll be leaving your job in the near future, then be sure to use your annual leave to concentrate on your business venture. A dedicated two-week time slot will give you some much-needed space to think about what it is you are looking to achieve and what needs to be done, as opposed to a few random hours here and there around your other work commitments.
Your family may not be too pleased that you’ve chosen to dedicate your annual leave to business matters, but they will certainly understand your decision once your business reaps the successes of all your hard work.
8. Get support
You may always have had the ambition to start up a business alone without the help of others, but it’s not always reasonable in certain situations – especially if you’re a full-time parent or have a job. Realistically, you’re going to need some form of support to start up your business from people who are in-the-know on how to go about it.
If you’re not keen on a partnership, then the support of a mentor or friend who runs and owns their own business could be the best help for you. They will be able to give you first-hand tips on how they went about achieving their goals and perhaps even make suggestions on what you can do.
If they agree, you could suggest meeting them a couple of evenings after work and chat about the steps that need to be taken to turn your small idea into a fully-fledged business.
9. Choose a good location to work
After getting home from the 9-5 job, sitting and working in the house may not be ideal if you have too many distractions around you that may throw you off task. Instead, choose a location that makes you feel relaxed and allows you to be as productive as you can be. If you are working part-time or using your annual leave for business planning, you could look into hiring an office temporarily so you can get your head down and start work. Or, you could even sit quietly in the local library or head to one of your local coffee shops, as many now have free Wi-Fi you can use as a paying customer.
10. Be the best employee – your business could be impacted!
When you’re soon to be leaving your current job, you shouldn’t attempt to burn bridges with your employer and employees. After all, your employer is likely to know a number of suppliers or clients who could potentially be willing to work with you, but then be put off after hearing negative feedback.
There may even be a chance that your boss could become a customer, supplier or investor of your business in the near future if they find out about your success, so don’t cut off the opportunity to yourself so early on. It’s important to remain friendly and professional and leave with your head held high, so everyone you worked with will remember you with nothing but good thoughts.