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How Do You Start a Business When You’re Already Employed?

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

There aren’t too many practical barriers standing in the way of you and your desire to start a business, but the ones that do exist can feel pretty robust. Take the issue of your current employment, for instance. You might have plans to get a business underway, but if you’re already working full-time, then there’ll be several issues that you face. But good news: these issues are not insurmountable. Below, we take a look at a few useful tips that’ll ensure you’re able to get your business moving along, while still excellent at your regular job.

 

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Gather Your Research

 

The better prepared you are, the easier everything will be. There’s a lot of niggling tasks that need to be taken care of when you’re starting a business, and if you dive in when you’re not quite ready, then you may just find that you’ve taken on more than you can handle. There’s no rush. When the business is still in the idea stage, use your energy to gather as much research and information as possible, so that everything is in place for when you begin trading.

 

After Work Time

 

You’re obviously not going to work on your business while you’re at your job, so you’ll need to find space in the schedule to work on your venture. Commit to working on your company for an hour or two each evening, at the same time. You need this level of discipline to make progress; without it, months could go by and you’ll realise that you’ve barely made any progress. If you have a “shift” in the evening, then you’ll be able to put work in even when you don’t fully feel like it — it’s easy to work when you’re feeling motivated. The trick is working when you’re not!

 

Cutting Down on Fun

 

You can’t have everything in this world, or, rather, you can’t have everything all at the same time. If you’re going to build a successful business, then you’ll have to put a lot of energy and time into making it a reality. And as such, something will have to give. You love your friends and family, but it’s probably not practical to socialise with them as much as you normally would. You’ll want to cut down on those nights out and adventures for a while, at least during the initial rush until things have settled down. It’s much easier to make progress when the focus of your attention isn’t divided.

Tell Your Boss

Communication and honesty is always the best policy. When you commit to launching a business, then you’ll need to tell your boss. It’s the polite thing to do, for starters, but you may also be legally required to tell them, too, depending on your job. Some contracts stipulate that the worker can’t take on other employment. In all likelihood, they won’t care, and it’s even more likely if what you’re setting up is in no way in competition with the company you work for. Of course, stress that your side-project won’t interfere with your job. All going well, they’ll even have some advice to bring to the table.

Look For Help

You can spend your time gathering research and filling an order or two here and there, but if you’re going to manage well when business begins to pick up a little, then you’ll want to find someone to help you. There’ll be some tasks that can only be completed during regular working hours, when you’re at your regular job. There may be some tasks that are time-consuming if there’s only one person doing it, but easy if there’s two or three. In the early days, ask friends and family members to help you out. After that, you might want to look at hiring someone on a part-time basis.

Outsource the Complex Stuff

While you’ll be able to take care of the bulk of the tasks associated with running a small business, there’ll be some that are beyond your capabilities or time-allowance. For the complex tasks, look at outsourcing the work to third-party companies. Specifically, you’ll want to work with companies that offer it support service and accounting services. Both of these tasks will be complicated if you try to tackle them yourself, and you’ll end up wasting too much time that could be spent on other tasks. Better to have them handled by the experts.

Stay Legal

Your venture might start-off as a little side project, but keep in mind that you’ll need to ensure that you’re staying on the right side of the law. All companies need to feel paperwork (though which paperwork will depend on how your company is set up), so make sure all of this has properly filed before you begin trading. If you’re finding it too difficult to determine how you should set up your business, then this can be another thing that you outsource. Some new business owners treat the legal matters as an afterthought, but it catches up with them eventually. It’s not something you can put off forever!

Take it Seriously

While your business might look like a fun little side-project to outsiders, it’s important that you don’t see it in that way. The failure rate of companies is pretty high, so it’s hard enough as it is; don’t complicate things by not taking it seriously enough. You’ll need to have a high level of discipline and professionalism in order to get all your business ducks in a row. Don’t tie your attitude to the position you’re in now, which is as a small company; tie it to where you want to be, which is a large, profitable company.

When to Jump

Finally, remember that there’ll come the time when it’s no longer feasible to keep your full-time job and run your business. Then, you’ll need to quit your job, and commit yourself full-time to your business. This can be scary, but it’s necessary — make sure you have enough savings to last for some months, and then go for it.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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