A good number of people quit their jobs to start businesses and be their own bosses. On the other hand, some want to have a business running on the side and still have their 9-5 jobs.
The good thing about starting your own business while you are still employed is having a dependable source of income. You still have a regular guaranteed salary and other benefits that come with having your 9-5 job. This comes in handy if your business does not give you much return and still have something to count on by the time your business gains traction.
A study by the Academy of Management shows that people who start their businesses while still employed are 1/3 less likely to fail compared to those who get into business without a safety net of employment.
Imagine how good it is having a steady income through your 9-5 job and still have a chance to follow your entrepreneurial dream?
However, starting and running a business while you are still employed, and having a boss who requires more than a hundred percent devotion is not easy. It’s a big risk you are taking and you have to be honest with yourself of how important starting the business is.
However, there are several ways to be in business while you are still employed and not interfere with your 9-5 job.
Asses your finances
Depending on the type of business you want to start, you need to assess your finances. You already have your business idea, and probably a business plan.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you have had your business idea in mind for a while. You need to know how much money you need to start your business and how much you have.
A start-up needs money that will take care of foreseen and unseen expenses. You should have enough finances to accommodate all the expenses that come with starting a business.
Bob Johnston, founder of an IT Network, Executive Council once said, “The business will have a way of knocking on your door, asking for money and attention.”
Another thing to think through is this, will you be able to take care of your bills when a part of your income is directed to your business until it’s able to return the investment?
Choose the right business and get started
While you are still employed, you just can’t start any business. You need to start a business that will fit your time. You don’t have all the time you need to run a business fulltime.
So as you choose your business, choose a business you can do part-time and alongside your current job.
Don’t choose a business that requires a lot of time as this will interfere with your 9-5. On the other hand, a business that requires you to be hands on through-out is likely going to fail as you won’t have that time while still working fulltime.
Prioritize your time
One thing you need to really juggle is your time.
You are working a fulltime job that requires 40+ hours a week and business on the other hand that needs time and attention too.
How you plan your time will really affect the success of your 9-5 fulltime job and your startup business.
You need to respect your employer’s time and at the same time not forget that your business requires time. You cannot work on your business during your regular work hours and go unnoticed.
When trying to keep your job and start a business, don’t dodge your job responsibilities and don’t touch your employer’s time. Look for time in your personal life, evenings, early mornings, or weekends to pull for your business.
Have a clear line between work and your business
Prioritizing your time goes along having a clear line between work and your business.
As you start your business, don’t forget your employment contract if you still want to keep your day job. Go back to your employment contract, understand the terms, and follow them.
Interfering with your company policies can get you fired or sued and you don’t want to lose your job as you start your business because you need a stable income.
Understand your company policies on intellectual property – anything developed using company time or company property belongs to the company.
Understand your employment agreement to avoid getting yourself in situations that contradict your employment contract.
Also, don’t talk about your business to colleagues during company time. This one seems insignificant but it is very important. Talking to your colleagues about your business during company time may appear disrespectful. You will be promoting your business during company time.
What if you tell the wrong employee about your side business and they end up telling your employer before you do. You will end up rubbing shoulders with your colleagues and your employer.
Save your income from the business
When your business starts to grow and you start getting money, don’t be tempted to use your side income. In fact, act like it’s not there and shove it away to savings or an investment account.
A time will come when your business grows and it will no longer need part-time attention but full-time attention. You will need to leave your fulltime 9-5 job and focus on your business. At this point, the money you saved from your business when you were still employed will sustain you.
Budget and plan your side business spending to help you avoid overspending or spending beyond your means.
Saving or investing your side business profits helps you prepare for unseen lean times when you no longer have your fulltime job to count on.
Outsource help when the business starts to grow
As your business grows, you will be having more customers and that means your business operations increase. You will no longer be able to do most of the tasks alone or with your one employee. You will need more hands-on-deck to run your business.
Know what you can do by yourself and see what and where you need extra help. If you are able, hire extra 2 or more people to help with the extra responsibilities you cannot do or don’t have much know-how.
Another option is having freelancers or part-timers instead of hiring fulltime employees.
Having extra hands on deck will help you prevent burn-out and inefficiency.
Don’t feel the pressure to quit your 9-5 job when your business starts to pick
The thought of leaving your 9-5 job is very tempting when your business is picking and there is some sort of cash flow.
But, there is no need to leave your job yet if your business cannot sustain itself.
Your business can only sustain itself after constant business growth through consistent growth of your customer base and a sustainable income.
Remember, businesses go through different growth cycles and unless it is at a point where it can sustain itself, you are not yet safe to quit your job.
Don’t be scared to do entrepreneurship full-time when the time is right
With a fulltime commitment, your business is going to grow more compared to the partial success it gets when you have it part-time.
Once it’s clear you have a demand for your products or services and you have a growing customer base and a sustainable income from your business, it’s time to do business fulltime.
Don’t be afraid to quit your job at this point and do entrepreneurship fulltime. Take it a step at a time, put in the necessary effort and time, and see your business to its full capacity.
You don’t have to quit your 9-5 to start a business. However, running a business and still working fulltime is challenging and you have to prioritize your time and plan yourself.
It’s a great idea to maintain your 9-5 job as you work towards building your business on the side. With the job, you have a stable income to test your business idea and see if it can be a real business.
Have the business on the side until the time is right and you feel ready to run the business fulltime and depend on it for a living.
Start the business, give yourself time, and step by step work towards making your entrepreneurship dream a reality.