3 Tips for Starting Your Own Business While Working Full-Time
Running a startup is a full-time job, but giving up a salary to take the plunge into entrepreneurship is impossible for many people. For that reason, a large number of businesses are started while its founders are working for someone else. On nights and weekends, you can build your dream while still having the security of a regular income.
Balancing the demands of a job, family, and a startup can be tricky, however. There are a few tricks that can help you reach the day when you can turn in your resignation at your day job and put all of your time into your own business.
Dedicate Time Each Day
With the many daily demands you face, it’s easy to procrastinate, with days, weeks, and months going by without you pursuing your dream. Make a commitment to set just one hour a day aside at first, even if it means getting up an hour early or giving up an hour of TV time each evening. Over time, you’ll likely find you can extend that hour to two or three hours a day without cutting into family time.
In the early days of your new business, much of your attention may be spent researching and networking within your industry. If your new business is in a field like graphic design or computer repair, this is a great time to land one or two clients that will help you build a portfolio. The extra money these side jobs bring in can be put into an account to use for expenses such as business cards and professional organization memberships.
If you’re fortunate to live in an area with a large number of startups, there are likely networking groups dedicated to the many aspects of developing and growing a small business. These groups can be a great way to get the support and feedback you need in the early days. Sites like Meetup.com can direct you to a group that meets in the evenings to accommodate the busy schedules of small business owners.
If you’re in a rural area without access to in-person meetings, there are online groups that can help you access the resources you’d have with a local group. LinkedIn Groups is a great resource for locating groups within specific industries. The Small Business Administration is also a great resource for small business owners across the U.S., providing helpful information, including Small Business Development Centers, which are located in each state. The SBA can also help you locate loans specific to your business type that can help give you the start you need.
One of the best ways to get the security you need before making the big leap is to partner up. Adding one or more business partners to your enterprise can give you the extra help you need as you try to get the funding to get your business moving. This can be a tough decision for some business owners, since it may mean compromising on a few things in order to work with someone else. If you choose to begin a partnership, make sure you can work well together and share the same vision before proceeding.
Whether you choose to work alone or proceed with a partner, investors are a great way to get the money you’ll need to get started. Kickstarter is a great way to get the word out about your business while getting funding from the masses, but for business investors, sites like Gust may be a great way to easily sift through the many investors looking for great startups. Be aware that some investors may balk at funding a business run by part-time entrepreneurs, so you may need to formulate a detailed plan as to how you intend to transition from the safety of a day job to your new career as a small business owner.
Starting a business can be a risky move for someone who has the reliability of a salary. By working diligently during the evening and weekends, slowly growing your idea, you can build your business and prepare to go full-time. Thankfully, technology has made it easier to conduct research and make connections from the comfort of your home office.