Join the league of dreamers-turned-entrepreneurs who started with a full-time job but dared to create a life beyond their 9-5. To launch a small business while keeping your job is a brave and exciting decision!
While it may mean sacrificing a bit of your personal life (hello, Saturday morning work sessions), there are some fantastic benefits to maintaining that dual role.
Research published in the Academy of Management Journal suggests that hybrid entrepreneurs have a higher likelihood of successfully launching their ventures compared to those who plunge into full-time entrepreneurship from the start.
What are the benefits of starting a business while working full-time?
- Earn a steady income as well as passive income
- Less pressure to make ends meet
- Forces you to be strategic
- You can afford to take more risks
- You can maximise on networking opportunities
Staying at your current full-time job for as long as possible can help you build up the capital you need to fund your business without the added pressure of having to make ends meet.
With this guide, you’ll have everything you need to not only start your side hustle, but eventually, turn it into something greater.
Your current employer may have a non-compete clause in their contract.
Do your due diligence, go over your agreement and make sure there aren’t any clauses that prohibit you from starting your own venture. Once you’ve got that out of the way, you can start thinking about starting your business idea.
A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business.
You’ve probably heard the saying “fail to plan, plan to fail”. Avoid failure by crafting a solid business plan. This roadmap will outline your strategies, financial projections, and marketing plans.
Break down your goals into realistic timelines and milestones that accommodate your full-time job. That way, you’ll stay focused and motivated on your journey to success. If you’re a little intimidated (we wouldn’t blame you) and still don’t know where to start, check out Harvard Business Review’s guide to writing a winning business plan.
Step 3: Allocate Time and Resources
Take a hard look at your schedule and identify blocks of time you can dedicate to your business.
Determine how much time and resources you can—realistically—allocate to different tasks, like product development, marketing, and administrative work, without compromising your full-time role. Prioritise high-impact activities that move your business forward. Remember, every minute you can spare counts!
Seek out like-minded entrepreneurs, join relevant business communities, and attend networking events.
You may have heard about word-of-mouth marketing. But you may not know why it’s so important. Word of mouth plays a huge role in increasing your brand’s trust, and reputation. It’s more authentic to hear someone you know say something is the ‘best’, over the business proclaiming or stating it’s the best.
61% of customers have recommended a local business to someone they know by word of mouth – Referral Rock.
Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Break down your business launch into smaller, manageable tasks. Set realistic deadlines for each task based on your available time and resources. Use project management tools or apps to track your progress and ensure you stay on schedule.
Celebrate each milestone along the way – progress is progress, no matter how small.
Why do it all when you can delegate and automate like a boss?
Identify tasks that can be outsourced or automated to free up your time. Consider hiring freelancers or virtual assistants to handle administrative work, website development, or social media management. Utilise automation tools and software to streamline repetitive tasks.
Remember, you’re the captain of your ship – focus on steering, not rowing.
Step 7: Focus on Marketing and Branding
Consistent marketing and messaging lead to consistent brand identity and sales.
Develop a compelling brand identity and create a professional website. Leverage social media platforms to reach and engage with your target audience. Use content marketing to establish thought leadership and build brand awareness.
Show the world what makes your business unique – you’re not just another face in the crowd.
Feedback is your compass. Embrace it and navigate to success!
Launch a minimum viable product (MVP) or offer beta testing to gather feedback and refine your business model. Listen to your customers, make improvements based on their feedback, and stay attuned to market response. Keep an eye on key metrics to measure the success and viability of your business.
Adapt, evolve, and conquer.
Launch a minimum viable product (MVP) or offer beta testing to gather feedback and refine your business model.
Once your business gains traction and shows potential, it’s time to evaluate the possibility of transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship.
Assess your financial situation, including savings and potential income from your business. Plan your exit strategy, whether it involves reducing work hours gradually or negotiating a part-time arrangement with your employer.
Embrace the adventure of becoming your own boss.
Launching a small business while working full-time is challenging, but possible.
With dedication, discipline, and effective time management, you can do it. Don’t forget to maintain a healthy work-life balance and seek support from your network when needed. As your business grows, reassess your priorities and make informed decisions about transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship.
Your dreams are waiting – now go out there and make them a reality!