If you’re interested in starting a business, but maybe don’t have enough capital to do so fully, or if you’re insecure about leaving the safety net of your steady income and company benefits, there’s another option:
Starting a business on the side.
Benefits to Working Two Jobs
If you’re not ready to fully dive into entrepreneurship, starting a side business while you continue to work at your job has many benefits:
- Helps you ramp up your business while you still have income
- Lets you test the waters with your idea before you go 100%
- Provides an additional revenue stream for you
The primary drawback to starting a business while working full time is, of course, the time crunch. You’re already putting in 40 hours a week at your job, and now you’ll need anywhere from 10 to another 40 hours a week to get your new business off the ground. Take into consideration how this demand on your time will affect your family before making the final decision to jump in.
5 Steps to Starting a Business on the Side
Ready to start a business while you’re still an employee? Here’s how.
1. Make sure you don’t cross any lines at work. Some companies make you sign noncompete agreements that essentially prohibit you from starting a business in the same industry for a given number of years. If this is the case, you might need to look at other fields for your business.
Also, never take advantage of your office by working on your startup when you should be working on your day job. And of course, “borrowing” office supplies is always a no-no!
2. Start slowly and ramp up. The purpose of starting a side business is to ease into it. Test the waters. See how the market responds to your product before offering more products. Get one thing right before growing your business, and it will offer a steadier climb to becoming full-time work if that’s what you want.
3. Get help. Even if you’re bootstrapping your side business, you need help! Hire graphic designers, programmers, customer support reps…whatever you need to help your business grow, especially when you can’t be there from 9 to 5.
4. Keep an eye on the finances. Yes, you have some savings from your job to invest in your business, but that doesn’t mean you should fritter them away. The tighter the rein you have on your money, the longer it will last, and the sooner it will start helping you make more of it.
5. Invest in marketing. All that being said about your finances, it’s absolutely imperative that you invest some in marketing to drive customers to your site or store. Social media, press releases, and content marketing are all affordable tools that you can use on your own, or you can hire a marketing consultant to assist you.
It may take longer for you to get your small business up and running if you’re still working your day job, but if you’re looking for security and stability as you ease in, starting a side business will provide that.