Managing a small business can be extremely challenging, considering the time, resources and effort involved. Today, it’s not uncommon for budding entrepreneurs to work a full-time job while working on their own startup. It may seem impossible considering the time one has to put in at both sides.
However, there are ways in which you can make it work and build up your Small Business side-by-side until you are confident enough to start off on your own. The following are the ways you can manage this:
1. Differentiate: It is essential that you devote your undivided attention to your full-time job – it would not be fair to try and get work done for your Small Business during office hours. This is definitely challenging to put into practice. However, you can try to schedule meetings for your Small Business and meet prospective clients after work hours, or try to set aside time before work to catch up on things for your business.
You could even set time apart on weekends for your business. Remember not to jeopardize your day job, as it is still the first priority for you.
2. Take small steps: When you’re beginning to work on your small business, start small. Think about how much time you can afford to allocate for your business on a weekday and set it up accordingly. Work during the weekend or before/after work and see whether there is a high demand for your products and services. As time progresses, you’ll be able to form a clear picture of how you can sustain and scale your business, to eventually branch out on your own.
3. Get help: Reach out to like-minded professionals or even a friend who might be interested in helping you manage your small business in the early stages. This will help balance the work out for you and will ensure you already have competent stuff once you decide to take the plunge and pursue it full-time. In fact, it has been proved that getting help at the early stages can be crucial to the success of your business.
4. Build a strong network: Networking helps you understand your business vertical, and builds valuable contacts that can help you at a later stage, especially if you would like to pitch for funding for your small business. It is also a great way to start building awareness about your business and marketing it.
5. Keep it private: Some people may be tempted to talk about running a side business to their colleagues. However it can be detrimental to retaining your day job if your manager or boss finds out, and can also lead to unnecessary gossip from other colleagues. It is always better to keep your business out of your full-time job.
6. Avoid competing with your employer: Not only is being in a competing business unethical, it could also be illegal according to your company contract. In case of anyone finding out about your small business, it could mark you as an unethical candidate for future jobs or within the industry.
A full time job would help you with a steady income while you get your Small Business Up and Running and could also teach you key management skills that could prove useful when you finally plan to migrate to your own start up.