For many entrepreneurs, it is often necessary to depend on a full-time job during the launch and startup phase of a new business. Balance a full-time job andlaunching a startup can be a huge challenge. Below are few tips that will help you get through this transition successfully.
You must be extremely efficient and organized with your time.
– If possible, schedule 2-3 hours of your day that you are going to work uninterrupted on your startup. Once you have scheduled this time, be sure to make it a priority. Finding time to catch up while working a full time job and running a startup is incredibly challenging.
– Use early morning, nights and weekends when schedule time for your startup. Furthermore, don’t neglect your vacation time and paid-time-off.
– Know what you’re getting into before you begin. Your free time will be one of the first things to go. You may have to forgo outings with friends, family dinners and even dates.
– Build a plan for your new business; ideally, you will want to develop a complete business plan. This will help you to use your time efficiently by focusing on the value added tasks that make your business successful and make you money.
– Create a home office of sorts – the garage, basement, an extra bedroom, etc. – that’s just for your side business. This will help you to quickly enter and exit the startup mind frame needed to work efficiently on your side business.
– Do not be afraid to get support. You should have an informal board of advisors that you can turn to for advice on various aspects of your business. Furthermore, when you simply do not have enough time for the less important tasks of your business, don’t be afraid to contract out the work to freelance or part-time laborers.
Be transparent about your startup.
– If possible, tell your boss about your startup and be sure to mention that your work ethic and ability to accomplish your tasks will not be affected. At the bare minimum, you should not hide what you are doing with your side business. If you have to keep it undercover, there is likely a conflict of interest.
– Be sure to consider any conflicts of interest prior to moving forward with launching your startup. If you are working with the same customer base or even in the same industry, this could present a conflict of interest.
– It is important to clearly and cleanly separate your two roles. You don’t want your primary company claiming that you were working on your side on business on their time, and therefore they have rights to it.
– Don’t let your day job suffer from the demands of your side business; it will show. Remain focused on opportunities in both your startup as well as your day job
Knowing if and when you should quit your day job.
Determining if and when you should quit your day job can be a nerve-racking decision. Try asking yourself some of the following questions:
– Is your business turning a profit?
– Is your business turning enough of a profit to fund your living expenses and/or do you have enough of a run way to float you through the next couple of months should your startup lose money.
– Can you continue to grow your business while maintaining your day job or are you limited due to time and energy.
– Has your time and passion been completely dominated by your startup or are you still excited about your day job?
Regardless of how you answered these questions, you should not quit your day job until your startup is bringing you enough income to cover your living expenses and that you have enough of a runway to support you should the startup turn sour.