Today I’m going to discuss the 09 steps to start a business while working full time. I had a similar experience about ten years ago. I had a full-time Software engineer job at a UK IT firm. I had already worked for about three years at that place. As time passes I was wondering what am I doing? does this really help full to fulfill my dreams.
I realized I need to do start something myself. For a start, I started working on private projects at night. After months of hard work, I have gained a lot of confidence. While still working at my full-time job I decided to form a small It firm. I had support from few other freelancers as well. Today I’m going to share some important guidelines to start a business while working full-time.
1) Keep Your Existing Job
It’s important to keep your income steady while you are starting your business. As this is something new to your life, you can’t completely depend on that.
If you become financially unstable, there’s a high chance you might fail your new business. As you can’t concentrate on it with a clear mind. You tend to get wrong moves for the sake of making money.
You should never quit your full-time job till you get confidence about a new income source that you are going to trust. To start a business while working you need to stay financially stable.
2) Read Your Employment Contract
Remember the day you got your current job?
As part of the onboarding process almost every job signs a job contract that stipulates what you can and cannot do as an employee.
This might be the first time you looking for your copy of the agreement after you signed it. While it’s not illegal to start a business, your employer might have included policy declarations to prevent you.
Along with the job contract, you should look at whether you signed any non-disclosure agreements (NDA).
Most job contracts prevent you from working or supporting competitors of your current employer which creates a direct threat to them.
In some instances, contracts have clauses that allow them to grant ownership of any inventions or innovations which you create during company time.
Key takeaway: When you start a business while working, Your new business might have to face legal problems due to pre-existing agreements with your employer. Carefully review your employment contract for intellectual property rights and noncompete clauses, and find out if you’ve signed an NDA.
3) Make the Commitment
As the first step to start a business while working, you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
Ask yourself how bad you want this? You need to be prepared to make difficult sacrifices. This will strain your relationships, and you’ll continually be forced to make tough decisions.
Prepare a list of all the commitments you have and the amounts of time you devote to each. Note the once you can lessen your involvement.
Use your time wisely. You have eight hours of sleep, nine hours of work, and a commute, leaving you with seven hours of leftover. So far you might use that time to watch Netflix, go out and roam around, etc. Instead of using that time to do whatever you were doing, you need to focus on your business.
You need to find extra time as much as possible. There’s a learning curve for you. New businesses always succeed with the experience you gather from other competitors. You can use your commute time to listen to podcasts. Podcasts are very powerful. There are a lot of free podcasts about business, marketing, finance, etc.
4) List Your Interests and Strengths
List out every asset and skill your business idea requires. Map those to what you can or cannot do yourself.
You likely possess at least some of the necessary skills to make your business happen, but if you don’t, you’re now faced with a tough decision. Learn something new every day. Spent at least one hour learning something new. Which will be an investment in the future.
If you can learn something new every day, in a week you have learned seven new things.
This will create momentum going and your business will start moving forward.
To start a business while working, just make sure you stay consistent and keep your eyes on the ball.
5) Validate your Business Model Carefully
The number one reason most businesses fail is the lack of market need for their product. A recent intensive study done by Fortune magazine showed about 42% of startups failed due to lack of market demand.
Before you start building, creating, and spending money you need to fully validate your idea and get honest feedback from potential customers.
It’s human nature to proceed with our business idea solely depending on gut feelings.
Unfortunately, our business ideas and product concepts are often not fully thought out, useful, or even properly researched.
6) Define your Competitive Advantage
What is a competitive advantage and why it should matter to you?
Competitive advantage is defined as the ability to stay ahead of present or potential competition.
This is typically done by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of competitors and seeing where you can fill in the gap or step up and improve.
There are many strategies to achieve your competitive advantage.
The most famous would be cost leadership. Keep yourself ahead of the pack by offering attractive pricing. You may move ahead of the competition by doing things in a new and innovative way.
Companies have sought a competitive edge using new technology or technology in a new way. Businesses who embrace new technology and learn to master it nearly always redefine or increase their competitive advantage over those who resist new methods.
Some companies just do what they do better than anyone else. Operational effectiveness can create an edge over others. This may mean creating systems of operating or new ways to analyze data. How you provide customer support to those who are already in the market.
7) Focus on What You do Best, Outsource the Rest
This is all about focus. Outsource everything you can smartly. Look for every opportunity to outsource every possible part of your business creation.
The real point here is that you need to be doing only what you do best, but always you should have a basic understanding of all the parts of your business.
Obviously, you don’t need someone else planning your goals, drawing your road map, or deciding how your product or service should be.
Hire freelancers to help speed up and streamline your business. Here are a few of the best platforms, Upwork, Fiverr, People per hour, freelancer.com, etc.
At their death bed what everybody wishes if they had more? TIME
That’s what everyone wants on this earth—more time. Outsourcing allows you to buy that time.
Here you can find the best outsourcing platforms available out there.
8) Set Realistic and Measurable Goals
It’s hard to start a business while working if you don’t know exactly where you are going.
It works best to set daily, weekly and monthly goals for yourself. It helps you to stick with short and long-term objectives. Daily goals are a most likely set of to-do list type of items. Weekly goals are the more significant wins, which have a considerable workload. Monthly goals are more likely the big picture you need to keep focused.
Always ensure your goals are specific. Almost all goals require deadlines or time frames. Why? Because if you don’t have an end-point in mind, you won’t be able to measure the effectiveness of your progress.
9) Create a Road Map to Launch
To start a business while working, you wake up every morning with a mission in mind — after all, you are going to build this business with a purpose, and that purpose acts as your true north in everything you do.
With your initiatives established, it’s time to create your roadmap. Start with a simple grid. Plot each of your initiatives on the grid in an executable sequence. Identify dependencies between initiatives.
Most startups bite off more than they can chew. Keep focus by doing the high-priority initiatives early rather than trying to do everything straight up.