Working full-time can feel like an insurmountable obstacle when you’re trying to launch your own business. Unless, of course, you’ve planned ahead and know how to start a business while working full-time.
Starting a small business as a side hustle — or even as your main job — is more popular than ever before. It’s often seen as a better way of improving your situation. Rather than getting a new job where your earnings are limited, hours are long, and you have relatively little control, many people prefer to start their own business instead.
If possible, you should start your business before quitting your old business. However, managing both at the same time can be hard. You have to plan carefully in order to find time for entrepreneurship without risking your main job in the process. Fortunately, there are several ways you can launch a business while keeping your day job intact. Here are some helpful tips on how you can make that happen.
Focus on Prep Tasks First
Perhaps the most important thing that you can do to start your business is to begin doing the prep work first. You can do this while you have a full-time job, and it will put you in the right position to start your business once you are ready to launch and leave your old job. Here are some things you should do to get ready.
Do More Market Research
One of the most important steps to start a business while working full-time is doing more market research. You need to be very clear on whom you’re serving, what their pain points are, and what their needs are before you start your business.
Start some initial market research by talking to people in your network, reading books or studies on the topic, and even surveying people in your community. You should also identify where your product can be sold, how much it will cost to make, and what your profit margins are.
Look for any potential red flags in your market like increased competition, regulatory hurdles, or anything else that could impact your business. You want to make sure you’re entering a market that has room for growth and that you can make a profit in.
Plan Your Business Thoroughly
Before you launch your business, you should plan it thoroughly. Make sure that you have all of your finances in place, that you have a business plan, and that you’re following all of the necessary legal and regulatory requirements.
If you’re working on your side hustle as a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor, you’ll also need to file the appropriate tax forms at the end of the year.
Part of planning your business thoroughly also involves making sure you have a steady source of income outside of your business. Ideally, you’ll have enough saved up to support yourself for at least six months while you get your business off the ground.
Network and Find Mentors
One of the best ways to start a business while working full-time is to find mentors and peers who can help you succeed. This will allow you to ask questions, find out what works and what doesn’t, and get advice from people who have already been through what you’re going through now.
You can find mentors in your field through meet-ups, conferences, and online communities. If you’re building a business in a specific field, you should also reach out to professionals in that field and ask for advice.
You can also find mentors among your colleagues at work. It isn’t uncommon to find a business, leadership, or management mentor in your current job. Helping you improve your skills as a leader or manager helps the business improve as well.
Build Your Product
When you start your business, you want to have products or services ready to go. At this stage, you should be researching materials and suppliers, getting feedback from potential customers, and testing your product or prototype with customers.
If there are regulatory hurdles in your industry, you might want to start researching those regulations now to give yourself plenty of time to comply before you launch. You can also start networking with people in your industry to find potential partners, clients, or suppliers.
Build Your Audience Before You Launch
You can save time, effort, and money by building your audience before you launch your product or service. You can do this by creating a blog, posting on social media, and interacting with your potential customers in the space. This will allow you to test out different types of content, get feedback on what people want, and start building a following for your products and services before they even exist.
Test With Your Target Audience
When you’re ready to launch your product or service, you should test it with your target audience. This will allow you to find out whether your customers actually want the product or service you’ve crafted. You can test new products or services in a variety of ways, including speaking at events, running surveys, or even doing paid surveys. You can also ask your existing customers what they think of your products or services, and what they’d like to see in the future.
File the Paperwork
If your business is making a profit, then you’ll want to file the necessary paperwork to turn it into a legitimate business entity. This will allow you to get all of the legal protections that come with being a business owner, and it will also help you with tax planning and management.
Depending on the type of business you’re starting, you might need to apply for specific licenses or permits. This can vary based on where you live and how you’re running your business.
Build Your Website
Once you’ve settled on a name for your business, you can start building your website. You can either hire a professional web designer to do this for you or use one of the many website building tools on the market.
You should also start building an email list by offering free content or products to your potential customers. This will allow you to stay in touch with your customers and subscribers, and it will also give you an easy way to promote your products and services.
You can get started by creating a simple website and email marketing campaign. There are many website building tools available that are free or low-cost and easy to use. Email marketing software is also widely available and can help you create beautiful email marketing campaigns with very little effort.
Working Around Your Current Job
It is important to not jeopardize your current job while working on your business. You need to keep that job until you are in a position to quit. This makes balancing the two commitments difficult. However, there are a few things that you can do to make it easier.
Take Advantage of Your Paid Breaks
If your job offers you paid time off, use it to work on your business. If you get to the end of the year and need to use up your accrued time off, take that time in one big chunk and use as much of it as you can to set up your business during the time you would usually be working. You’ll still have money coming in, so you don’t have to worry about paying bills.
Cash Out Paid Time Off
If you don’t need the time to set up your business, then see if you can just collect the pay for your paid time off that you haven’t used. Many companies will let you take the payment while still working so that you are still compensated for the time off. This can be an effective way of collecting a larger amount of savings to spend on your business or to support you when you leave your job to work on your business full-time.
Save Money To Support Your Launch
The whole point to keeping your job is that you need to have money coming in. While you still have that job, reduce your expenses and save as much as possible. The more you can save, the more support you have for your business.
Your goal should be to have enough savings to support yourself for several months — or even a year or more — without bringing in any income from your day job. This will give you plenty of time to launch your product or service, test it with your audience, and find out whether it’s worth pursuing.
If you don’t have the money saved up, you can start earning extra money by side hustling. You’ll have to run your business at reduced capacity until you can commit to leaving your job and working the business full time. For many people, this is the way that they get started.
As profits grow, they reach a point when they can leave their job and replace their income with the business. Taking this slower approach will help you to save money quickly and give you the financial support you need to make your business idea a reality.
Outsource Services To Reduce the Load on You
Starting your business while still working a job can be difficult, but it also gives you more stability in terms of finances. This may also mean that you need to outsource parts of the business so that you are not overworked and burned out. Companies like Answer Aide are a good option for this.
Answer Aide offers answering services that you can use to keep your customer service quality up without always being interrupted by phone calls. Let us help you keep your business running while you grow it so that you can leave your day job.
If you’re ready to get started with a professional answering service, we’re here to help. Contact Answer Aide by calling (866) 427-3500 or by filling out our online form. We’re happy to partner with you to support your business while it grows.