How to combine a full-time job with your own business
A guest post by Jennifer Pauli.
There is no doubt that most people in a full time job today are thinking about starting a self-employed business at least sometimes. This is a common dream for everyone who realises that we do live in a world of endless opportunities.
There are numerous online courses and resources where you can learn new concepts and gain new skills. Therefore, there is no excuse for not taking advantage of them. Being your own boss is a perfect window of opportunity.
At the same time, this idea is connected with certain risks and responsibilities you have never taken on your shoulders before. In general, there is a couple of reasons people avoid starting a side business:
- Not enough confidence in their talents and skills
- Not enough motivation to start something new and take risks
- Not enough resources
Moving on from your full time job
How to calculate possible threats that may appear on your way to a dream-career, especially when you already have a full time job that makes your living?
Not many of us can afford to quit a current job to pursue a self-employed career. This decision will surely bring too much pressure and stress even to those who have nerves of steel.
What about combining your work and a side project of your own? Sounds great, but you need to have a plan. Let’s discuss the most important points you should keep in mind when making a life-altering step.
Come up with an idea
Do you know what is the main reason for small businesses and start-ups to fail? Most companies got closed because their initial product offer didn’t correspond to the market needs.
Of course, embodying a dream of your childhood or something like that is great, however, if you want to have real income, you should have paying customers. If you are absolutely assured that your business idea is perfect, you should test your persuasions. Focus on something not only interesting but also useful.
Do a proper market research and think about the future horizons. Think about your potential target audience and gather some information about them. It is even better if you make a small personal quiz with a number of people to be sure that your concepts will meet their desires. This is a really nice starting point for your side-business.
Interests and skills
Next, you should think about the inventory of the necessary skills you need to start working. If you already have a set of necessary skills obtained from your full time job, well, that’s great.
Just think about some additional skills or analyse those that need to be improved. If you don’t have them, it’s okay, too. Take an online course, find some literature, read articles, and watch some webinars.
In a word, take some time to learn a new skill. If you are not sure that you want to, just consider hiring someone professional. There are millions of unemployed freelancers waiting for your cooperation offers, so just check some resources and find someone you are ready to work with.
You need to do something you are really good at. As we have already said, when you don’t have enough skills and time or inspiration to learn them, you should think about outsourcing every necessary part of your project.
If you don’t have a programmer to code your site and test its usability, then it is much better to find one. Do not neglect any important aspects of your business and don’t try to ignore them. It is much better to pay for professional services to make things really great than to have a lame website or inefficient business strategy.
Be realistic and know your goals
Before making your first steps, you need to know the desired direction and a final destination. If you ignore the necessity to take a realistic perspective, set goals and deadlines, you will waste too much time trying to adjust your strategies and correct your mistakes.
The best solution here is to have certain plans for particular time periods. Think about your plans for a week, month and year. This will help you keep up with the strategy and track your own progress. Even small everyday wins will help you see how you approach desired goals.
Why should customers choose you?
Next, you need to think about a very important thing: a competitive advantage. You need to have something unique, something that your competitors cannot offer. This is the best way to attract the audience and get sails.
A competitive advantage is something that makes a business yours, a unique trait that differs you from all the others. If you are not a fan of all that creative and crazy stuff people use to attract attention to what they do, then you might focus on more thoughtful things. Your unique trait can be embodied in the way you set prices, distribute network, offer your services, or communicate with your customers.
Ask for a feedback
You want to create a project that brings some value to customers. The best way to learn whether you are really on the right way is to seek for an objective feedback.
It is impossible to develop your services and make them better without finding, analysing and considering a feedback. You have to do so from the first day of your business.
From the beginning you should find people who can provide you with an honest opinion. It is really great if you know some entrepreneurs or even mentors to consult with. If you don’t, then you can make use of online resources such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, GrowthHackers, etc.
Manage your time
Now let’s move to some recommendations that relate to the way you combine your self-employed business and your current full time job. First of all, you should remember that time management is everything. If you don’t want to get fired and don’t want your project die before you even start it, then you should have strict planning.
Start with making a list of your everyday activities and the amount of time you devote to them. Find the most useless and unimportant things. This will be simple: watching TV series, browsing your Facebook page, playing games, etc. Lessen such activities and the amount of freed time will surely amaze you.
The borders between your full time job and your project
There is no sense in building a clone of your current company, “only better”.
First, this is something you promised not to commit when making a job contract. Second, this way you risk to spoil the relationships with your colleagues instead of having them by your side and taking advantage of business-acquaintances. Third, the very main idea of creating your self-employed business is building something new and empowering your talents that cannot be embodied in the office.
Also, make sure that you don’t:
- Work on your side-project during the office hours
- Use any company resources for your business
- Ask your current co-workers to assist you with some questions related to your business
Creating your own business might be tough, especially when you have no other choice but to combine this activity with your current full time job. However, this is a manageable task if you have a thought-out and smart approach. Make use of these steps and tips on your way and good luck!
About the author:
Jennifer Pauli graduated from Corvinus School of Management and finished the faculty of Journalism at Corvinus University of Budapest. Currently, she is an editor, business writer, and copywriter, working with EssayWanted.com and other well-known companies, blogs, and personalities. Follow her on Twitter, G+ and read her personal blog.
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