5 Tips on How to Start a Business Alongside a Day Job

A new business is always exciting. Exciting and yet challenging at the same time. And while a new business is full of potential, some start-up entrepreneurs still choose to keep their day jobs for many reasons: some keep their jobs because their finances are not yet stable; some start a new business alongside their day job to supplement their income; and others, however, are just loyal to their company that they can’t seem to leave their jobs just yet. No matter what the reason is, keeping your day job and starting a business can be overly challenging.

How do you manage your time? How do you manage your finances? How do you keep up with the pressures of your job, and your new business? With so many concerns to worry about, it can be difficult to pursue a new business while keeping your role at your company.

How can one manage his business while keeping his day job? Here are 5 useful tips:

1. Make a time plan.

A day job and your business can be challenging to manage, and of course, you can’t take for granted any of them. Create a time plan as to how you will manage your time at your job, and how much time you will utilize for your business. Daymond John, CEO, and Founder of F.U.B.U., worked on his business after he would work for Red Lobster. He admits he loved working for the company that it was difficult for him to leave it even though his company already started doing well. He would work on his business in between his shifts at Red Lobster and sell the clothes at a corner in Queens, New York whenever he isn’t working as a waiter.

2. Manage your day job efficiently.

While you are still at your job, make sure your performance isn’t compromised just because you are starting a business. Your day job came in first after all and is still your major source of income. What Sara Blakely did when she started her business was work nights at the Georgia Tech library to learn about the patent law. It meant she must have worked well at her job and she didn’t need to work overtime at it so she could be a 5 to 9 entrepreneur. She would also work on weekends knocking on hosiery mills, pitching her product and asking them to manufacture it. It was the toughest stage of her life but it all eventually paid off when Neiman Marcus agreed to stock Spanx in its regional stores.

3. Create a financial plan.

Aside from taking up your time, starting a business may mean using up a lot of your financial resources. Create a financial plan on how much will go to where it needs to go. Make sure you have your finances planned out as you would need not only a venture capital, but also some buffer for maintenance, a budget to improve any aspect of the business, and other expenses that may come along the way.

Don’t forget to set a long term financial plan too as well and set financial targets. When you finally meet or exceed your target income, you can take a look into finally quitting your job and go all the way for your business.

4. Ask for reinforcement.

A new business is really demanding. Let’s face it, there can be times when you can’t attend to your business while you are working. Ask for reinforcement. It can be easy if you have business partners, but if you are a sole business owner, you may need to hire and entrust some business aspects to a trusted assistant. You don’t need to do everything. Delegate some tasks when you need to, and focus on growing your business while you work your best at your day job.

5. Foresee possible challenges and create a counter-plan.

It would be overly challenging to deal with problems in your business or at work since you are literally working double time. Although it is a fact that starting a business means facing a lot of stress at the beginning, it’s still best to be able to reduce or at least be able to solve impending problems quickly. Try to foresee possible challenges and create a counter-plan. Take for example when you have an important meeting at work and you have a client call, what will you prioritize? What if you get a customer complaint that needs quick attention, but you are at work, how would you handle it? There is no need to add more stress at this stage, and remember, it is always wiser to know what problems you may encounter and have a plan to solve it, than waiting for problems to arrive then just come up with a solution when you know you could’ve actually made a plan to solve these concerns.

Starting a new business alongside a day job can be manageable. Many successful entrepreneurs have done it, and so can anyone. It just takes a good plan to manage your business, your time and your finances to succeed in it. Don’t be afraid to venture into a new business while you are still in your current role.  Who knows, you could become the next Phil Knight or Markus Persson among the many others who made it alongside their day jobs.

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