Five tips for starting a business while working a day job

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Many entrepreneurs begin to build their businesses while still working a day job (hey, it’s what I did) because sometimes it’s just not feasible to up and leave a permanent job to follow a dream. Whenever you decide to leave that job, there will be some risk involved but you can minimise it by setting the groundwork for your new business venture while still working.

Here are some tips for starting that business and staying sane at the same time.

Make your vision clear

You need to understand exactly what your business is and where it’s going to go. There’s no point in muddling through with a vague idea because you won’t be able to get anywhere. Plan out your ultimate business goal and mission statement as it’ll help keep things clear in your mind.

Once you start to move forward, take this a step further and write a business plan. It might change as your business and idea evolves but it’s good to have this in place from an early stage.

Commit yourself

An idea is all good and well but if you’re not willing to commit to the vision then you aren’t really going to get anywhere. Set aside time to spend on your new business, it might be an hour each evening after work or it might be two full evenings each week. Work out what you can commit to and stick to it. This kind of consistency and habit-forming behaviour can only work in your favour.

Set goals

You’ll probably have a few long term goals but set daily and weekly ones too. These might be as simple as little tasks or they might be bigger. Make sure to set realistic goals that are SMART.

Dedicate yourself to learning

All the best entrepreneurs dedicate time to reading and learning. There’s always something new to learn be it business basics or something more in depth such as how to implement an inbound marketing campaign.

Stay positive

It’s important to stay positive about your day job. Remember, it gives you the financial freedom to be able to pursue your dreams. If you start to resent your job then it could impact on your work and you may find yourself with nothing or laden with undue stress. Stay positive and if you’re not enjoying your job just channel that energy into building your own business.

Ask for help

Whether you speak to other business people you know for advice, join a mentoring group or seek the help of a professional business coach, it can’t hurt to get a nudge in the right direction. Simply collaborating with people and asking questions on social media can be beneficial too and there are plenty of groups on Facebook you can join for advice.

Resources such as Enterprise Nation are really helpful too or, if you’re in the Middle East or Africa, Orange has just launched The Entrepreneur Club.

Speaking from experience, starting a business can be a slow process especially when you’re working full time elsewhere but with some dedication and a few late nights, you can move towards your goals and before you know it, you’ll be in a position where you can seriously consider moving away from your day job and running your own business full time.


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