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How to Start a Business While You Work Full Time

An increasing number of people are looking to trade in the 9-5 and instead start their own businesses. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us how we are self-motivated and dedicated creatures, capable of incredible things if we put our minds to it. Many of us now want to transfer this newfound resilience to starting a new business.

Unfortunately, for the vast majority of us, the pressures of bills and rent mean we’re not in the position to pack up shop, quit the 9-5, and go all-in on the business venture. Alternatively, many of us might not feel ready to take our business full-time, and we’re keeping our regular job out of choice, rather than necessity. Whatever your reason is, balancing starting a business with a fulltime job on the side can be difficult. In this article, I’ll outline how you can successfully start a business while you work full time.

Outsource When You Need To

As entrepreneurs, it can be tempting to want to try our hand at every task. Our business is our baby, and not only do we want to do all we can to help it progress, trusting someone else with it can be extremely difficult. By outsourcing, you’re actually putting your businesses best interests at heart. Outsourcing work has numerous benefits that will ultimately contribute to the growth and development of your business. For those of us still balancing a full-time job, it is even more important to outsource where we can.

Rather than spend hours learning new skills, stressing over tasks, and ultimately providing subpar work, outsource these projects (take a look at Fiverr if you are looking for help with ad hoc projects). By outsourcing skills that you don’t have the expertise in, you’re saving yourself time and stress. This means you can dedicate your energy to the tasks you do excel in, and as a result, your business will develop faster and make money quicker. If you’re working full time on the side, outsourcing is imperative to saving your already limited time and energy.

Develop Your Time Management Skills

There are only so many hours in the day, and when you’re starting a business and working full time, you need to make the most of all the time available for you. Every entrepreneur has prefered time-management and productivity tactics; some people like time blocking, others prefer the Pomodoro technique. There are hundreds of different time-managing methods out there. You need to decide which system works best for you and implement this. As human beings, we have limited energy resources and you need to distribute this accordingly in the time we have.

Learn How To Prioritise Efficiently

As well as prioritising productive times of day, you need to know how to prioritise tasks efficiently. Prioritising efficiently can enable you to balance your time better and help you know what you need to outsource. When you start a business while you work full time, you’re not going to have enough time or energy to achieve all the tasks you would like to in one day. When you look at your to-do list, decide which tasks are the most important or the most pressing, and make sure you do these first. The tasks that are of lesser importance, and are not imperative to getting your business off the ground, can be completed later or outsourced.

Plan Every Step

Planning is essential for the start of any business. If you’re hoping to start a business whilst you work full time, planning is even more crucial. Not only do you need to have a detailed business plan, but you’re also going to have to strategically plan your weeks and days. Due to working a full-time job, you will only have the mornings, evenings and weekends to dedicate to your business. Make sure you’re planning your days according to your hours of high-energy. For example, if you’re a morning person, getting up early and working on your business in those hours will be the most productive for you. If you’re more of a night owl, plan your day around having the evenings free to focus on your business.

If your ultimate goal is to quit your fulltime job and take your new business full time, you’ll want to plan a financial calendar. Planning your budget and income will help you know how much money you need to be turning over to eventually quit your full-time job.

Be In It For The Marathon, Not The Sprint

Entrepreneurs are known for dreaming big. I’m sure you’re bursting with ambition and can’t wait to bring your new business to life. This enthusiasm is amazing! It’s great to have dreams and goals to work towards. However, it’s equally as important that you don’t become overwhelmed. Assuming you’re someone who hasn’t owned a business before, you’re going to have a lot to learn. You need to provide yourself with space and time for this learning and development.

In an age of instant gratification, it can be frustrating if your business doesn’t take off instantly. You might find yourself resenting your full-time job and the time and energy it demands of you. Unfortunately, this is something you’re going to have to learn to accept. Starting a business takes time, and starting a business alongside a full-time job is going to take even more time. The benefit of this is, you have even more time to learn, develop, and grow. Try to be thankful for this time and what it teaches you. Be proud of your hard work, motivation and dedication to the marathon.

If you want to start a business whilst you’re working full time, you need to learn to implement these essential tips. Starting a business is always difficult. Beginning a business alongside a full-time job might feel like an impossible task, but it is possible. Hundreds of successful businesses have been started whilst the founders kept the safety and security of their full-time careers. You don’t have to quit your job to make your business a success. As long as you’re dedicated, efficient, and hardworking, you can build a successful, money-making business whilst you’re still working full time.

About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek, money nerd and creator of www.goselfemployed.co - the UK small business finance blog for the self-employed community. Here she shares simple, straight-forward guides to make self-employment topics like taxes, bookkeeping and banking easy to understand.