How to Start Your Business– While Still Employed

Majority of us dream of our own business, but oftentimes, reality hits us. These are the common “hindrances” to starting a business:

  • How can I start my business, when I’m in the office the whole day for 8 hours?

  • I don’t have money for capital.

  • I don’t know what business to start.

All of those are valid concerns. Fortunately though, I began meeting people who were able to start a business while still employed ,then eventually transitioned to full-time businessmen. So my mind was opened! Then I knew that it was possible. I can do it too.

Today, I manage an online bookstore and my own marketing consultancy start-up while employed in a publishing company. I was able to apply what I learned from experienced businessmen, books, and seminars I attended! In this article, I’ll share with you some of them, and hopefully you’ll get to kick-off that business on-the-side soon!

  1. Extend your “working hours”. When starting your business on-the-side, I’m sorry to say, you’ll have to work more than 8 hours a day. You work on your business either early in the morning or late in the evening. Even on weekends. During your extended working hours, this is the time when you work on your dream– research, do your business meetings, managing your social media pages, etc.

When I say extended hours and weekends, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t rest. You should set a day or allocate ample hours to rest in your week. Take advantage of your vacation leaves if you must.

2. Keep a planner. Whether your planner is your phone calendar or a physical planner, it’s good to keep track of your “work-business-life balance”. Don’t allocate too much time for business that you forget to rest and be with your family. Your planner will help you organise your jam-packed life. Here’s a sample of my daily itinerary:

  • 6am: Wake up. Pack books for delivery today. (Yes, even before breakfast!)

  • 6:45am: Breakfast

  • 7:15am: Get ready for work

  • 12:45pm- 1:00pm: Schedule social media posts for my consultancy page or online store page

  • 8:30pm- After dinner, respond to Facebook inquiries

I maximise my early morning, lunch break and after office. But of course I don’t do this daily. I’m not Wonder Woman. hehe!

3. Start a business that’s aligned with your core gift. It’s not advisable to start a food business if you’re not familiar with its ins and outs. It can be easy to franchise a famous business, but operating and maintaining it is another story.

Starting a business that’s aligned to what you’re really good at will make things a LOT easier– less research & study time, more related contacts, easier to execute. And also, it must be something that you’re willing to do even after a long day at work, something that you can “sacrifice” your weekends for.

4. Minimise your budget. Don’t invest too much money at the beginning. Don’t be in a rush! We are fortunate today that we can use a lot of marketing and selling platforms for free. Use free tools first while testing the waters for your business to minimise your risks.

5. Don’t quit your job just yet. I heard from a mentor that the only time you should quit your job to manage your own business is when your on-the-side business is already earning more than your full-time salary. Makes sense really. Given all our financial obligations as adults, it’s very risky to quit your job while your on-the-side business is still on the works. Remember that most businesses have peak and lean seasons.

For me, being an entrepreneur and an employee is actually getting the best of both worlds! You have sure income every month, but at the same time, you know that you can still earn more because of your business.

Are you thinking of being an entrepreneur while still an employee as well? Feel free to share your thoughts!

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