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Preparing to Start a Business While Working Full-Time

  • Starting a side hustle or setting up a business plan when you’re already working a full-time job
  • Make sure your plan won’t conflict with any company policies
  • Give yourself time to develop a comprehensive plan

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

When you’re comfortably employed in a full-time job, you may be reluctant to pursue the ambition to start your own business. Perhaps you have limited time, or aren’t sure you want to give up the stability your job offers, or even fear that an employer will take punitive action if they find out you’re trying to set up a company.

Whether you want to transition to self-employment or simply set up a side hustle, it’s still possible to balance a full-time job with business planning.

Be open with your employer about your venture, and check company policies to see if your activities will create a conflict of interest or otherwise cause problems. Most employers are fine with their employees pursuing entrepreneurial activities, as long as they are not completed on company time or with company resources.

Since you shouldn’t pursue your business while completing the tasks of your full-time job, plan for when you’ll develop the business idea or spend time offering your product or service. Even if you spend just a few minutes per day on your plan, you can advance your idea. You might also schedule blocks of time on certain days to dedicate to business planning or accomplishing certain tasks.

Make sure you cover all of your bases while planning. You’ll want to research the market, identify existing competitors, set up a financial plan, determine how the business will affect your taxes, and decide how you’ll market your company once it’s established. Third-party outlets such as Shopify can help you connect with customers, and you can also set up a freelance business for greater flexibility.

Seek out new professional connections instead of just relying on your existing ones. And while self-doubt is natural, you shouldn’t let it control you; have confidence that you can succeed.

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