Most successful entrepreneurs started their own business after quitting their jobs. This trend has gained so much prominence that people think entrepreneurship is only possible without a job. Interestingly, there are so many others who set up their own business while working full-time.
Jack Dorsey worked Twitter while working at a podcasting company Odeo. Sara Blakely moonlighted a hosiery making side-hustle while selling fax machines door-to-door. Marc Benioff worked at Oracle for 13 years before coming up with Salesforce after the 10th year. Phil Knight worked full-time as an accountant while selling Japanese running shoes – the company is called Nike.
So, you see, there’s no need to storm into the boss’ office, hand in your resignation, and move to Costa Rica.
At least, not right now.
You can begin working on your idea in your own time while gathering the necessary things and money (of course) to start your business.
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to setting up your own business with a job.
1. Run your business part-time along with your current job.
This is a sustainable model. You will continue earning a dependable income and benefits while working on your idea. The last thing that you need while setting up your own business is the added stress of draining the savings account or unpaid bills piling up.
2. Read through your employment contract carefully.
If you work with a company that’s into intellectual property (IP) or inventions, anything that is developed on the company’s time and its resources is the property of the company. If you are not bound by the employment contract, make sure to go through the Employee Manual for references to ownership and IP. You can also ask your HR personnel to shed more light on this.
3. Save earnings from your side income.
You should have a backup when you decide to leave your full-time job to set up your own business. Set aside cash reserves from income from your side hustle. On top of this, set clear budgetary and spending guidelines so that you don’t end up spending beyond your means. Investing or saving profits from your side business, no matter how small, will create a safety net for lean times in the future.
1. Refrain from using company resources to work on your side business.
Even if it just took 5 minutes to log on to webmail for shooting an email, you still used your company’s system, internet connection, and electricity on the company’s time to further your own business. This could present problems for you in your employment company.
2. Get pressured into leaving your day job as the business gains traction.
A new business goes through life cycles, and a few early wins don’t necessarily mean that your enterprise has become self-sustaining. Make sure to validate your model with real, paying customers, and observe a few months of consistent growth in your buyer base. Only then decide to call it quits at your workplace.
3. Don’t blabber about your business around the proverbial water cooler.
This can be construed as promoting your business in your employment company without permission. This rule also extends to the company’s suppliers and clients as well.
Setting up your own business can be nerve-wracking, but is also very satisfying and fulfilling. Jump in when you’re ready and with gusto. Good luck!