Don’t let a 40 hour week working life put your dreams on hold – every spare hour is an opportunity to get your own business up and running. Starting up a company whilst being employed eliminates a lot of pressure, and removes risk.
Follow these steps and begin your journey to being boss of your own successful business.
1. Establish your passion
Has a business idea been brewing inside you for a while now? Buy a new notebook and write it down. Voila! You’ve just made the first step in making this idea become a reality.
2. Set your mission
Establishing your vision is a simple next step, it gives your business focus. Writing a mission statement is about your planned impact on your customers and society; whilst establishing your vision is about where your business is going. Both are integral to starting your own business.
3. Evaluate your lifestyle
Next, assess when you can work on your own business. Note down your working hours and any other commitments you may have – kids and family time, hobbies you just can’t live without, and it will soon become clear where there are gaps for your new business working hours will fit.
4. Embrace the digital age
Mobile technology makes working on the go a breeze. Utilize that dead time on the bus to work, or that lunch hour normally spent at your desk watching YouTube videos! That said, do not be tempted to disrespect your current employer by working on your new business during paid hours – remember this job is paying your bills.
5. Make cuts
Cutting 3 hours of evening television down to 1 may sound scary at first, but just like anything in life, it will just become habit. Would you rather watch that episode of Breaking Bad for the fifth time, or work on making your business dream a reality?
6. Do what you love
Okay, so we know that’s very cliché, but if you truly are following your passion, your new business adventure won’t feel like work at all, and making the aforementioned cuts will be easy.
7. Consider a friend
Just like having a gym-buddy to motivate you and keep you on track, inviting a friend along at this start-up stage could not only offer much needed encouragement and ensure you’re committed, but could even bring new ideas and skills to the table. Definitely one to consider.
8. Know how
You’ve set out the ‘What’, the ‘When’, the ‘Why’, and the ‘Who’; now to establish the ‘How’. This should include immediate next steps, mid-term goals and long term plans. Write it all out, and add as much detail as possible. This will make a great guide to come back to.
9. Set realistic goals
When setting targets for your business it pays to remember you are doing this alongside your current role. Your goals should be achievable as long as you are aware they’re going to take longer than if you were working on your business full time.
10. Play on your skills
Start with an advantage – your own experience, your skills and your passion are your advantage. If marketing is second nature to you, be sure to utilize your talents. Reflect on the expertise gained in your current role which could be invaluable too.
11. Do your research
When playing on your skills, be sure not to be over confident and make assumptions which could later turn out to be costly mistakes. Always research your new business’ field, industry challenges, current trends and best practices.
12. Work on your weaknesses
Even if you consider yourself a Jack-of-all-trades, you will have a weaker area. Consider taking an evening course to learn a new skill, or just brush up on existing skills.
13. Measure & Monitor
You’re working away at your business, you’ve mastered being on top of the accounts, and maybe even achieved some of your initial goals. But don’t carry on blind. Gain insight into your business with statistics, and use the data to assess strategic performance. This will help you define next steps.
14. Use your annual leave
So you’ve set the ball rolling with evenings and weekends spent getting your business off the ground. Now consider dedicating some extra days to give your business venture a push. Use a day or two of annual leave from your current job each month to really work on achieving a goal for your new business. Establishing an achievable target ahead of the day off will ensure you don’t just treat it as a day of holiday!
15. Stay inspired by others
You are not the first to start up a business while working full time and juggling other commitments, and you won’t be the last. Read up on what others are doing, and learn from their mistakes.
16. Take the plunge
They say when you know, you know. There will come a time when you take that daunting first step and cut the ties of employment. Be savvy and risk-adverse – be sure you have a fall back plan and savings in place. Make sure you have a plan in place for not only the first few weeks of taking your business full time, but also the months that follow.
17. Keep the momentum going
You’ve done so well to get to a point where you can quit your day job. Starting a business whilst working full-time is no mean feat and you’re on the way to becoming the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed of! Be sure not to drop the ball, keep the momentum going and work hard. You are a success!
Featured photo credit: David Mulder via flickr.com