Starting A Business While Keeping Your Full-Time Job

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You can enjoy many benefits and luxuries if you start a new business while still working. These are things that you lose when you leave your job in order to pursue an idea. The obvious benefit of having a stable income to fund your business venture is one that I have personally experienced. Other benefits include being forced to concentrate on only what has the greatest impact, and lessening pressure on myself.

To do this, you will need a strategy. Starting a business while keeping your job.

How badly do you want something?

It will be hard to start a business, it will put strain on your relationships and you will have to constantly make difficult decisions.

List all your activities and commitments, along with how much time you spend on each one during the week. You can choose to reduce your involvement in some of them. Let people know that you’re stepping back to concentrate on something new.

Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and abilities

What skill sets are required for your new business? If you lack the skills necessary to start your own business, you will have to make a difficult decision. You can either spend time learning new skills or hire someone to help you.

This Skill Assessment will help you identify the skills and assets you need to run your business and compare them with what you are able to do.

Validate your business ideas

Fortune Magazine recently carried out an extensive study of failed startup companies, asking the founders why they believe their startups failed. The No. Fortune has found that the No.1 reason for most businesses failing is lack of demand for their products.

It is important to validate your idea with potential customers and receive honest feedback before building, creating and spending money. Human nature is to believe that we are right and our ideas are always great.

Write down your competitive advantages

Competitive advantage is a unique advantage which allows your business to achieve greater sales, margins, and/or retain and acquire more customers. Your business is what makes it yours.

You can do this by examining your product offerings, cost structure, distribution network, customer service, and other aspects of the business.

Make sure your goals are specific, measurable and realistic

You’ll waste a lot time if you don’t set realistic goals for yourself. You can’t get anywhere without knowing where you are going. It’s best for me to set myself daily, weekly and monthly goals. I find it easier to stay focused on both short-term and longer-term goals.

As you approach the launch of your business, you will gradually begin to hit milestones.

Plan your launch strategy and beyond

launch strategy

Setting goals is one thing, but planning how to reach point B, C and D and beyond is another. This step requires you to be proactive. You won’t have to do anything, but it will be difficult.

Adam Neumann, co-founder of We Work, is a big proponent of “always having a plan B.” This is how he has turned his co-working communities into a multibillion-dollar business.

All you can outsource

Focus is key. Outsource as much of your business as you can.

You don’t need someone else to plan your goals, your roadmap, or tell you exactly how your product or service will look. You should only do what you are good at. It would be wonderful if your website could be coded to test your idea for an online service, but if you do not have a good understanding of development, it will take you a few months to learn the basics.

Seek feedback actively

You want to create a product or a service that people will value. Building something nobody wants is a waste of time. You should always seek outside, unbiased feedback in order to ensure that your product is actually marketable.

Never stop. You want to find people who you trust will be honest in their feedback. Contact them directly. My group is made up of a small number of entrepreneurial friends, and a couple of mentors that I keep in regular contact with.

Do not blur the line between work and personal projects

Your contract may clearly state that you have agreed to refrain from doing so. It’s also bad business practice, and can many relationships that you could benefit from one day.

Before quitting your job, reach critical mass

Do not get me wrong. I am a proponent of doing only what I love, and with all my energy. It’s important to me that I fully vet an idea, discover my target market and test that idea with them before deciding that it must be “great!”

Your new business will benefit greatly if you take the time to think things through, and seek out other people’s advice.

It is possible to start a business and work a full-time position. As many entrepreneurs as there are paths to entrepreneurship. You’ll soon be on your way to becoming your own boss if you follow these steps.