Juggling your small business and your day job
Have you joined the ranks of countless entrepreneurs who rush from nine-to-five jobs to put in more hours on their own small business venture? You might not be ready to give up the salary that comes with a full-time job, but the draw of having your own business could be too strong to resist.
The reasons for being both a full-time employee and a part-time entrepreneur are many:
- Easing into entrepreneurship may determine whether it is the right path for you.
- Testing the waters for your small business idea may allow you to see if it is worth pursuing.
- Your salary could be start-up capital.
- Building up a customer base will generate some cash reserves.
- Having a proven model could help you get more financing.
When you continue to collect a steady paycheque while starting your business, it's a good idea to keep balance in mind. Although multi-tasking is key, it is important to focus on one thing at a time: the job at hand. You may wish to make the most of:
- Free time — use breaks, your commute, the wee hours
- Technology — new tools could make you more organized and efficient
- Your support system — how about delegating tasks to family members or friends?
- Scheduling — how many projects can you fit into the hours you have?
- Self-discipline — you will probably have to make some tough decisions
With a foot in both worlds, there will be pressure to get everything done. Temptations may be difficult to ignore, but some traps are best avoided, such as:
- Working on company time and equipment
- Being dishonest with your boss
- Sacrificing family time
- Neglecting yourself — try to stay fit, get enough sleep and eat properly
Outsourcing administrative tasks may also be practical. Can you hire someone for household chores as well, like cleaning or doing errands?
Being a full-time employee/part-time entrepreneur is a challenge, but awareness, preparation and self-discipline will help you keep all balls in the air; you may want to refer to our Time management page every so often. For more information on getting your venture off the ground, take a look at our section on Starting your business.