Can I start a business on the side and still be successful?
I have a good job, but also have had an idea that I want to pursue. I have been doing some planning on the side and thinking about trying to launch the new business but don't want to leave my day job. Is it possible to build a successful business on a part-time basis?
Yes, depending on the business you intend on launching. Here are some questions to consider.
1. Is the new business product- or service-based?
2. If it is product-based, do you have to manufacture the product or can you have it manufacturer by a supplier?
3. Can your products or services be sold strictly online or will you need to meet with customers?
4. If latter, what time of the day would you have to meet with them? Will your full-time employment allow you to meet with them when they want to?
5. How will your current employer feel about you starting a new business? Will it impact the quality of your work and your productivity?
6. Do you have a family (wife & kids)? If yes, will you have time to devote to them doing both your current job and starting the new business? Have you discussed starting the new business with them? Are they on board?
7. Do you have the finances to start the new business? If you have to leave your current job, do you have enough savings to finance the start-up?
Definitely. Good planning is essential, and you've already done that. Ensure that you have at least a few trusted and capable associates who can assist you as required.
Yes. Keep your job though. Because your business idea will probably fail. I say that because you are doing too much planning and thinking.
Join the crew! That is exactly how most small businesses start, an idea turns into a business while still maintaining your day job. My suggestion is for you to prepare a Business Plan with your full intent to start this business if it proves feasible after you complete the due diligence study. I have free downloadable templates available at http://budspracticalaccounting.com/resources/free-downloads/ to help you through the process. Follow the steps and be totally honest with yourself when you are laying out the Business Plan and preparing your projections. Remember the key to doing this is making a profit, therefore you must be able to cover all of your expenses in this new venture, including your salary. You can estimate your salary based upon the available time you can spend on this new venture, but you must understand that you have to "Cover Your Nut" which is the title of a Practical Accounting book I have written for individuals wanting a better understanding of how to read their own financial statements. Your new business must be a profitable venture, not a hobby business, or why bother. The term "Cover Your Nut" came for accountants wanting a term that illustrates what a business owner must do; you must create enough Revenue (the Cover) to take care of your expenses (the Nut). When your Revenue is larger than your expenses you have generated a profit.
The story goes: A peddler came into a small western town with his wagon full of goods to sell to the townspeople. He drove his wagon into the center of the town to the hotel, and seeing the Innkeeper out front, he explained, "I spent all my money on the goods in my wagon which I intend on selling to your townspeople; so if you will let me use one of your rooms until I sell some of my goods I will pay you the going room rate with these funds." The Innkeeper, being a smart man, said, "Take the nut off of that wagon wheel and give it to me after leaning the wheel against the wagon. When you've sold enough goods you've Covered your Nut."
Now plan this new venture that will give you not only enough Revenue to "Cover Your Nut", but a little more so you can have a profit. If you find after preparing your business plan that you can't make it work, you will have saved yourself money and heartache.
I have been involved in part time business start-ups for years. In one case these are franchises and the others have been service type businesses.Two of the markets in this case were education and accounting businesses. In fact the way these start-ups work best is as a part-time venture while keeping the full time job.
The reality is that the owners will have to work long hours because they require evenings and weekends along with their regular work weeks. Not for everyone! These worked in most cases because a start-up requires: funding, which your regular job can provide, say over the first 3-6 months and; time, where the start-up may require 10-15 hours per week and; energy/passion, which you have to provide in the mix.
This part-time aspect should be meant for a long-term strategy because you sacrifice much of your spare time in the beginning and the pain has to have a end goal in mind.
Education businesses (supplemental) happen to mostly be evenings and weekends which takes time to build. Accounting firms require time as well to build the clientele. Keeping your full-time job can help you through the early start-up phase.
It is difficult as many of my colleagues have stated, however if your dream is to own your own firm, starting it in small pieces may work for you.
I have been involved with about 25 franchisees who started this way and they have eventually migrated to full-time and left their previous employment.
A lot depends on the business you want to start. Does it take place at the same time as your current job? Does it compete with your current job?
And, a lot depends on your other responsibilities. Do you have the time and resources or are you cooking dinner and juggling the kids homework, plus taxiing them to practice etc.?
And, to further muddy the waters, what is your definition of successful? Quit your old job? Booked 30 weekends a year? 5 projects a year?
Answer those questions as best you can. Understand that life is changeable and we need to grab for our dreams now. Failure is always an option but is rarely fatal. (Yes, i know, you can always come up w worst case scenarios where the world ends. But, realistically, what are you risking by starting this project?)
as a general rule I'd definitely say NO. Just look at the stats of start ups failed despite full time dedication.
That said it depends on two factors: i) how much "spare" time your current job does generate, and ii) the complexity of the business you are willing to roll-out.
More than happy to discuss it further should you provide me (even separately) with a little more details.
In my experience, you can't find a successful revenue model (product market fit) in your part-time within a reasonable amount of time. I agree that if you Elon Musk you can. So maybe you can. It also depends on what your business idea is. If it's a physical product vs. a website or app you don't need as many people to raise their hand and say yes.
What I found was what Barbara mentioned. You need to give 100% of your time and attention to one business idea to find out if you're solving a problem that people would pay for.
There's so much to do in order to reach product market fit, and doing it in my part-time wasn't working.
I've also seen it from the other end, as a consultant for startups. I've worked with 5 over the past 3 years and each one that couldn't devote 100% to their idea failed to find a product or service people would pay for.
Fail fast and often is one of the entrepreneur's mantras. If I could do it over again, I'd take 6-24 months off after financially saving for it to find out if my idea would generate steady income. And be prepared to pivot once you start to talk to users about your idea. You'll most likely find that what you and your close circle of friends/family thought would be great becomes something else entirely different.
YES DANIEL! Many are inspired to start a business by working in one. In addition, because you want to eventually run your own business, you will become a better employee where you are for two reasons: (1) You will become the employee you want to hire in your business (2) Because you realize that where you are is a stepping stone and not the end stone; your tolerance will be greater for the mediocrity that tend to show up manifesting itself in many ways. By the way, the founders of Home Depot were first employees of Handy Dan. When they had reached their highest level as an employee, Both were fired from Handy Dan in 1978, but then went out to create The Home Depot, which went on to enormous success in the home improvement retail market.[....the rest is history...Just be the best you can wherever you are; you get to keep the excellence you develop Daniel!
Hi Daniel, you've already had some great answers, but I just wanted to add something based on my personal experience.
I started my business whilst I was CEO of a company and although I managed to juggle the two commitments, the reality is that (with hindsight) I wasn't really doing justice either.
In my case I realise that I was hedging my bets a little - if the business took off I could resign, but if it didn't I still had a well paid job.
It was only when I bit the bullet and decided to take the plunge fully into running my own business that I was able to properly make a go of things.
It is a risk and it is easy to say go for it, but your circumstances will dictate but my advice is that doing both isn't at all easy.
It depends on you and your determination. Not everyone is cut out to be self employed. I did start my business part time while working a full time job, and did transition it into my only source of income. But I have seen many other people try it and fail - not because the idea was bad but because they did not treat the business like a living thing that needs to be nourished. It is completely up to you if you succeed or fail.
Hi Daniel ~
I'd suggest thinking about your business as just that: your new business, not a "side venture". This critical mindset shift can make all the difference.
When I had the idea to launch my own communications venture, I also had a good, long-term job. I planned for a year, purchasing home office equipment, dreaming up a business name, obtaining my business license, designing and ordering letterhead, business cards, and a direct mail piece — and sleuthing initial clients, all while continuing to do my usual stellar work for my day job. A few months after I'd officially launched (with one terrific client, itself a startup), I gave notice. By then, after a year of preparation and envisioning my success, I knew this was my future.
Based on the MINDSET, you have.
If you have RICH people's mindset you can become successful
If you have middle class mindset, it may be always to become successful.
YOU may observed, for successful, sustainable Business.
They are always, prepare for the bad situation to overcome.
In reality, they never face bad situation.
If come they overcome.
What is your Business?
It must generate contious flow of paying buyer and cash flow to business
Of course you can. But there is always an if. Make sure you are not in competition with your day job and that if you have an employee agreement there is no conflict with it.
The biggest obstacle your going to encounter will be time management so take great care in this area as well as prioritization of your work activity.
It is actually preferable to start that way, if (as others have pointed out) you can handle it personally. Starting a new business is hard enough without trying to get it started when you cannot devote your full time to it. On the other hand, you can at least test the concept and see if you can initiate a pipeline of new prospects.
The tricky part is to decide when the "tilting" point is, i.e. how do you determine when you leave your day job to devote full time to the new business. You might want to set a time limit or target, since otherwise it could go on forever, working you to death and the potential to not do well with either effort.
The biggest challenge for virtually any new business is to establish effective marketing. In hopes it can provide some assistance, you can watch a free video I recorded that provides ground breaking information about today;s lead generation process. Enjoy by going to this link: http://bit.ly/1jpGhHm
Yes Daniel, there's no doubt about it. Please contact me if you would like to explore such opportunities which can help you build a business
I think it's possible depending on the type of business/service you are providing and what you consider to be successful also should be taken into account. If you want to bring in a little extra money and have set hours for your part-time business that won't be interrupted by your full-time job, you can make it work. I started out in real estate part-time and I did OK, but things never really took off for me until I was laid off from my full-time job and HAD to make it work. I think you should follow your heart and go for it. If it becomes overwhelming, you still have the full-time job to fall back on.
This is a rather odd question. Without knowing you personally, it's not fair to answer. Some people can run 10 companies successfully while others cannot run one.
But I think delegation is the key. Answer yourself honestly, how well do you delegate?
If you try to do everything yourself you will likely burn out unless your side business goals are a modest supplemental income.
It is called bootstrapping. I'm doing the same thing. I realize that it will take some time for me to get the kind of revenue I would need to pay the bills so keeping my day job is a must!
It can be done, but you need to ensure that there is no conflict with your current job and that your employer is OK with the idea. It really depends on the type business that you want to start.
This is also a good time to prove your business concept.