Starting a Business While Employed
For many aspiring entrepreneurs, quitting a salaried job to start a business is an unaffordable luxury. With families to support and bills to pay, many choose to stick with employment until their budding company hits the heights – If you can deal with the stress, tiredness and master the potential conflicts of interest then there's no reason why you can't juggle the two for the meantime. However, in order to achieve this, and move your own business forward, you must effectively manage these three main phases below; Planning Certainly when you are planning your business, do not leave your day job. There is clearly no income from a new business straight away and you will therefore need to prepare, not only with viability studies and plans but also seek out premises, equipment, funding, accountancy support and plan your marketing. Once you have considered all of these, your next steps will become evident.
Timing In the early days of your business the most critical issue will be the time that you need to spend on your business and dealing with customers. If it is a passive business, such that you can deal with customers from your own desk or computer via the internet it may be that you can continue with your day job for a longer period.
If you are needed to man a shop or office or telephone then the decision to leave will be that much sooner and could even be before the first shred of income arrives. This is a big decision and one which only you can make. Ensure you have enough working capital.
The early days and the impressions you make on your first customers are critical to your ongoing success. Give them the time they deserve.
Financial security It is this perception of financial security (ie a monthly salary) which often holds people back from taking the plunge. Once you can sustain yourself on a monthly basis the freedom that you have will be a major driving fource. You will soon realise that the financial security of your own business, as long as certain criteria are met (not dealing with only one customer, low competition and strong demand) then the security is greater than being employed.
The two constraints time and finances, create the barrier to entry for the entrepreneur. Overcome those and you are part way there. Your thinking and behaviour will have changed and become entrepreneurial.
When can I leave my current employment? Entrepreneurs have to take a leap of faith at some point or other. While it may seem daunting, the key here is to make sure you time this well and fully understand the potential risk(s) involved. Effective planning, timing and the necessary financial security will ensure you are ready. Be brave, confident and believe in yourself and your team.
For more insights into entrepreneurial behaviour, tips and management tools, read my book: Drive Like a Real Entrepreneur.