Setting up your own business is a bold and, sometimes, terrifying endeavour. People do it for many reasons. You may have a particular passion that you want to pursue and develop. This is fantastic and it’s a happy circumstance.
But another reason might be that you are no longer enthralled by the 9 to 5, the job that you ended up in rather than sought out.
If you’re one of the latter, it is very tempting to jump ship and try to strike out on your own. When we’ve identified a light at the end of the tunnel, there is an impulse to leap into the dark and never turn back. But as many of the best start-ups recognize, this could end your aspirations before they even begin.
We spend a lot of our time and effort at work, which means when we’re seeing up our side hustle, it can be a tiring and frustrating prospect. But it’s important to ensure we develop a mindset of perseverance, so we have a good grounding for when we are ready to let our business take over.
1. Develop the Idea
Working your day job allows you to design and refine your idea. It’s a bad idea to release a product or service before it’s ready. Whilst at your day job, you’ll have the capital to keep your household afloat.
If we’re relying on an undeveloped business idea to generate income, we run the risk of putting out sub-par products which will damage our future endeavours and send us straight back to square one.
At your workplace, you’ve got the opportunity to sound out some of your ideas. If you’re employed in the sector you wish to start your business in, then you should have plenty of inspiration to help you develop. Even If the two seem unrelated you might still find some surprising correlations between them. The trick is capitalizing on those confluences and use them to your advantage.
Find the leaders in your company and seek advice from them. You can never have too many sources of advice. Getting your colleagues on board will keep you motivated and keep the ball rolling.
2. What Do You Need from Your Employer?
There’s no escaping that attempting to balance the needs of your employer and your startup is a tricky business. Likely, you’ll often find your professional commitments clash. It’s important, then, to be open from the beginning.
Getting in early regarding your schedule is a good way to show your employer a willingness to ensure your work doesn’t suffer as a result of your endeavour. It’s part of a process that should enshrine a mutual understanding of flexibility. Remember that employer has needs just like yours and ultimately, as an employee, you are their investment.
A surprising number of employers these days recognize that their employees hold parallel careers. Being open about your startup with your employers can open up all kinds of opportunities for you.
If your employer discovers that they can utilize your skills, you might get an opportunity to practice and gets some hands-on experience before setting up on your own. Depending on how far your employer is prepared to utilize and support your skills, you may even be able to undertake training courses with your employer.
3. Build Support
With any luck, you can utilize your day job as a means to build support for your startup. People are increasingly relying on side-gigs to supplement their regular income, so the chances are that your workplace has many people in a similar position to you.
If your day job is in a similar industry to your side hustle, there’s the possibility that you can use your day job to network with potential clients and mentors.
You may also have identified co-workers with whom you have a great working relationship. Finding partners in your business later on can be an absolute minefield, and sometimes those who seem like we might work well with at first turn out to be ill-suited. Therefore, why not use your day-job as a place to prospect for potential partners?
You get a real chance to understand how someone works and what skills they have that we could utilize, without any of the showboating that employees and partners feel necessary at the interview stage.
Don’t be afraid of approaching your startup company with informal proposals. Though it may be unprofessional to pitch your start-up to your employer – there are a whole host conflicts which could arise from this – there’s no harm in viewing you employed as a potential customer for the future. You understand their business better than other services they may require, so if you see a gap where you might help, they may appreciate the offer.
You are inevitably going to come up against some roadblocks when starting your own business. Whilst it’s a good idea to plan for these events, you can never truly know what issues may be thrown up when your business starts to pick up speed.
It’s times like these that you’ll be thankful for the grounding that your day job provides. As you progress through your day job, you might find opportunities to pick up practical skills that can help you to navigate the pitfalls of your own business.
5. Seek out Feedback
Once you’ve gotten on your feet as a startup, you may think it’s time to leap. But your first paycheck from your own business isn’t necessarily a testament to longevity. It’s wise to seek out feedback from your clients and customers to figure out improvements you could make to your product.
Only a small percentage of small businesses succeed, so continue to exercise caution before giving up the day job. If quitting your job feels like a leap of faith, there’s a good chance that your business isn’t ready to be your sole means of income.