How to Start a Business (When You’re Working Full-Time!)

Kathy Ennis, LittlePiggy

If you have ever said “I’d love to start a business, but I can’t because I’m working full-time” ask yourself, are you using your job as an excuse not to go for it? 

As a Business Mentor, who has a specialism in helping people transition from employee to entrepreneur, I can tell you:

  • You’re not alone in wanting to make the transition
  • You can start the business you want while you are working full-time

Start a Business When Working Full-Time? The Statistics Speak for Themselves

Most employees in the UK have thought about starting a business at some point or another (me included!). A recent survey claims that 64% of the UK workforce is itching to strike out on their own.

If you add to that research by the Henley Business School , it shows that 25% of all adults in the UK are side hustlers.

Side Hustling is the New Normal

The idea of self-employment is scary. 

OK, so you’re following your passion, but what happens if things don’t work out?

Happily, there’s no need to say goodbye to full-time employment just yet! 

Striking out on your own doesn’t have to mean turning your back on the (relative) security of a full-time job. There are ways to test out that brilliant business idea and grow your entrepreneurial skills, all whilst keeping up with the 9-5.

It’s called a side hustle. It’s starting a business while you’re working full-time.

And here’s how you can do it….

Manage Your Expectations

If you start a business when you’re working full-time don’t expect it to be a breeze. 

First, if you think you haven’t got a lot of free time as an employee, think about how much less time you will have an an employee and an entrepreneur. By accepting the fact that it WILL be challenging and time-consuming from the start, you’ll be better prepared for the highs and lows to come. 

Second, if you’re counting on your side hustle bringing in shed loads of money from day one – enough to allow you to wave goodbye to your full-time job within weeks or months – please be aware that it probably won’t.

Use the Time to Plan, Make Mistakes then Plan Again

Starting a business you’re working full-time takes careful and detailed planning.

Planning your time will be paramount. You will have far less time than a full-time entrepreneur to do all the things that will need to happen to turn your idea into a business – and then deliver those products or services to your customers.

You will also need to plan your spending. Starting a business can be done without masses of expenditure, but it can’t be done for free. So you will need to plan carefully how much money are you going to spend on start-up costs, like website design and marketing? 

What about planning for the type of customers you want to buy your products or services? Who are your customers going to be, and why will they buy from you? How are you going to deliver your products or services to them?

You don’t have to write a lengthy or complicated business plan, but you do need to answer important questions like these. They will help you gain a full understanding about how your business will work, and how you could eventually transition from employee to entrepreneur.

Once you’ve written a detailed plan, you’ll then need to schedule key tasks, and track your progress regularly. 

Want some help with simple plan for your business?

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Apply the KISS Principle

What’s involved in a big, shiny, ambitious business launch?

Lots of:

  • Time
  • Effort
  • Money
  • People

If you’re starting a business while you are working full time, you are doing two things: creating something that will enable you to move into running your own business full time AND taking the time to test your ideas without as much risk. So, it’s absolutely fine to start with something very simple and work your way up to something bigger, better and bolder over time.

It’s fine to dream, but when you’re launching a business while working a day job, you probably shouldn’t go too big.

At least, not for now…..

Do What You Do Best and Outsource the Rest

You don’t have to do everything yourself. 

In fact, for the sake of time, sanity’s and a successful business I absolutely recommend that you don’t.

There is no rule that says that as a one-person, solopreneur, side hustle business that you have to be expert in everything about business. It’s also a really bad idea to try to be that idea of the ‘perfect’ business owner who knows, understands and can do everything themselves.

That person does not exist and if anyone tells you they do – and that you can do it all on your own – well, to be blunt, they’re a liar.

The best way to get your business quickly off the ground is to invest in other people’s time and professional expertise, whether you hire a social media expert to work on your posts or use an accountant to plan your finances.

Not only will this allow you to focus properly on your business (rather than in it), but using experts means tasks will be completed to a high standard… definitely higher than you (as an enthusiastic amateur) would have achieved yourself!

So, When Is the Right Time to Leave Your Full-Time Job?

If things start going to plan with your new business, it’ll be easy to let your current career slide.

You may have a healthy customer list, you could have found an investor, maybe you’ve got the equipment and you have developed a fantastic set of new skills that will make your venture a success… you’re doing so well that you’re convinced you’ll be the next Forbes success story!

I’m not saying you’re wrong. 

But before you take that last step off the side of the cliff and tell the boss goodbye forever:

  • Take some self-reflection time so you can be sure that, as far as possible, self-employment is the right long-term move for you
  • Triple-check that you can afford to leave work
  • Do your best to hold out for any redundancy or ‘goodbye’ money that might be up for grabs

Ready to Take the Plunge and Start Your Business When You are Working Full-Time?

I can help you start your brand-new business, providing an experienced brain to pick and an ear to listen along the way! If you fancy a chat about how I can help you, the way I have helped hundreds of others just like you, book yourself a complimentary Breakthrough Session.

Or, why not download my Prepare to Be Your Own Boss toolkit?

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