We’re living in an age of budding entrepreneurs. Demographics old and young, wanting to branch out from their regular full-time desk jobs and take control of their own business.
Yet the very act of making this decision, and then acting on it can be very daunting but even more challenging. It will often require keeping a 9-5 full-time job, that pays a steady wage, while working this new venture on the side.
It should go without saying that in it of itself, starting a side-business requires a great deal of fortitude and self-sacrifice, as it is by no means easy. Understanding this, is the first step in going this direction as well as taking a holistic approach to your own characteristics and whether it’s something you want to do.
If it is then great! It’s an exciting phase you’re about to embark on, and here at Hike we’ve compiled a few steps to make this endeavour more manageable, and perhaps even more profitable.
Allot your time wisely
One of the biggest factors in juggling a full-time job with a side-hustle is time management. Again, working a 9-5, and then coming home to work on your project is tiring, and the last thing you want it doing is interfering with your overall wellness. But in-order to achieve your goals, certain sacrifices (as you would have previously established) will need to be made and that means getting rid of the things that aren’t necessary.
This generally will fall into categories of entertainment via television and social media, but it doesn’t have to mean getting rid of those things completely. It’s just that sometimes we’ll often spend hours in front of a tv or on a smartphone scrolling through social media, and not even realise it.
Something to take our mind of work is always important, but if you want to manage successfully a day job and a night job at one, you’re probably should be on your 5th hour binge-watch of Game of Thrones.
From there’s it’s about scheduling and knowing how to best utilise the hours you do have available and knowing when and what to prioritise. This could include:
- Get rid of irrelevant meetings, phone calls (say NO to things that aren’t important).
- Don’t spread things out over multiple days if it doesn’t need to be. Get it done in one sitting.
- Plan in advance and stick to your schedule as much as possible.
- Don’t handle two things different things at one. You’ve got enough on your plate as is.
- Create deadlines for yourself and stick to them.
These are all self-sacrificing tasks, but by no means should you not save time for breaks and family time. Whilst working a full-time job and a side-business is an obvious commitment, working yourself to the bone is an easy way to feel burned out.
As per your time management priorities, setting goals and deadlines for yourself is essential if you want to see your side-business flourish. Create certain objectives related to your business, whether it be the date of when you first open, your 100th sale/client, or when you want to leave your current job by. Setting these dates gives you an objective for you to spur yourself on to achieve, more so than not having set calendar dates and approaching your side-business with a laissez faire attitude.
Of course, you should ensure that these goals are attainable, and they can be easily measured when they have been reached. Indeed, setting micro-goals is a good progress tracker as well. If you’ve set goals that you believe should be attainable but don’t ultimately reach them, you should ask yourself important questions, such as is your side-business working?
Live up to your own standards to get what you want out of your business, so that you can make smarter, more informed decisions about how you can best proceed.
Don’t do it all yourself
We’ve established time-management as being a necessary ingredient in managing a side-business. But perhaps even more crucial, is understanding the old idiom, ‘two heads are better than one’.
Partnership may not be for everyone, but it does offer several key advantages that can’t be ignored, especially if you’re in the business of entrepreneurship. These benefits include:
- A shared workload, which means a better allocation of your own time-management.
- Expertise knowledge in an area of running a business that you don’t have.
- A different perspective of which to bounce ideas off and foster new ones with.
- Moral support when things aren’t shaping up. Someone to share your frustration (and success) with.
Knowing that there’s only so much one person can do, is a good way to understand your own limitations and to start addressing ways in which you fix them. This however, doesn’t necessarily mean the answer is a partner, or even hiring employees. It can also mean outsourcing.
Contractors and freelancers are readily available to take on tasks that you might not be equipped to deal with (or just have time). Whether it be graphic design, website development, a cloud-based point-of-sale solution, bookkeeping or anything else, check out your options so you aren’t wasting time trying to figure it out on your own. Sites like Upwork, Fivver, Crew.co can be great places to start your search.
Don’t muddy the waters between your day job and side-business
Whilst making sure you aren’t setting up a company that could be considered a ‘rival’ to your current job, seems self-explanatory, its trappings are very real with potentially serious consequences. Not only would this create a conflict of interest with your day job, but it could also violate your noncomplete clauses in your contract.
And whilst it might be tempting to work on your side-business during your daytime work hours, this could again lead to grounds for termination. Time theft, or the usage of company resources for activities other than your job, could go against company policies.
It isn’t advisable to openly talk about your project with colleagues and your boss either. Some organizations do encourage this kind of entrepreneurship, it isn’t necessarily commonplace, and it’d be best to ensure that your employer is supportive of such an action.
Know when to go all-in
The hardest decision you will have to make in the process of managing your side-business alongside your day job, is knowing when to go all-in. Knowing when to quit isn’t a decision you should be making lightly, as its repercussions could by wide-ranging, depending on your circumstance.
Factors you should consider, include having a sustainable income come from your side-business, that can support you even in lean months. Worrying about cashflow after going all-in, is the last thing you want as you’ll place yourself in a difficult position both financially and emotionally.
It’s also important to ask if it’s something you want to do. The allure of being your own boss, work to your own tune is of course appealing. But are any potentially risks mitigated enough, to have you comfortable enough to go at it alone?
We’ve gone over several strategies one can employ to successful manage the business, side-business dynamic, but none are more important than this. Consider this with the attention it requires. Talk to those close to you, vary the pros and cons, and ensure that you’ve established a plan for when/if this happens. Potentially you are not just deciding for yourself but for others as well, so this becomes a deeply personal choice.