Do you have a passion for something that isn’t what you are currently doing in your career? If so, it may be time to start a side business like the Empress Avenue Shop, or side hustle as many call it. Although it may be tempting to want to put 100% of your time and effort into launching a new business, jumping in with both feet is far riskier than working the business on the side while you hang onto the income of your day job.
While you are building up your side business, you want to keep the job that serves as your primary source of income. Without it, you won’t have a steady stream of income from your old job nor will you have a significant amount of revenue from your new business. Even if you have a nice cushion of savings set aside, that’s often too much pressure for most people. This is the kind of pressure you don’t want when you need to be mentally at your best.
If you do not currently have a side business, we challenge you to start one to accelerate your career.
We have created a 48-hour side hustle planner to help you brainstorm your new business idea and take the next step towards your success as a female entrepreneur. The planner is 58 pages with detailed action steps that you can take to build your business in only 48 hours. Download your copy here.
Now, let’s look at ways to start a business while working full time. Read on to learn our tips!
Just Do It
We often spend a lot of time contemplating the what ifs. If you are truly passionate about something, just do it. Stop wondering what could happen and instead take actionable steps to make it happen.
Diane Melville, founder of the skin care blog, Skin Care Ox, says that the key is to do something small every day and build on it. “Even if you’re just figuring out what your domain name is going to be, if that’s all you have time for today, some progress is infinitely better than no progress,” says Melville. She also advises budding entrepreneurs to find ways to avoid burnout by having fun during the planning stage, since you’ll likely be working nights and weekends to get your business going. “I just tried to change my mentality to make it fun,” Melville says. “I would tell myself, ‘This is my baby and I’m going to build this thing.’ Eventually, you get excited and can’t wait to get back to work on it.”
Build Your Expertise
To be taken seriously in your chosen industry, you need to assert yourself as an expert. That means investing in classes, courses, workshops, and conferences to build up your knowledge base. If you’re looking for online classes, check out Skillshare which gives you unlimited access to over 17,000 classes taught by expert practitioners. If you prefer a certification, check out this list of 10 free online certifications. Looking to go into the PR field? The Organization of Canadian Women in Public Relations and American Women in Public Relations offers online courses geared specifically to the PR industry.
Set Realistic Timelines and Targets
Setting realistic timelines and targets is essential to the success of any business, but especially one where you cannot dedicate all of your time to. This means that you need to be realistic in what you can accomplish with your limited time and resources. Setting realistic targets will also help you to stay motivated and encouraged. Consider breaking goals down into smaller milestones with weekly, monthly, and yearly timelines to not only help you stay on track, but also feel encouraged when you are able to meet them.
Prioritize Your Time
Anybody who has ever worked a full-time job knows that it can take a significant portion out of your day. There are many times when you feel like all you do is wake up, work, sleep, and then repeat. It feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do anything else. When starting your new business, it’s important to remember that you are adding more to your already full plate. So, you need to be prepared for this and prioritize accordingly.
Your calendar is the key. Most people schedule their work commitments on their calendars and then try to fit in family, friends, and fun around it. Now, you will also need to schedule in time for your new business. We suggest adding your personal, work, and new business commitments to the same calendar. This way you have them all in one place and you can plan accordingly.
Network not only your business, but also yourself. People like to do business and buy from companies that have a face to the brand. This makes it more personal. Research has shown that familiarity breeds likability and appeal. You can’t look at building a network as an overnight activity, but rather a lifelong commitment to your own success and happiness.
Make it a habit to talk to a set number of people every day about your business, online or offline. Start small with one or two people and practice your elevator pitch on them. In an elevator pitch, you need to be able to communicate all of the important details about your business in 30 seconds or less. This 30 second pitch should include the core aspects of your business in a way that a stranger would understand. After your pitch, ensure you have a business card to give to these individuals should they decide they require your services.
If your new business is in a field unrelated to your job, you may not need to talk to your boss before starting up. However, if you think there may be a conflict, check with your human resources department to see if you signed a nondisclosure or non-compete agreement which prevents you from working for a competitor or against the company. Also ensure that when you are at your day job you are truly present at your day job. If you need to talk about your new business, restrict those conversations to appropriate times, such as during lunch breaks or outside of work hours.
Know When to Leave
If you are generating enough income from your new business to cover your living expenses and are truly unfulfilled by your day job, it may be time to leave. When you are ready to take the leap, be sure to look at factors such as whether you have other income, emergency savings, and benefits. When you leap, be sure to do it wholeheartedly and give your all to your passion.
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Talia Beckett Davis is the Founder of Canadian Women in Public Relations and American Women in Public Relations. She works as the Managing Director of Pink Pearl PR.