In modern times, entrepreneurship has gone on the rise. While working for another person is still worthwhile and essential, changing economic conditions and the need for one to have multiple income streams aside flexible working hours, makes owning a side business the preferred choice for many. But, it’s not so easy juggling a regular job with trying to grow your small business.
Related: Start your own business
Entrepreneurship is often a romanticised thing for many. But reality proves time and again that it’s not a straight path to glory. So rather than hand in your one month notice in preparation to quit, take a moment and consider the possibility of handling your business as a side hustle — using it to test the waters before making the transition to being a full-time business owner. This article seeks to help you do just that; grow your small business while working your regular job.
Grow your small business while keeping a job
Living comes with many risks, and more so, entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, and for the most successful ones, it’s all about calculated risks. One of such is starting their companies while holding on to their current job — which pays the bills — until their new business has enough paying customers before they venture out full time. If that’s the direction you’d be going in with your business then, take note of the tips you’ll be reading next.
Make sure you’re in the legal clear.
What this means is that you should do well not to be seen as a competitor to your current employer. Many people start businesses and end up backdoor chatting with their employer’s clients in an attempt to make them switch sides. Depending on the company policy and the contract you signed, there may be a non-compete clause that you’re violating.
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Another thing to avoid doing is running your business on your employer’s time. Not only that; you shouldn’t use company resources such as computers, proprietary software, and market research information — among others — to benefit your own business. Doing any of such could end up bringing legal problems to your doorstep.
Related: Why hiring a lawyer is crucial.
Let your employer and co-workers know about your business
For most startups, the issue of conflict of interest doesn’t come up until the business becomes successful, and some competition begins to creep up. Making your entrepreneurial intentions clear to your boss right from the start is a sign of goodwill on your part.
While verbal assurances from your superiors are great, you should do well to have your employment contract reviewed just so there are no hidden clauses your new venture may violate — ending up in lawsuits and the like.
Also, another thing to consider is letting your immediate family know what you’re about. This is to enable them to know you’d be trying to get your activities scheduled just so there wouldn’t be any interference between family commitments and business obligations.
Now that we’ve got the first two obligations towards your current employer(s) out of the way, we can focus on how to grow your small business.
Reinvest your side income back into the business
This should be a cardinal rule of startup side businesses. Your first couple of profits do not belong to you. They are not what you’re to live lavishly on. Instead, while you still have the security of a regular job, you should invest your profits back into the business.
How do you do that? Consider the equipment that when upgraded, would allow you to take on bigger projects or contracts. You may even decide to invest that into a human resource; getting an employee who can be taking care of certain aspects of the business while you focus on others.
Related: Investing in cryptocurrency
Start a blog about your industry
One of the ways to establish yourself as an authority and grow your business is to create content aimed at your target audience. Write about your industry and outline how your business is helping to shape the present — going into the future — by writing about issues that your potential customers would need solutions for. Offer solutions with the assurance that you’d soon be rolling out a service or product that would adequately tackle the said problem.
Furthermore, your blog would help you build relationships with your prospective customers as you’d be regarded as a thought leader within the industry– leading to a validation of your ideas. Keep in mind that your blog is not only for writing about the industry — as when used effectively, it can become an excellent promotional tool.
Related: Starting a blog? Things to consider
Maximise productivity with technology
There are several productivity apps with which you can free up time to dedicate towards revenue-generating tasks — by systematising aspects of your business.
As mentioned earlier, you can employ someone to see to the running of certain errands. Consider outsourcing some aspects of your business to limit your involvement in those areas. Your time is precious, so don’t waste it on mundane tasks as you try to grow your small business.