We all work to earn enough and save and eventually till our earnings to multiply. If working is just to procure money for your long time business plans then why wait till you have enough funds? Instead why not try starting a business while working full time.
Here are a few steps one adopt to start a business while working a full time job:
1. How real is your want?
It is not easy for sure, and you would have to think beyond your personal life. There will be many hurdles and tough decisions you would have to face. So making sure you really want this is definitely the first step. It’s more often people realise their shortcomings when they reach level three of their business. And all their strains suddenly seem an utter waste. Having a side business will be an incredibly challenging experience.
You need a set of ground rules in order to get started. Nothing worth achieving in life comes easy. Truly accept that and you are well on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Are you ready to make meaningful sacrifices in order to turn your dream into a profitable business? Cut down on the easiest areas that have the least amount of friction first. That figure is different for everyone, so test into finding your lowest sustainable number and be disciplined about sticking to it. Know which time of day you’re mentally at your best and make that the time you spend on starting your business.
2. Analyse your self
Put yourself on a self-assessment test. Know what your skills are, your weaknesses and strengths. Which skill sets are required to start your business?
Be honest with yourself. What are you good at? What are you great at? Where is there room for improvement? If you want to be successful in starting your business quickly, you need to maximize the time you spend on doing what you’re great at, and work to outsource your weaknesses.
For the sake of keeping startup costs as low as possible, you’re realistically going to need to learn some specific skills in order to pull off starting your own business. You should, however be constantly looking for and evaluating opportunities to outsource your weaknesses.
3. Validating your Ideas matter
In a recent study of failed startups, on why startups fail according to their founders, the 1 reason most businesses fail is a lack of market research. This really highlights the need to fully validate your idea and get honest feedback from potential customers before you start building, creating, and spending money. It’s human nature to think that we’re right and that our ideas are always amazing. As entrepreneurs, we have a lot of pride when it comes to our work. Unfortunately, our business concepts and product ideas are often not fully thought out, useful, or even properly researched. There is an art and a science to objectively validating your business idea. It’s easy to take off with an exciting new project in mind and work inside of your little bubble without ever involving anyone else for feedback during the process.
4. Plan your Launch Date to beyond
Now that you’re developing a better understanding of your future business and what makes it unique, it’s time to start making the real work happen. Without setting attainable goals and realistic deadlines for yourself, you’re going to spend a lot of time spinning your wheels. It’s hard to get anywhere if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. In my experience, it works best to set daily, weekly and monthly goals for myself. It helps me to stick with both the short term and long term objectives.
How are you going to reach your goals? It’s great to have a ton of awesome sounding milestones, but if you have no real plan on how you’re going to hit those targets (and when), then you’re really just hoping and wishing rather than putting in the hard work that’s needed to create a business. Be proactive. Nobody can do this for you, but you won’t be able to do it all on your own, either. Your ability to solve a problem and navigate around your obstacles will determine the level of success with your business.
Plan as best as you can for the potential of press spikes, going viral, and needing to dedicate all of your free time to meeting demand if your product takes off all of a sudden.. It can happen!
5. Feedbacks are essential
Your goal is to build a product or service that provides value to people. It does no good to build something that nobody wants. One of the biggest luxuries you’re afforded by deciding to start a business and test the viability of your new company before leaving your day job, is that you can take the time you need to get ample feedback.
This is a crucial step in evaluating any side business, because you have such a limited amount of free time to work with, that you don’t want to waste it on something without a serious growth potential. It’s important that you seek unbiased, outside feedback to make sure you’re building something that’s actually marketable. Do this from day one and never stop. Your mom and close friends likely do not constitute ‘unbiased’ feedback.
To find your early feedback group, you want to target people that you know will give you only an honest opinion. Reach out to them personally. From here, you can start to widen your scope for feedback and begin incorporating Facebook, LinkedIn Groups, Product Hunt, Growth Hackers, etc.
6. Reach critics before Quitting Your Job
Don’t quit your job right away. Even more importantly, unless you’re working on a high-growth startup and can secure investor funding (or you’re able to self-fund), you’re realistically going to need some form of sustainable income before your new project is able to be that sole source of sustenance for you. This is where your job comes in.
The last thing you need is the stress and strain of worrying about your cash flow early on while you’re still trying to figure out how to hit the accelerator on your business.
Starting your business while working a full-time job will undoubtedly be difficult, but it’s possible. There are as many paths to becoming a successful entrepreneur as there are businessmen in this world. Take these steps into account and you’ll be well on your way to being your own boss. Imagine that awesome feeling.