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6 Steps to Launch a Business While You Already Have A Full-Time Job

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You work full-time and have an idea for a business. But you need more time to be ready to give up a steady job and work on your business full-time without a safety net. So, how can you get some of the skills you need to start and run a successful small business?

start a small side business!

You’ll be among good friends: About 44 million people in the US alone have a side job. This could be because it’s easy to start your own business in terms of paperwork.

Starting a business that does well is a lot more challenging. I’ve been in, especially when you can’t risk losing your steady paycheck from a full-time job. I’ve talked to many people who have started profitable side businesses in many different fields. Here’s what they said about how you can start a successful business while still working a full-time job.

Not the type of business to start, because that’s something only you can decide, but the mindset you’ll need to start a successful small business.

you may also like to read: how much does it cost to start a business 

step 1: commit to making sure that your full-time job will always be your top concern

Say you are a programmer. But because you genuinely love making things, you start a side business building small decks for homeowners. You love making deck plans and building them. It’s cool. It makes you happy. For you, it sure beats debugging databases.

So you spend a lot of time developing new designs, figuring out how to solve building problems, and making creative suggestions. In fact, it’s so much fun that you want to work on your side business when you should be at work.

That makes sense, but it’s the last thing you should do. Your new business may be your love, but your full-time job is what pays the bills and puts food on the table.

Just as important, you owe your full-time job your best.

Make your full-time job your top concern at all times. Don’t let your startup get in the way of your focus, work ethic, or availability.

related: how to apply for a business license

step 2: commit to stick to a strict plan

Find out how many hours a day and how many hours a week you need to be great at your full-time job. The hours left over are the ones your new business can use. Then make a plan that will help you be successful at both.

So, you might have to work on your job every night from 7 to 10 p.m. Or a few hours before going to work. Or, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Make a plan and follow it.

It will be challenging, but it’s the only way to get what you want. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me” should be your motto when it comes to your business and anything else of value.

This means getting the job done. So, you have to stick to a strict plan.

related: annual budgeting guide for startups

step 3: be dedicated to thinking big but focus on small things

When I started ghostwriting on the side while running a factory, I hoped to land the proverbial big client who would get my business off to a good start. Dreaming was fun, but I needed to gain the skills, experience, and reputation to get a big client.

I had to start small by building my skills, knowledge, network, and list of clients. I was able to get slightly bigger clients after building a base, and I was able to use that success to get even bigger clients after that. And I could take these steps while still meeting my other duties. 

step 4: commit to always focusing on the bottom line

It’s easy to forget that full-time work and startups differ in many ways. For one thing, spending time networking is a great way to build a job but a terrible way to build a successful business. 

You don’t need relationships that might help you in the future. You need to sell and generate revenue. You must make money. Spend a lot of time making sales. Then work for the rest of the time.

Anything that would be “nice” to do is something you shouldn’t do. Do things that bring in money. Show that the business you want to start is a business by showing that it makes money.

Embrace this as your mantra: “If a task doesn’t pay, I won’t do it today.”

step 5: commit to constantly criticizing yourself

You’re good at your job. You have knowledge and experience, and people trust you. And easy to live in.

Don’t let that affect your newly established business. Take a moment to think after every conversation, sales pitch, finished project, and deliverable, no matter how good it seems. 

How could you improve? 


More quickly? 


Focus on self-criticism, not in an unkind way, but as a way to always try to get better. 

You won’t get comments from bosses, managers, or peers. You will have to give your own feedback and come up with your own “employee” growth plans.

You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and if you want your business idea to become successful one day, you’ll need to improve in many ways.

Start doing that now.

step 6: decide to stay at your full-time job longer than you think you should

When is the right time to quit your full-time job and start your own business? This might be the most challenging choice you have to make. As your business grows, you’ll find it harder and harder to make this choice because your routine and work outside of work will also grow. You’ll feel tired, stressed out, and overloaded.

So you might wake up one day and say, “That’s it. I can no longer do both. I have to give my notice.”

Don’t let your feelings control you. Instead, pay attention to numbers: revenue and profits—the source of customers. Instead of relying on hope, sales projections are based on facts from the past.

Use logic and reason to figure out when the money you make and can expect to make from your side business is enough to replace your full-time job.

Then, get a second opinion from someone you trust.

Wait longer than you think you should because you might be unable to return to your full-time job after quitting.

Make sure you don’t need to.

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