Starting A Business On the Side: What Should Be Your Priority?

Starting a business is often idealized in movies and modern television.

In order to run your own business, you do not need to sit in an empty apartment with boxes of takeout food! In fact, most entrepreneurs are between 45 and 54 years old, according to a Kauffman Foundation study.

What’s more, these people do not invest everything they have in life into their business. As a matter of fact, this is usually something you do on the side – as a second career. Even better – you can do this too!

If you have a great business idea that you think will thrive, you do not need to quit your job to focus on it.

Even if you are just content in your job but would like to earn more – you will be able to become an entrepreneur on the side! All you need to do is rearrange some priorities – and we will show you the main ones in this article.

Create a good business plan

One of the first things you will want to do is to create a good business plan. There can be no successful business without it. The business plan is a piece of paper (or a word document) that will guide you towards your goals. It is like a backbone or a foundation for your side business.

However, a lot of people are unsure of how to make a business plan or what to include there. Luckily, you do not need to make this process complicated! Sometimes, all it takes is a one-page business plan to ensure that your business thrives.

What will you put here? Well, you can start with your goal and your vision. Where do you want your business to be in a year? In five years? How do you plan to get there, and what resources can you use? Answering these questions will be a priority.

Why should you keep your plan short? Because this makes it extremely flexible! Having a flexible business plan means that you will be able to respond to the changes in the environment and the business world. This can push you in front of your competition from the start!

Learn how to organize your schedule well

Another important skill that you need to learn is how to manage your time. The way in which you approach this can make or break your business – and thus makes proper time management one of the top priorities.

This is especially true when the business you are running is on the side. Even without a job you already have, entrepreneurship will take a lot of time. And in your situation, you will need to carefully thread the line between running your own business and the job you already have.

Luckily, this can be solved quite easily – with software like Timeneye. You will be able to set up your schedule and workflow, as well as manage your projects and your team as they start expanding.

It is extremely important to set up a good time management system early on. With this put in place, you will find it much easier to deal with both jobs. However, it’s also important to set aside some time for yourself as well. This way, you will be able to deal with stress while you manage both positions!

Make your business scalable

The next thing you should carefully think about is the scalability of your business. You want your businesses to easily scale – especially when it is run on the side. You can do this by starting small – you will want to offer your services on your own schedule.

Then, as time goes by, and you become more and more sure of your business, you can start growing and expanding. You can add more services or start employing more people to help you.

This is important for a multitude of reasons. First, it will give you full and complete control of your whole business. Small businesses can quickly grow and get out of hand if you are not careful! By starting small – and keeping it small – you will also keep this control.

What’s more, you can take tentative steps and see just how well your business will grow. Since you already have one job, you will not need to take significant risks. Or, even when you do take a risk, you will not be risking too much – you already have your earnings from your other employment!

Try not to get into conflicts at your work

A thing that a lot of entrepreneurs get tempted to do is to build a much better company than they are currently working in. However, this is a dangerous line to tread. First, make sure to read your contract – there might be some stipulations that forbid you from doing this. If there are, then you can suffer some legal consequences from such a step.

You will want to look for non-disclosure agreements, non-compete clauses, or assignment of invention clauses. Talk to your lawyer if you are really stubborn about this idea to see if you will be completely safe if you pursue it.

But that’s not all! What’s more, you can destroy a lot of relationships in your workplace by doing this. Instead, you should try to focus on building these relationships and networking – you never know who you might need later in your career!

And even if your ideas do not follow the same lines, you should not work on your business during company time. Don’t use their resources as yours either (like the computer, software, subscriptions) – which is often a temptation for entrepreneurs in your position. All of these can lead to trouble that you will be smart to avoid. 

Also, try to avoid getting your co-workers involved, either. You might want to employ them or ask them to become your partners. However, this can quickly turn south – so be very, very careful!

Conclusion

To conclude, there are quite a few things you need to think about when starting a business on the side. However, there are some priorities that you need to address before even beginning the process.

You will want to have a tool that will help you work on your idea and organize your workflow.

Then, you should consider your schedule and pay attention to how you spend your time on and off work.

Control your business by making it scalable, and make sure not to blur the lines between the two businesses you are working in, and you will be on your way to becoming the perfect entrepreneur!

Cover photo by Kristin Hardwick from StockSnap

About Petar Djordjevic

Petar Djordjevic is an up-and-coming blogger-to-be. While studying for his master’s degree in General Mathematics, he splits his time between learning as much as he can about writing and theater, and working as content creator at IdeaBuddy, a business planning and management tool.