Business Insight

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING A SIDE BUSINESS WHILE STILL EMPLOYED

It is true that there are a growing number of people interested in owning a business and there are many factors to be considered to do this; Factors that will be discussed as a separate post. The focus of this post are the people with a steady job that are consider owning a side business.

There is nothing wrong with an employee wanting more and by more I mean; multiple streams of income or pursuing a passion outside the space of ones work. It is possible to have both worlds without leaving one for the other because as much as starting a business sounds like something “fun” to do, you need to be sure it is entirely worth giving up a stable means of income for. There are a few things you need to consider as an employee before deciding to dive into the entrepreneurial space.

 

  • YOUR EMPLOYEE AGREEMENTS

This is the most important factor and we definitely can’t over-emphasize how important it is to be sure you are not breaking any policy or no conflicts in the contracts you signed at your current job. Go through your contract to be sure there are no non-compete or non-disclosure clause that might prevent you from this.

Depending on the kind of side business, you might also have to check if your employers won’t mind as it is better to be upfront about this rather than for them to find out later. The point of all of this is to ensure you have all ends covered that may pose a threat to you being sued or fired from your job.

 

SUSTAINABILITY FIRST.

One of the advantages you have as an employee who is starting a side business is the fact that you have a stable means of income, which provides liquidity for your side business. You can take more calculated risks and buy some time to organically transition from side business into full time entrepreneurship. However, your goal should be getting to self-sufficiency for your side business as quickly as possible. As much as a regular job helps relieve the financial burden of starting a side hustle, the sustainability of your new venture is what makes having a side business worth it at all. The most common factor affecting the self-sufficiency of a business is poor revenue generation.

However, there are many other factors, which are often times overlooked by founders. One of such is that founders fail to be accountable for their spending and earning into the side business. They keep pumping money or withdrawing from the business without a clear agenda and transparency of how the business is faring financially. Without accountability for every penny spent, you might start to penny pinch, which affects the growth of your business. You need to know the extent of the financial implications of your side hustle before venturing into it. And the moment your side business starts to yield returns, make sure to separate these earnings and reinvest back into the business as necessary.

 

  • FIND A BALANCE BETWEEN EMPLOYEE TIME AND YOUR SIDE BUSINESS

As mentioned, starting a new business is not an easy thing to do and can sometimes get overwhelming especially if you have a regular job. This shouldn’t take away you respecting the time spent on your employer’s job.

Therefore before you go into any side business, it is best you consider how well that won’t infringe on your job. Consider your work-life balance, whether you need partners or associates to come onboard with you. A partner or hiring at least one employee can serve a good purpose for your side business not to suffer when you are unavailable. Although you might have to incur more cost paying an employee or a split in the profit with a partner but you need to be sure if this business is worth it from a long-term perspective. If the potential is one that favors a financial upscale and coupled with passion for it then leaving your regular job much later to focus on your business becomes an easy decision.

Some of the global companies of the world today started out as a side business by their owners –

  • Steve jobs worked at Ataari while his co-founder was an engineer at HP.
  • Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom worked as a product manager at Nextstop.com.
  • The founder of WeWork worked at a baby clothing company in Brookyln.

These are few world-recognized companies whose founders all started as a side project while working as an employee. Therefore reading about these companies and founders that have gone through this stage of finding a balance between working as an employee and owning a side business provides a great insight of what and how to go about getting it done.

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