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How to start a business … while working

So you’ve decided to start a business, but can’t quit your job just yet? People may decide to have a business, despite having a full-time job, for a variety of reasons. Often it is because they cannot afford to quit their job yet, or they may choose to build up their business slowly on a part-time basis until it is more established, or they simply enjoy having a business as a hobby. However, it can get tricky to balance your job and put enough energy into your business.

From an integrity point of view your business should not be in conflict with your employment contract, and it should not be operated in a manner that prejudices your ability to perform work responsibilities. Having said that, many people have successfully made the transition from work to business, even though it may not have been easy at first.

Below are a few tips on how to effectively start a business while you are still working:

Separate your job from your business:
This means being fully dedicated to your 9-to-5 job, and not trying to squeeze in your business activities during lunch or tea-time. Instead, dedicate time for your business after hours, such as from 18:00-22:00 during the week and all day during the weekend. This helps you continue to perform well at work, while also dedicating exclusive time towards your business.

Sign-up for part-time business management courses:
This is especially important if you have never run a business before. Part-time courses are usually flexible enough to allow you to work at your own pace and so, be able to balance work and your business. Gaining valuable knowledge in this way will equip you to manage your business better and implement improved systems that permit you to achieve more in less time.

Take advantage of time off:
Public holidays, weekends and even your annual leave are great opportunities to contribute towards getting your business off the ground. This free time can be used for research, making contacts and developing your business strategies.

Hire full-time help:
If you can afford it, you can hire an employee to take care of business while you are at work. It will ensure that customers are contacted timeously and it makes your business available during normal business hours, which is important for establishing trustworthiness and required service levels.

If you have made the brave decision to start a business while still working, carefully planning how you will go about it is important for success. You need to make sure the quality of your work does not deteriorate because of your business ventures, and you could consider recruiting someone suitable to keep an eye on your business.

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