8 Tips for Balancing Your Business with Your Day Job

8 Tips for Balancing Business and Day Job

So, you’re ready to start your business, but not quite ready to give up your day job. Maybe you’re planning to use your income to help fund your new business, or are simply relying on it to sustain your living expenses until your business can generate a profit.

Plenty of entrepreneurs have started their businesses this way. Though it takes hard work, long hours, and maybe a bit of whining, starting your business while keeping your day job is doable and often a smart decision.

I asked entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council for advice on successfully starting a business while maintaining a day job. Their takeaways? Devote scheduled time to your new business, set monetary goals for leaving your day job, and accept that this might be the busiest period of your career.

8 tips for starting a business while keeping your day job

1. Commit time in advance for work on your new business

When you’re working on your new business while keeping your full-time job, time can be tight. Create a schedule in advance of the days and times you will work on your new venture, and stick to it. By blocking your time into manageable chunks and devoting a set amount each day to your new business, you can balance the two more easily.

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2. Cut back your hours at your day job gradually

If your work schedule allows, consider scaling back the time you spend in the office and using those afternoons (or even full days) to work exclusively on your new venture. With one day a week to focus completely on your business, you’ll be more productive and able to adjust to the change in income.

3. Don’t get discouraged, but do know you’ll have to make sacrifices

Starting a business while still employed elsewhere is tough, but once you realize and accept this, it will be easier to acknowledge that the difficult part at the beginning is par for the course. Don’t let the fact that you can’t give all your time to your new business discourage you.

4. Use your day job to pay off debt and create an emergency fund

If you’re still working at your day job while starting your business, use that security to your advantage. Take advantage of the regular paycheck and save as much as you can so that you’re not making decisions based on fear.

5. Meet with a lawyer to make sure you’re in the clear

Pay attention to logistical concerns when starting your business while keeping your day job. Consult with a lawyer to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for any issues.

6. Set a monetary goal for when you will quit your day job

To put pressure on yourself, set a monetary goal as a catalyst for when you’ll focus full time on your new business. This can be an amount saved from your day job or earned from your new business. Have a financial goal clearly laid out so that as soon as you hit it, you can quit your day job.

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7. Manage your free time well and minimize distractions

Focus on better time management and minimize distractions. Use software to prevent access to distracting websites, use your lunch hour for quick errands or a gym workout, and cut back on TV and social media.

8. Budget for fatigue…and fight through it

Remember the bigger picture – the time you devote to starting your business now will pay off in the long run. Keep your eyes on the prize and soon, you’ll be running your own business—no day job required.

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