Are you stuck in a 9 to 5 job you hate? Are you dreaming of starting your own business but have no idea how to start, nor any money to invest? Or maybe you just feel like you don’t have enough time to start a business while working a full-time job and juggling social and family life? This post is for you!
Starting a small business while working a full-time job is possible.
If you are really passionate about something and want to make a living out of it, all these things above should not matter. You very much can start a small business while working a full-time job. I did! And I am still working a full-time job while working on my art business every day. You see, I quite like my full-time job and I am not ready to give it up just yet.
The advantage is that it takes off the pressure. I don’t have to worry during dry spells, I don’t have to freak out when I’m not making sales every day as I have a steady stream of income through my day job (and amazing benefits). So it’s actually a good idea to start your own business while having another job so you don’t have to worry about money.
The disadvantage is that you may slack off. You don’t have to make money through your business to pay your bills so you may feel like it’s okay not to work on it today, you can do it tomorrow. It leads to procrastination, and trust me, procrastination should be avoided at all cost!
So if you would like to start a small business while working a full-time job, here are my top tips.
7 tips to start a small business while working a full-time job
1. Be clear with your goals
Know what your products will be, know who your ideal customer is, and have a brand. Know what you want to create. You have to have clear goals in order to make them become reality. Before starting anything and wasting your time, brainstorm the above, because if you are all over the place you will not be able to accomplish anything. Of course, your ideas don’t have to be foolproof, you will have plenty of time to perfect them over time, but you have to know what you are aiming for. It all starts by having a clear focus.
Once you have a clear idea of the type of business you would like to start, don’t treat it as a hobby. Treat it as a true business. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it mind you, it just means that you will have to put in the work get reap the benefits. No work, no growth. No growth, no money!
2. Start small
If you are working a full-time job, chances are you won’t have too much extra free time. Therefore start by working on small things, such as creating your website, taking pictures, making prototypes, creating social medias account one at a time, and so on…
When I created my art business, I started by defining my focus and building inventory: I decided to paint almost exclusively animals because that’s what I love doing, and I created a few canvas paintings. Little by little, I built inventory. Then, I set up an Instagram and Facebook page to share my art with the world. Pinterest came quite a while after. After doing some research, I chose the best online platforms to sell my art and I built my shops one a time. I expended over time, starting adding my art on products, and eventually even opened a blog (that you’re reading right now!).
If I had tried to do it all at once I would have crashed and burned! It took me a long time but I’m glad I pushed through all the obstacles because that’s how I got where I am today! Starting a small business while working a full-time job will take time so be patient, and start small.
3. Optimize your time
Do more by doing less. Optimize your time.
For instance, you can automate your social medias. Post in one place and have the post automatically go live on other social medias. I do it with Instagram and Facebook: when I post on Instagram, my post automatically goes to Facebook too, that way I don’t have to do the job twice. I also schedule pins on Pinterest so I don’t have to worry about it later. I highly recommend Tailwind for this.
4. Work whenever possible
Work whenever possible, even during your full-time job if you can! I’m pretty lucky and I have some really slow weeks at my day job. During those weeks, I get to work on my creative business while being on the clock. Mostly it’s website and social media work: engaging with other artists or bloggers, responding to my followers, scheduling posts, working on new blog posts or brainstorming ideas.
So if you have some down time at work, work on your business instead! If you can’t, then you can find time somewhere else. Laundry to fold? Brainstorm ideas while doing it. Cleaning the house? Think of how you can make your product line better. You can also use the time you spend waiting, whether it’s on the bus, in a waiting room, or anything of the sort.
5. Give up on something
Starting a viable small business will take some sacrifices. It’s not easy. Most likely, you will have to give up on something. Give up on watching TV tonight. Give up on going out with friends. Give up on spending the evening with your family. To start a small business while working a full-time job, you will have to forget about things you got to do without much thoughts before and focus on something useful that’ll help you reach your goals.
Now, please, don’t think you have to kiss your social life goodbye! Time to yourself is important too, it’s just that sometimes, you will have to make the tough choice to keep working instead of having fun. Hopefully though, you think of working on your own business as a pleasure and not a chore. Otherwise you’re doing it wrong!
6. Don’t forget to relax
Time for yourself is important once in a while, whether it is spending time with your family or just relaxing by yourself. Avoid a burnout, it will get you nowhere. So despite when I said above, if you feel tired and just want to relax, by all means do so and don’t you dare feel guilty about it! Self-care is extremely important too!
Doing what you love is important and if you start hating your life because of the amount of work you have, take a break immediately, and take care of yourself.
7. Promote yourself like crazy
Once you small business is all set up, you have to put yourself out there! Talk to your friends about it, get on social medias and post every day if you can. Network whenever possible.
Act like you’re an established company already. You have to be professional when dealing with potential customers as they don’t know how small or how big you are, and it doesn’t matter anyway. Project a professional image. It creates confidence and people will feel more comfortable buying from you.
Starting a small business while working a full-time job will take hard work and dedication. Achieving your dream is never easy but you can do it and you can also enjoy the process. I actually strongly believe you should enjoy the process. It’s about the journey, not the destination!
Well, the destination too, but not only!
- The biggest mistake I made as a small business owner
- Why doing what you love is important
- 5 must-haves to become a successful artist