By Evan Vitale
We’ve all heard the line “don’t quit your day job” when someone cracks a one-liner joke at the water cooler.
Well, actually, there might be some truth in not quitting your day job when it comes to starting a new business venture. In fact, here are some suggestions in how you can continue to work as a full-time employee at your current job while you’re working on getting a business started at the same time.
In all the steps and ideas mentioned below, remember: never work on your new business venture while you’re on the clock for your current employer. And, never, circumvent your current employer by becoming a competitor or luring away current customers and clients. In both cases, you may be violating terms of your employment contract or employee handbook and may face pending litigation.
Now that the legal matters are out of the way, here are some things you can do during your evenings and weekends in order to get started on creating your own business:
- Develop a detailed business plan. Obviously, this is important for every business. However, as you are going to be in “startup” mode, you can simply start your business plan by stating goals, objectives, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
- Research the competition. While this will be part of your business plan, you should spend some time looking at your top competitors. Why are they the best? How long have they business in business? What products or services can you offer that your competitors don’t currently offer? Study them very closely.
- Study the market. Now is a good time to make sure your business can survive in the current market. Are you seeking local, regional, national or international customers and clients? Are there enough customers in your market based on market size and competitors?
- Join business networking groups. Many networking functions and events take place during “Happy Hour,” so use every opportunity available to network and meet other business owners.
Also during this time you can work on your legal business name; meet with your attorney to determine if your business should be a DBA, LLC, Inc., etc.; open a business banking account, create a website, print business cards, etc.
Keep your day job and build your business slowly. Remember, once you cut the cord from your employer and a regular paycheck, you should be prepared to open your business immediately and start working on sales or client projects.
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