How to Juggle a Day Job and your Startup Business
Launching a new start-up business can be an all-consuming affair, yet until it’s off the ground it’s difficult to imagine giving up the safety net of a day job. So how do budding entrepreneurs balance the demands of their 9-5 work life with the long hours of running a new business? Here are a few tips to help strike the right balance.
- Prepare for long hours.
There’s no way around it – you’re going to be working long hours at first, giving up evenings and weekends to give your new business the attention it needs. Although it may be tempting to double up on tasks at your regular desk job, you don’t want to take advantage of your current employer. It’s best not to burn any bridges just yet, as you may need that employer for a future reference or networking contact.
- Make use of technology.
It’s perhaps easier than ever before now for new business owners to network and drum up interest in a new business on the go. Even if you’re in the middle of a business trip for your day job, you can multitask from a distance with the help of cloud-based software, business apps, Skype, email, and social networking. This type of technology lets you carry on with your day to day tasks while still making progress with your new business.
- Upskill before making the switch.
Don’t drop your current job until you’re certain that you can handle the full-time demands of running a business. If your employer offers any type of training program, take advantage of this while you can. You can also fit in online or evening small business courses like these options at training.com.au to upskill in areas where you have less experience, whether it’s IT skills or accounting.
- Be realistic.
Although you’ll certainly be working long hours at times, you don’t want to burn the candle at both ends to the point that you suffer from burnout. If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, you’ll end up being incapable of doing your best at either your day job or your new business. Don’t be afraid to say no at first, even to new clients, if you won’t be up to performing the tasks competently. You can only do so much at first, so don’t overschedule yourself. You can also consider outsourcing some of the tasks that you need help with to freelance professionals, who may be able to keep your business moving forward while still giving you time to sleep.
- Use time management tools.
A helpful option for many start-up entrepreneurs is using time management software or apps, which can help them schedule their time more efficiently. Fill your day with manageable to-do lists, and you can avoid getting overwhelmed. Create daily to-do lists as well as longer-term lists of goals for best results. This will help you create a timeline for your business, and give you some idea of when you may be able to quit the day job.
Above all, keep your eye on the big picture. Juggling two major responsibilities like this is difficult, and your social and family life may suffer if you don’t budget your time very carefully. But if you remember that it’s only for a short time while you get your new business off the ground, you’ll be able to stay on track.