From employment to starting up your own business

Gassy Jack

Just me and Gassy Jack in Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Are you likely to find yourself in the same position as most when you are starting up your own business?  Most new business starters make must make the transition from full time employed to full time business.  The tricky part is the middle ground where you will juggle part time employed and part time business.

The problem arises because you lack the funds to leave your job on Friday and launch your new business on the following Monday.  It is also hard to leave job security and that regular paycheck behind.  So you hide your fledgling business from your employer and hide your day job from your clients.

Being caught in the part time middle ground can also affect your client communication because you are stuck at your employer’s place during business hours with little opportunity to meet with clients or use the telephone.  It can also adversely affect the quality of your work.  You are probably working longer hours and sacrificing sleep.  In this circumstance, trying to give 100% to both employer and clients can be challenging.

So here are a few tips to help you through.

  •  Find an appropriate transitional job where you can work 3 days a week, (preferably one that doesn’t directly compete with your new business). You will then have 2 full business days for client interaction and to concentrate 100% on their work.
  •  When you find the transitional job you need, be upfront with your employer.
  • Don’t tell clients that you have a day job but if they ask, don’t deny it.  I used to tell clients that I had a 3-day a week contract with a major client.  The day job was providing business training to insurance advisers, which was quite plausible because it wasn’t too far removed from the services I was offering at the time.
  •  Your life during the transition will become a lot easier if your business is 100% online.  That eliminates a lot of telephone and face-to-face contact.  However, depending on the nature of your business, this may not always be possible.
  •  Make email your main means of client communication.  Use web mail to reply to emails during the day when you are working your day job but only before and after work or in your breaks.
  •  Make phone calls during your lunch hour from your car (which can be a very compact office).
  • When starting up your own business, do the right thing by your employer.  Keep your activities separate and don’t abuse his or her business.

Until next time!