Many people dream of the day they’ll launch their own business, and for some, those dreams include telling their boss exactly what they think of them on the way out the door. As satisfying as this fantasy might be, there are actually good reasons to keep your day job while you’re getting your business up and running. On the other hand, this isn’t practical or even possible for some types of businesses. Below are several points to consider when you’re making this decision. Because remember, starting a business isn’t very hard, but keeping it afloat and profitable – is another story.
If you’re running a small freelance business out of your home, you are likely to be able to keep your day job for a while at least, juggling your responsibilities between the two workplaces. On the other hand, if the business you have in mind is something that tends to consume your life, like running a restaurant, you’ll need to wait until you can give up your regular job in order to do it. Unless you have business partners who are willing to shoulder more than their share of the load, anything with employees is going to be hard to manage. It’s not just about sheer hours or even time of day but the mental focus required.
Take a look at your employment contract or your employee handbook. You may be forbidden from moonlighting, which could include running your own business on the side. Some companies will claim intellectual property that you create while you are employed by them. Don’t try to be clever about juggling multiple obligations if you are a remote worker. In one way or another, it will backfire, either with your employer finding out and firing you or with too little attention paid to the business you’re trying to run at the same time.
Let’s say that you are getting a fairly complex small or medium-sized business up and running and you have a couple of understanding business partners who have agreed to pick up the slack while you’re away at the day job. What happens the first time there’s a crisis and your presence is needed? What about everyday tasks, such as figuring out whether the trucks your company uses are compliant, safe, and cost-effective? Maybe you can review an informative guide on ELDs for trucks on your lunch break, but the bottom line is that fleet management can’t be done between phone calls, meetings, and emails at a second job. If you have a lot of responsibility in your new business, you’re going to have to give it all of your time and attention.
Most employers want to know or at least imagine that you’re going to show up every day in the workplace and fully dedicate yourself to the task at hand. However, as long as the venture you are setting up is not in competition with your current place of work, you might have one of those rare managers who will support you in your new endeavor. If this is the case for you, it might be worth sticking with your day job for a while, so you don’t have to worry about cash flow. You can use this opportunity to trigger your creativity in terms of your entrepreneurial dreams while simultaneously handling your day job duties.