How to start your own business while working a full-time job
I've received many questions about how we manage to run an e-commerce while being busy full-time with other commitments. Before explaining, I want to be clear that there are many ways to start a business - some prefer to hit the pause button to be able to commit full-time to their startup, but we decided to do this on the side, because it was the best choice for us in regards to our situation. Also, the workload can vary depending on how many people you have in your team or what the business idea is.
While it is understandable to think that it's impossible to start a business while having full-time commitments elsewhere, I wanted to prove to myself that it's not necessary to quit everything in order to take a step in to entrepreneurship. I know that many people are afraid to fail, and that it's too big of a sacrifice to quit their full-time job and "miss out" on their planned career path, and I'm telling you that you don't need to make that choice that early on.
What to have in mind before starting your own business on the side:
- First of all, it's important that you check with your employer that it's okay with them that you start your own business on the side. I know that all employers don't allow this, but from what I've heard it's more common that they do than that they don't - at least in Sweden
- Estimate roughly how much time and when during the week you will work on your startup to get your work-life balance in order. I know it's not good to work all the time, but By Banoo is something I really enjoy to do - so it's important that you feel the same
- Understand that it will take more time than if you would have done it full-time - and make it a good thing! Of course, if I would have worked full-time with By Banoo from the beginning, I would (in theory) achieved more, but sometimes it's good to take things slow. For example I got to test my prototypes during a longer time which made me realize necessary amendments that I never would have realized if I launched too fast
- The financial situation will not be stressful. Many startups don't make money in the beginning because you need to invest in product development, branding etc. When working full-time, you know you will survive financially while being able to develop your startup without the fear of going bankrupt
- Ask yourself - what is the worst-case scenario? If the company fails, you still have a job, or if you find out that entrepreneurship wasn't at all what you thought it was - you still have your job
As I've mentioned before, it took us about 1.5 years from idea to launch. Remember that this was during the pandemic, which meant that it took about two times longer to launch than planned. If we would have quit our jobs we would be in a situation where we were out of money very early on - so I'm grateful that we stayed employed.
Now, I want to share some tips on how to juggle a startup while working full-time:
- Single-tasking. When you're at work, you're at work. If you start to answer emails or similar while working your regular job, it will feel overwhelming and that you have too much on your plate - by only doing one thing at a time it will feel much better, at least according to me
- Make to do's and divide them in must-have and nice-to-have. From the must-have list - make priorities
- Remember that you need to rest in between. Ask yourself, is it really necessary to run fast or can you slow down the pace in between in order to stay healthy?
- Write down all areas you're working on, and ask yourself if there is something you could outsource to a third party so you can use your time more efficiently? For example a 3PL, accounting, marketing etc. In our case it's nice that we are not the ones manufacturing the business bags, that would be very time consuming...
If you have any questions or thoughts don't hesitate to contact us, we love to discuss this matter with you. Would it be interesting to learn more about our journey from start to finish? Let us know.
Are you still hesitating to start your own business? Don't. You will learn so much and have so much fun! We believe in you!
(Note: my sister Perdica studies full-time, not working)