More and more employees are combining the security of their full-time careers with the excitement of a launching a home business. If you would like to join them, you will need to perform a delicate juggling act, one that preserves your steady paycheck while making your side business a great success.
If you want your juggling act to work, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind. Here are some timely tips for combining the career you love with the business you are eager to build.
Avoid Conflicts of Interest With Your Employer
Some at-home businesses are more likely to interfere with full-time employment than others, and some could even put your steady income at risk. As you go forward with your plans, think about the nature of the firm you plan to start, and whether or not it competes with the company signing your paychecks.
If you work for a web design firm, for example, your boss may not take kindly to your setting up a similar business on the side. You need to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, so think carefully about the part-time endeavor you plan to pursue and how it could impact your full-time career. If you were required to sign a non-compete agreement with your employer, now is the time to review those terms.
Be Honest with Your Boss About Your Side Business
Many employees try to keep their part-time business endeavors secret, but there are many reasons why that is a terrible idea. For one thing, the colleagues and coworkers you interact with on a daily basis could be valuable leads. This is especially important when you are getting your business off the ground. For another, those kinds of things tend to leak out, and you do not want your boss to find out about your business through the office grapevine.
It is important to be honest with your boss about your plans, including the nature of the business you are building and what you are trying to achieve. In many cases pursuing a passion project can actually make employees better and more dedicated workers, and starting with honesty is always the best policy.
Go Above and Beyond at Your Day Job
Now that your boss knows about your outside endeavors, it is time to prove that your part-time business is not interfering with your daily job duties. It’s one thing to tell your boss there is no conflict, but demonstrating that is what’s truly important.
Going above and beyond the call of duty on the job is one of the best ways to soothe any remaining fears your boss may be harboring. Coming in early, staying late, volunteering for projects no one else wants to tackle, and answering a few late-night emails can all go a long way. Maintaining a juggling act between a part-time business and a full-time career is not easy, and you do not want to put your paycheck at risk, at least not until you are ready to move on on your own terms.
Track Your Hourly Earnings at Your Business
If your part-time business is a success, you might start to wonder if it could someday replace your full-time career. There are a lot of things to think about before you start contemplating such a move.
If you are not already doing so, you should be carefully tracking the earnings from your part-time business, not only on a net basis but on an hourly earnings one as well. Tracking the amount of time you put into your part-time business and the return you are getting will allow you to do an apples-to-apples comparison with your full-time career.
You will also want to think about how scalable your part-time business really is. If you were to leave your full-time career, could you scale your business to accommodate the extra time? Could you attract new clients and find new revenue? Until you know the answers to these questions, you might want to maintain the security of a steady paycheck, at least for now.
Keep Your Business Finances Separate
Running a part-time business while pursuing a full-time career is not an easy juggling act, but there are things you can do to make it easier. One of the first steps you should take when running a business on the side is to establish a separate bank account for those earnings and expenses.
Keeping your finances separate will make everything else, from filing taxes and tracking expenses to paying bills and calculating earnings, a lot easier. You can choose to set up a business account at the bank you are already using, or you can use a different financial institution — the choice is up to you.
Think About Setting Up Additional Tax Withholding
As your part-time business continues to grow, so too will the amount of money you are earning. Making more money in your spare time might feel good, but it is sure to attract the attention of the IRS, and failing to pay what you owe could subject you to interest and penalties when April 15 rolls around.
If you want to avoid the time and hassle of making quarterly payments to the IRS, it could make sense to have extra money withheld from your paycheck instead. Having the additional money taken out of every paycheck can make settling up with the IRS easier as your part-time business continues to grow.
Use These Tips to Juggle Your Full-Time Job and Side Business
More and more workers are quitting their jobs to pursue their own business interests, and millions more are combining side hustles and part-time businesses with the careers they already have. If you like the idea of a steady paycheck but long to pursue your part-time passions, the tips listed above can help you manage those responsibilities a little more easily.