Six things you need to start a profitable business while working full time

Love to start a business but work full time? Discover the six things you need to start a profitable business while working. 

It’s the classic chicken and egg scenario: you need a profitable business to leave the security of your job for. But how can you build a profitable business while working full time – or even flexibly?

While it may seem impossible to find the time and energy to get a business of the ground while you’re still employed, we can assure you it’s not. Many entrepreneurs have successfully done so, and are doing so right now.

Six things you need to start a profitable business while working

Over the past five years we’ve seen many people successfully start a business while working full time (and even done it ourselves!). Here are six things that can help you replicate their success.

1) Great time management

This may sound a little strange, but you’re actually at an advantage by working. Why? Because when you have little of a commodity (in this case, time) you don’t waste it. Instead you make sure you use it wisely.

Starting a business while working full time means you need to be targeted with your time. You need to work productively on activities that are going to deliver the smartest results.

An entrepreneur who has plenty of hours to burn through every week is more likely to procrastinate and fall into business cul de sacs (tasks that take you no further forward).

But you can’t afford to do that. You need to be smart with your time. Which often means you make faster progress.

2) A plan

Every business needs a plan (whether it’s a formal business plan or something more fluid). A plan means you know where you want to get to, allowing you to plot the exact steps you need to take to reach it.

But if you’re starting a business while working full time, a plan is even more essential. Remember: time is not unlimited for you. You can’t afford to waste a week absently trying something in case it works.

You need to know that something is worth doing before you allot your precious time to it. So you need a plan.

3) A roadmap

While it may sound similar to a plan, a business roadmap is actually quite different. It’s the process you follow to build a business from the ground up, and covers every important step you need to take as you grow a profitable business.

With a roadmap to follow you can channel your time strategically, focusing only on what you need to do now to achieve your plan. A roadmap prevents you from becoming distracted, and wasting time on activities that won’t take you any further forward.

4) A why

There will be some weeks when working on your business is effortless. The stars are aligned; you leave work early, you feel energised and the children are behaving perfectly.

Then you have the week from hell. Your boss has you working late on a project that has sapped all your emotional energy. And the kids just. Won’t. Sleep. Then they declare they’re not feeling well, so you take time off work to nurse them.

This is why you need a ‘why’ – a reason for your business existing that resonates deeply within you. A passion that will drive you on through every knock back life throws at you (and it will).

When people ask us what’s the #1 skill an entrepreneur needs, we always answer “resilience”. It’s the one thing that often separates a successful startup from an also-ran. And if you’re starting a business while working full time you’ll need an extra large dose. So be really clear about your why.

5) Support

Starting a business is lonely. Not only are you often physically working alone, but you have no one to encourage you on, help you make decisions, and share the good and bad moments with.

This is hard enough to cope with when you’re devoting your entire working day to the success of your business. But it’s even tougher when you’re trying to start a business in the few free hours you have a week after working.

With no one holding you accountable, it’s all too easy to ditch a planned evening’s work for a night in front of the TV. Or to let self-doubt beat you into giving up.

That’s why it’s even more important to have someone on your side when you’re starting a business while working. Someone who understands your business, will give you honest feedback, and will encourage you on and hold you accountable.

6) A profitable business idea

There’s one more very important thing you need in order to start a successful business – a business idea that will actually make money!

If you don’t yet have an idea, or aren’t sure whether your business idea has what it takes to go the distance, you can download our free five-step IDEAS formula. This helpful guide takes you through an easy process to come up with the perfect business idea. It also shares the questions you need to ask to check that any business idea you have, genuinely has potential.

So if you’re excited about the idea of starting a profitable business while working full time (or even if you aren’t working full time) download our free five-step IDEAS formula now.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes