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.

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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) Our free profit checklist

There are plenty of mistakes you can make in your quest to establish a profitable business – from getting your pricing wrong, to not understanding your target audience properly.

To help you avoid them, we’ve put together a free profit checklist for you to download. Simply print it out and go through each point in turn to check you have covered all bases.

And if you do spot anything you’ve missed, or are doing wrong, you can take positive steps to correct it, and turn your financial prospects around before it’s too late.

How Kickstart can help

We know what it takes to start a business while working full time. We launched Talented Ladies Club while holding down full time freelance careers, with three children between us (two of whom were just three years old).

So we have made sure you can work through our 12 month online business course Kickstart while working full time. Indeed, we’ve designed it so it’s easier to start a business while working full time. Here’s just some of the ways it will give you an advantage:

  • We teach you time management skills.
  • We help you set goals and write your business plan.
  • We show you how to ensure your business makes money.
  • We give you a roadmap to follow.
  • We teach you how to be the experts your business needs.
  • We support you throughout your journey.

If you’re planning to escape your job, but need a business to leave to, Kickstart will give you the ladder you need. We’ll help you to start a profitable business alongside your day job. So when you’re ready to go, you have a business to leave for.

Find out how Kickstart will help you to build a profitable business while working full time.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes