More and more employees combine the security of their full time careers with the excitement of a home business launch. If you want to join them, you’ll need to pull off a delicate juggling act, one that preserves your steady paycheck while making your side business a huge success.
If you want your juggling act to work, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here are some timely tips for combining the career you love with the business you want to build.
Avoid conflicts of interest with your employer
Some home business they are more likely to interfere with full-time employment than others, and some may even put your steady income at risk. As you move forward with your plans, think about the nature of the business you plan to start and whether or not it competes with the business that writes your paychecks.
If you work for a web design company, for example, your boss may not be okay with you setting up a similar business on the side. You should avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, so think carefully about the part time effort what you plan to pursue and how it might affect your full-time career. If you were asked 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 activities secret, but there are many reasons why that’s a terrible idea. For one, the colleagues and coworkers you interact with on a daily basis can be valuable leads. This is especially important when you’re getting your business off the ground. On the other hand, that sort of thing tends to leak out, and you don’t want your boss finding out about your business through office gossip.
It’s important to be honest with your boss about your plans, including the nature of the business you’re building and what you’re trying to achieve. In many cases, pursuing a passion project can make for better and more dedicated employees, and starting with honesty is always the best policy.
Go further in your daily work
Now that your boss knows about your outside efforts, it’s time to show that your part-time business doesn’t interfere with your daily job duties. It’s one thing to tell your boss there’s no conflict, but demonstrating that is what is truly important.
Going above and beyond the call of duty at work is one of the best ways to assuage any fears your boss may have. Showing up 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 isn’t easy, and you don’t want to put your paycheck at risk, at least not until you’re ready to move on on your own terms.
Track your hourly earnings in your business
If your part-time business is a success, you may start to wonder if it could one day replace your full-time career. There are many things to think about before you start contemplating such a move.
If you’re not already doing so, you need to keep careful track of your part-time business earnings, not just in net terms but in hourly earnings as well. Tracking the amount of time you spend on your part-time business and the returns you get will allow you to do an apples-to-apples comparison with your full-time career.
You’ll 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 overtime? Could you attract new customers and find new income? Until you know the answers to these questions, you may want to keep the security of a steady paycheck, at least for now.
Keep your business finances separate
Running a business part-time while pursuing a full-time career isn’t 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 set up 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, much easier. You may choose to set up a business account at the bank you are already using, or you may use a different financial institution; the choice is yours.
Consider setting up backup withholding
As your part-time business continues to grow, so will the amount of money you’re earning. Earning more money in your spare time may feel good, but it’s sure to attract the attention of the IRS, and not paying what you owe could be subject to interest and penalties come April 15.
If you want to avoid the time and hassle of making quarterly payments to the IRS, it might make sense to have extra money withheld from your paycheck. Having the extra money deducted from each paycheck can make it easier to settle with the IRS 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 want to pursue your part-time passions, the tips listed above may help you manage those responsibilities with a little more ease.