How To Start Your Own Business While Working Full-Time

As a full-time worker, you can keep your job while starting a business at the same time. While not the easiest path to entrepreneurship, this strategy keeps your job safe, minimizing the negative impact if your business fails. The steady income can also help finance your new venture until it becomes profitable.
Pursuing two separate paths of employment requires you to exercise both discipline and hard work. Although difficult, the approach offers the best option for starting a business on a tight budget. It can also give you useful insight into what it feels like to be an entrepreneur before you turn your startup into a full-time business.

Here’s some valuable advice on how to start your own business while keeping your full-time job:


Respect Your Employment Contract

Before you even start your side venture, make sure your entrepreneurial activity does not conflict with contracts and agreements that govern your current job. Thoroughly review all your work-related documents, including any non-disclosure and non-compete agreements to make sure they do not prohibit side ventures.
If you fail to respect the terms of your contract, you could end up out of work and face civil penalties. You should also beware of any agreement that could either explicitly or implicitly give your employer ownership or rights to your business.
You might need to discuss your plans with your HR manager or an attorney that specializes in employment law. In most cases, if your business differs from that of your employer and you use your equipment and time, you won’t encounter any conflicts.

Disclose Your Plans to Your Boss

Working simultaneously for your boss and yourself might cause conflicting feelings for you and your boss. If your business is different from your employer’s, rather than trying to hide your intentions, make them known. When you demonstrate such transparency, you eliminate fears that your life as an entrepreneur will conflict with your life as an employee.
When you prove that your new business doesn’t present a threat, cost, or undue burden, your employer might become surprisingly supportive of your effort. Companies increasingly understand the human element of business and feel inclined to do whatever they can to improve the lives of their workers.
Make sure you tell your boss about your business plans only after you’ve read and fully understood your company’s policy and your employment agreements.

Set a Schedule and Create a Plan

You should approach the task of starting a business with the same dedication you approach your regular job. Create a list of tasks you need to complete and decide on the best time to work on them. Avoid scheduling any business-related tasks during your 9-5 and use weeknights and weekends instead. Once you come up with a regular schedule, do your best to stay committed to it.
Write down all the goals you want to achieve. Set long-term, short-term, and incremental goals that will help you stay focused on a timeline. Since you only have limited time to dedicate to your business, you should focus on setting small and measurable daily goals.
Create a business plan that you can use to pitch your company to investors or secure loans from a bank. The document should provide a detailed description of your business, products, and target market. It should give details of your business and marketing strategies, operational structure, sales projections, and financial requirements.
As your company grows, you should regularly re-evaluate your business plan and revise it as necessary. You have to exercise patience because you only have small amounts of time to devote to your effort. Set realistic goals, prioritize your tasks, stay motivated and stay faithful to your plans.

Don’t Neglect Your Full-Time Job

In the midst of the excitement of starting a business, never neglect your full-time job. You understandably might feel motivated by a vision of a future where you have control over your destiny, but the here-and-now demands that you maintain high-quality performance at your job.
Even when you feel pressured by time constraints, resist the temptation to work on your new business during company hours. Similarly, avoid using your employer’s computers, networks, and office machines for your startup. Right now, you can’t afford to get fired or penalized for misconduct.
Balance the time you spend away from the office on your new venture. Don’t let your responsibilities as an entrepreneur adversely affect your regular job. If you have a long daily commute, consider asking your boss to allow you to work remotely for some time. As one of the many benefits of working from home, the absence of commute will enable you to convert the time you spend sitting in traffic into productive time you can use to build a successful venture.

Don’t Overwork Yourself

Working full-time and starting a business at the same time can put severe strains on your time. You will most often have more to do than you have time to do it. Do not push yourself too hard or else you could burn out from working too hard.
After coming home from work, try not to start working on your business immediately. Working without taking the necessary time for relaxation can cause excessive stress. Prolonged periods of stress can jeopardize your health and personal relationships. Try to unwind from the pressures you faced during the day.
Take some time to relax, meditate or exercise. Don’t neglect your personal life and engage with family members and friends before starting working on your new business. Make sure you get the rest needed to perform well.
By placing a high priority on your wellness and the people in your private life, you will develop positive habits that will help you maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal life even after you start working full time for yourself.

Final Word

Starting your own business can be a challenging task. Starting a business while working full-time can be even more challenging. Balancing your job, your business and your personal life takes hard work and dedication. You may face many difficulties and consider quitting your 9-5, but remember that keeping your job while working on your business venture will ensure you have a steady source of income.
As long as you can successfully manage everything on your plate, starting your own business while employed is a perfect choice for first-time business owners.


Jill Phillips

Freelance Writer at Jill Phillips
Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog.




  1. deon goode

    This is a great post, I am currently working full time and trying to build my site I am passionate about helping women excel in career and business. I wake up like 2 hours before work and read books or make a post. I’m just trying to figure out how to make my passion for career development a full time gig!
    Thanks, Deon Goode

    • Melissa Bolton

      Hi Deon, So glad you stopped by. Hopefully you’ll find the help you need along your journey here on the blog and in the other offerings we have available. We’re on a mission to help women just like you create a business and life they love. Let us know how we can be of assistance!

  2. Jennee Rasavong

    Hi Jill!

    Enjoyed your post. I’m currently side-gigging as a freelance writer so I can have that creative outlet I sorely miss in my 9-5 as a marcom coordinator. I’ve toyed with the idea of building the freelance thing into a full-time thing but have struggled with a few of these tips on your list.

    For starters, I haven’t disclosed to my boss that I’m moonlighting but I never let it interfere with my day job. I can handle making plans and setting schedules when it comes to my side business, but have trouble committing to them when client work comes in. And overworking myself? I’ve only been able to wrap my head around that in the last few weeks –I’m getting better 

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Melissa Bolton

      Hi Jennee, wishing you all the best as you transition. Let us know how we can help with any guidance along the way!


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