Running A Side Business While Fully Employed is relatively common. Some people operate side businesses in order to supplement their incomes, while others simply keep and maintain their jobs for financial stability while trying to launch full-fledged companies.
To manage this process can prove difficult and requires a delicate balance. You must be fair to your employer and give 100 percent of your dedication to them. Your salary comes from them after all. However, you need to put more effort at your own business to make sure it succeeds.
Here are some considerations that will help you navigate this process successfully.
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Does Your Job Allow It?
In general, most employees are allowed to run side businesses as long as it doesn’t interfere with their jobs. However, it’s best to check your employment contract in order to be safe. Some employment contracts include clauses that prevent employees from running their own businesses, even if it’s just a side businesses.
It is advisable and even safer to consult a lawyer. Show the lawyer any workplace agreements, HR manuals, and employee contracts in your possession, to help determine if your side business goes against your employment contract.
Don’t Compete with Your Employer
Ensure you don’t run a side business that is in direct competition with your employer. As this will create a conflict of interest. If you do, resigning is the only course of action.
It is not always easy to determine if your company is in direct competition with your employer. For instance, if your employer runs a full-service marketing consulting firm that involves large companies. On the other hand, your side business offers marketing consulting services to self-employed individuals. Are you competing against your employer? In order words, you could argue that you are offering somewhat similar services. However, you are working with very different client bases and are not competing for clients.
The right course of action is to speak to a lawyer to determine if you would have legal liability. Legal consultations might be expensive, but they are far more cheaper than the consequences.
Do You Have the Time?
The time and commitment needed to run a side business varies by industry. People who launch a startup or run a side business usually devote a couple of hours to the business every work day. They often spend a part or most of their weekends working as well. This demanding schedule may leave little time for friends or family.
If you have a job that requires more than eight hours of your time per day, or you have significant responsibilities outside of work, running a side business may not be an option for you
Run Your Business Outside of Company Hours
Company hours should be spent doing the job the company pays you for. Running your side business should totally be outside of your regular business hours. Consequently, you must get your business work done before your job starts or after it finishes.
If you have to handle an urgent startup-related matter during work hours, endeavour to do so during your break time. These interruptions should be kept to a minimum.
Don’t Use Your Employer’s Office or Equipment for your business
Keep your employer’s office away from your business, it is their place of business, not yours. Do not use their premises to work on your business. This is an ethical rule. Many employees sign an employment contract that assign all work and intellectual property that is developed at work to their employers. This agreement applies even if the work is done after hours.
Know When to Call it Quits
If you want to transition from your part-time business into a full-time venture, then knowing when to quit your job is very important. If possible, grow your business while working and try to replace some, or all, of your work income. But bear in mind that the moment you can not give your employer the proper attention they deserve, the fair thing to do is to quit.
Know How to Resign
When the time comes to move to your business full-time, ensure to resign professionally. Show gratitude to your employer by appreciating him/her your for the opportunity and speak fondly of your colleagues. Always keep in touch with your supervisor and colleagues throughout your career.
You get excited when you start your small business. It is probably something that you have always dreamt of doing for a long time, so it can be easy to start to neglect the employer that is paying your living expenses in the meantime. It is important not to burn bridges in business. No matter what you were like as an employee before you started your business, if you start to neglect your work, your mistakes will only be remembered by your colleagues. By remaining a loyal employee you never know who will make that next referral to your business.
You can also see how to deal with a breach of contract.