Starting a Business Full or Part Time


  • Author Harry Beugelink
  • Published May 10, 2010
  • Word count 617

If you have made the decision to start a business, one of the first decisions you must make is whether to start it full time or part time. If you are thinking of going part time, then carefully consider the relationship with your boss. If your new venture is in anyway going to compete with your current employer, you have no other option but to quit your job. It would be wrong and dishonorable to your employer and the company if you continue to work there and at the same time compete with his/her business.

The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right. - William Safire

However, if you can start your own business while continuing in your job, you have several advantages:

  • If you still have a daytime job, you maintain a safety net in place because you are not jeopardizing your medical and retirement benefits, holiday and other fringe benefits. Once your business is running smoothly and making enough money, then you can set up your own safety net the way you want it.

  • You are financially not dependent on the new business. Cash flow is one of the biggest issue for a start-up business and having income from a job will take a lot of pressure off you.

  • You can take your time in setting up and developing your business while you are not forced to make rushed decisions due to financial pressures and the need to generate revenue.

But, starting part time has also some drawbacks:

  • Your boss might not like it that you are starting a business because he knows that you are not staying much longer. He might be worried that you are not fully focused on your job anymore with the possible consequence that you will lose your job. You then have a another decision to make of working your new business full time or find another temporary job.

  • We all have only 24 hours in a day and by holding down two jobs, you may be burning the candle at both ends. The thrill of building a new business could cause you to take on too much, which can lead to personal stress, family stress, mental and physical exhaustion.

  • If you keep your daytime job, there is a tendency to think about, or work on, your new venture when you are at work. Even if your new business does not conflict with your employer, you still need to keep the two completely separate. You are paid by your employer during the daytime hours, so you ought to work for him and be fully committed to the job.

  • You might have to involve your partner and/or children to help you out, because things might have to be done when you are working at your employer’s business.

You need to decide if you can deal with the potential conflicts and difficulties of starting your new business part time. If not, then you have no choice but to start full time. If you do not have enough cash to survive for at least one year, then you should probably wait and put enough cash in the bank till you have built a sufficient reserve to carry you through year one.

If you already have enough cash to start the business full time and are able to survive the first year without having to draw an income from the business, then I suggest you start full time. You will be more effective and you will be able to deal with problems that arise in your business more efficiently. The bottom line is that it is preferred to go full time if you have the financial resources.

Harry Beugelink is a Small Business Coach and Consultant with over 30 years of consulting and management experience in small to medium sized businesses

The Entrepreneurs Network

Author: "Starting Your Own Business"

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