Starting a Side Business While Working a Full-Time Job

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Aug 19, 2021

Aug 19, 2021 • by Rebecca Smith

Being your own boss is one of the reasons people consider starting a business. A survey showed that around 43% of employees think that having more control over their career is the biggest benefit of being self-employed.

However, that comes with one of the greatest challenges of starting a new business – letting go of a stable source of income from your full-time job. Because of that, a lot of us are scared to actually take that first step. But if you can start a business while still working full-time, why not take the chance?

In this article, we will talk about how to start a side business online and how to manage it while working full time. 

1. Review Your Full-Time Job Contract

Make sure that your current full-time job contract allows you to run another business before you decide to initiate one. Some companies include a clear restriction for their employees to have another business in their work contracts.

Running a side business might get you into some legal trouble if you ignore your current work contract. It is also essential to discuss this matter with your direct supervisor and HR even after you review your contract in case there are other company procedures you need to fulfill.

Avoid starting a side business that might violate the intellectual property of your current workplace. This can help you steer clear of time-consuming problems while launching your side business. 

2. Create a Business Plan

Having a clear plan should be one of the priorities before starting a new business. Out of 543,000 new businesses created every month in the US, only five to ten survive the next five years. A study shows that around 70% of those businesses follow a strategic business plan.

Your business plan needs to include your overall goal and a detailed plan of action that explains how you’ll achieve them.

A business plan is also great for setting up smaller milestones for a more strategic business development process. There is no exact rule for business plan format, but some websites provide examples and templates you can use as inspiration during the brainstorming process.

A good start for an online business plan is deciding on the platform to run your business website and finding the most suitable WordPress hosting for business. Then, actually building the website and conducting marketing campaigns.

3. Plan Your Priorities

Running a side business while having a full-time job means that you need to prioritize some tasks over others. The golden rule is to focus on your day job responsibilities first and tackle your side business tasks during your free time.

However, the actual practice might not be as simple. Sometimes you might be tempted to do your side hustle tasks during regular working hours. Remember that it can be considered unethical, and you may end up not completing the tasks properly.

Try to create a good time management system and follow a strict schedule. The key is to have a strong sense of self-discipline. Tools like Toggl, Remember The Milk, and MindNode can help you manage your time and tasks more effectively.

4. Set Realistic Business Goals

Realistic goals are important for your business. They let you focus your attention on achieving desirable outcomes and the necessary steps that come with them. 

Good business goals should also be as specific and measurable as possible; otherwise, you might spend too much time describing and visualizing them. Vague goals are hard to follow, especially if you work with a team.

OKR and KPI are good methods to measure how well you progress towards your business goals. They can help guide your business in the right direction and increase productivity through focus on goals.

5. Manage the Side Business Structure and Finance

Just because it is not your main source of income, your side business still requires a serious structure and financial management. You might want to consider registering the business with the local authority and creating a separate bank account.

Registering your business comes with several advantages, including limiting personal liability during an unexpected legal problem, minimizing tax liability, and helping improve your legitimacy and brand awareness. Keep in mind that the registration process might vary depending on where you live. 

It is also important to create a separate bank account for your business to make financial management easier. Various financial tasks such as budgeting, taxing, and loans are easier to do and track with a dedicated bank account. Some banks might also give special offers and services if you own a business account.

6. Consider Outsourcing Some Work

While starting a side business, you might find yourself unable to handle some work due to time constraints or lack of skill and experience. If you have enough budget, we recommend you outsource this work to a third party.

This lets you split the workload and allows you to focus on more important tasks. Hiring skillful freelance workers can be a helpful choice since they are typically more affordable and don’t require complicated contracts. Websites such as Fiverr and Upwork have listings of freelance workers with various niches to fit your needs.

If you prefer in-house workers over freelancers, hiring full-time employees can also be a good idea. However, you might have to invest more time during the hiring and management process. Regardless of your choice, make sure they have the skills and experience to help you handle said tasks.

7. Ask for Feedback

Feedback is a crucial aspect when running a business. Since you operate this business in limited free time, it is best to invest in something with the best profit potential. Ask opinions from the community and target audience to make sure your product is at its best.

Find people who can give you honest and unbiased feedback. Do this from the beginning and make it into your routine. Objective opinions from relevant people can help you point out your weaknesses and improve your products or services.


A lot of people prefer to start their businesses while having a day job for financial stability. Starting a side hustle while still having a full-time job can be challenging, but it can also come with many benefits that make your efforts worth it.

In this article, we learned about the steps you might need to take when initiating your online business while working full-time, including:

  • Review your full-time job contract
  • Create a business plan
  • Plan your priorities
  • Set realistic business goals
  • Manage the side business structure and finance
  • Consider outsourcing some work
  • Ask for feedback

If you have the chance to start a business, it might be better to take action right away rather than spending too much time daydreaming. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the necessary steps needed to create a business while maintaining your stable income.