Starting a business whilst still employed

Have you ever thought, I would love to run my own business! I think I could provide a better service, if I had my own company!

Starting a new business is one of the most exciting things you can do. It gives you the opportunity to do something you are passionate about, whether manufacturing a product or providing a service!

Here are some of the key things to consider before you decide to take this route. Having a plan and understanding some of the key considerations is crucial to making the transition to running your own business.

Are you currently employed?

  • Ensure your employment contract allows for secondary employment. In addition, there is an EU directive where working hours are limited. Opting out of this directive may be a requirement as one of the conditions of having secondary employment. Reason for this directive are for your safety, wellbeing and ability to perform the role.
  • Be careful if your new business is in direct competition. If you are planning to set up a rival Bakery, for example, there are added complications with this. It will likely not be an option without contravening your employment contract. There may be a requirement to declare there is no conflict of interest in order to proceed with your planned business venture.

Not currently employed?

  • Out of choice (retiree or want to setup a business!) or not your choice (COVID-19!) If you have a business idea you would love to pursue, this could provide the perfect opportunity to pursue building a business – making the best of a difficult position!

Planning how to build the business

  • Setting key milestones. Setting out what you’d like to achieve, helps give direction towards the end goal of running an established business! Some of these milestones could include defining your services or products, how much you will charge, building a website or doing market research to see if there would be demand for your offering.
  • Allocate dedicated time. If you’re still employed, this will obviously take up the majority of your time during the week, amongst all your other commitments. Therefore is it important that you set aside time to apply to building the new business. This will take some dedication, but always have the end result in your mind.

Making the leap to full time

  • Reducing hours. Depending on your situation, this may be a good way to transition, rather than a sudden jump into full time entrepreneurship. The reduction in hours would have a financial impact, but if you could slowly increase the income from the business to offset the reduced income. 
  • Build up savings. If you are in a position to, I would recommend to help support your current financial commitments if you are thinking of jumping into full time, to get fully immersed in the business or to help support over the months you take to build up business.

If you do decide to pursue your business idea, I wish you all the best! The hard work will pay off eventually, just keep at it.