Many people dream of starting their own business, but there’s an old adage that you can’t work for yourself while working for somebody else. This isn’t entirely true, and while there are a few obstacles to starting your own business while having a day job, a balance can be found.

In this article, we’re going to give some helpful tips and advice on how to balance your day job with your personal business aspirations, and hopefully you’ll be able to leave that day job behind!

After reading this article, you can check out this ultimate guide to starting your own business on Foundr, which provides a lot of useful advice for building a business from the ground up.

Understand the details of your employment contract

This is particularly important with concern to anything you develop or create while on company property or on company time. For example, developing a smartphone app using the computer at your day job office may actually create a situation where your employer owns your creation. You should check your employee manual for reference, or consult with the Human Resources manager. This applies even if you do not have an employment contract with the company!

Really, you shouldn’t do anything related to your business during your day job hours. This includes logging into your business email, creating any spreadsheets, anything at all. This is using company property for your own personal gain, and the company could have the right to read anything you’ve entered into the office computer. And there goes all your business secrets!

Consider promotional products to expand your brand

Brand recognition is incredibly important for business expansion, and increasing your brand appeal is something you should focus on from the very beginning. Promotional products are proven to increase customer loyalty, and 83% of people that receive promotional products responded to surveys that receiving promotional products gave them a more favorable impression of a company.

There is a huge range of promotional products you can use, from the classics like coffee mugs, calendars, and pens, to modern things like USB flash drives and powerbank chargers. A company like Good Things that belongs to a promotional products association can help you decide the best promotional products that would represent your brand and resonate with your target audience.

Be honest with your current employer

There’s no legal obligation to tell your current employer that you’re starting your own business, but it may be in your employee contract that you must disclose any other work to your employer. Furthermore, if your business is not competitive to your current employer, you may be able to turn them into a potential customer, client, or investor. If you think this is possible, you should consult an attorney for advice on how to proceed with having an employer involved some way in your business.

Consider hiring early so you can more easily run your business part-time

Running your business part-time is a great option because you’ll continue to have steady income from your primary day job. One way you can make sure your business runs smoothly while you’re at your primary day job is to hire online freelancers for the purpose of responding to emails, scheduling client meetings, or similar little tasks. This will allow your business to continue operating even while you’re busy with your regular work.

Don’t quit your day job at the smallest signs of success

It may be tempting to quit your day job as soon as your business starts showing signs of success, but these early signs are not necessarily indicative of long-term stability. 20% of startup businesses fail within the first year, another 30% fail after two years, and 50% fail around five years.


If you can, hold out as long as you can before putting in your resignation. Going back to what we mentioned earlier, find ways to make your business run even without you – hiring virtual assistants to organize emails, respond to customer inquiries, and similar tasks.

Take the leap into full-time business owner when you feel completely ready

We might’ve just said to wait before quitting your day job in the previous section, but this doesn’t mean forever. Running a part-time business will eventually equal partial success, and it will require your full-time commitment when the time is right. How do you know when the time is right? That depends on your instinct, but you should carefully examine how in-demand your business is and if it will provide a sustainable income level.