Launching a part-time business while working full-time can be tricky.
I received this question from someone that follows me on Facebook. We both think that there are a number of people with this question so I asked her if I could share our exchange here. I’ve kept her specific info anonymous to protect her privacy. I am sending her a public “Thanks,” for allowing me to share her question.
I recently read your e-book, 12 Steps to Launching a Business Without Quitting Your Day Job. I also read Erin Albert’s book, Plan C. However, I still have one question.
I am going to launch a Life Coaching practice part time. I currently work a fulltime job (remotely from home).
I’m not sure how to approach my employer about doing both (keeping my job and working my business). I don’t want to give them the impression that they are paying me to work a business from home.
Any information you offer would be helpful. I’m in good standing with my employer and the company is in excellent financial condition. However, I don’t want to open the door to be laid off or replaced.
Any advice? I acknowledge that the information you offer is not legal advice or guaranteed to work for my situation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
When are you working on your part-time business? If it is after hours or during scheduled break time from your job (lunch) then you only need to disclose your business if you they have a policy that states you need to do so. Think of it this way – if you had a part-time job at Barnes & Noble, would you have to disclose it to them? If so, you are exactly right to be cautious.
By the way – I worked from home for four years while launching my business and it never came up. I even had my business listed in LinkedIn and an article published on Forbes.com.
Thanks so much for advice. I will be working my part-time business outside of the business hours for my day job. I plan to use lunch breaks and weekends as things pick up.
I reviewed my employee handbook and there is nothing there. I know one of my other colleagues owns a cleaning business. As long as clients are not calling my boss saying they are having difficulty reaching me (after repeated attempts), I really don’t thing they will care as long as it doesn’t affect my performance. I did sign a non-compete clause but as long as I’m not launching a software company..I’m good to go.
The reason why I said I didn’t want them to find out before is because my former employer has a business relationship with my current employer and I didn’t want want my old boss to try and sabotage me. I worked out my notice and left in good standing but I get the feeling my old boss is jealous because I left. On the positive side, I have a good relationship with my new boss.
Does this change your opinion?
Nope…You are doing all the right things. You only have to disclose details of your part-time business if you want to. One thing you may consider adding is keeping a detailed record of the time, work and accomplishments for your day job. If your boss or their policies ever change, it can only help to be able to prove that you have consistently performed with integrity and respect for your position with them.
Once you have a solid exit plan and are closer to turning your part-time business into a full time gig, maybe about 3-6 months out, then might be a good time to have a conversation with your boss if you think he/she will be supportive. Giving them a heads up allows them to plan and become a possible referral source – or even allow you to coach within the organization.
What did you do? Did you tell your boss or day job about your part-time business? Share your story or suggestions in the comment section below.
Have a question about launching while working? Send me an email at feature@launchwhileworking(dot)com.