Can I Start a Business while Working Full-Time?

Can I Start a Business while Working Full-Time blog thumb

“I want a business where most days I can sleep in until 8:00 am and enjoy breakfast with my husband while we sit on the back deck with warm sun on our skin, and the sound of gentle waves cascading to the shore”, said a hopeful entrepreneur named ‘Sally’.  “But that will never happen with my current job where I constantly feel like I am on the clock and on call”, she quickly added coming back to her version of reality.  I could see the smile wipe from her face and the tension in her shoulders return.  Sally wanted the lifestyle of an entrepreneur, but thought that entrepreneurship and employment were a trade-off that she could not afford.  Lucky for Sally, entrepreneurship and full-time employment are not mutually exclusive.

1. Where there is a will, there is a way!

My grandfather often said this phrase, and I learned its impact first hand in my own entrepreneur journey.  The first step is to assess how badly you want to become an entrepreneur/business owner.  Why do you want to own the business?  What will it change in your life and in your family’s life?  Are you willing to make trade-offs to start a business?  For example, would you trade some of your current leisure activities to invest time in starting a business that could give you more leisure time than you think is possible?

2. Be Realistic

Set a plan before you start and determine the resources and time that you can devote to your new business.  According to Small Business Trends (Opens in New Window), the biggest contributor to business failure is due to cash flow issues.   So determine carefully how much it will take to fuel your business from start up costs to cash flow to time.

3. Decide to DIY or Franchise

Do you have a passion or a unique product in mind?  Then you may want to create your business from the ground up.  Want a turnkey business that provides a marketing plan, built in demand and a plan in place for semi-absentee ownership?  Then consider a franchise that allows for someone to ‘keep their day job’ while starting the business.  To confirm that the franchise works well for those who keep their day job, make sure that to speak with existing franchisees that have continued to work while starting the franchise.

4. Carefully Choose your Advisors

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to forming and running a business.  And often, opinions are shared free of charge and without even asking!  When a well-intended friend provides advice, evaluate their experience in that particular area and whether their level of risk tolerance for new adventures matches yours.  If they are similar minded, then you may want to consider partnering. Small Business Trends (Opens in New Window) notes having two founders significantly improves the odds of success.

About the Blog Author


With over 25 years of franchise experience, Tiffany Dodson, CFE holds deep roots from senior marketing roles at well-known international franchises to recognition as a top performing franchisee, Master Developer, author, and speaker. Find Tiffany at The Salt Suite and reach her via