Today on "Ask a Career Coach", I answer a question from AJ - "How do I start a side business without getting fired?"
Hi I'm Lana and I'm a Career Coach with Two Steps Forward Consulting. Today we have a viewer question about starting a side business while having a full time job.
Thank you for your question, AJ! If you are concerned about being fired, that means you are thinking about starting a business in the same domain as your boss.
The first thing you should do is find your employment contract and read the "non-competition clause". If this paragraph is present in your contract, it will say when you can start working for a competing company or start your own.
Even if there is no non-competition clause in your contract, starting a competing business while still employed is unethical and may lead to a dismissal. Always assume that you will NOT be able to keep your new business a secret, and your current boss will find out about what you've been doing. It is better to delay your official launch until you can do so openly and proudly. In the world of small business, your reputation is your strongest asset.
A small business is a lot of work, and there is lots you can do before you launch your business. Start your prep work now by identifying your ideal customer and the problem you want to solve. Solve this problem for yourself, then your family, then friends in exchange for testimonials.
Find out where your potential customers hang out online and work to establish yourself as thought leader and a subject matter expert there by posting small articles, giving advice and participating in online events.
There is a lot you can do to work on your business pre-launch! Send me a message and we can discuss this further.
Thanks for watching! See you next time. Bye!