Keep your Day Job when launching your online business

You have a day job that you would like to quit to launch your own company? Don't precipitate things! Your actual job could still useful! Being active all the day is full of opportunities you shouldn't neglect. You still need your day job to secure and strengthen your future business.

Take your time to think and re-think your idea

You know what? Business ideas are made to evolve from day to day. Thinking to this first idea will give you another one and talking with people will give you another perspective. Ideas are just ideas they are not viable businesses. You need to take your time to weight all pros and cons of each idea you have. When you think that you finally have the good idea, the one that will drive you to success, it's time to draw the big picture.

"Writing a business plan, at this stage (or ever?), is a form of waste . You can capture the same level of information in a 1 page business mode." Ash Maurya

Not a proper business plan which, any way, will last few weeks, but something like a Canvas. This document will help you get everything clear. It's easier to see your ideas' weaknesses and strengths, when you got it down. You definitely don't need to quit your job to do it.

Gain connections

Having your day job allow you to meet and talk with people every day. Yes, that's the networking part. But this kind of networking is not time consuming. You don't have to spend evening hours on it, drinking and talking with people you do not know. You just have to talk with the ones next to you.

"Relationships are an important part of life, but they're an absolute vital part of being an entrepreneur. " Mike Taylor

You never know when or where you could meet your future partner, customer, employee or just people who will support you. They could be the one working with you like your colleagues or even your boss! The one you meet at lunch time too (colleagues from other departments, the waitress etc.). All professional relations are valuable.

"The wider your range of professional contacts is, the more options you’ll have when it comes time to growing your business." Larry Alton

Validate your idea test your market

If you decide to keep your job while developing your business, you will have the time to test your idea without taking the risk to "lose everything". For example you can work during the day for your full time job and use your evenings and weekends to design your marketplace and start to grow your community. This way your business will grow slowly but surely.

"No amount of experimentation can prove me right. One experiment can prove me wrong." Albert Einstein

You will take your time to put down steady basis for your business to grow : use your social networks, write a blog, have your early adopters feedback and so on. But your time and your money are precious. Don't waste them reinventing the wheel. Focus on what really matters for your business. If you don't have programming skills to launch your online marketplace or e-commerce solution, use Stelace, a good solution to create your own website and save time and money to work on your traffic acquisition.

Find a co-founder who fits like a glove

The first one to discover about your idea will be your partner, friends and family. Working with them could be tempting... But choosing your co-founder is not like picking someone to join your football team or to go to gym with... It's a commitment that will shape your business future. Then you should ask yourself "are we compatible and can I work with her/him?" and not only "do I like her/him enough".

"Choosing a cofounder to help you start a new company is like picking a spouse." Dan Lambert

More critical, this co-founder should add skills you don't have, to your company. Think about all the expertise you don't have and hunt for them. Quitting your Day Job will not be a plus to find someone that fits to you. Quite the opposite : you will start facing the entrepreneur loneliness that's why you should make the most of this period to meet people that can be useful in your field.
Trick : if you want this potential cofounder with you, show him/her that your idea is awesome and already working.

Make sure you have enough liquidity

Of course keeping your job means having cash to feed yourself and your family, pay your bills and mortgage etc. Your Day Job is, for now, the one that keeps you afloat. It's also the best way to finance your beginnings as an entrepreneur!

"A major deterrent for potential entrepreneurs is, of course, the risk involved in leaving a stable career with a steady, predictable paycheck
for an exciting, but uncertain, future." Shawn O'Connor

Launching a business is very expensive. You have a lot of hidden costs or at least that you didn't anticipated. Save money to invest in your Startup, because it's gonna disappear into thin air!

Wait for traction and take the plunge (Quit)

You could think that as soon as your business is profitable it's time quit and work full time on your new business. It's a possibility. But you should consider waiting a little bit more. Is your business profitable enough to endure or to replace your actual income? You should enjoy this period to consolidate your business and put a foot in entrepreneurs' life without bitting your nails.

Now that your business runs like clockwork you can focus on it. But don't be kidding yourself. Your entrepreneurs' life starts now! You are cliff diving!