Tips for efficient moonlighting
In tough economic times, many people choose to set up their own business in search of financial security. Some have lost their jobs. Others are starting to lay the foundation for their business while still employed by another company. If this is your case, learn how to do it correctly so your business can prosper and, incidentally, avoid problems.
According to Kurt A. Schindler, Vice President of Finanzas en tus Manos (Finance in Your Hands) at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, any potential entrepreneur should start by asking themselves two questions:
- Why am I going to do it?
- Why do I want to create that business?
According to Schindler, these are simple questions “that center you”. Once answered, make sure that you:
- Have clear expectations
Are you looking to add income or replace what you earn today as an employee? This will largely define what type of business yours will be.
- Manage finances and keep separate accounts
“It can be something simple like designating one card for personal expenses and another for business. That provides peace of mind,” he explained.
- Manage your time correctly
“For example, do not use time from your current job for affairs associated with your new business. You must be respectful.” Schindler recommended checking your workplace’s company handbook to see if it restricts what employees can do in their spare time.
- Have a business plan
Make sure it’s feasible within the time you have available.
- Delay establishing an office to reduce expenses
You can visit a client in their office or meet in public areas. If working from home, create a designated workspace. “The important thing is that you feel like you’re going to work,” the certified financial planner pointed out.
- Hire a legal advisor to address your questions
If the services offered by your new company are like those provided by your current employer, it’s advisable to consult the employee handbook or obtain legal advice.
- Use social media wisely
According to Schindler, you can use social media to publicize your business if your current employer is aware of your emerging role as an entrepreneur.
“It’s not enough to have a business plan or a feasibility study. If you’re going to do it, you must do it for real, not just to see what happens,” Schindler said. Don’t jump into the task unprepared, but don’t hold back from exploring other possibilities either. “Today, people are more inclined to do different things. Don’t be afraid to look for other sources of income,” Schindler affirmed.
Kurt A. Schindler was Financial Education Director at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (“Popular”) until January 2017. Schindler is a Certified® Financial Planner and holds a PhD from Kansas State University in Personal Financial Planning.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement or guarantee of accuracy or applicability for any particular purpose. Neither Popular nor any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or related companies is or will be responsible for any special, direct, or indirect damages arising from the information contained in this article. Should you require further information or guidance on the subject of this article, you should always seek the advice of the competent professional of your choice.