Businesses you can start while working a day job

How can you start a business when working full time?

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How can you start a business when working full time? We've all heard the rags to riches stories of people who put all of their time and resources into that one in a million business idea, but what if you have a family, a mortgage, or another career?

For those who work full-time jobs, starting a business can be tough. However, don't let that get you down. You can absolutely become a successful businessperson while meeting your vital commitments and having a full-time job.

In this article, I'm going to lay out exactly how you should approach setting up a business while working a day job and list some great business ideas you can try out while your free time is limited.

Starting a Business While Working a Day Job

First things first: When you work full time or have other commitments you must accept that time is a rare commodity. If you struggle against this fact, you will create unnecessary anxiety in your life. The way to avoid this is to accept that you have limited time.

You must also be realistic about the time that you have. Set realistic goals for how many hours each day, week, and month you can put towards your business idea. If you set unrealistic goals, you will quickly fail. When you don't keep to this goal, you will more than not likely lose motivation to continue.

If you are starting a business while working a day job, come up with a consistent schedule and perhaps a business plan to guide you. If that's half an hour every day at 9 o'clock at night, and that's all you can give without eating into your other responsibilities, then great!

You now know what you can work with. If it's more, fantastic. Or maybe you can only work at the weekends, but whatever your availability is, be realistic and disciplined enough to stick to it.

It's also important to be focused. Break down your business goals into smaller sub-goals that are actionable. You'll be surprised how much you can achieve with just a small amount of time.

Each time you sit down to work on your business, you'll know what you should be doing. Furthermore, you'll feel like you're really making progress by achieving smaller goals regularly than one big goal every year.

Let's now take a look at some great business ideas that you can put your time towards. These don't have to be your long-term goals, but you can set them up without investing too much time. Once they generate revenue, you can think about freeing up more time or putting this revenue towards a bigger idea.

Digital Freelance Business Ideas

Most businesses will have some form of digital presence. The beauty of creating a digital-only business is that you can work from anywhere and at any time. This fits in perfectly with the busy schedule of someone working full time.

A great way to do this is to offer your time as a service in of itself. If you have any current skills, you could also leverage these to create this digital business. Best of all, there are third-party platforms that allow you to do this quickly while connecting with customers.

An example of this would be to sell your skills as a writer, digital artist, video editor, website designer, or musician. All of these careers and more work perfectly as a freelance business. You can quickly offer your services to paying clients through websites like Upwork and Fiverr, where you can apply for jobs and attract new clients.

Alternatively, you could use these same websites to offer your services as an administrator or assistant. You book appointments for people, answer their emails, and even do their paperwork for them.

Of all of these, freelance writing and web design are probably the cheapest, as all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to build a successful business.

Online Seller
Millions of entrepreneurs got their start as online sellers. Third-party websites such as eBay and Amazon allow you to sell your products to their customers. For some, this becomes an extremely lucrative business.

There are a number of ways to sell products online. Of course, you can start your own product range, but that takes heavy investment unless made by hand.

For many, the easiest route is to become an affiliate. This means that you can build a blog or website and link to someone's products. When someone buys that product through your link, you receive a slice of the profits.

If you feel you can build something in your home that is desirable, then you can sell it on websites like Etsy.

Lastly, you can sign a deal as a reseller affiliate where you can set up a digital shop or store and sell someone else's products directly for a commission on Amazon.

Repair Businesses
If you have the skills, or the dedication to learn them, repair businesses can be lucrative. eBay is filled with broken electronics and other items. These are available for very little, but when fixed can be resold for a tidy profit.

Likewise, anything outside of electronics such as clothes, furniture, books, shoes, and antiques that can be restored and then sold for a profit can also bring in a healthy revenue stream.

Door to Door

Your business idea needn't be exclusively digital. There are a number of ways you can make money by simply knocking on someone's door. This could be selling a brand's products through affiliate programs or franchising, but it could also be by saving property owners from having to carry out maintenance themselves.

For example, several clever entrepreneurs have built up a lucrative business by buying some degreaser, some gloves, and then offering to clean people's ovens for $20. This is a great example of giving people something they both want and need.

Most people aren't happy about cleaning their ovens as it's time-consuming. These businesses soon scale up to taking on staff and covering large neighborhoods This is true of any kind of building maintenance, as long as it is in line with local building standards and safety regulations.

If you have any skills you think can be monetized, then tutoring people is another fantastic business idea, especially for those who work full time. A guitar tutor, for example, who spends 5 - 8 hours a week tutoring people from home, can make nearly $1000 a month!

You can also sell tutorials online through sites like Skillshare or run private tutorials through a Facebook page or Skype.

Alternatively, you can run physical classes. Most colleges allow people to hire a classroom for an hour a week to run a class. You could also use a community hall to teach a class such as yoga or creative writing.

You can also mentor other entrepreneurs just like a good M&A advisor would do if you have some experience with doing deals and perhaps even create online courses that capture your knowledge in this regard.


Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur and the author of The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran, and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs. The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs.

Most recently, Alejandro built and exited CoFoundersLab which is one of the largest communities of founders online.

Prior to CoFoundersLab, Alejandro worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding where he was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake).

Alejandro is an active speaker and has given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and at NYU Stern School of Business.

Alejandro has been involved with the JOBS Act since inception and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide his stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.