A guide to moonlighting: how to start a business while you have a full-time job
Moonlighting means either working a second job or starting and running your own business while still working a full-time job. It sounds like a lot of work; that’s because it is. Here are Pearl’s top tips on moonlighting or running and starting a business while still working a full-time job.
Try to not use your employer’s time
Your employer pays you for your work, but more importantly, they pay you for your time. It’s important not to use your employer’s time by running your own business. If they find that you are running your business while you should be doing the work they pay you for there’s a good chance you’ll be fired – then you’d better hope that your startup business really does well, and quickly.
Take your business seriously, even when you still have a full-time job
When moonlighting, you have a salary from a full-time job, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the business you start seriously. You need to stay on top of all of your business’s finances including things like cash flow and profit and loss. Get in touch with Pearl on getting the best financial advice for your startup business. We specialise in helping new businesses.
Work on your time-management skills
You know when people write good time-management skills on their CV? When you are moonlighting and starting a business while still working a full-time job you will come to an understanding of what it really means. You’ll probably have to work many nights and weekends, so being able to manage your time effectively will make your life a lot easier and less stressful.
Make sure your employment contract allows for you to start your own business
Before you start moonlighting and starting your own business, make sure you double check your contract of employment. Some companies frown upon their employees working second jobs or starting their own business, especially if the business they start could in any way be seen as a competitor. If this is the case and they find out and fire you, this guide to moonlighting will no longer be of help to you.
The chances are you will be able to start your own business while working at your full-time job, but check your contract just in case.
Remember that you will need to pay tax on your business’s profits
Just because you are paying income tax from your full-time job it doesn’t mean that your startup business won’t be liable to pay taxes on its profits. When you are moonlighting you need to keep records of things such as your startup business’s expenses and revenue.
Try to work on tasks in your day job which are relevant to your own business
As we’ve already said before, it might not be the best idea when moonlighting to start a business which is exactly like the business you work full-time for, but you can still try to work on tasks in your day job which have some relevance to your own business. It will help you become more of an expert in what the business you’ve started does.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping startups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.