Launching a Startup with Job
I think every tet-a tete amongst the youngsters, be it in an enclosed office chamber or smoking zone of companies or even a cozy room of newly wed couple is about business and startup ideas. Almost everybody has an idea he can bet his life on, what is holding them back is the FEAR!!! Fear to loose. Infact one can find many people at workplace or family or even himself who wants to be come an entrepreneur. This category of wannapreneurs- who always say “have to do something” is a very passionate group of individuals. The better one is settled in life the lesser is the appetite for risk. One silver lining in such a case is having a startup with job. Lets explore the possibilities of launching a startup with job.
First of all lets answer the question- why at all we want to have a startup of our own. Why is everybody so excited about startups? May be following are some of the reasons:
What??? He has launched his own startup? O my God! I was much better in academics in college than this guy who is now the founder of a startup. If he can do it why cant I? He made crores out of nothing? Bloody Hell! What am I doing in this office?
Whooping figures of investment backing every startup. These numbers are not just the numbers; they are letting you live your dream in reality. Try out your idea with someone else’s money. Wao! Nothing can be better than this.
Daily there is news about one or more startup that has just filled a new gap. Every startup has a story and every story is inspiring.
Now or never, It’ called the startup revolution which has just started in India. No body wants to miss the train. Everybody wants to exploit the vibrant startup ecosystem that is prevalent these days in the country.
The biggest fear that holds them back is the fear to loose. Well-settled youth has a lot to loose. The only solution that they are left with is to have a startup with job and when the startup starts giving returns equal to the salary then they plan to quit the job. Quiet logical! But, please do the reality check before bumping your head into it.
1-Check the legalities
- Whether your HR Policy allows you to have a venture along with regular job. Review your contract with the company. Generally companies do not allow. But there are few startups and MNCs in India as well, who are adopting such open culture to increase employee satisfaction.
- The knowledge and skills developed at your workplace should not clash with your startup offering, as your company might sue you for this or may even claim your startup later.
2-Is your start up an operation heavy one
Startup with a regular job very much depends on the type of both.
First, evaluate you current job. If you are left with some flesh and blood at the end of the day or is it soul sucking. Your work must be over with your office hours. If you are still sticking to your cell phone with clients call after coming home, your boss bugging you every now and then, and high target pressure surrounding your head, then just it would be difficult to hold the two babies together. However, if you have mastered your work task and job is not a headache, then you are ready to take on another headache named startup. Congratulations!
Now before you start celebrating just hold on and evaluate your startup idea. Is it operation heavy? If yes, then you desperately need a co-founder who can devote all his time to your idea. A startup, which has heavy operations involved, is not possible to do with a job alone.
3-Do you have a co-founder
Having co founder not just shares your financial risk, work load but also boost your confidence. There will be hard times when you will feel like giving up. Then this person who has his life at stake won’t let you do it.
There are obvious tradeoffs between multitasking and quality of work. So be prepared for it. Your quality of work might suffer at both the places- your Job, as well as your new venture. Having a co-founder at startup is like having a wife at home, who can take care of all the mess. However, don’t expect a relaxing ambience at the end of the day. Your share of mess would be waiting for you when you reach home.
Finances will be an extra burden on you. Plan your finances wisely. Shell out a percentage of your salary to be invested in the startup. Needless to say you have to give up all your luxury spending and might even stoop down to ‘hand to mouth’.
If you have co founder who is working full time on the idea then arranging finances that could match at least your burning capital, is your responsibility. You need to have an arrangement of working capital for at least an year, because relying on funding is not a good option. Its really hard to convince investors to bet on your idea. Check what investors look for in a business before investing, so that you can be better prepared to top the investors favourite list. You may also be interested to know what are the various types of startup investors and how they differ from each other.
5- Your current job and timings
You have to manage the timings between the two tasks. Find out how much time you are left with, after your Job and before sleep. Say you reach home at 7 and can start work from 8. You have 3 hours before going to bed at 11:00; now add 4 extra hours from your sleep (depends on you whether you are a night fighter or a morning person). On an average you can shell out 7 hours per day which is pretty good amount of time.
Do I sound cruel to give you such an estimate? May be, but it has to be this way. Don’t postpone your personal plans for weekends, because weekends would be even more packed. Divide the weekend’s time between startup-work and sleep, as sleep is equally important.
6- Check your emotional quotient-
Are you emotionally prepared to handle double pressure at the same time? Handling Job and startup at the same time would mean you being sleep deprived all the time, no holidays, no vacations, no entertainment. It could be the toughest phase of your life. Destiny will test your patience, your zeal, and your emotional stability. Be prepared to face the unexpected, don’t assume it a cakewalk. Every day you will face new challenge. What was working till now suddenly stops working, things getting out of control, you and your co founder have different perspectives on a particular issue etc. are some of the common problems of a startup. Things may not go as you had planned, you may not see any result of your efforts for months (even an year). The only way you can feel the ownership of a startup is in form of a major pie of your salary going as an investment in your venture. Perseverance is the key.
Of course you cannot do both the things together for your lifetime. Chalk out your exit plan.
The bottom line is you cannot paint the picture black and white. There is no set answer for the question, it depends on the above factors and thus answer differs from case to case and person to person. If you have a startup idea in your head, then evaluate it on the above parameters and before you make a decision.