If you’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, you might have been lulled into working for somebody else due to the higher job security involved. It’s a good bet to build your company while you’re still employed if that’s where you see your ideal career going, but you might be nervous about actually doing it.

Here are 5 key tips for you to keep in mind if you want to build a career as an entrepreneur if you’re already employed.

Try to go part-time first.

This way you will continue to have income that you can rely on while you test whether you will be able to depend on income from your entrepreneurship.

Make sure you check your employment contract.

Some employers consider anything created by the employee as part of their intellectual property. This is especially important if you use your company computer at home or vice versa.

Employers can and sometimes do comb through emails or files that their intranet has access to so they can check to see if this intellectual property has been created with their resources.

Therefore it’s a good idea to restore an old hard or RAID drive and use that almost like a cheap burner phone to store all your entrepreneurship-related files while you’re at work. Remember that employers may have the right to read whatever keystrokes you’ve entered using their hard drive.

Save as much as you can.

If you’re even thinking about taking the plunge and going for entrepreneurship you should have some savings to rely on. Some extra cash reserves can sustain you when you decide to leave, or cover any expensive investments that you need to make even when you’re still working in a part-time position.

Keep in mind your relationship with your employer.

This tip is for those whose company is going to be working in a similar niche to the employers, but not competing with them directly. If you have a good relationship with your employer, be open with them while you leave: you could end up collaborating with them or even being a client or customer. If they are really interested, they might even ask to invest.

Don’t jump ship too soon.

If you get an influx of interest or even customers, it can be quite important for your career to hold on a bit longer. You need to make sure that your small business is sustainable enough for you to quit your job, and you may be fooled by your business gaining traction as part of its natural life cycle. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re completely secure yet.

There you have it: 5 absolutely vital things you need to keep in mind if you are currently employed and want to start a small business. Even if you’re not there yet, doing the part-time route can be a great way to decrease your risk and diversify your portfolio — figuratively speaking.

Guest writers and carefully selected for Career Enlightenment. Thanks for reading!

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