Are you in the processing of setting up your sign shop business? If so, you might find yourself at one of the toughest stages of getting a business off the ground - that of owning your own business while working a full-time job. If you are trying to keep your head on straight in your career and with your business, consider the following 7 tips from Arnold Sanow, co-author of You Can Start Your Own Business:
  1. Involve your family. One great way to help your family feel like they are a part of the business is by giving them tasks to do to help out. Maybe they can answer the phones, respond to emails, or put together sales packages. The added bonus is that you are able to get more accomplished in less time when there are more hands helping out, but be careful to not overwork and under appreciate your family.
  2. Be self-sacrificing. Having a career and running a business will take up most of your time. Be willing to flip off the TV, give up hobbies and use spare time for your business. Make sure the sacrifice is worth it, or you will find yourself miserable at work and at home.
  3. Focus on the task at hand. When you are at your day job, give it your all. Don't let thoughts of your business at home distract you from your current career.
  4. Use your time wisely. Make your time count. Use the early morning hours and lunch time to get caught up on calls. If you take the train to work, use that time to get caught up on paperwork.
  5. Use time-zones and technology to your advantage. If you work with people in a different time zone, call them late night or early morning. Use fax and e-mail to communicate with client's at any time.
  6. Know the boundary. Don't use company time for your business, and definitely don't use company supplies for your business.
  7. Be honest. While circumstances vary, it is usually a good idea to mention your sideline business to your boss. As long as you are able to keep it in its place and focus on the task at hand, most bosses don't have a problem with it. Likely, your boss will be glad you were upfront and honest, rather than worried about hiding something from him.

Are you running a sign shop on the side? How do you keep your career and your business balanced? Have you been able to transition into running your business as your career?