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How to start a business while working a full-time job in Jamaica

Business Ideas October 11, 2016


The best way to make money is to start your own business and sell something. There is no-get-rich-quick scheme that will give you lasting financial freedom. You are gonna have to work for it, but you will be happy when you start earning money consistently on the side– even while working a full time job.

If you are very happy with your salary and you are not interested in building your own business then this article is not for you. If you are a person that wants to have enough money to build the life you want and you are not comfortable with  only the crumbs off someone else’s table, then read on.

1. Don’t quit your job until you have a replacement income

Don’t be too eager. Starting a side business and doing a full time job is a lot of work and you have to keep your job until your side business can match your income consistently. Don’t be so excited that you quit your job and find yourself struggling to pay your bills. Keep your job and build your side business until it is mature enough to replace your day job – it might take a couple months – but it’s worth it!

2. Determine what side business you want to start

If you always had a passion for something, then starts with that as your side business. If you have absolutely no idea then here are a few ideas to help you. The key is to do something that you are interested in, otherwise you will quit when the going gets tough – and it WILL definitely get tough  before it grows.

3. Do not steal your companies clients (or inentory)

If you decide to do a side business that is the same as your day job then you are walking a slippery slope. Many companies have non-compete clauses in their contracts and even if they don’t, if you start offering your side gig to the company’s customers – you might just get fired. Also don’t use the tools given to you to do your day job on your side gig. For example if you are an electrician and the company gives you tools to do your job, don’t start an electrical services side business and use your day job’s tools to do the work. That would constitute conflict of interest and yes – get you fired!

If you want to start a business directly related to your day job then try to distance your side business as much as possible by applying your skills to another industry, another geographical location and definitely do not steal your company’s clients – do the leg-work and get your own!

4. No money to start? – no problem

If you have $0 to start a business, you can still start. If you have rich relatives who you think would help you start – pitch the idea to them and see if they will invest. You can also try to get a small business loan. If all else fails, then  you have to self fund, called bootstrapping.

If you can squeeze money from your pay, then do so.  If you can hardly make ends meet as it is and you  really need seed money then start by looking around your house and sell everything you don’t use regularly. Here are a few ideas :

  • sell used clothes
  • sell used cell phones
  • sell your furniture
  • sell your appliances
  • sell your books
  • sell your accessories
  • sell your jewelry,
  • sell your curtains and drapery

Sell anything you have that you can live without.

You don’t have to leave your house or stand on the street (though you can if you want to). Just  take a picture with your phone and put it online. You put it on Lightpost Ads for free  and send the link to your friends. It’s quick and easy and free!


4. Register your business and get a bank account

Business registration is important so that you can be a legal entity. Also get  a bank account for the business so that you can keep business finances separate and really see if you are making a profit or not. Don’t mix up your personal and business money. Be sure to get the regulatory licenses you may need for your business. Here’s  more info about registering a business in Jamaica.

5. Find time for your business

A lot of people will say that they are too busy. This might be true, but in many cases you just haven’t prioritized your time well. According to the famous motivational speaker Eric Thomas: “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe -you will go all in!” Here’s a few ways to find time to work on your business.

6. Advertise your business on Lightpost Ads

Lightpost Ads is a great tool to advertise your new business in Jamaica. Lightpost ads has the added map feature and is free. (Plus its our blog so we can promote ourselves!)  Put an ad on Lightpost Ads and sell off! But seriously advertise anywhere you can for free. From community notice boards to church service announcements to facebook and twitter – just find a way to get the word out.

So starting a business is tough especially when you are already working a full time job. The rewards are so great though that it is something you really should do. Follow us @lightpostads where we blog about self funded startups. Get our  weekly tips on starting your business on Twitter at #beyourownbossfriday where every friday we give our great advice that Jamaican entrepreneurs can use to help build their self funded business.

Was this article helpful? Then comment below and let us know!


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Here are some other resources for helping you start  a business while working a full time job:



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