Working a “Regular” Job and Running a Home Business—the Best of Both Worlds?

Starting a home business doesn’t have to mean going “cold turkey” and leaving the comfort of a regular paycheck behind completely. Many people find that “easing into” a home-based business by continuing to work part-time in a regular job helps to make the adjustment and keep the cash flow at a less shocking level. There are some real bonuses to holding down a traditional job while starting and operating a business from home.

There are many tax benefits to operating a business out of your home, as well as potentially lower overhead, lower commuting time and expenses, and the potential for increased income. But, there are some benefits to a traditional job as well—the regular paycheck, health insurance and other benefits, and having someone taking your income taxes out of your check and paying them for you. By combining these two types of work, some people find they end up with the best of both worlds—a little regularity and benefits, with the tax deductions and income potential of a home based business.

Of course, time management, a reasonably high energy-level, and good organizational skills and record-keeping are a must for anyone trying to juggle various types of employment. Only you can decide how much flexibility you need or how best to organize your schedule around the various versions of work. You do have to be careful to keep very accurate records to take advantage of business expenses and your tax situation. It is recommended to consult your tax preparation professional (or an accountant) to make sure that you are keeping the right kinds of records and information, and that you are taking care of all of your tax liability.

If you are a parent, there may be additional concerns and benefits—you may spend less on day care if you are not working at a traditional job full time, or if you have been a stay-at-home parent trying to start and operate a home business, getting out of the house and off to a “traditional” job may be intellectually stimulating and give you additional opportunities to network and grow your other business.

Juggling a home business and an outside job isn’t for everyone—but it can be an interesting, lucrative and beneficial way to manage work.