How to start a business while you're still working

— -- Q: I'm working full time but want to launch a business. Any advice on doing both?

A: If you're new to business ownership, it's a good idea to start planning or executing your venture while still employed. It allows you to test the idea, as well as build up revenue and a customer base. Some tips:

•Write a business plan. This will help you test out your start-up dream. Project the staffing, expenses and cash flow needed.

•Get your spouse and family on board. Starting a company while working full time will take extra time, hard work and perhaps extra cash — so it's important to win support. Make sure your family understands the commitment you're making.

•Don't be afraid to leverage your current employer. If they're in a similar industry as your new start-up, they may even become a potential customer once you make the leap to full-time entrepreneurship.

•Know the law. You are considered a business owner even if your venture is part time. This means holding appropriate permits and paying business taxes.