Quitting your day job to start a business may look risky to most people but it’s exhilarating and a lot of fun, if done right. What’s more, it has huge financial rewards if everything goes according to plan.
Should I Just Quit My Day Job or Start Business Part-Time?
I quit my day job in August 2007 to build a small publishing business but I didn’t quit outrightly. I started on a part-time basis and I honestly think employees who want to start a business can first do it on the side and resign when the business booms.
Over time, I’ve realised it depends on the kind of business you want to do. Certain businesses cannot be started on a part-time basis, so, employees hoping to get into these kinds of businesses would have to quit outrightly.
While quitting outrightly, some experts say having a plan B is essential so you can have a fall-back option but Seth Godin disagrees. In one of his books titled: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, Godin argues that if you have a back up plan – like a part-time job, while starting your business, you will always defer to your back up plan.
Having tasted both the corporate world and self-employment, I can boldly say being on your own is not a child’s play but it’s rewarding, opens more doors and brings new ideas. To succeed, you have to take the chance and cultivate these three traits (persistence, ambition and patience). Don’t dwell too much on the past nor on the future, just focus on the present. Concentrate on the ‘NOW’.
But, what exactly do you need to start your own business?
Step-By-Step Guide to Starting Your Own Business
- Come up with a killer business idea (don’t reinvent the wheel, if you don’t have to. Just find a faster, easier or better way of providing a product or service)
- Do your market research (ask friends and family if they would purchase the service or product you plan to offer. Also look at your competition; can your business survive in that kind of market?)
- Assess your needs (ask yourself questions like; what do I need to bring my idea into fruition? Do I need an office or can I start from home? What equipment do I need to launch out?)
- Write a business plan (it might not be a bulky document but it should include your market research, the price of the product or service, and the amount of money it would cost you to make or deliver your product as well as how to market the business)
- Find funding (you can get a business loan, find angel investors or use your own savings and even borrow from family and friends)
- Learn how to market (this is vital to the success of your business as a lack of marketing would result in low or no sales and no sales would result in no business)
- Make it happen (now that you’ve assembled all you need, face your fears and start your own business (even if you don’t have enough resources). Nobody can do that for you, you’ve got to take the bull by the horns and ride onto success and wealth.
Habits that Can Make You Succeed as a Business Owner
- Slow Down on Personal Spending
If you’ve never operated a personal budget, try drawing up one because cash flow is crucial to the success of your new business. Developing discipline (when it comes to spending) and delayed gratification would help your business grow in leaps and bounds.
- Make New Friends
As a business owner, you need to make friends with people who have the mindset of entrepreneurs. If you keep moving with people who have employee mindset, you and your business won’t grow.
- Change your thinking
To make your business work, you must change the way you think. No wonder self-development expert, Brian Tracy wrote a book titled: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. This implies that for you to make your business succeed you must start thinking like a winner, if you keep thinking like a loser, you’re doomed.
Tips to Launching Your Own Business from Experts
Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur, investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks says “every entrepreneur needs to know that it's not so much about having a killer idea as it is about being completely prepared to take a product or service to market. Everyone has ideas, most don't do the work required to get the job done.”
Another thing aspiring entrepreneurs need to remember: sales are the most important aspect of a small business, according to Cuban, an absence of sales would lead to the death of the business.
On his part, Chris Guillebeau, best-selling author of the book titled: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, offers 4 tips. According to him, turning your general idea into a specific idea can do wonders, while doing whatever it takes to get going (without taking a second look at your limitations) is vital to launching out. He continues by advising that you tell everyone you know about what you’re doing and get initial feedback to commit to a process of continuous improvement.
Based on personal experience, I’d advise anyone considering leaving the security of a day job to pursue his (or her) life's purpose to go for it! It sure is risky but so is life and everyday living! Even though I can't promise it's going to work out (without a careful appraisal of your plans, profit models and projections), I do know that you will grow as a person regardless of the outcome, just by taking the leap of faith, facing your fears and coming to the understanding that there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place.
Summary and Action TakeAway
Starting your own business can be satisfying and rewarding but before diving in, be sure to do your home work. Making a business work is not an easy task, but proper planning will help increase its chances of success. Aside proper planning, you must develop a thick skin to all people would say. Some of them would jeer at you while others would wonder why you should leave a lucrative job to start a ‘small business.’ For those who’re ready to listen to you, try to explain but you don’t really owe people an explanation as you have a life to live and you can decide to live it on your own terms.