You probably have read and heard this phrase far too many times: entrepreneurship is not for everyone. And it definitely is not. There are many reasons why people turn to entrepreneurship—from realizing a business idea to serving underserved markets, creating another stream of income, seeking for long-term financial security, pursuing a passion or simply enjoying freedom from the rat race.
Many dream about becoming an entrepreneur but decide against it because of the many uncertainties it brings, compared to the nine-to-five life that lends a sense of security with a steady income, bonuses, medical benefits that you can count on. Are you dreaming of leaving the comforts of a job to become your own boss? To some it can come easy but to most, it can be a treacherous and taxing road. These tips will help you make the transition from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur easier.
Secure a business plan
You don’t have to know everything before you start your business. Oftentimes, the learning comes when you start running your business. It is important, however, to secure a business plan before making the transition. Having a business idea is one thing but there are more factors to be considered when starting a business. It will help you assess the viability of your business idea from carefully considering the location, competition, target market, customer needs you will address, and so on. Whatever your motivation is, remember that setting up a business is and should never be about you only—it is about serving a market and catering to its needs. A business plan will help you set clearer objectives and ways to achieve it. As with all plans, it may not always work but at least you don’t show up to the fight empty-handed.
Be financially prepared
You don’t just leap out of a plane without a parachute. The transition from having a steady monthly income to building and running a business will not be a walk in the park. Ensure that you have your finances in place and are able to support yourself during the first phases of having a business. As there are no guarantees if your business will run smoothly, especially for new entrepreneurs, you must secure an emergency fund. If you are already running a business while tending to your day job, take the leap when the business is already profitable. Doing so will allow you to get the hang of it first and prepare you even better when you decide to be a full-time entrepreneur.
A change in mindset is important
A change in mindset is needed to make your transition smoother. More than being financially prepared, you must also be ready mentally and emotionally. Condition your mind and body for the challenges ahead. You must have faith in your goals and commit to make it work even if there are adversities. Being positive and motivated whilst staying realistic is an important combination that any entrepreneur should master. Starting a business can open doors and windows for you but the worse can also happen. Be ready to fail, lose friends, or go bankrupt.
Secure your first set of customers
As much as you can, do not burn bridges when you leave your job. Know that finding customers is one of the most difficult part when you’re done setting it up and you will need all the networks you can—partnerships, organisations, family, friends, colleagues. Your workmates or even your boss can be your future customers. If you can, pitch your business and get potential customers while you are connected so you can hit the ground running once you take the leap.
Don’t be afraid to seek support
If you are a first-time entrepreneur, chances are you will work long hours and do a lot of things on your own. Your job offers certainty. You have a job description to adhere to, a set of deliverables and deadlines set in place. You have bosses, colleagues and company policies to keep you on track. These will all be gone when you starting being your own boss. It can be easy to lose focus when you work alone so do not be afraid to seek support. Solicit expert advice, interview those who have gone through the same transition, ask for guidance. These will not only guide you in running your business but will also provide you with motivation to push through and succeed.
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