Have you been pondering whether to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur? Depending on where you’re at in life, and, let’s be honest, how much your current job is working or not working for you, are big factors as you prepare to make the transition.
In my case, I had been working as a corrections officer when I decided I couldn’t handle the tough realities of working at a prison anymore – it just wasn’t me. Since I was a big-time DIY soap maker, I decided to sink $15,000 (on my credit card!!) into supplies to start my own soap making and supply business, Bramble Berry. It was a huge leap of faith to quit my job as my then-husband was unemployed. I was fortunate we didn’t have children to support at the time, which is certainly a consideration some must take into account as they start a business. I was doubly fortunate to have hit on an idea that resonated with crafters and I haven’t looked back since. Turning my hobby into a business was the best move I could have ever made.
Considering whether you’re ready to take the leap? Here are five tips to get you started.
Start saving – Chances are there will be some lean times starting out, so starting a contingency fund to spend on anything from office equipment to car repairs makes good sense.
Do your research – You probably have a general idea of what you want your business to look like, but you need to push further to understand your real costs and how you’ll find your niche in the marketplace. See this previous blog post for more inspiration.
Get a plan – Especially if you’ll be asking a bank or investor for seed money, you’ll need to produce a business plan. If you’ve done your research, this piece will be a slam-dunk.
Ask questions – Guaranteed, there’ll be a lot you don’t know along your entrepreneurial journey, whether it’s what to do with a P&L sheet or choosing a business entity. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to build a team of experts in the areas where you’re not.
Go for it! – After all your saving, researching, and planning, you eventually have to make the leap to full-time entrepreneur. Things may not be perfect, but they don’t have to be. Business is a marathon, not a sprint, and there will be plenty of time to tweak, re-tool and perfect your business.