Are you ready to make the leap from full-time office worker to a full-time business owner?
Are you tired of the tedious 9-to-5 or 8-to-4 workday that keeps you confined to your office?
Are you sick of working for somebody else’s benefit?
Then, it’s time to start thinking about becoming your own boss!
That’s a grand idea, no doubt, but before you triumphantly march into your boss’ office and exclaim “I quit!”, you need to take a couple of things into consideration.
Making a leap from an employee to a full-time business owner is a bold and exciting move, and that’s why you need to have everything well thought out in advance.
In other words, you’d better start weaving your safety net in time.
Keep Your Day Job for the Time Being
And get ready for some serious moonlighting and burning the midnight oil.
Your day job is a source of security, both financial and emotional, so stop thinking about it as of a tremendous burden.
It’s more like a blessing in disguise – that regular paycheck is what allows you to build your side project and grow your small business.
Making ends meet while you’re trying to secure funding can be excruciating, and it can only hinder the growth of your business and distract you from polishing your product or service.
Being an entrepreneur means having to live below your means until the business takes off and the cash starts pouring in.
Although this might sound like something that you’re ready for, it can hit you hard when you realize that you can’t afford your comfortable lifestyle – the days of dining out, fancy clothes, and the latest tech gadgets are behind you.
As every penny counts, it’s a good idea to settle your credit cards and loans while you’re still a full-time employee.
Put aside as much money as you can, because you’ll live off this stack of cash for at least six months until your business gains traction and picks up steam.
Test Your Business on a Small Scale
It can be pretty useful to test your business on a small scale while it’s still a side gig and see whether it has the potential to develop into something bigger and more lucrative.
So, instead of pouring all your hard-earned assets into a money pit, get your first clients, try out different ideas, and make mistakes while you still have a regular income which will pay for all your entrepreneurial experiments and mistakes.
Hire the Right People
If it turns out that your efforts can come to fruition, the next step is assessing your workload and delegating certain tasks that you can’t handle.
While being a business owner means working long hours, not spending a lot of quality time with your family, and staying awake and focused as long as you can with the help of a pot of strong coffee, this practice isn’t something that you’ll be able to maintain for a long time.
So, once you take the plunge and move towards full-time entrepreneurship, you’ll have to assemble a team.
Opt for highly-driven professionals who are ready to invest their time and energy, pick up the slack, and be there for you when you’re going through a rough patch.
Consult an Accountant
Many entrepreneurs make a mistake and believe that they’re capable of running their own finances.
However, there are many reasons for consulting an accountant other than the fact that this will make your life much easier.
- Seasoned accountants know how to help you get all available deductions. Many business owners forget to track different expenses, thus leaving a lot of money on the table. With an accountant, you’ll be able to maximize your deductions and improve your cash flow.
- Keeping auditors at bay is another superpower that accountants have. With proper and timely guidance, you can get your financial and tax affairs in order, and prevent much-dreaded audits.
- 30% of business owners say that accountants are their most trusted advisors. So, your accountant could also provide you with business advice and help you create a feasible financial plan.
Build Your Network
As you grow your business, it’s crucial to expand your network.
No man is an island, and running a business can be a solitary job. That’s why you need to make sure to connect with as many people from your industry as possible.
Some of them might be your prospective clients, others will be there to offer you guidance, and you can learn a lot from all of them.
Attend conferences, meetups, and other industry events whenever you can, and spend your social media time mainly on LinkedIn.
Maintain Work-Life Balance
This is something that many inexperienced entrepreneurs fail to do.
They’re trying hard to spend every waking minute at work, and that’s exactly what can ruin not only their health but also their business.
Stats say that 32% of entrepreneurs struggle with one or more mental health issues.
There’s nothing unusual about that if we bear in mind that they’re under a great deal of stress – they’re the ones that have to make all the important decisions and try to survive in a saturated market.
In order to prevent burnout, depression, and even disenchantment with this whole entrepreneurial adventure, it’s essential to carve out time to disconnect and relax.
Create a schedule and stick to it no matter what. This will allow you to go out with your friends occasionally or spend a quiet evening at home.
Learn to Say No
Besides having a to-do list, you also need to make another one – a not-to-do list.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll be pressed for time which means that you’ll have to say “no” more than you like.
By declining certain tasks and obligations, you’ll have more time to focus on what really matters.
Here are a couple of ideas to help you prioritize:
- Before you accept a meeting, think whether it’s necessary as well as what you can potentially gain from it.
- Don’t micromanage. Deal only with the tasks that are your specialty and responsibility. Delegate everything else and give your employees room to show you what they know.
- Say “no” to different distractions when you’re working on something important – email notifications, messages, phone calls, and similar time wasters can wait. Address them later and don’t allow distractions to interrupt your train of thought.
A transition from working for someone to working for yourself can be stressful and challenging, but if you’re following your passion and know how to organize your time, it’s worth the pursuit.