Despite the pictures we often paint in our heads of world domination, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. If you’ve been dreaming of owning and running your own business, the first step isn’t to quit your nine-to-five job. We’d all like to control our own destiny, but accomplishing this is often more complicated than hanging out a shingle and waiting for the business to roll in.
The good news is that now appears to be a good time to start a new a new business. According to the Kauffman Startup Activity Index, there are more people becoming an entrepreneur now than at any time in the past decade. If you are thinking about taking this life-altering leap, here are some of the things you should consider and plan for before you jump.
Develop your business idea
If you don’t know what you’d like to do, this is an excellent place to start. Consider a combination of something that you’re good at and that you enjoy since it will occupy much of your life from this point forward. Even if you already have some direction, spend some time studying the market to make sure that your idea is marketable and that you live in the right area to create a profitable business.
Create a detailed plan
Now that you have your business idea, it’s time to get specific. Few businesses are successful without a detailed plan for startup, funding, manufacturing, and marketing. Write a business plan and be as specific as possible with your strategy for each area of your business. If you are looking for a startup loan, the finance company will want to review this plan.
Tap into your network
When you start a new business, you’re going to need all the help you can get. This isn’t the time to be shy. Immediately let your personal and professional network in on your plans and ask them for feedback along the way. The help you receive, including new ideas, from your network could cement your ultimate success. This applies to almost any industry from engineering consulting to financial planning to construction and more.
Set-up your business
Establish your business legally and begin setting up what you need to operate on a small scale. This will allow you to test your ideas and methods without going all in with your nest egg. You may also be able to do this while still working your regular job so that you maintain some income security.
Quit your job
When you feel that you’re ready, it’s time to finally walk away from your nine-to-five job and completely concentrate on your entrepreneurial dream. While this may feel like a tremendous relief, there is plenty of work waiting for you to ensure that your business is a success. One thing that you should avoid is burning bridges with old jobs and colleagues who could turn into valuable business partners in the future.
Make adjustments as needed
Now that you’re working on fulfilling your destiny, it’s essential that you remain flexible and open to change. Just because you wrote a detailed business plan, that doesn’t mean that your company’s progress will unfold according to your schedule. Stay in close communication with your clients, suppliers, and business partners and be ready to make changes as necessary for the sake of your company’s survival and growth.
If thinking about the challenges associated with entrepreneurship excites you instead of discourages you, you probably have the mindset necessary to be a successful business owner. The most important thing to do is to consider all of the details before you commit to surrendering your regular paycheck in favour of something less certain. Once you take that leap, you’ll likely find the benefits of your chosen work are precisely what you’d imagined.