I have written about this before (5 things you need to do before you start a business), but it is always nice to remind you about some of the things to consider when you are ready to quit your job. Many of my clients are still working full time while building their business and they are overwhelmed and anxious about making the leap. Issues of time management and fear abound and so many seem to be drowning while trying to decide what is the next step.
I also made this huge leap just over 1 year ago, so I wanted to share some things to consider before you did the same.
Choose a date/Set a goal
This is the thing most people skip over and then 5 years later are still planning to leave their job. Setting a date or a deadline for when you want to make the leap not only keeps you accountable but will help you develop strategies specifically to making this dream a reality. A deadline gives you something to work towards. So instead of I want to leave my job soon, get specific about the date. I want to leave my job and be running my own business successfully by January 5th, 2018! Get that specific so you can visualize it and then get into action to make it happen
Do your research
Research, research and research some more. Not because it sounds like a nice idea to you means it will work. Ask questions; read up about your industry; reach out to experts in your industry; conduct surveys and polls; sample your products and services. Research is key to the launch and development of your business because you do not want to waste time when yo finally go public. You want to get most of it right (not saying to be perfect!), but you want to be clear of who you are selling to, how much they are willing to pay, where they can be found and exactly what they want. That happens with research! Research is a continuous process in your business even after you have launched. Listen to ‘Why Market Research is so important’ in one of my videos.
Test the market
This ties into your research. After you have done the research, test out what you have learnt to see if it meets your clients expectations. Sample your products; do beta testing of your courses and as you test, keep asking for feedback so that you can fine tune your offering.
Invest in yourself and your business
You HAVE to invest in your business. This looks different for different people. It may mean taking an online course or buying books to read, or attending workshops. Whatever method works for you is fine. The most important thing to note is that you should be investing in your education if you truly want to excel in business. Because technology is making everything so accessible and the buying habits are always evolving you need to be on top of what is going on. Invest in your education. Invest in your business by hiring people to do what you cannot do like graphic work, website development and accounting. As you are still in a full time job, use part of your salary to invest in your business to help it grow quicker. Take baby steps but please take some steps to get it done.
Build your audience
Who said you had to wait to ‘launch’ before you build your audience? You can start building your audience from day one just by talking about your business and doing sampling for example. In fact it is from this audience that you will get information about if your product or service is really needed. Start with people in your circle who you know need your services and ask for referrals after every ‘job’ that you do. Keep building your audience as you do research and test your products so when you are ready to make your big launch you already have income coming in and a steady flow of customers who know about you and can recommend you to others
Understand your money
You and your money should be best friends. Too many entrepreneurs start off by just wanting to make some money. Even if you are simply trying to earn $2000 extra a month, you need to know the exact figure you want to make. Create a budget of all your expenses presently to determine how much you need to make in your own business so that you can continue or improve the life you are currently living. Know your figures, understand how a budget works and track how you are spending money on a daily/weekly basis so that you can take charge of your finances. Money Management is essential for the success of your business. Knowing how much you need to set aside as a cushion to keep you steady until you business takes off is so very important.
Know your legal requirements
This is something that many overlook especially when now starting out. There are stark differences if you are registering as a sole trader or an llc; whether you are VAT registered or not. There are many legal requirements you should know about as you start and grow your business. Reach out to the relevant authorities and get educated on this. Even simple things like the images you use on your posts or blogs come with legal requirements. In order to protect your business, you need to understand how these things affect your own business.
Surround yourself with like minded people
Not everyone will understand your dream. They do not have to…it is your dream not theirs. But it always helps when you are surrounded by like minded people right? Spend more time or find more people who are in business or are starting their own business to hang around. This way you can feed off each others energy, lean on each other and hold each other accountable. Most times people do not understand the late nights, your refusal to go out for drinks or your obsession with your business because they themselves are not in business.
Create a schedule
I hate to say time management but I know that is what most entrepreneurs understand. It is about managing yourself! You have 24 hours in the day, so use it wisely by creating a schedule that allows you to still build your business. Especially if you are still working a full time job, then give your boss your full attention during work hours (wouldn’t you want your staff to do the same?) and then decide what you are going to do with the next 18 hours. How many hours to sleep, spend time with family and friends, relax, study, do research etc. You are in control so you create a written schedule that makes sense to your lifestyle. No 2 schedules will ever look alike. Your schedule should be flexible to allow ‘life’ to happen but you should have an idea of what each day would look like for you and what you would be actively working on each day in your business.
If you have not found that space as yet, then come on over to Dynamic Business Strategist where we have over 2000 entrepreneurs from around the world growing their business.
Finally, stay focused and consistent. There will be days you feel frustrated and overwhelmed. That is part of the journey. But after you have picked yourself up, get back on the saddle and keep going. You need to understand WHY you started this journey and be very clear of where you want to be. Keep your eye on the prize and keep at it until you get your prize!
It is not about being perfect but about being prepared. I know this can seem daunting and scary but that is why you have me, your business coach. If you are ready to put these things in place, then let’s work together to make sure you are doing it right, then contact me and let’s get started.