Before you Quit your Day Job
fm Entrepreneur.com 13 Sept 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
The dream of being one’s own boss is what leads many people to start businesses, but leaving your Day job to fulfill that vision is a move that shouldn’t be made hastily. In his book, “QUITTER: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job” author Jon Acuff says that between 70 & 80 % of people think about quitting their job to do something more fulfilling. “A lot of people wake up Monday morning and say, ‘How did I get here?’” he says. “You take a six-month stop-gap job sometimes and find yourself still there several years later, but it doesn’t have to be that way.” That said, Acuff and other experts say there are some important things to consider before quitting your Day job to start a business. Here are the ten questions you should ask yourself.
1. Is my Business Idea sound? It’s important to make sure what you’re planning to do is “marketable” & remarkable, that it fills a niche. Is there a need for this thing you want to do? “I work with a lot of creative people who have started businesses based on peoples’ lifestyles”. “They’ve found niches to help working moms, families, individuals who are time-starved.” Make sure your idea is “relevant” before taking that leap.
2. Can I Test the waters without giving up my current job? Author urges people to ‘beta test’ their dream biz, before leaving a stable situation to pursue it full-time. You might find you don’t like the new career as much as you thought you would. Ideally, you could work at a similar job to “Practice you Dream”, to find out if you really like it.
3. Are there Skills I need, to go into business? Before stepping out, make sure you have the relevant skills, qualities & intangibles to make a new business work. It’s important to be up to date on the latest technology in your field and be able to use social media to your advantage. “Make sure your skill gaps are closed and that you’re up on trends & best practices in the area you are getting into, (ie, following the top Blogs & Websites,” “So much is changing so fast that staying relevant is crucial to success.”
4. Is the Timing right? If your wife is pregnant or you’ve just taken over the care of an elderly parent, it may not be the right time to leave the security of an steady job to pursue the dream. “We throw out these Pinterest-sized platitudes like, ‘Just go for it’ or, ‘Step out in faith.’ And then we pretend that we don’t have a mortgage or bills or responsibilities”. Instead, be honest about your current situation; be realistic about your bills and your commitments; then make an informed decision.
5. Do I have the Support of Family & Friends? The talents & shortcomings we have the hardest time recognizing are often our own. So before venturing away from a secure situation, ask the people you trust the most, how well-suited they think you are to the opportunity. “Talking to family & friends will help you realize if you’re going after something that you really want to do, or just escaping your current situation. “Don’t just talk to the dreamers in the group that will tell you to Go for it. Talk to the people that will be honest with you and encourage you if you’re on the right path.”
6. How will I cover my Expenses? The biggest detriment to starting a business is being under-capitalized, says Deborah Shane, author of “CAREER TRANSITION – Make the Shift: Your Five Steps to Successful Career Reinvention”. You should have a rainy day fund or savings built up to cover you and the business for a certain period of time – the length of which will be determined by the nature of the business and how quickly you’ll be able to pay yourself a salary (this Author suggests 12 months as a good place to start). “Make sure you have the money to pay both your personal & business expenses for that period before venturing out on your own.
7. Do I have the Discipline to be my own Boss? Many people think if they can be their own boss, it’s going to make life easier. Sometimes that’s true, but not always. Not everyone is meant to be a business owner. Although entrepreneurs come in all shapes & sizes, they do often share traits like good leadership skills and a desire to be in control. “Many people think entrepreneurship is for risk-takers, and that’s not necessarily the case. “I think successful entrepreneurs do the due diligence before starting their business and minimize the risk involved in a new project.”
8. How much am I willing to change my Lifestyle? Some people are very comfortable with the structure of a regular job. Starting your own business can be the opposite of structure and can mean long, hard hours – very often spent alone. “There’s also a lot of self-motivation involved. You have to be disciplined, innovative, creative & pre-active.
9. Is this going to make me Happier? Before leaving your job for uncharted territory, make sure this is really what you want – not just what you think you want or a way to escape your current job. “I personally believe you should get enjoyment out of your career,” says Author Chris Hurn, Orlando of “The Entrepreneur’s Secret to Creating Wealth”: How The Smartest Business Owners Build Their Fortunes. “Too many people suffer silently in their job, but before you go out to be your own boss, you have to believe you’re going to be happier. If you can’t say that you believe it will make you happier, don’t do it.” If you decided to go ahead . . .
10. Do a Business Plan? Start with an Executive Summary of all the factors needed to launch a Business [Wiz4.biz can help] Do the research to go into more detail to put in your Business Plan. Anyone starting a new business should put together a plan that includes a sound Marketing Plan. This is not Improv theatre. You need a good Plan for today’s competitive marketplace. “It doesn’t have to be complicated, but can be as simple as a one-page summary,” Shane says. “Look at it as a road map.”
Comments: Do you have any things a new Entrepreneur should do before starting?