The thought of being one’s own boss is very inspiring. Many people dream of the day they will finally become business owners.
Most people tend to focus on the flowery details such as job satisfaction and freedom, while overlooking the contingences. Failure to plan for these contingences can lead to failure.
Moving from employment to self-employment is not an easy transition. You should not take this decision lightly.
Before you decide to quite your job, ask yourself these questions about starting your own business.
Why are you quitting your job to start a business? Do you have a business idea that you are really enthusiastic about following? Or are you quitting your job because you hate it and you are hoping for a change?
If you are leaving your job because of boredom and the desire for change, becoming self-employed might not be your best bet. It would be much better for you to seek another opportunity in another company.
This is especially true for you if you are hopping that starting your own business will save you from the high stress, low pay and all the hard work you have been putting in in your eight to five job. Starting a business will require you to put in hours of hard work, you will feel stressed and there might be little or no pay during the startup period.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to dissuade you from becoming self-employed. All am saying is that it’s not going to be easy. And it’s certainly not a quick fix for when you tire of your job.
Becoming your own boss demands a lot of perseverance and commitment.
If you are ready to take the leap, it is time to start thinking about transitioning from an employee position to becoming an entrepreneur. The more prepared you are, the higher you chance of success.
The Truth About Leaving Corporate Life for Entrepreneurs
People tend to think that starting you own successful business is a spur of the moment kind of thing. You just decide to clear your desk, toss the papers in the trashcan and courageously walk out of your office, never to return.
The reality is further from this. Making such a drastic change might turn out to be a mistake. It is more advisable to start small and grow from there. take time to prepare before you leave your day job. It will save you time, money and a great deal of stress.
Try building your business in stage. It will be less risky and it is likely to earn you more rewards.
The following tips will help you in your entrepreneurship journey.
Develop Your Idea
What kind of business will you start?
This question is not as easy to answer as you might think. Before you start a business, you need to know exactly what you intend to do or sell.
The most successful business ideas are those that focus on offering solutions. Examine the market for holes and craft a product that fills this void in the society.
Finding your niche will require some level of research. You can conveniently search for information about any industry using your smart phone or computer. There are numerous ideas on the internet. You just need to decide on one and customize it to fit your interests, experience and your desired niche.
Ensure that you already have a developed business idea before you quit your job. This does not mean that you should use company hours to work on your ideas. This will only land you into problems with your boss.
As an entrepreneur, you should learn not to burn bridges. Don’t create animosity between you and your employer by ‘stealing’ time to work on your business. Remember that once you become an entrepreneur, your employer will be part of your network. He/she could even help you somewhere along the way.
Test Market Trends
How do you measure the potential of your business idea? Moving from employment to entrepreneurship is a huge step. You don’t want to make the wrong move with an idea that fails.
Test your idea on a small group with a market analysis so as to understand prospective customers, competitors and the industry.
Use questionnaires, surveys and interviews about your products to see how people react.
Don’t forget to take a look at the market trends and listen to the experts in that field. Pay close attention to crucial issues influencing the industry direction and use them as a guide.
Get A Business Plan
Use a business plan to refine your idea. A business plan will be your roadmap for launching your business. A business plan contains details about your target customers, the product you are offering, and your source of funding.
Choose an opening date and location for your business, decide on the types of records you will keep, come up with a marketing strategy and create a budget for your business.
It might not be possible to have all the details figured out, but having a plan will help you steer your business in the right direction.
Build Your Network
You don’t have to grow your business alone.
Build a network of experts from various fields such as industry experts and financial consultants. They will help you grow your business by offering invaluable advice.
You should also network with prospective customers. Nurturing these relationships leads to long term customers and continuous referrals.
You can never have too many people in your network. Especially if you are just starting out. always be keen not to miss a networking opportunity.
Moving from an Employee to an Entrepreneur
Owning a business is not for everyone. If you have a solid plan and are passionate about it, you are halfway through the journey. If you dream of becoming an entrepreneur, seek advice from smart and experienced people. Learn to filter the good advice from the bad. Trust your instincts, put in hard work and don’t doubt your abilities for one second.
Hannah Muchuki Githuki
Founders Breakfast Kenya