Many people have quite a fairytale perception of entrepreneurship and business. You take the plunge, quit your job, toil away and then you’re the next success story. While this can happen for some, it’s usually the few success stories that are widely published and not the many failures. Quitting your job is not always the first step you need to take before building a business. Here are five things you should consider before quitting your job.
Expand your skill set
Take some time to familiarise yourself with what your responsibilities will be and what skills you’ll need to learn to grow your business. Brush up on your interpersonal skills and soft skills, such as sales and negotiation. If you come from a sales background, you might be comfortable with the idea of selling already, but otherwise, you might baulk at the thought. For better or for worse, any business is built around selling. Whether it’s selling to customers, selling your vision to employees, selling your idea to investors, or negotiating with suppliers, it is an important skill you must nurture.
Set goals and develop a plan
While it may seem brave to dive in headfirst, you shouldn’t start a business without knowing exactly what you’re trying to build. Set goals and milestones and develop a plan to achieve them. Take time to thoroughly research your market and create a business plan based on facts. Be sure to set smaller goals and milestones for yourself so you don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed. Small victories can be motivating and help you to create momentum in your business.
Start your business as a side hustle
You can start your business as a side hustle rather than going all in from the beginning. The best thing you can do at this stage is to prove your idea. Before you do anything else, get your first client or customer. For example, if you have an app idea, build the basic app first and see what the response is. Don’t spend thousands developing something that there is no market for. Many people find it challenging to pursue something on the side while working in full-time employment. Working a job can be exhausting. If this is what you’re struggling with, try negotiating with your employer to work four-day weeks instead of five.
Build up your savings with your day job
Start saving as much as you possibly can and create a runway for yourself. Naturally, this is easier the longer you are employed. Building a business can be expensive, and it may be a long time before you begin to see the results you’d like from your efforts. By staying in employment, you will be better able to ride the bumps and unexpected costs that arise from startups. By building a bigger nest egg before you take the plunge, you mitigate this situation and give yourself longer to make your business idea w
Don’t try to go it alone. The entrepreneurial path is lined with challenges. Support can come from your friends, family and mentors. Just ensure that your vision and mission are aligned so that you won’t be discouraged.
By Damilola Faustino