At some point in our lives, we have all hated our jobs. Everyone who has had to rush to shower, eat, and fight traffic to get to work has considered what it would be like to be their own boss. Imagine never having to worry about showing up late. Or not answering to anybody about your daily tasks and accomplishments. Or taking home the lion’s share of what the business earns. These are all very good and appealing reasons to quit your job and start your own business. Unfortunately, these are just very small aspects of the larger picture of running your own business. If you aren’t careful, you could be heading for a pitfall.
4 Steps to Consider Before Quitting Your Job
When you’re working in a specific role for a firm, you likely have limited responsibilities, depending on your job description and title. You are only responsible for your own performance, and of those that report to you. However, most entrepreneurs have to oversee almost every aspect of their business, at least in the beginning. That means you may need to manage everything from arranging capital to talent acquisition strategies to operational efficiency and productivity. In other words, starting your own business is not the cakewalk it might seem from the outside. Before you quit your current job and jump in with both feet, have a look at these four steps:
- Acquire Experience and Contacts from Your Current Role
- Be Motivated To Learn About New Aspects of Business
- Create a Business Plan Based on Careful Research
- Hire The Right People Who Share Your Vision
Let’s examine these in more detail below.
Acquire Experience and Contacts from Your Current Role
Just because you aren’t motivated in your current role does not mean you have to quit before the day is out. Continuing to work for your current employer may have several benefits that you haven’t considered. The biggest is the real-world business experience. People, especially those with no prior work experience, learn new things on the job every day. Employment gives you experience in a particular field or area. The experience you gain in the workplace is very valuable, especially if you intend to start a similar business.
But on-the-job experience isn’t the only reason to continue working for your employer for a while longer. One of the most important aspects of working professionally is the opportunity to broaden your network in your industry or niche. Continuing to work in your role will likely bring you in contact with a diverse selection of professionals. You can use this as an opportunity to grow your network and acquire useful contacts to leverage when you start your own thing.
Be Motivated to Learn About New Aspects of Business
Having a business idea, or even the beginnings of one, is a great thing. But on its own, it just isn’t enough to help you become a successful entrepreneur. Having experience or knowledge limited to your field, profession, or area of expertise is fine when you are a professional. But being an entrepreneur is a whole other ballgame.
Entrepreneurs cannot afford to restrict themselves to technical knowledge or a limited understanding of business procedures. When you’re leading a business, you need to have a working knowledge of almost every aspect of your business, not just your business idea. That means you need to be in the know about everything from sales to production to HR to cost management. In an entrepreneurial venture, you can’t afford to let other people handle things for you independently. You need to have at least a basic understanding of how different business functions work. The best way to do that is to remain open to learning, both in the workplace as well as through education or research.
Create a Business Plan Based on Careful Research
A business idea can be abstract, but a business plan cannot. Your business idea forms the seed that you use to grow a business. But your business plan is how you intend to ensure the business grows sustainably and healthily. A business plan should always be based on careful and meticulous research. Too many entrepreneurs have found this out the hard way. A vague business plan, or simply just winging it, is too dangerous to base your future on. You simply can’t leave anything to chance, especially if you’re considering quitting a specific role to go into business. Your business plan will vary, depending on the nature of the business you intend to get into. But certain areas of business research will remain constant across many industries and niches, including:
- Your ideal customer persona.
- Expected demand for your product or service.
- Your consumer spending habits.
- The needs or wants you aim to address.
- How your product/service addresses customer “pain points”.
Hire the Right People Who Share Your Vision
Unless you are a perpetual one-man show or a lone wolf type, you have to understand that building and running a business takes teamwork. There are many aspects of a business, and any number of challenges can arise in the normal course of things. You just can’t do everything on your own. That is why having the right people on your team is so important. An organization is only as strong as the people that comprise it. Having a focused team that shares your vision will make it easier for you to get to where you want to be.
That’s not to mention that you simply may not have the requisite knowledge and experience for EVERY area of business. A mortgage or lending entrepreneur with experience in operations or management is not likely to know much about HR, which is why many such firms work closely with mortgage recruiters. Accept that it is not humanly possible to know and do everything on your own. You will need experienced and talented individuals that you can rely on to get the job done. That means you have to be very careful when choosing them.
Rosie Harman is a Senior Content Strategist, specializing in Technology. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington and has spent the majority of her career working in tech giants in Texas. When she’s not helping the content team, Rosie enjoys adventuring with her two children around her home town.