If you’re like most of the planet, it’s probably a dream of yours to be your own boss and do what you want when you want it. An increasing number of people are doing just that, reaping the benefits of working for themselves and maintaining their own schedule. Despite the great benefits, it is important to make sure that the beckon call of the world of entrepreneurship is the right one for you.
Bare in mind the few things I wrote down below, things I think any start-up entrepreneur should know, before you take any decision. Sometimes with just a bit of due diligence and careful planning things can turn out much different. So firstly…
1. Don’t go in broke
If you intend to quit your day job straight away(which I don’t advise) and become an entrepreneur, you need to have money saved up. At least six months of expenses is essential, though a year is recommended. It’s hard to get a business up and running if you’re constantly worried about choosing between groceries and toilet paper.
2. Get training and mentorship
As Lincoln was saying “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Learn all that is to learn about your industry, study your competition, get some guidance from a mentor and then go in. Think about what can make you different, what will you innovate, what will your edge be over the competition? Being different is more often than not the key to success. Sharpen you axe first!
3. Keep the lines open with your day job
If you do decide to quit your day job, give plenty of notice and offer to help train your replacement. As tempting as it may be to yell “See ya!”, throw your paperwork in the air, and run screaming out of your cubicle, it’s not practical. What if your business fails? What if you just decide you actually prefer your old job? You want to leave on good terms in case you ever want to return.
4. Set up a home office
It’s probably tempting to work from your laptop while wearing your Scooby-Doo pajamas and watching cartoons. It’s also a really terrible idea if you actually expect to get anything done. Set up a quiet room in your house with all of your business equipment and work from there. If a quiet room doesn’t exist, try other options, such as working at the local library or renting a small office space.
5. Just do it!
Nike knew what they were talking about. Of course, research is important for starting a new business, but it’s not the only thing to do. All knowledge in the world won’t help if you don’t actually implement anything. Tell yourself that you will physically do something for your business each day, even if it’s just updating the website. Form constructive habits that aid your goals.
6. Get to know people
Word of mouth if still the most important form of advertising. Keep business cards on you, tell people about your business (when it is appropriate) and attend events that will host people whom might be interested in what you have to offer. Set yourself up as an expert and get your name out in the open.
To your success,