Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? If you’re looking to make the full transition from employee to entrepreneur, you will need to totally commit financially and timewise. However, the truth is that there’s no rulebook or script that tells you exactly when the time is right to take the risk and start your business.
We have compiled a list of points to help you determine whether you’re ready to take the leap and dive headfirst into start-up territory.
have a clear vision and plan
Having a good idea is extremely important but it is vital to have a clear vision and path to profitability. Creating a solid and realistic plan on how you’re going to build a brand, monetise your business and stay afloat will help smooth out the road ahead. You will need to map out every step of the next move and create a strong strategy. It’s also wise to anticipate the hard times.
“People tell me all the time that they wish they’d had my idea. Ideas are a dime a dozen. In reality, the idea is about 1% of it – the rest is hard work and execution”, Amy Norman wrote for Forbes.
do your research
Every entrepreneur should rigorously research the market they are considering entering and analyse and evaluate their competition. You will then be able to make an informed decision. Choose your partners and clients wisely. It will save you time, energy and money in the long run.
know your numbers
Financial fears are one of the main reasons people don’t start their own business. You will need to accumulate as much personal savings as possible and say goodbye to the lack of steady income and regular hours.
Before going out on your own, be crystal clear on how much money you have and how much you need to live on comfortably. Estimate your expected expenses and pay off your debts. Being disciplined with your personal finances will strengthen your success as a business owner.
Some experts advise that in order to prepare for any emergency days, you should save at least six to twelve months of living costs. A certified financial planner and a tax professional will be able to set you on the right track.
create a solid business plan
The business plan is the most important pillar for an entrepreneur. It will allow you to prepare for speed bumps and obstacles along the way. Don’t hand in your notice until your plan is solid. The sooner you create a detailed business plan, the faster you can put it into motion. The more you prepare for, the more you will be able to handle when the going gets tough.
The below infographic taken from Rianka Dorsainvil’s ‘Your Greatest Contribution’ is very useful:
trust your gut
Experts can dish out great advice but ultimately, only you know what is right for you. Every person has their own path so listen to and trust your instincts. When it’s the right time, you’ll just know. Try not to expect support from everyone. There will always be someone who will try and plant doubt in your mind, so you need to grow a thick skin.
Have patience and don’t panic at the first sign of failure. You need to have faith in your idea and vision.
At one stage or another, we all reach a point where we are no longer learning or getting satisfaction from our 9 to 5. The yearning for freedom to control and the love for what you do, will help give you the courage to follow your passion.
If you’re determined and dedicated enough, the best investment you can make is in yourself. Do your research, develop the plan and take the leap. As the saying goes: ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway!’
If you fail, you will learn invaluable lessons that could lead you on another path to success.