Most people at one time or another have probably considered how nice it would be to be their own boss and set their own hours. When faced day in and day out with a job that is too mundane, too stressful, too time-consuming, or that you simply don’t love doing, it can be easy to long for greener pastures – where your time is your own and you are passionate about what you do.
However, it is important to realize that there is a big difference between being an employee and being a business owner and to consider the steps it will take to make the change.
Examine Your Reasons
Talk to almost any entrepreneur, and they are probably going to tell you two things about starting a business – it’s challenging, and it’s a lot of work. It’s imperative that someone who is considering making the change from employee to business owner evaluate their motivation for wanting to become a business owner.
Are you just wanting a change because you hate your job or are bored with the monotony of it? Or, do you have a great idea that you think will fulfill a need and want to see it through?
One of these is a valid reason to start a business, but the other one – not so much. If you are feeling burnt out in your job because of long hours, high stress, or low pay, then entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you.
These are all factors that will come into play when starting a new business, so it might be better to search for a new job or contact a staffing agency, that can work with you to find a job that’s a better fit and will be more fulfilling.
However, if you are ready to be your own boss and face all of the challenges that come with it, then it might be time to consider what it’s going to take to start your own business and prepare to make the change.
How to Transition from Employee to Business Owner?
The key to a successful transition isn’t to make one big leap into entrepreneurship, but instead, to take it slow and steady. Take time to plan, prepare, and build up your business before you quit your day job. Burning bridges and abandoning a steady paycheck to set off into the unknown may be an exciting premise for Hollywood, but in reality, it’s better to make a slow and well-thought-out transition rather than a dramatic exit. You will be setting yourself up for more success in the long run if you take the following steps:
1. Educate yourself
You will be better prepared to make the decision about whether or not you want to be a business owner if you have a higher understanding of what it will entail. Take classes, read books, talk to other entrepreneurs, and utilize any resources you can so that you have a more thorough knowledge of what you are undertaking.
2. Research and develop your business idea
It is important to have a comprehensive understanding of what kind of business you want to create and what its purpose will be. Do you have a certain skill set or product idea that will meet a need that isn’t being fulfilled?
It is important to research your ideas to make sure that you aren’t trying to build a business in a market that is already saturated with companies doing the same thing. Focus on the areas that have the greatest potential, but remember to personalize them so they fit your interests, experience, and skills as well.
3. Build your business on the side
If you quit your job without having income, you are more likely to make hasty decisions or struggle with the stress of growing a business. Keeping your job gives you the security of a regular income and decreases some of the financial pressure associated with building a business.
Work on growing your business outside of your work hours to see if your idea is feasible and will generate enough income. Don’t work on your startup while you’re on the clock or neglect your duties because this can affect your relationship with your employer, someone who could be a part of your network and help you in the future.
3. Make a business plan
After you’ve taken the time to research and fully develop your business idea, make a plan – strategize, set goals, and have at least a general idea of the direction you want to go.
Everything won’t always go to plan, but making decisions about what you’ll need, where your business will be, startup costs and funding, if you’ll need to hire employees, marketing strategies, budgets, etc. will help you stay the course when challenges arise.
Making the journey from employee to business owner isn’t an easy one, but it can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to build a business they are passionate about.