by Tracy Vides | Featured Contributor
The dream of starting your own business is becoming more and more attainable for women. Female-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment in the US economy right now.
While making the initial jump from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur is scary and difficult, it’s oh-so-rewarding!
Leaving your 9-to-5 or traditional office setting to pursue your own path is a big leap to take –leaving a steady income behind can be a huge risk. Self-employment can also have a major impact on your family life in ways other than finances, so it is definitely not a choice that should be taken lightly.
Before you put it off by another year, remember that thousands of other successful entrepreneurs have turned their dream into reality by taking the plunge, so you can too. Prepare yourself for the move into full-time entrepreneurship by taking the necessary first steps that will help make the change as smooth and successful as possible.
1. Start with a Side Hustle
One good way to test the waters before you go full-time is to try starting a side hustle first. Not only will it provide you with an extra source of income that can fuel your transition into entrepreneurship, but it can also be a great learning tool to help you prepare to run a business full-time.
Lots of successful entrepreneurs started things out as a hobby-cum-business on the side. Like Kristin Berry, who opened up an Etsy shop selling her artwork and offering graphic design work. Her business quickly took off from there. In 2015, she successfully quit her day job and started her own company, Miss Design Berry.
Whether you want this side-business to turn into your full-time gig is up to you, but remember, it is a great foundation to start building a brand name. Once you’ve established a flourishing side gig, you can start the process of successfully turning it into a full-time business.
2. Learn from Your Employer’s Mistakes
While planning an exit from your current employer is by no means an excuse to slack off on the job, it should be a time of learning and observation. It is much easier to see the weaknesses and kinks in a company as an employee than it is as a leader. No matter how much you may love your boss or coworkers, there are likely some things that would change if you were in charge.
Take the time to observe the day-to-day practices that go on at your current job, and then analyze which strategies work and which ones don’t. It is often the little things, like poor communication or inefficient leadership that can have the biggest impact, especially when it comes to employee productivity and task management.
Use this pre-entrepreneurship time to learn the finer details of how to run a business (and how not to run one). Take notes on the systems that are helpful and discuss ideas and suggestions from other coworkers for better solutions.
3. Construct a Strong Business Blueprint
Before diving head first into running your own business, make sure you are prepared with a strong business plan ahead of time. Getting your finances, marketing strategies, and business structure in place before your entrepreneurial venture begins is the best way to set yourself up for success.
While various studies peg the capital that an average business startup requires to get things started from as little as $1,000 to as much as $125,000, the right answer is it depends on your business. Figuring out a solid budget plan should be one of your top priorities. Your success depends on the metrics on which you base your calculations.
Poor money management has been the downfall for countless companies. Don’t hesitate to seek out a professional financial planner to help you prevent any kinks down the road.
A strong and lean marketing strategy can determine the success or failure of a new business quicker than anything else. Get yourself up to speed on the ins and outs of social media, content marketing, digital advertising, and more to determine which tactics would be best to get the wheels moving.
4. Work on Self-Improvement before Self-Employment
The truth is that not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship. Few things in this lifestyle are easy. Self-starters face rejection and failure on a regular basis. However, there are certain characteristics successful entrepreneurs exhibit that you can attempt to develop beforehand, in order to help prepare for the hardships ahead.
Many entrepreneurs are self-declared bookworms, so pick up as many books on successful leaders, business strategies, and other interesting topics as you can. Listen to podcasts, connect with a mentor, or attend entrepreneurial meetups in your area to start networking with like-minded people.
Truly successful entrepreneurs are confident and ambitious. They always place a strong importance on personal growth. In many ways, entrepreneurship is a mind battle. Prepare yourself by learning and cultivating a go-getter mindset to set yourself on the path to success.
The Way Forward
Making the transition to a full-time entrepreneur can be both menacing and exhilarating, depending on your view of it. Planning ahead is key for making the change a little bit easier. While you can certainly learn a lot as you go along, take some steps to prepare by learning, strategizing, and improving yourself beforehand.